Pitch Slide Guidelines

EECS communication lab resource for making posters and pitches

If you’d like personalized feedback on your poster and pitch, please don’t hesitate to make a one-on-one appointment with the Comm Lab. You can select a 30-minute to 1-hour session with the dedicated attention of a graduate student trained in communication. We highly recommend this resource!

As a participant, you are required to deliver a 60-second pitch at the plenary pitch session early in the conference.  The goal of your pitch is to advertise your work so you can make more connections at the poster session later on.


Design & submission guidelines

You may use one slide as a visual aid for your pitch.  You may use animations, but be aware that slides will be compiled and presented from one computer.  Also remember that your entire presentation is strictly limited to 60 seconds.

    1. Download the pitch slide template and use it to design your slide:
        download pitch slide template
    2. Name your file session#.presentation#.pptx (ex: 6.08.pptx). Please check your assigned number HERE.
    3. E-mail your slide to your session chair by Thursday, January 19, 2018 at 5:00 PM.


Ten awards will be awarded, each for $100, for the best oral presentations.  Presentations will be evaluated for clarity, effectiveness, and originality by the industry and faculty attendees.  Awards will be presented at the end of the conference.


    • Your goal is to pique the audience’s interest, not to teach the audience about your work (you don’t have time for that).  Highlight the importance of the problem you’re solving and the impact of your solution.  Be very brief about your solution; the audience can find out more at your poster.
    • Target a very broad audience.  Practice your pitch for someone with some “distance” — outside of your research group, but within the field.  If there’s anything they don’t understand, rework your pitch to make it more accessible.  You can find trained experts with appropriate “distance” at the EECS Communication Lab, which is staffed by graduate students and postdocs from all across the department.
    • The first and last sentences are golden opportunities that are usually wasted.  They are especially important in short pitches, where they can take 20% of the available time.
      • Avoid starting by introducing yourself and reading the title of your entry; instead start strong by telling the audience about a problem they (should) care about.  
      • Avoid ending with “come to my poster # XX”; instead, end with a sentence that highlights the impact of your work.
    • Polish your pitch.  You have a very short time to present, so every second counts.  The best way to polish your pitch, of course, is to practice it.