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Tiffin University Research Conference and Competition

Information about the annual Student Research Conference.

Before You Research

All presenters are required to have a faculty mentor that is aware of, and has approved of, the research. IRB approval is not a specific requirement for conference participation. Students should check with their faculty supervisor to see if their research meets the conditions for IRB approval as specified in the IRB Moodle shell.

All research that involves human subjects must have Tiffin University IRB approval prior to conducting one's research. The Tiffin University IRB is available via Moodle with an enrollment key. Faculty mentors should be able to assist presenters with the IRB process.

Preparing Your Presentation

It is important to prepare your presentation adequately to be successful at this conference!  If you are not sure where to start creating your presentation, the following information can help guide you through the process.


Paper and PowerPoint Presentations

Visual aids are strongly encouraged. These include handouts and PowerPoints. Remember, slides are supposed to help the listener, not to be read to the listener. Make sure your slides add something to your verbal information. Each speaker should prepare a presentation that includes time to answer questions. Practice the timing of your speech and remember you will probably talk faster in performance than in practice!

A typical paper or slides presentation consists of the following:

  • Your project title.
  • Information about your project and your results (hypothesis/thesis, method, data/evidence, conclusions).
  • Your contact information (name, email address, major/program).
  • Names of organizations that may have sponsored or funded your research.


Structuring Your Presentation

Once you have all the information needed for your presentation, you will need to structure the information so it has a natural flow.  You can use the following outline as a template to help you structure your presentation.



  • A short story or anecdote to capture the audience's attention.
  • State your presentation topic and hypothesis/thesis and what you will cover.
  • Explain how your topic fills a gap in current research about your field.


  • Method - How did you collect your data or evidence?
  • Break up your main points into sections, while explaining them in more detail.
  • Explain how your points tie into your argument.


  • Summarize your main points.
  • Mention implications for future research.
  • State your main conclusion(s).
  • Thank any organizations that may have helped fund your research.
  • Allow time for the audience to ask you questions.


Presenting via Blackboard Collaborate requires having a working internet connection, webcam, and microphone.  If you may need any of these items for your presentation, please contact the event organizers at or

Virtual presenters will use Blackboard Collaborate to record their presentations so that they may be shared virtually. Collaborate is a video chat program that allows presenters to share screens and documents with viewers.  It creates a remote experience that mimics a presentation room. You can learn more about Collaborate on Blackboard's Collaborate Tutorials (opens in a new window).  You can also watch the video below for a tutorial on sharing screens in Blackboard Collaborate.



If you believe that your presentation would benefit greatly by having a handout for your audience, you are welcome to use one.  They are highly encouraged if there is content that you are unable to cover!  It can also serve as a creative outlet for your presentation as a whole.  If you plan on using a handout to supplement your presentation, please have it as a PDF or Word file that can be easily distributed.


Presentation Aesthetics

  • Use fonts that are easy to read (Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, etc.).
  • Use contrasting colors so that they are not straining on your audience's eyes.
  • Avoid using unnecessary images.
  • If you have graphs, charts, or images as part of your research project, make sure that they are clearly visible and easy to understand.
  • Ensure your presentation is visible and readable from a computer screen.
  • Do not overload your presentation with text.  It is meant to guide you and the audience through your talk but not be too distracting.

For more guidance on creating quality presentations, you can view our guide on creating effective presentations below.

Poster Presentations

Poster Presentations

Posters should be printed with no hand-written aspects or visible glue/tape. Follow these guidelines when completing your poster:

  1. Posters should be 24 inches wide by 36 inches high so they can be displayed properly on our display boards.
  2. The title of the poster, the name(s) of the student(s) and any faculty mentor(s) for the project should appear at the top of the poster. The title should be at least 2 inches high (144 point) and the student name(s) should be a minimum of 1 inch high (72 point). The main text of the poster should be legible from a minimum distance of 3 feet. You should use a 24-point font as a minimum for the main text.
  3. Headings are a useful tool to delineate sections. Headings should be in a 40-point font.
  4. The poster should visually explain the relevance and/or important of your research and should aim to catch the interest of your viewers quickly and effectively.
  5. Text should be kept to a minimum with most of the information presented by means of graphics and/or visual images. Visuals include tables, charts, figures, drawings, and/or photographs. All visuals should be labeled with a caption that explains/interprets the content of the graphic.
  6. Background colors or images should complement, and not distract, from the poster's topic, text, and graphics. Keep in mind what you are trying to convey with the poster.

Poster Presentations will take time to prepare, so start assembling early! You may even want to consider having your poster professionally printed for display on the Tiffin Campus. You may use an outside vendor, but the ITS department will print posters at no charge to you provided you meet the following criteria:

  • You poster must be formatted correctly for a 24" (wide) x 36" (tall) print. ITS cannot adjust, scale, resize, or alter your document. If it is not the right size, it will be emailed back.
  • Attach your file in an email to Use "Student Research Conference" as the subject line.
  • Submit your poster for printing as soon as possible.
  • Microsoft Publisher is the preferred software tool. PowerPoint can work, but there are sometimes distortions.

Templates for PowerPoint are available below. To build a poster in Microsoft Publisher, check out this YouTube Video: How to Create a Poster Using Microsoft Publisher (2:13).

Preparing a Recorded Presentation for Virtual Conferences

Not sure about all the details or how to approach something? Join us for an upcoming event to learn more!

Adding Voiceover to:

PowerPoint & Google Slides

Download Microsoft Office:

Tiffin University ITS - Online Services

Webinar: Creating Effective Presentations

On-demand and at the Pfeiffer Library YouTube page!

Uploading Your Presentation

Uploading a Video to YouTube

***Important!*** Be sure to choose "Unlisted" when uploading your YouTube Video to ensure that your audience can view your presentation using the link you provide. You can of course also make the presentation completely public and discoverable by the wider world, if you choose.

Conference Day Expectations

One goal of Tiffin University's Annual Research Conference is to prepare students for the expectations of presentations and conferences in the professional world. As such, we ask you to please review these helpful tips in preparation for the conference

Wear Business Attire

For those presenting on the Tiffin Campus, this is a professional event. Please wear your finest. Some ideas of things to wear include suits, dress pants, skirts, button-up shirts or blouses, blazers, ties, and dresses.

Please avoid wearing jeans, sneakers, hoodies, t-shirts, and hats. 

Even though students will be presenting remotely, professional business attire is still expected.

Plan Ahead

Every presenter should be prepared with information about his/herself, his/her research design, and his/her findings. Have your speech planned out and practice it! Be prepared to answer lots of questions; Think about some possible questions that'll be asked and how you'll answer them.