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Technical Presentation Guidelines

The acceptance of your paper or technical presentation indicates that your topic is of great interest to the VVUQ community. Uphold its standard of excellence by preparing an interesting and informative presentation. You, the presenter, control the reaction of your audience. Keep their reaction favorable by following the suggestions outlined below.

Please note that we will be collecting presentations at the Symposium and the presentations will be posted on an ASME website after the event for future reference. Please forward the final presentations to Kate Hyam at

Guidelines to Prepare a Concise and Interesting Presentation

Allotted Time for Your Presentation

All sessions at VVS2019 will be approximately 2 hours long. Most sessions will have five presentations. Before each presentation, 1 minute is needed for the Session Chair to introduce the speaker and to facilitate the transition between speakers. Hence, your presentation should be 25 minutes long including time for questions from the audience following your talk. In other words, your actual talk time should be 20 minutes, with an additional 5 minutes for a question period with the audience, for a total time allocation of 25 minutes. Session Chairs will be instructed to adhere to these timing guidelines. The published program will specify the exact time for each presentation within the given two hour session block. From the positive feedback in past years, we will continue to implement that should a presenter not be in attendance at the allotted time, the session will be halted during the 25-minute slot to allow attendees to effectively “session surf” by knowing the specific time of each presentation. 

Do NOT Read Your Paper!

The written word is for the eye, not the ear. Your audience wants to hear you talk, not listen to you read. Never talk while you are facing the screen. Stand at an angle that will permit a glance at the screen and full attention to your audience.

Make Notes

Use index cards. Use one card for each item. When you have followed the advice given below, organize your cards and number them clearly according to the order in which you will use them.

Secure the Attention of Your Audience

  • Make a statement of the purpose of your presentation. Confine it to one simple, declarative sentence.
    Example: "I want to tell you about a new design for valve seals which has resulted in considerable improvement in sealing."
  • State a compelling thing about your subject. Make it sharp and short. Use a question if possible.
    Example: "Can high pressure steam safety valves ever be sealed satisfactory?"

This will be your opening sentence. Join it to your statement of purpose with a connecting sentence or phrase.

Example: "We have made an investigation and ___________."

Divide Your Paper into Main Ideas

  • State each one in a short sentence on its own index card.
  • Arrange them in the most logical order for your listeners to grasp.
  • Add to each a series of key words or phrases to remind you of what you need to tell your audience about each idea.

Use Connective Sentences and Phrases

The ear cannot check back nor jump ahead as can the eye. Therefore, you must remind your audience of what it has just heard and prepare it for what it is about to hear whenever you go from one idea to another.

Example: "Now that you have a clear idea of what causes poor sealing, it is time to look into the advantages of thin, flexible sealing surfaces."


  • State your subordinate conclusions. Confine them to one sentence if possible, or to a small series of very short sentences.
    Example: "I think you will agree, then, that poor sealing is a result of self-induced growth of tiny initial leaks. In addition, you will agree that high-pressure steam sealing depends upon..."
  • State your main conclusion as well. Confine it to one simple sentence.
    Example: "And I believe you will conclude with me, that better sealing can be obtained through the use of this new design for valve seals."

Time Your Talk

Rehearse your speech. Learn to handle your index cards naturally. In your presentation allow about one minute for any one slide. If during the presentation you exceed your allotted time limit, cut down on your explanations. Continue to condense until you are within the limit. This will assure adequate time at the session for discussion.

Overall Presentation

  • Talk to your audience.
  • Use short, simple sentences.
  • Speak clearly and with vitality.
  • Use the microphone to ensure the audience can hear you well.