Lightning Talk Instructions

If you’ve been selected to present your poster in Lightning Talks, please read the following instructions carefully.

The Lightning Talks provide a unique opportunity to present your latest findings in a concise and entertaining fashion. Use this opportunity to share your research with the whole audience and highlight the importance of your work.

All Lightning Talks will be presented in the main talk room prior to each poster session. During the LightningTalk, you will be allowed ONE SLIDE and TWO MINUTES to advertise your poster and tell the audience why your work is important, provocative, and/or novel. You should state the main question and briefly summarize the key result. Please be sure to state your main findings. Don’t just ask the audience to come to the poster to find out!

The Lightning Talks are lively and fast-paced. Your attentive and engaged participation is crucial for the session to run smoothly.

Two Minutes, Really?

Yes! You will have only 120 seconds to present, so you need to plan your Lightning Talk presentation carefully. You will be allowed one slide to accompany your presentation and showcase your findings.

Choose your graphic and bullet points carefully (and sparingly). Please do not present an image of your entire poster on a slide. It will be too small and require too much time to present. Rather, present one slide that illustrates your method, a critical graph, or 4-5 bullet points that highlight your most important findings and/or a provocative implication of your work.

Embedded videos and animated GIFs are not allowed in your slide. PowerPoint animations are allowed only if the animation is additive, but not hiding or replacing material on your slide. In other words, the animation may not be used as a tool to bypass the one-slide constraint.

Your slide will be preceded by a “title slide” that contains your name and abstract title. You can save space on your slide by not repeating this information (although you are free to do so).

Prior to the Lightning Talk, please practice your pitch and time yourself. Make sure you are within the two-minute time limit. It is essential that we limit the presentations to one minute in order to accommodate all participants. Your Lightning Talk should leave your audience wanting more.

Uploading Your Slide

  1. Log in to your SNL Account.
  2. From your account home page, click the “Upload Lightning Talk Slide” link under the title of your abstract.
  3. Click ‘Browse/Choose File’, select a file, and then click ‘Upload’.

The deadline to upload your Lightning Talk slide is Friday, October 13.
You can revise your uploaded file by uploading a new file through the upload deadline.

Slide Requirements

Each Lighting Talk presenter must upload a PowerPoint file that meets these criteria.

  • The uploaded file must be a PowerPoint (.pptx) file containing a single slide.
  • The slide should be in widescreen format (16:9 aspect ratio). If you submit a standard format slide (4:3 aspect ratio), it will still work, however it will not fill the screen horizontally.
  • No embedded video or audio is allowed.
  • PowerPoint animations are permissible as long as the animation is additive, not hiding or replacing material on your slide. In other words, the animation may not be used as a tool to bypass the one-slide constraint.

Slide Consolidation

SNL will consolidate the uploaded slides into a single PowerPoint file prior to the meeting. The file will contain three slides for each presentation:

  1. Title Slide – This slide will display your name and abstract title and will be displayed prior to your slide. The moderator will display this slide while introducing you to the audience.
  2. Your Slide – This is the slide you uploaded. You will control the progression of this slide if it contains animations.
  3. Closing Slide – This slide has a black background and is used to indicate that your presentation is completed. This slide will be displayed by you progressing through your slide animations, or by the moderator if you have reached the two-minute time limit. This slide contains the number of your poster so the audience knows where to go to see your poster in the poster session following your presentation.


Please be aware that all Lightning Talk sessions scheduled at SNL 2023 are immediately preceded by another session in the Auditorium. So that the Lightning Talks can start as quickly as possible, we ask that all Lightning Talk presenters gather at the front of the auditorium on the lectern side (the left side facing the stage) during the final 5 minutes of the previous session. As soon as that sessions ends, we will bring you on stage to begin the Lightning Talk session.

Each Lightning Talk session will have a chair who will control the timing of the presentations and announce the speakers. Prior to the session, you will be instructed to line up near the stage in presentation order (based on your poster number). Once the session starts, the following process will repeat for each speaker.

  1. As soon as the previous speaker has finished, step up to the podium. The first presenter can go directly to the podium.
  2. The moderator will display the “title slide” for your presentation and introduce you by name.
  3. Immediately after introducing you, the moderator will advance the slide to your presentation.
  4. Begin your presentation as soon as the slide appears. You have two minutes to speak. A two-minute countdown timer will be displayed on a tablet in the first audience row to help keep you on time.
  5. If your slide has animations, use the space bar or right-arrow key to advance your animations.
  6. Following your slide, a “closing slide” will display. PLEASE STOP TALKING and walk off the stage.
  7. The audience will clap, and the moderator will proceed to the next speaker.

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