Example Presentations: Presentation 1 • Presentation 2 • Presentation 3 • Presentation 4Presentation 5 • Presentation 6
UAB Powerpoint Template: Template 1 Template 2


  • Build your talk on 2-5 key concepts, refrain from including everything you know
  • Maintain consistency between slides and talk
  • Know your audience and gear the talk to their skill level, beliefs, and motivations
  • Anticipate questions

For a 10 minute clinical vignette presentation:
  • Introduction and Learning Objectives: 1-2 slides
  • Case Description: 2-4 slides
  • Discussion: 2-4 slides
  • Take Home Points: 1 slide


  • Plan to spend about 30 seconds to 1 minute per slide
  • The audience will read 100% of the slide, delete any excess words
  • Use pictures or movies if you are able, but make sure they are readable from the back of the room
  • Check spelling, check again, and check a third time
  • Don't apologize for slides that no one can read. If it is too busy, distracting, or unreadable, redo the slide
  • Don't put your slides in your luggage. Always keep them within reach
  • Be prepared for e-mail or equipment failure: always have copies, on a portable storage device AND on paper

  • Blue background with white or yellow lettering is more readable
  • Use bullets rather than prose
  • Maximum 5-7 lines per slide, 7 words per line
  • Keep a consistent background throughout the presentation
  • Resist flying, bouncing, or other text or sound effects

  • Use upper and lowercase letters. All uppercase is difficult to read
  • Avoid italics. Use bold, change font size or color, or underline
  • Use sans serif fonts (Arial, Tahoma, Vendana, Helvetica). Avoid distracting or "cute" fonts
  • Don't use more than 2-3 different fonts per presentation

  • Retype tables rather than photographing or copying from journal articles
  • Simplify
  • 2 column table, use < 5 rows
  • 3 column table, use < 3 rows

  • Bar Graphs: Maximum 8 separate bars, or 3 pairs
  • Line Graphs: Make each line a different color
  • Pie Charts: Start the largest piece at 12:00, move clockwise
  • Use arrows or other highlights to draw attention to the most important points

  • For Radiology: consider showing the entire picture in one slide, then zoom in to the area of importance on the next slide
  • For Pathology: consider showing a normal comparison next to your specimen
  • Highlight the important part of the picture (arrow or box)


  • Familiarize yourself with the stage and the equipment before you start
  • Rehearse 2-3 times, to yourself, your colleagues, your pet, anyone. Consider audio or video taping yourself
  • Listen to feedback from your peers; use it to improve your presentation.
  • Speak slowly, pause between slides
  • Eliminate mannerisms, umms, errs, ahs
  • Use a conversational tone
  • Pay attention to the audience. They will give you clues if you are moving too quickly, if they are confused, or bored
  • Questions: repeat or rephrase the question, then answer it briefly
  • Don't run over time

Laser pointers
  • Use both hands
  • Use the laser pointer to point, and then turn it off. You will distract your audience if the pointer is on all the time.

  • Move slowly through these slides
  • Orient them first to the symbols, axes, and content
  • Then point out the information that you want to emphasize


  • Estrada CA, et al. The 10-minute oral presentation: What should I focus on? Am J Med Sci 2005;329(6);306-309.
  • Heudebert GR, et al. The 35mm slide-Is blue better? JGIM 1990;5:273.
  • Estrada CA, et al. The art of oral presentations. SGIM Forum Newsletter
  • Varkey AB, et al. Speak like a pro: How to improve your lectures. SGIM Annual Meeting 2001.
  • Purrington C. Gratuitious advice on giving a talk. Swarthmore College.

Prepared by: Analia Castiglioni, MD, Amanda Salanitro, MD, MS, Erin Snyder, MD, Carlos Estrada, MD, MS