In iGEM, the purpose of the presentation is to communicate the project to others in an information and engaging manner. Teams are welcome to add an interactive or theatrical component to their presentation as well. Powerpoint slides or Prezi presentations are the most common methods of giving a presentation.

Teams may also want to look at Telling Your Story, a page which offers some guidance and examples for presenting your work. It's focused on crafting your wiki, but includes some general tips and tricks that may be helpful for both your poster and oral presentation.

Presentation Guidelines

Please see below for presentation guidelines:

  • Each team is assigned a 30 minute session:
    • 5 minutes for setting up
    • 20 minutes for presenting
    • 5 minutes for questions from the judges and audience
  • Teams are given a 2 minute warning, then a 1 minute warning, and then will be cut off after the full 20 minutes
  • Only registered student members of the team are allowed to present and answer questions
  • Presentations should include an attributions section
  • Speak loudly and clearly
  • Teams should select 2-4 team members who are comfortable with talking in front of an audience to give the team's presentation
  • While only a few team members present the project, the entire team should be at the presentation and should join their teammates during the questions

Presentation Evaluation Criteria

When judges are evaluating team presentations, they are looking for the following:

  • Common iGEM presentation components: Below are the most common components seen in iGEM presentations. They are listed in the order in which they are usually presented, but that doesn't mean you have to follow the order if another way works better for your project. You can present your work in any way you want - these are just common elements seen in iGEM talks.
        Background and motivation: This is used to introduce your audience to your project and to explain why your project should be important to them.
        Engineering and design of your genetic device(s): For synthetic biology, the engineering of your devices is incredibly important. You should discuss how you approached the problem you are looking to solve, how you decided upon the design of your device, and why you selected the specific parts you used.
        Methodology overview of building your device: A brief overview, in either verbal or slide form, of how you built your genetic device is often included in synthetic biology talks. If you are presenting a new or updated method, then you should spend more time on it.
        Results and how you collected your data: You should explain how you tested your device(s) and show the data obtained from them. Graphs should be as clear as possible - include labels wherever needed and walk your audience through the data.
        Conclusions: What does your data suggest? Did your device(s) work as expected? Are there logical next steps?
        Human Practices component: Did you explore a Human Practices component in your project? Explain what you did and the results from your effort. This section may work better at the start if you focused on integrating HP throughout your project, or it may work better towards the end if you ran a separate outreach/education project that doesn't tie in with the overall theme of your project.
        Summary: Teams often include a summary slide of their project, highlighting their achievements and contributions to iGEM.
        Attributions and Acknowledgements: Attributions should be made throughout the project when possible, but you should also attribute the project at the end of the presentation. You can also use this slide to acknowledge your team instructors and advisors, as well as any sponsors you may have.

  • Presentation clarity: Is your presentation easy to follow? This is of critical importance when presenting complex material. If possible, practice presenting to an audience outside of your research group. Oftentimes, asking another PI, postdoc or senior graduate student to listen to your talk will help improve your talk's clarity.
  • Presentation design: Is the layout and graphic design professional and easy to understand? You should use colors that work well together (see Colour Lovers for guidance) and try to use clean, simple designs. If possible, avoid using red and green in the same graph since about 8-10% of the male population and 0.5% of the female population have some level of colorblindness, with red-green being the most prevalent.
  • Data clarity: Can you easily explain your data tables and/or graphs? Have you clearly labeled all axis, provided clear titles, and used colors appropriately? You should never assume your audience knows how to read your graphs - take the time to explain how the audience should read your graphs.
  • Project attribution: Have you clearly stated which team members worked on each part of your project? Have you included references to published literature and previous work throughout your presentation? These are key components to professional scientific talks and teams should get into the habit of including this information throughout their slides.
  • Team's ability to answer questions: How well prepared is your team to answer detailed questions about your project? You should practice running through question sessions with your instructors and advisors before the Jamboree. Remember: only students on your team can answer questions during your presentation slot (no help from your advisor/instructor is allowed)!! It's also useful to prepare some back-up slides for "obvious" questions or for material you weren't able to cover in your presentation.

Presentation Examples: Slides

In 2014, Teams UCSF UCB (undergraduate) and ITESM-Guadalajara (overgraduate) won Best Presentation. You can see their presentation slides here:

Additional presentation slides can be found on the Results page. You can navigate to different years from the top menu bar, and view team presentation slides by clicking on the slide icon next to a team's name.

Presentation Examples: Videos

Below are some of the Best Presentation winners from the 2013 and 2012 Jamborees. The remaining videos can be seen on the Results page.