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Suggested Guidelines for Preparing Effective Presentations

Organization and Content

  • Presentations should have an introduction, a middle section, and a conclusion.
  • Provide background information about the internship (host organization or research group, location, mission, or research focus).
  • Describe internship (project outline and aim, method or approach taken, skills developed, and results obtained).
  • Conclude with a quick summary of the experience. Include reflections on how the internship has helped you draw connections to the broader topic and influenced your course of study at Princeton and future plans.
  • Acknowledge those who provided support and mentoring. Less is more. Be mindful of providing too much information and focus on a few key highlights.
  • As a general rule, you should not have more slides than the number of minutes you are asked to present and fewer slides if you have more complicated material to present that require more explanations.


  • Students may use PowerPoint slides, poster, or video for their presentation.
  • Tips for PowerPoint Presentations:
    • Keep slides and/or graphics simple.
    • Use large, readable type. Suggested font sizes:
      • Titles: 28-36 pt.
      • Subtitles: 20-24 pt.
      • Body text: 18-20 pt.
      • Figure labels and captions: 16-18 pt.
    • Avoid ALL CAPS or use them for the Title only.
    • Do not use underlines.
    • Use a san-serif font such as Arial, Helvetica, or Tahoma.
    • Use equations sparingly if at all. Avoid derivations and concentrate on presenting what your results mean.
    • Color can be an effective way to highlight an important point.
    • Preview your slides to avoid formatting issues during your presentation and submit electronically by set deadline.


Your presentation may not exceed the time you are allotted. You must carefully budget your time so that you have enough available to clearly describe your work and the audience can appreciate the value of your contribution. A member of the faculty will moderate your session, keeping time and fielding questions from the audience after your presentation.

  • Practice. Practice. Practice!
  • Speak slowly, clearly, and loudly.
  • Walk through your presentation speaking out loud and time yourself.
  • Refrain from reading your slides.
  • Practice your talk with a friend and ask for feedback on your presentation, delivery, clarity of language, and use of time.