Flash Talks How-To Guidelines

2020 Materials Day Flash Talks Presentation Formatting Guide 

Due to COVID-19 and Materials Day going virtual this year, we will be transitioning our usual Poster Sessions into digital Flash Talks. In order to succeed in the creation and submission of your Flash Talk, we ask that you follow the guidelines outlined below.  

Basic Guidelines 

  • You must be registered for Materials Day
  • You must provide your Flash Talk title and abstract during registration REGISTRATION DEADLINE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2020
  • Your Flash Talk abstract should be 150 words or less
  • Your Flash Talk abstract will be approved by the Materials Day planning committee.  You will receive an email notification should your Flash Talk abstract be accepted.

Detailed Guidelines 

  • Your Flash Talk should be recorded using Microsoft Powerpoint narration feature.
  • Your Powerpoint should include elements of a traditional research poster.
  • If using more than one slide, please limit the amount of slides to 5 or less.
  • Your Flash Talk must be recorded in <5 minutes.
  • Length of your presentation will be considered as part of judging criteria.
  • Step-by-step guide to recording your Flash Talk using Powerpoint can be found here.
  • Accepted file format types: .pptx, .ppt, .mov, .mp3, or .mp4

Flash Talk Presentation Questions to Consider: 

  1. What were your research questions and what steps did you take to decide on these questions?
  2. What led you to be interested in this topic? How do you see yourself as a researcher in your discipline after completing this project?
  3. How does being a Penn State student impact the type of information you had access to while working on this project? What responsibility do you have to share your research and who would most benefit from what you've discovered?

Student Example:  
Please be sure to open this file in Powerpoint and put into "Slideshow" mode to view the recorded talk.
Example of a Powerpoint Recorded Talk [20MB .pptx]
Credit: Karim Barsom

Files will be submitted online using the form below.   


If you have any questions about Flash Talks, please contact one of the following:
Technical, Templates, Design: Jennifer McCann at jmm96@psu.edu or (814) 867-4173, or
Content, Style: Dave Fecko at dlf5023@psu.edu or (814) 865-6691.