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SIGGRAPH 98 Speaker Preparation

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Suggestions for Preparation

A key aspect of your SIGGRAPH 98 presentation is your electronic slide show. When you project a slide, you are displaying a sample of your work. The audience will base its evaluation of you and your subject matter partly on the appearance of your images. An attractive, legible, and organized presentation will reflect positively on the content, and therefore on you. With a little effort, it's easy to create good, clear visuals that will enhance your presentation and hold your audience's attention.


Note the amount of time allowed for your presentation. Plan your talk and the number of slides to allow for a relaxed pace. One slide per one to three minutes is a good rule. Also, plan what you would do if the presentation had to be shortened or lengthened.

Practice your talk before the conference. Time yourself. Don't count on being able to rush the presentation if you find yourself running long. There will be a staffed and equipped Speaker Prep Room in the Convention Center at SIGGRAPH 98 where you can perform a final rehearsal.


SIGGRAPH presentation rooms are typically large, and your presentation must be legible from the back row. If you can step back six feet away from your computer's monitor and easily read your slide, your text is large enough. To achieve this, a good rule of thumb is to limit each slide to eight lines of text or less, and limit each line of text to 30 characters or less. Type should be large, no smaller than 28 points, with generous line spacing. Use key words; the text on your slides should be simple and quick to read. You want the audience to pay attention to your presentation, not struggle to read your slides. Good, clear fonts to use are Arial, Helvetica, Palatino and Times Roman.

Clearly label charts and graphs. Label axes and include legends. The smallest text on the screen should have the highest contrast. (White text against a black background or light colored text with a black drop shadow or a dark background.)

Incorporate only the essential elements of a diagram; simplify whenever possible. While it is tempting to leave in detail for the sake of accuracy too much can reduce readability and obscure the real point you are trying to make. Consider breaking up complex diagrams into sections, one section per slide, so that each section can be made larger and therefore more legible.


Avoid the use of ALL CAPITAL letters. Words written in ALL CAPS are harder to read and take up more space on the screen. Use bold face and Italics for emphasis, or use a bright color such as yellow text when normal body text is white. Underlined text is not recommended.

Color and Contrast

Make good use of color and contrast. Make your backgrounds dark! (Pale backgrounds are too bright and very tiring to look at.) Make your text and graphics light; maximize contrast. Good backgrounds are black, blue, maroon, and gradients of black to blue, gray to black, or magenta to black. Good text colors are white to yellow, and very light colors. Do not use rich blues or reds for text colors against a dark background. They may look great on your monitor, but they are totally unreadable when projected from film. Use black drop shadows when using non-black backgrounds; it helps the text stand out from the background.

Maintain consistency among your slides. Using the same background color, text size, text color, and uniform fonts throughout all the slides makes it easier for the audience to follow the flow of your ideas.

The Speaker Preparation Room

So that the AV staff can ensure that all AV/computer requirements are ready for your presentation, all speakers are required to check in at the Speaker Prep Room soon after arrival at the conference. This is the perfect time for you to confirm your AV/computer equipment requests, rehearse your presentation, and inquire about any additional needs you may have while at the conference.

The Speaker Preparation Room is located in Room 232 A,B,C at the Orange County Convention Center. Please check in with Steve Overby immediately after your arrival at the conference.

Equipment in the Session Rooms

To ensure that you have the equipment necessary to make your presentation look great, SIGGRAPH 98 provides a very generous array of presentation technology in the session rooms. The standard setup includes dual slide projectors, two screens, a high resolution data projector, a VHS VCR, a 3/4" U-Matic VCR, a Betacam VCR, an audio cassette player, a CD Player, a standing lectern, a laser pointer, two microphones, a Pentium 300 PC, and a Macintosh 8600/200. The computers are equipped with 64 megabytes of RAM, 4 megabyte graphics adapters, CD-ROM drives, Iomega Zip drives, and Ethernet connections to the Internet. Microsoft PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, and Netscape are installed on the computers. The PCs have Windows 95 and the Macs have System 7.6.5 as the OS. All the video players and the computers are connected to the high-resolution data projector.

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