American Society of Hematology

Guidelines for PowerPoint Presentations

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Watch this video for five simple guidelines for preparing and delivering a successful presentation at an ASH meeting.

In November, ASH’s audio-visual vendor, Freeman Event Technology, will contact you with instructions for how you can upload your presentation in advance of the annual meeting.

All presenters are encouraged to visit the Speaker Ready Room on site in order to become familiar with the equipment that will be used to present. You must bring your PowerPoint presentation in widescreen 16:9 ratio format on a CD-R, DVD-R, or USB flash drive (memory stick, jump drive, etc.) to the Speaker Ready Room.

Small rehearsal rooms will be available within the Speaker Ready Room for presenters to use for a limited period of time. These rooms will be set up with the same equipment utilized in the session rooms. Freeman AV staff will be on hand to assist presenters in the rehearsal rooms as needed. Presenters can sign up for a rehearsal time slot on site in the Speaker Ready Room.

Compliance Instructions:

  • Movies: Please take steps to compress your videos. Uploading time for uncompressed videos will take away time from your presentation and give no better quality than a modern MPEG-4 codec. We can only accept movies created as MPGs, WMVs, or with the following codes: AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (Divx, Xvid, or WMVs), MOV (H.264), Cinepack, Techsmith, and Flash.
  • MOV files are NOT supported in Windows PowerPoint™.
  • Your movies must not fill the screen completely. In the session room, you will use a mouse to advance your slides. You can only advance your PowerPoint with a mouse by clicking on the slide, not the movie itself.
  • DVDs: If you plan to play a DVD as part of your presentation, please notify a technician in the designated Speaker Ready Room so that arrangements can be made for assistance in your session room.
  • Fonts: If you have special fonts in your PowerPoint presentation, please embed them when you save your presentation. You can specify this by clicking “Save As” in the file menu. In the “Save As” window, click “Tools” and select “Save Options” from the drop-down menu. In the “Save Options” box, click the check-box to “Embed True Type Fonts.” Then, save your presentation as usual.
  • Using a Macintosh personal laptop computer: If you are a Mac laptop computer user, you must notify a supervisor in the Speaker Ready Room at least 2 hours prior to your presentation in order to guarantee compatibility with the change in platforms.

Tips for a Successful Presentation

Clarity of PowerPoint slides is vital for a successful scientific presentation. Helpful tips are provided below.

  • Be consistent. Using a uniform background color, text size, text color, and font throughout your slide presentation makes it easier for the audience to follow the flow of your ideas. When using PowerPoint, it is a good idea to build your presentation using the slide master, which helps keep your presentation consistent.
  • Be mindful of screen size. The screens and projectors are optimized for widescreen 16:9 ratio. Please keep this in mind when preparing your slides. Presentations in the 4:3 ratio will be compatible but will not make the best use of the screen dimensions.
  • Use color and contrast. Use dark text on a light background; it is easier to read. If you must use a dark background, make sure your text is quite light (white, cream, yellow, light grey, or pastels) and increase the font size by two or three points.
  • Keep slide count to a minimum. Use a maximum of eight slides per 10 minutes or 16 slides per 20 minutes of an oral presentation. Leave a blank space that is at least the height of a capital letter between each line of print.
  • Use sans-serif fonts. These fonts project better and are easier to read. Examples of sans serif fonts include Arial, Helvetica, Calibri and Verdana. An 18-point font size is recommended. Words in all capital letters and custom fonts are hard to read.
  • Align text left or right. Centered text is harder to read. Line up all your text to a right-hand or left-hand baseline – it is the easiest to follow.
  • Keep words to a minimum. You should have no more than five to eight lines of type with no more than five to seven words per line. Type should be well-spaced and sized in 30- to 36-point font for headings and at least 24-point font for body copy. Keep custom animations and slides transitions simple, and use them sparingly.


Please contact or call 1-866-828-1231 or 202-776-0544.

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