Presentation Guidelines

Which Presentation Type Is Best For You?

If you: Then select:
  • Are comfortable speaking to larger groups
  • Can explain your project’s goals, methods, and results in 15 minutes
  • Need to show several pictures/graphs to summarize your project’s methods and results
Oral Presentation
  • Are comfortable speaking to or performing for larger groups
  • Want to read a written project or perform a play, musical composition, or dance number that you or a group of students have written
  • Want to display 2D or 3D artwork
Reading, Performance, or Art Exhibition
  • Are comfortable speaking to people on a one-on-one basis
  • Would like less time constraint on explaining your project and don’t mind repeating your explanation several times over the course of an hour
  • The Copy Center, Clark Hall, Room 138 has a printer available for printing Showcase posters. Contact Copy Center at x4522.
  • Download Tips for Making Your Showcase Poster
Poster Presentation
  • Are comfortable speaking to people on a one-on-one basis
  • Would like less time constraint on explaining your project, and don’t mind repeating your explanation several times over the course of an hour
  • Will be using a computer, microscope, scientific specimens, archaeological specimens, or samples of your 3-D artwork in your presentation
Table Presentation


If you have any additional questions as you select your presentation option and list your presentation requirements, please first contact the faculty mentor whose name you will include on your entry form and/or someone in your department who can more fully explain how a particular kind of presentation works in your field. If you have further questions that absolutely cannot be answered by your professors/project mentors, please send your question to, or ask the Showcase staff in the Office of Academic Affairs at extension 4136.

Oral Presentations

Oral presentations involve you presenting your work to an audience, typically in a classroom setting. It is likely that your presentation will be grouped with other students doing oral presentations with similar topics, themes, or presentation modes (e.g., PowerPoint, use of a podium or easel, etc.). All presentations will be introduced by a session moderator who will be assigned to the room. The moderator will also keep track of time to keep the session running smoothly and ensure you get your full presentation time.

A good guideline is to plan your oral presentation for a 15 minute time slot–doing your presentation in 12-13 minutes and leaving 2-3 minutes for questions. Accurately estimating the length of your finished talk, editing your talk, and practicing your talk are all critical to a successful oral presentation. Many experienced presenters estimate that they will allot an average of one minute to cover each slide in a presentation. This means you should develop roughly 12-14 slides. Naturally, you may need to dwell on one slide for a longer time and another for less time. Practice the talk several times to determine if your oral presentation will fit the allotted 15 minutes. If you have specific media requirements (e.g., a podium, a projector/screen for PowerPoint, etc.), please be sure to describe your needs in full in the REQUIREMENTS section of your application form.

Readings, Performances & Exhibitions

Readings, performance and exhibitions involve the presentation of a paper or original performance (theatrical, musical, dance, etc.) or displaying 2D or 3D artwork to an audience at a specified time.

A good guideline is to complete your reading or performance within a 15 or 30 minute time slot. This may mean selectively reading a portion of the poems or chapters in your writing project or performing a limited number of acts in your theatrical project. Factor in a small amount of time to introduce or “set the stage” or provide context for the excerpt of an edited performance or reading. Remember that you may know the relevance of your performance, but many in the audience may not. Although not entirely necessary, you may want to leave some time to answer questions, provide reflections on the experience, or present a post-log for the piece.

If you have specific media requirements (e.g., a podium, a microphone, a sound system with speakers, etc.), please be sure to describe your needs in full in the REQUIREMENTS section of your application form.

Poster Presentations

A poster presentation is basically a two-dimensional version of an oral presentation, displayed on a wall. Posters may, in fact, be several small mounted panels of text and images or one large computer-printed sheet of paper. This may include some two-dimensional graphic arts projects. Posters will be hung on walls, panels, or easels. Be sure to specify if you need a specific wall space size or an easel in the REQUIREMENTS section of your application form.

At Hartwick’s Showcase, your poster will be on display all day at a location assigned by the Showcase Planning Committee. You will be assigned a specific time frame (about one hour), during which you will stand with your poster to explain the project and answer questions observers may have.

Although your poster will be displayed all day, do not expect to store any other materials at the poster session site, as the location may be open to the public (not secure). Bring all other belongings with you for your assigned poster session and take them away with you when you leave. Poster sessions will NOT have tables or access to electricity.

Many academic societies and organizations use poster sessions as a presentation method at conferences, and specifications for the overall size of the poster, the size of text on the poster, etc. are likely to vary by discipline and organization. Please check with your department mentor to be sure your poster meets appropriate specifications. If you will be presenting your research at a conference as well, please check with your faculty mentor(s) to make sure your poster conforms to the requirements of the organization.

Posters made for Hartwick’s Showcase must be no larger than 40 inches high by 48 inches wide. Posters larger than this will be allowed if: 1. The poster was previously used for a conference presentation, 2. You specify the larger poster size in the REQUIREMENTS section on your application. For details on making your poster, download the Tips for Making Your Showcase Poster.

Funds in the Student Showcase budget allow the Showcase Planning Committee to cover up to $30 for the cost of printing a single poster for a student on a first-come, first-served basis. Showcase poster printing request deadline is May 1. Any reprinting of posters due to errors will be done at the presenter’s expense, and only if there is time.

The Copy Center, Clark Hall, has a printer available for printing Showcase posters. The price is approximately $2.40/sq. ft. for matte finish. Poster size is 40 inches high by a maximum of 48 inches wide. Remember to proofread and double-check your document size so that it will print properly on the poster printer. You will have to pay for any reprints caused by typos and formatting mistakes. 

Download .jpg file of the College logo. 

The preferred format for your poster is .pdf.

To assist you with scheduling your poster printing needs, please use this view-only, on-line calendar web link Poster Printing Calendar. Showcase poster printing request deadline is May 1.

  1. Navigate to the “Week” tab to view what hour is available between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., M-F for each poster request.
  2. Email your preferred hour(s) to
  3. The calendar will be updated with first come-first served email requests.
  4. You will receive an email confirmation of your time-slot(s) and estimated turn-around time(s), typically same-day or next-day service, in addition to requesting your poster specifics listed below.
  5. If you have questions, please contact the Copy Center at 607-431-4522.
  6. For details on making your poster, download The Tips for Making Your Showcase Poster.

Table Presentations

A “Table Presentation” is when you sit at or stand by a table (likely placed in a hallway or other open area) with your project materials on display on the table. Project display materials may include a tri-fold poster, a laptop computer, or other objects. You may also combine objects placed on a table and a poster displayed on the wall behind your table. You will discuss your work with those who walk by your table during the time you are assigned to man it (typically a one-hour timeframe). You should be prepared to describe your project in just a few minutes and to answer questions–probably to several people as they walk by your table throughout the session. You should also consider producing at least one text panel that explains the rationale/inspiration for the project and any relevant reflection on the result of the project. This will help viewers to understand your project when you are not available to discuss it.

  • If you plan on including any 2-dimensional graphics (a map, photographs, 2-D artwork, or graphs), please be sure to specify your display requirements on your entry form (e.g., wall space size required, etc.).
  • If you need an electrical outlet to power a lamp, laptop, microscope, or another safe electrical device you require for an effective presentation, please write that you require electrical outlet(s) in the REQUIREMENTS section of your applications form.

You should plan to have any poster components of your table display available all day, but DO NOT leave your computer or other valuable objects on display there when you are not present.

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