Abstract Guidelines

The abstract should briefly introduce the project, the goals, the results, and the significance

The presentation title should have no more than 130 characters max (including spaces) in ALL UPPERCASE

The abstract should have no more than 1600 characters max (including spaces); use standard HTML tags for special formatting (e.g., <b>bold text</b>, <i>italic text</i>, etc.)

Contributed Talks

All contributed talks will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Oral presentations will be 15 minute or 5 minute speed talks. The 15 minute slots include 12 minutes for the presentation and 3 minutes for questions; 5 minute speed talks are 5 minutes total for the slot.

Please plan for your talk to be 12-13 minutes; session chairs will interrupt any presentation exceeding 14.5 minutes (for 15 minute slots) or 5 minutes (for speed talks) to remain on schedule. Faculty–this applies especially to you!

All laptops hosting presentations will be PCs running Windows 10 with Microsoft PowerPoint 365. Please be sure that your presentation is compatible with this version of powerpoint. Presenters will NOT be allowed to use their own computers. Digital projectors and microphones will be available for all presentations.

Presenters should bring their presentations to the WSN registration desk on an USB drive to upload their talks. Presenters will load their talks on laptop computers (Windows) at the registration desk and should ensure that all images, animations, media files, etc are working properly, but do not expect to edit your presentation at that time. Consult your schedule for the times that the registration desk is open.

Invited symposium speakers should be ready to load their presentations no later than the day before their talk; contributed paper talks for morning sessions should be uploaded the day before, and afternoon sessions should be uploaded no later than 10:00 am on that day. Any presenters who have not uploaded their presentation on time will not be included in their scheduled session. Please remember that the registration desk usually closes by 5pm. Plan ahead and please do not wait until the last minute! 

Presenters are strongly encouraged to preview their presentations on a PC before preparing to upload. Note that presentations created on a Macintosh computer may appear differently on a PC. If your presentation includes video, you must load both the presentation and the video file onto the laptop used in your session.

Contributed Posters

The WSN poster session will be on Friday in the afternoon. Judging for best student poster will take place throughout that each session, and questions addressed to presenters constitutes one of the criteria on which student posters are judged.

**UPDATED Poster presentation guidelines**

  • The Easels are 8′ wide x 4′ high including the border and will hold two posters on a side; posters MUST fit in into a space that is smaller than half of this width.
  • Rectangular posters can use either a portrait or landscape orientation.
  • For Landscape, we recommend a 40″ wide x 30″ high size; a 44″ wide x 33″ high might fit, and a a standard  48” wide x 36” high poster will be larger than the size available.
  • For Portrait, a 36″ wide x 48″ high poster will fit lengthwise, but the top and bottom will extend to the border of the easel. We recommend a slightly smaller size (33″ x 44″) for portrait orientation.
  • Presenters are responsible for placing their own posters and for taking them down at the conclusion of their poster session. Stick pins will be provided.

Presenters are requested to put up posters between 1 and 2 pm (for the first poster session) and during the break between poster sessions (for the second poster session). Those who choose to prepare posters will stand beside their poster during their assigned poster session, discuss their research, answer questions about it. It is an opportunity to meet people interested in your work, exchange ideas about your project, and converse about other aspects of science.

.Best Student Presentation Awards

See links for the forms/rubrics used for judging posters and presentations. These provide everyone with an idea of what criteria are important for selecting awardees.


Oral Presentation Recommendations

  • If you are giving a talk in a 15 minute slot, your entire time block is 15 minutes, including questions. We strongly recommend that you plan on a 12 minute talk to allow time for questions.
  • If you are giving a talk in a 5 minute slot, your entire time block is 5 minutes MAXIMUM; prepare your talk to end in under 5 minutes, so moderators do not need to interrupt speakers. There will be a break after multiple talks for questions.

 Slide-Based Formatting

  • Include an introduction in your presentation with your name, pronouns, affiliation, and any other parts of your personal identity that you feel comfortable sharing
  • We will be include live captioning for all talk for the meeting this year; captioning should appear below your slides automatically, but we recommend testing your layout with captions on the newest version of PowerPoint.
  • Use fonts that are very clear to read, such as Arial or Helvetica
  • Prepare slides for widescreen format (16:9)
  • Use a font size of 24 pts or more for body text and 36 pts or more for headings
  • Avoid using red and green colors to distinguish separate groups
  • Avoid more than seven lines of text on a single slide
  • Use inclusive language on your slides and in your presentation (e.g. “they” instead of “he or she”)
  • Define key terms and identify words presented from languages that your presentation is not given in
  •  If using Microsoft PowerPoint, use the Accessibility Checker feature to check your slide content

Presentation Content

  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Describe visual content and try to minimize visual and auditory distractions
  • If possible, use a pointer to indicate the visual content you’re referring to
  • Avoid microaggressions and “othering” terms or phrases
  • Include content warnings for sensitive material, if applicable

Tips for Creating a Compelling 5-minute Presentation 

Presentation content. Compared to a typical 12-minute talk, one generally gets right to the point in a 5-minute talk, and the proportion of time devoted to results is usually higher. The results are central to your message, so be sure to emphasize them. Methods can be covered in less detail than in a longer talk, and viewers can always follow up with questions about methods if they have them. An example content breakdown for a 5-minute talk at a WSN meetings in min:sec could look like:

  • Title slide (don’t forget to list your co-author(s)!): 0:15
  • Introduction: 1:00
  • Methods: 0:30
  • Results: 2:30
  • Discussion / Conclusions: 0:45

That breakdown is just a rough guideline.If you need to spend more time on detailed methodology, discussing counterintuitive results, etc., you should absolutely do so. As with any talk, you will just need to decide how to balance adding more of one thing at the cost of omitting some detail on another.

Poster Presentation Recommendations

The goal of a poster is to turn your work into a self-guided tour that tells the story of your research. Like a talk, posters must catch and maintain the interest of the reader. The information should be primarily visual with limited amounts of text, and text must be readable from 3-4 feet away. Include figures/photos with clear descriptive captions.

The following websites offer useful guidelines and suggestions for preparing posters:




We strongly recommend consulting with your faculty mentor as you prepare your poster.