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Guidance for speakers

Frequently asked questions for anyone speaking at an RCOG event

Presentation format

How long is the presentation you have been asked to give?

  • A good practical rule is to allow no more than one PowerPoint slide per minute of your allotted time if the slide is mainly text, and no more than 2 slides per minute if it is a straightforward picture.
  • Concentrate on putting across no more than three main messages or ideas and construct your talk around these. Keep to your allotted length, including allowing appropriate time for discussion.
  • If your slide includes a table, try to arrange that it has no more than 3 columns and 3 rows.

How does your lecture fit in the context of the rest of the presentations in the meeting?

  • If you think your topic is likely to be controversial, please email the lecturers relevant to your presentation to see if what you both will say is likely to be compatible. If not, then this difference of opinion should be discussed within each presentation. Speaker and chair contact details can be obtained from the Events team at .
  • The College is very keen that ethical issues are covered in your talk, if relevant.
  • If you have declared any conflicts of interest, we encourage you to mention these during your talk if they are relevant to the topic.

Your presentation

Email your presentation before the conference

  • The conference assistant requires your PowerPoint presentation at least one week before the meeting. This means that your presentations can be stored ready for you before the conference and also enables your presentation to be tested so most technical glitches can be resolved before the event. You are welcome to make changes on the day.
  • Please note that the College’s email system can only receive files below 5mb. 

To update your presentation on the day

  • If you wish to update your presentation on the day, please bring the new copy of your file on PowerPoint-compatible media. This can be a memory stick or a CD-ROM. On arrival at the meeting, a member of the conference department will direct you to the audiovisual (AV) technician so they can load your new presentation.
  • Please note: The College’s computers can’t access Mac-formatted files, so anything prepared on a Mac should be saved in PC-compatible format. It’s wise to check how your presentation will look on a PC, as very often some aspects of the presentation will look different and may need modifying to recreate the original effect. 

Making copies of your presentation available to delegates

  • In accordance with the RCOG’s environmental policy, we no longer provide delegates with paper documentation but instead make PDF versions of presentations available for delegates to access from the RCOG website after the event. The PDF will be saved in such a way that those accessing it won’t be able to copy any text or data from the slides. Please let us know if you would prefer your presentation not to be used in this way.
  • Delegate feedback collated from previous RCOG conferences has demonstrated that access to speakers’ PowerPoint presentations greatly enhances the educational value of each event and delegates are often frustrated when they can’t get access to them. We would therefore be very grateful if you could assist us in making your presentation available online.

Practical issues

How many people will attend?

  • The lecture theatre accommodates up to 229 people and the Nuffield Hall accommodates up to 320 people. However, delegate numbers vary for each event. If you’d like to know specific numbers, please contact the Events team at 


  • The lectern holds a fixed microphone that will be operated by the technician as necessary.
  • If you wish to move around the stage, a lapel radio microphone is also available.
  • Table microphones are also operated by the technician and are set up for seated speakers. You don’t need to alter their position for optimum performance.

Lighting and laser pointer

  • The theatre lighting will be operated by the technician throughout the conference, including dimming the lights for speaker presentations.
  • A laser pointer is on the lectern for use during presentations and a reading light is incorporated into the lectern for speaker use when the house lights are dimmed.
  • The technician is able to hear you through the public address system at all times in case you need to make any requests.

Data projector

  • PowerPoint slides are moved forwards/backwards in one of three ways:
    • The speaker controls their presentation from the lectern 
    • The speaker controls their presentation using a remote control handset from anywhere within the lecture theatre  
    • The AV technician controls the presentation on the instructions of the speaker
  • All meetings now use standardised PowerPoint presentations using data projectors. These are much clearer and brighter than traditional 35mm slides. If you have any difficulty presenting your lecture on PowerPoint, please contact the Events team at  as soon as possible.

Using your own laptop

  • If your presentation contains a video, it’s best stored on a CD-ROM or memory stick, copied onto the College computer and run from there. In this case please attend early and have a practice run through to make sure that everything works. If you wish to use your own laptop, this can be arranged.
  • Although the College projector can support a variety of computers, variations in format and resolution can result in unexpected problems, and the conference will not run smoothly if laptops have to be changed between every presentation.
  • We would be grateful if you could discuss the possibility of using a laptop with us before the day of the meeting, to ensure that arrangements run smoothly on the day.

Thank you

Thank you for your cooperation and contribution towards making the meeting a success for all attendees.


Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact the member of RCOG staff responsible for organising the event you’re speaking at. Alternatively, you can contact the Conference Office on +44 20 7772 6245 or .