The 2021 ASEE Southeastern Section Annual Conference offers presenters the choice of two different presentation types: Traditional Presentations and Rapid-Fire Presentations.

Traditional Presentations

Traditional presentations are a maximum of 12 minutes in length and are followed immediately by a 3-minute long question and answer period. A 1-hour long technical session features 4 individual presenters in accordance with the schedule below.

PresenterStart TimeEnd TimeDurationActivity
:12:153Q&A + Changeover
:27:303Q&A + Changeover
:42:453Q&A + Changeover
:57:003Q&A + Changeover

Rapid-Fire Presentations

Rapid-fire presentations are a maximum of 6 minutes in length and are followed immediately by a 2-minute changeover between presenters. An 8-minute long question and answer period will take place after the 3rd and 6th presenter.

PresenterStart TimeEnd TimeDurationActivity
:22:308Q&A + Changeover
:52:608Q&A + Changeover

What’s the Difference?

Obviously, the main difference between traditional and rapid-fire presentations is duration. Because of their shorter length, rapid-fire presentations are a quick way to succinctly share ideas by covering only the most important points without the expansive treatment of a traditional

You can almost think of a rapid-fire presentation as being similar to the abstract of a paper: they both convey the paper’s main points in a cogent fashion without going into lengthy detail.

Similarly, the slideshow of a rapid-fire presentation is briefer and more succinct than in a traditional talk. Usually, rapid-fire presentations exclude the title slide and typical introduction and conclusion slides in order to focus strictly on the slides containing the “meat” of the topic. Some rapid-fire presentations consist of only one slide constructed like a poster presentation with the speaker zooming in on the important information.

Presentation Guidelines

As you might expect, traditional presentations tend to have more widely accepted, fully formed guidelines. Thus, to help facilitate smooth, efficient, and comprehensible sessions, we strongly suggest that presenters adhere to technical-communication best practices for traditional presentation slides (some of these can clearly apply to the rapid-fire variety as well):

  1. Aim for an average of about 1 minute per slide, meaning your total slideshow should have a maximum of 6-8 slides or 12-14 slides depending on the session format.
  2. Use sans serif fonts (Arial, Calibri, etc.) rather than serif fonts (Times New Roman, Georgia, etc.) as the former tend to be more easily readable on slides.
  3. Keep text between 28-point and 44-point font sizes to ensure the audience can quickly and easily understand the words.
  4. Ensure maximum contrast between the colors of your slide background and your text, preferably a lighter background and darker text.
  5. Limit on-slide text to very brief phrases. Presentation audiences are not there to read – they’re there to watch and hear you present on your topic.
  6. Use plenty of images to convey the presentation content.
  7. Return to your title slide at the end to reiterate your name, title, and affiliation.