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Undergraduate Research

Information for Oral Presentations

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  • Prepare a presentation that is 10-12 minutes long. Be prepared to answer a few questions from the audience during the three-minute Q&A session that will immediately follow your talk.
  • Concentrate on the main points. You will not have time for details that the audience may not be able to appreciate, anyway! You may not be able to present your entire project.
  • Avoid as much as possible discipline-specific jargon that few, if anyone in the audience will understand and make them lose interest in your presentation. Be sure to define any key terms.
  • Ask your mentor for advice and solicit constructive criticism. Your mentor will be able to guide you with respect to logical flow and transitions between arguments or main points, appropriateness of conclusions drawn and of language used, etc. in your presentation.
  • Practice your presentation several times, preferably in front of a friendly audience (e.g. friends, relatives, especially your mentor) and obtain feedback about clarity, flow, speed, etc. The Southern Miss Speaking Center can help you develop an effective presentation.
  • Time yourself so that your talk is not too long or too short. If you are using slides, the rule of thumb is no more than one slide per minute.
  • You MUST have at least one Powerpoint slide with your name and the title of your presentation. Even if slides are not customary in your discipline, consider using a few Powerpoint slides that guide the audience through the main points of your presentation.
  • Consult one of these resources to assemble an effective Powerpoint presentation:
  • Dress professionally for your presentation. Please consult this Guide to Professional Dress Codes. Business casual, academic casual, or academic formal attire is appropriate.
  • Do not leave the panel immediately after your talk. As a courtesy to the other presenters, please take a seat and listen to the remaining presentations in your panel.
  • Try to enjoy the experience! UGS offers a friendly, supportive environment for your professional academic presentation.
  • Your presentation will be assigned a category that will give you a 1 in 3 to 1 in 4 chance of winning an award.



Contact a DCUR representative:

Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst or Dr.%20Rebecca%20Tuuri for all questions about DCUR

The University of Southern Mississippi
Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research
118 College Dr. #5162
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001



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Contact a member of the UGS Planning Committee in your area of interest for questions related to conventions of presentations in your discipline.

Contact Dr.%20Rebecca%20Tuuri or Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst for questions related to abstract submission or registration, UGS schedule or program, judging or moderating.

Contact Dr.%20Kelly%20Lester, Professor%20Allen%20Chen, Professor%20Jared%20Hollingsworth or Dr.%20Nicholas%20Ciraldo for questions related to the Arts Showcase.
Contact the Center%20for%20Community%20Engagement%20for all questions about community-engaged projects.