• April 7 - 11, San Francisco

    2014 Joint Summits on Translational Science

2014 Joint Summits Presenter Guidelines

Before the meeting


1. Audiovisual equipment

Please note that AMIA does not provide computers for presentations. You must bring your own laptop computer, with a fully charged battery, for your presentation.

The following audiovisual equipment will be available during the meeting: Standard equipment set in each room:

  • LCD computer projector
  • Laser pointer
  • Screen
  • Microphone

2. Presentation preparation

Continuing education compliance:

  • Only logos from academic and not-for-profit institutions may appear on all slides of a CME/CE presentation.
  • Logos from for-profit institutions may appear on the title and author slides only. When there is a logo from a for-profit institution included, the presenter must disclose his/her relationship with that entity.
  • At the beginning of the presentation, each presenter must verbally disclose to the audience relevant financial relationships with commercial interests s/he may have engaged in within the previous 12 months. Disclosure includes financial relationships of a spouse/life partner.
  • If the presenter mentions a product (drug, device, medical technology product) and s/he has any kind of financial relationship in any dollar amount with the company producing that product, then it is relevant.
  • If the presenter has no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests, s/he must disclose this as well. If this is the case, a presenter may say “I disclose that neither I nor my partner have relevant financial relationships with commercial interests.”
  • The presenter’s disclosure slide should follow author information; the presenter will provide verbal disclosure to participants before delivering the activity content.

Internet access: Due to the logistical difficulties inherent in establishing connections and unpredictable performance characteristics of hotel internet connections, you should not plan to use a live internet connection for scientific sessions.

AMIA recommends off-line rather than on-line techniques to present internet displays and dialog. Thus, for presentations that incorporate discussion of internet capabilities or web sites, speakers need to capture demonstrations and illustrations they wish to use ahead of time and use off-line means to present them, rather than using real-time, on-line connections.
Effective slide presentations:

  • Limit each slide to one main idea. Do not include more than you will discuss.
  • Use text, photos, charts, and graphics. To ensure clarity, however, avoid using all of these on one slide.
  • Ensure that the entire audience can read all your slides, not just the people sitting in the front row. Generally, you can easily read slides which will project well when held up to an overhead light, while poorly legible slides require a slide viewer.
  • In general, use no more than five to seven lines on one slide. More than seven words per line are usually illegible. Leave space, roughly the height of a capital letter between lines.
  • Font sizes should range from 18 to 48 point. Use size to establish a hierarchy for headings, sub-headings, and text.
  • Choose one or two typefaces that are easy to read. Do not clutter your slide with too many fonts. We recommend sans serif typefaces.
  • Use blue or gray background rather than black or white. Your text and graphics will look better and be easier to read.
  • Leave blank space around charts and graphs. Text placed too close to graphs except for labels and numbers makes slides look cluttered.
  • If you shoot photographs of typeset copy to make your slides, use a laser printer with at least 24-point typeface.
  • Computer-based presentations add a level of professionalism, but remember to balance animation, video, transitions, and special effects. Using "builds" to lead the audience through a slide by exposing one point or line at a time can be effective. The previous points are still visible but displayed in a smaller font or different color. Upon reaching the last point, the audience will see and be able to review all of the points on one slide. 

3. Preparing your handouts

  1. Speakers are responsible for duplicating and bringing their own handouts with the exception of tutorial presentations.
  2. When appropriate, handouts can be valuable learning tools that should provide an overview of the presentation, along with any additional information. They should not be a substitute for presentation visuals.
  3. You should distribute handouts before the presentation if you want attendees to follow along. You should distribute any supporting materials at the end of the session. Avoid distributing materials during the presentation as they can create distractions, since attendees may be reading instead of listening. Either leave copies at the back of the room or give them to the room monitor for distribution at the end of your presentation.

4. Handouts for Tutorials

  1. We strongly encourage tutorial presenters to provide handout materials electronically to the registered attendees. Effective this year, AMIA will not provide hard copies of handouts.
  2. If you are preparing to hand out materials, please provide the complete, camera-ready package, as a PDF document to AMIA by Thursday, March 27, 2014.  AMIA will distribute the handouts electronically to the registered attendees of your tutorial prior to the meeting.  If you are unable to submit your handouts by this date, you will be responsible for distributing your own handouts.

At the meeting

All Presenters:

1. Arriving at the meeting

When you arrive, check in at the registration area to receive a name badge and review the Program and Program Addendum for changes and updates in room or time.

2. Your presentation

Please arrive in your scheduled meeting room 15 minutes before your presentation. Introduce yourself to the session moderator. Familiarize yourself with the room set-up, audiovisual equipment, location of lights, and speaker area. This will allow you adequate time to work with the audiovisual and computer technicians to set up equipment.

3. Presentations formats, lengths, and information

  • Paper sessions are 90 minutes long with four speakers, each giving a 15-minute talk with 5 minutes for questions. An appointed session chair will moderate the session.
  • Panel discussions are 90 minutes long, with 60 minutes for presentation and 30 minutes for questions and discussions. The session moderator will monitor the time and questions.
  • Posters are placed on boards that are 4 feet high by 8 feet wide. Poster presenters must set-up their posters between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on the day of their presentation. Poster presenters must staff their posters from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the official poster session hours. Poster presenters must check the on-site program to verify their poster board number, which will be listed next to the title of the presentation. Posters not in their assigned space will be removed. Posters must be removed at 6:00 p.m. following each poster session. Posters not removed will be discarded. System Demonstrations, Partnerships in Innovation, and ACMI Senior Member Presentations: Sessions are 90 minutes with two presentations per session at 45 minutes each. Authors have 35 to 40 minutes to present their work, with 5 to 10 minutes for questions and answers.
  • Tutorials include three hours of instruction.

Session chairs and panel moderators:

1. Preparation and disclosure

Review the Program and Program Addendum for changes and updates in titles, authors, rooms, and times. Before your session, read the papers to be presented. Prepare questions for the authors. Prepare a very brief introduction of the author who will be presenting the paper or participating in a panel.

All CME and continuing education activities require disclosure of the existence of any financial interest and/or other relationship(s) (e.g., employee, consultant, grant recipient/research support) a faculty member has with a) the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) to be discussed during his/her presentation and/or b) the commercial contributors(s) of the activity.

Session chairs and moderators should review the conference disclosure form and ask speakers to disclose relevant relationships. Any individual that refuses to comply with be ineligible to participate in future AMIA continuing education activities and the case will be reported to the AMIA Education Committee.

2. Pre-session introductions

Arrive at the room at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the session. Introduce yourself to the presenters and the presenters to each other. Verify or obtain presenters' titles and pronunciation of their names. Introduce yourself to the room monitor/AMIA student volunteer, who will be stationed in the back of the room. The monitor is there to assist you with lighting, equipment. See room monitor/student volunteer for a list of responsibilities.

3. Explanation of rules

Review the ground rules with the presenters. Explain that you must strictly enforce the time limits to ensure that each speaker gets an equal chance to present, and the audience has an opportunity for comments and questions.
Paper sessions are 90 minutes consisting of four papers. Authors are told to plan on a 15-minute presentation, with five additional minutes for questions from the audience. Allow time for introductions and a couple of questions per speaker. Thus, if a session has four speakers, you should ensure that each person takes no more than 20 minutes.

Panel sessions are 90 minutes. At least 30 minutes should be devoted to audience questions. The number of speakers varies; each speaker may have only 10 to 12 minutes. The most consistent criticism of panel sessions is that the panelists take up too much time and leave too little opportunity for audience participation.

Podium Presentation sessions are 90 minutes consisting of four papers. Authors are told to plan on a 15-minute presentation, with five additional minutes for questions from the audience. Allow time for introductions and a couple of questions per speaker. Thus, if a session has four speakers, you should ensure that each person takes no more than 20 minutes.

4. Enforcement of time limits

Bring a watch and be sure to start the session on time. To enforce time limits, prepare a sheet of paper with "five minutes remain" written on it; pass it to the speaker at the podium. Follow this up with a two-minute warning. If you are both moderator and speaker on a panel, ask one of the other panelists to alert you to time limits.

5. Audiovisual, computer, and technical Support

Verify the audiovisual needs of the presenters and that the appropriate equipment is available.

We request that presenters arrive at the meeting room at least 10 minutes before the start of their presentation to work with the AV technicians and set up their computer equipment. As the Session Chair, it is your responsibility to keep the presentation moving. If there are any technical difficulties, you should reorder the presenters and put that author at the end. Do not keep the audience waiting while people work on technical problems. If the problem is corrected in a timely manner, reorganize the presentations as you deem appropriate.

6. Introductions

Give a brief introduction of your speakers. Be sure you can pronounce the name correctly, know the institution they are from or representing, and know their credentials.

7. Questions

If floor microphones are not available during the question and answer period, repeat the questions asked into your microphone. Generally, you should position yourself either at the podium with the microphone and repeat questions and comments or instruct the speakers to use the podium or use a lavaliere microphone to move around within the audience.

a. Paper and Podium sessions
There should be time for one or two questions at the end of each talk. Alert the audience to this at the beginning of the session. If there is extra time at the end of the session, ask for questions for any of the speakers. Having a session end a little early is acceptable.

b. Panel sessions
For a panel session, prepare a few of your own questions. The panelists should also have thought of some questions for each other. First, ask the audience for questions. Use your own questions as you choose. Later, you might ask the panelists if they have questions they would like to ask each other or the audience.

Cancellations and no-shows

If a speaker does not show up for the session, keep the other speakers to their agreed-upon times and turn the discussion into a panel session for the last 20 minutes. If necessary, start with a question or two of your own.


Close the session on time. Thank the speakers and lead a round of applause for them.