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SIOP Presentation Guidelines and Suggestions

Lisa M. Finkelstein
Northern Illinois University

Rob Ployhart spearheaded an effort that resulted in the presentation guidelines presented here. Specifically, for each type of session format (e.g., poster, symposium) and presenter role (e.g., chair, presenter, discussant), there is a set of guidelines you may want to consider.  

One of the most frequently quoted benefits of SIOP membership is the annual conference.  And although our conference is well received, we are always trying to make it better.  In an effort to both increase audience participation and create consistency in quality across presentations, we are proposing a series of recommendations presenters should follow in each session format.    

Clearly, the quality of presentations sets the tone for much of the conference.  And while, typically, the presentations are of high quality and clarity, we can all probably recall a presentation (or have given a presentation) where the session ran long, the presenters took way too much time, the overheads could not be read, or where the speaker was disorganized.  By providing a common set of guidelines unique to each type of session format, we hope to reduce, if not eliminate, these problems.   

Please use these guidelines, as appropriate, to help you prepare for your SIOP presentation.  For the less experienced, the guidelines can serve as a resource for helpful tips and information.  For the more experienced, consider the guidelines as a refresher that may be useful for reviewing your personal presentation style.  Regardless of your experience, Murphys Law is alive and well, so careful preparation will always be critical for delivering effective presentations.


Presenter Guidelines For:

Guidelines Useful for All Types of Sessions

AcademicPractitioner Collaborative Forum

Conversation Hour


Education, Learning and Teaching Forums

Interactive Poster

Master Tutorial

Panel Discussion


Practitioner Forum

Roundtable Discussion


Theoretical Advancement

Rob and his committee developed these guidelines in several steps. First, they drew from presentation recommendations used by other professional societies, books on professional speaking, and informal interviews with colleagues, to generate a list of guidelines and suggestions.  Second, they requested comments on this initial list that were provided by several individuals:   

Practitioners:  Wade Gibson; Cal Hoffman 

Academics:  Ann Marie Ryan; Donald Truxillo

Graduate Students:  Kathryn Baughman, Brian Holtz, Mike Ingerick, Eric Odin   

Finally, they incorporated this feedback and prepared the final set of guidelines and suggestions, designed to be helpful, relevant, and broadly applicable.   

As you look through these guidelines, you may no doubt have many other suggestions.  If so, please don't hesitate to email me your thoughts at ??????.