University of Florida

Presenter Guidelines


  1. Avoid clothing with small checks, thin stripes or intricate patterns.
    • These will produce a moire effect (crawling, strobing) from the cameras which will look like you have a horde of locusts in your clothes.
  2. If you are given a wireless lapel microphone:
    • Avoid wearing long necklaces or large pins or name tags that may knock against the mike.
    • Refrain from coughing downward into the mike or using hand gestures that may hit the mike.
    • Turn off your cell phone or PDA, because they will interfere with the wireless signal.
    • If there is a fixed microphone on the podium or instructor station, do not wander away from it or turn your head to look at the projector screen as you speak.
    • Also, do not pound the podium or tap your fingers next to the mike.
  3. If your audience must press a button to activate their microphone:
    • Remind them to do so when they're asking questions.
    • If they forget, repeat the question so that the other sites can understand the context of your answer.
  4. If you are using a document camera to show transparencies or to write or draw something for your presentation:
    • Make sure that the camera is focused.
    • Check that your material is straight and framed correctly.
    • Verify the camera is zoomed in enough to make your material legible.
    • Your facilitator or technician will explain how to do all of this beforehand.
  5. If you are displaying Web pages or computer screens for some software program:
    • Keep in mind that the smallest text may not be readable to the audiences at other sites.
    • You can show general layouts or large text and graphics, but you may have to verbally describe the smaller elements.
  6. If you are using a PowerPoint presentation:
    • use a sans-serif font such as Arial and make sure that it is bold face.
    • A shadow usually helps against colored backgrounds.
    • The background should be plain or with an unobtrusive pattern; avoid backgrounds of images or busy patterns.
    • In different situations it may be preferable to use dark text on a light background, or light text on a dark background; however, do not use an illegible combination like black text on a dark blue background.
    • The text size should be at least 24 point; 28 point or higher is even better.
    • Try not to use more than six to eight lines per slide.
    • Be sure to leave substantial margins on all four sides if your presentation is being videotaped or videoconferenced., so that the video format does not cut off the edges.
    • If you have images or graphics, try to make them at least a quarter of the total area of the slide.
    • If detail in the image is important, they should be full screen.
    • If you have embedded video, make sure that the video file is on the computer along with the PowerPoint file.
    • If you want to point to specific things on a slide, use the mouse to move the cursor rather than pointing to the screen in the room.
  7. If multiple sites are in the conference:
    • Try to address them specifically by site name or by the name of a facilitator or someone you know at the site.
    • Give each site a chance to ask questions in addition to the questions being asked by the audience in the room with you.