Posters are the standard presentation format for undergraduate presenters. A limited number of slots are available for creative, oral and display presentations based on project/presentation format needs and space.
Specific requirements for each type of presentation are detailed in the Discover USC Presenter Guide [pdf] for undergraduate students. The Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning provides specific guidelines for undergraduate students who are presenting at Discover USC as part of the Graduation with Leadership Distinction program.
Hanging your poster
If you will be presenting a poster at Discover USC, you do not need to bring anything (tacks, tape, etc.) to hang your poster. Four t-pins will be in place at your poster slot when you arrive. Please use the t-pins to fasten your poster to the board for the duration of your presentation, then leave them in the board for the next presenter or for the clean-up crew.
No matter what type of presentation you give, it’s important to
- dress and behave professionally.
- plan to stay for your entire presentation session, taking only short breaks if needed.
- come prepared to talk about your project with a wide variety of people, including both general and expert audiences.
- know where to go. As the event date approaches, you will receive your location information via email, and will be able to look it up on this site, in the Find a Presenter section (this year's data will be added to this page in April).
Poster design and printing
- We understand that some presenters might need to re-use their posters at other conferences
with different dimension requirements, or have cost limitations. To accommodate this,
presenters may size their posters to fit within our minimum and maximum requirements.
- The minimum size for Discover USC posters, and for Graduation with Leadership Distinction eligibility, is 2 feet by 3 feet (oriented vertically or horizontally).
- To fully utilize your allotted space, the recommended size is four feet high by 3.5 feet wide (this size is typically used for research). These dimensions will allow two posters to fit side by side on the poster boards.
- The maximum allowable size is four feet by four feet (the outer vertical edge will curl around the display board if the poster is four-feet wide).
- The Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning offers poster templates for ideas on how you might showcase your experiences within and beyond the classroom. You can also create your own design instead of using a template.
- We recommend having posters printed by USC Printing Services on vinyl, rather than paper, for cost savings. Coupons may also be available.
On presentation day, the Exhibit Hall (Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center lower level) will open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of your session, and displays must be up by the start time. All materials must be removed immediately after the session. If you have to leave early, you must make arrangements for removal. Any items left will be thrown away.
Limited Oral and Creative Presentations
Oral and creative presentations are very limited, so most undergraduate presenters will give poster presentations.
PowerPoint and other media: Most students prepare a PowerPoint or PDF presentation slide deck, but this is not required. If you do, use standard or embedded fonts, pictures, etc., and bring your PowerPoint or PDF presentation file on a USB drive for loading on the presentation computer. (Presentations created in alternative programs may not be supported.)
On presentation day: Oral presentations are 10 minutes, followed by a five-minute question and answer period. This schedule will be strictly enforced. You will be assigned a specific presentation time slot and location. Please arrive early to ensure you have time to get familiar with the space and load your presentation on the computer (if you use one).
There are two formats for Creative presentations. Both are summarized below. If you are planning a creative presentation, please refer to the presenter guide for complete detals.
Creative/Oral presentations are similar in format to a traditional oral presentation where the presentation is shared in front of a formal audience for 10 minutes, with a five-minute question and answer period. Creative/oral presentations also involve a creative component like a musical performance, dramatic reading, documentary excerpt, etc. This type has access to a computer, projector, and screen as standard for oral presentations.
Creative/Display presentations are similar in format to poster presentations. Creative displays are available for viewing and discussion throughout the 1.5 hour poster session and might involve static displays of artwork, collections, demonstrations or other creative components.
The Office of Undergraduate Research has prepared a variety of support documents designed to help undergraduate presenters make the most of their presentations.