Virtual Presentation Guide

Please read ASLO’s guide on preparing a successful presentation.

Session Format

Oral sessions will follow a new format designed to encourage discussion amongst participants in a virtual setting. Sessions are organized in one-hour blocks, where each presenter (of six) will give a short five-minute overview talk on their research. The remaining 30 minutes will be dedicated to discussion. The audience for each session will be prompted to watch the full, pre-uploaded presentations before the session occurs. Both the prerecorded presentations and a recording of the one-hour session will be available to attendees throughout the meeting.

Creating Your Presentation


Get familiar with the technology. Learn what your audio and visual resources are and how to best operate them. Explore shortcuts and options in software (PowerPoint, Adobe PDF, etc.) being used to show information will also be helpful. Learning about this beforehand will help in case you experience unexpected technical difficulties while recording.

Set yourself up for success by identifying a place that will be best for recording. An ideal space will be:

  • Quiet enough to record with minimal interruptions.
  • Natural lighting or the ability to control lighting to best record in
  • Have space to set up and record at eye level.

Be sure to outline your presentation so there is a natural flow as it is delivered. Having an outline will help maximize the given time.

Practice your presentation as if you were doing it at an in-person venue. The confidence gained from preparation also translates on video. It will also increase the professionalism of the presentation and enhance its overall quality.

PowerPoint and Zoom

These are two methods of recording your presentation we recommend: PowerPoint or Zoom. Both Zoom and PowerPoint allow you to toggle your video on or off should you want to just overlay audio to your presentation without video. Instruction on both can be found in this recording guide (slides 5+).

For more information on PowerPoint, view how to record in PowerPoint, please view this official Microsoft video tutorial.

Ready, Set, Record

When recording, be sure to remember:

  • Speak clearly and keep water nearby. It is likely you will do multiple takes and pause, so be sure to enunciate and stay hydrated to keep your voice strong.
  • If you are sharing space, be sure to let people know you will be recording. If helpful, invite them to be your audience!
  • Record your presentation multiple times. This will give you options to pick your final version or even edit multiple versions together. It is important to take breaks throughout to not get too tired.
  • Be yourself! This is your presentation. Let your passion for the research shine and it will also help ease any nerves.

Save your video presentation in the MP4 format. The length of time for your videos is 15 minutes (30 for tutorials).

In Session

Be mindful of direction from your session chair.

Virtual sessions have the potential of reaching audiences all over the world, so it is important to dress accordingly. Business casual is recommended, and even if the camera will not necessarily capture a presenter's lower body it really does help to feel prepared by wearing a complete outfit.

To help keep background noise to a minimum, make sure you mute your microphone when you are not speaking.

When your microphone is not muted, avoid activities that could create additional noise, such as shuffling papers.

Position your camera properly. Be sure it is in a stable position and focused at eye level. Doing so helps create a more direct sense of engagement with other participants.

You can make it easier to focus on the meeting by turning off notifications, closing or minimizing running apps, and muting your smartphone.

Avoid multi-tasking.

Other Resources:

Tips and cautions for presenting at virtual conferences and meetings

9 Important Virtual Presentation Tips For You

Uploading Your Presentation

Instructions on how to upload your presentation will be forthcoming.

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