Information for Participants


Symposium Etiquette

As participants, you are encouraged to:

  • Wear professional/business attire.
  • Come prepared, which means poster presenters should arrive with their posters and foam boards at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the poster session to check in their project and set up.
  • Students who are giving an oral presentation or performance, should arrive to the presentation room at least 20 minutes before their scheduled talk time or before check in closes at 2:00pm.
  • Wait until students are finished delivering presentations (or are in between presentations) before entering or exiting a session room.
  • Visit the event space prior to the Symposium, in order to get a feel for the building.
  • Students presenting posters are required to stay with their poster for the entirety of the scheduled poster session and must be available to the judges to discuss research and answer questions in order to be eligible for prizes.
  • If you are registered for the symposium, but are no longer able to attend, please notify Dr. Anastasia Elder at aelder@honors.msstate.edu.

Information For Poster Presenters

Tips for designing your poster

The Digital Media Center at the Mitchell Memorial Library can provide help for the design and printing of your poster. They hold workshops each semester on how to design presentation posters and will print your posters on their large format printer.

Design help online

Design help workshops

Printing your poster

The best on-campus option (and usually the most cost-effective) for wide-format poster printing is the Mitchell Memorial Library.

  • Submit your design to be printed no less than 3 business days before you need it.
  • Library printing starts at $7.50 per linear foot.

Additional locations near campus include:

  • Prographics
  • Chalet
  • Copy Cow

Poster presentations and judging procedures

Each judge is given a rubric to assign the projects he/she reviews a total score out of 100. For each category, the judges’ scores will be z-scored against themselves and the normalized scores for each participant will then be averaged to develop a rank (1, 2, 3, etc.). The ranking will be used to determine place winners for each category: Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences and Engineering, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Social Sciences. A sample of a judging rubric for posters can be downloaded here.

You should remain with your poster for the duration of the judging. We understand that you may need to leave your poster unattended for a short time for various reasons. Judges will return to your poster at least one time if you were unavailable on the first visit, but a judge may mark you as ‘not present’ if your poster is left unattended over multiple visits. If you are stepping away from your poster, please tell your neighbor.

On Symposium day

When you arrive to the Symposium, you will need to check in before setting up your poster. Registration tables will be located at the front entrance of the event space. Upon registration, you will receive:

  • a name tag for the principal presenter (individual whose name was on the abstract submission form)
  • and an abstract booklet program.

The number on your name tag will be your easel number. There is a map located in the Abstract Booklet you can use to locate your easel. Registration information will be listed under the name of the principal presenter, and printed nametags are only available for the principal presenter. A blank name tag can be requested for group members.

Once you have checked in, you may set up your poster. The easels will be numbered, and your easel number, otherwise known as your project number, is located on your name tag and in the abstract booklet. Please pin the numbered sheet to your poster and make sure it is visible during the event. Remember that, while easels are provided, we do not provide backing boards (foam boards) for your posters or clips/tacks.

You should be prepared with a two to three minute summary for visitors and judges using your poster as a visual guide. Additional questions may be asked.

Once the poster session comes to a close, you are responsible for removing your poster and foam board from the easel. The Honors College is not responsible for any forgotten, lost, or stolen materials and personal belongings.


Information For Oral Presenters / Performers

Oral presentions / performances format

Your presentation / performance:

  • Should be ten minutes in length. There will be an additional three minutes for Q&A.
  • Should be geared toward a non-field expert.
  • May be accompanied by a visual slide show and/or handout for the audience.
  • May include a live demonstration or performance.

Technology for your oral presentation

The following technology will be available:

  • A computer with access to the internet and Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • A projector and screen
  • A clicker

It is recommended to use two methods to save your presentation (USB flash drive, email, etc.) and bring it with you on the day of your presentation. If you plan to use PowerPoint, it is advised to test your slide show before the presentation day.

You may not use your own laptop.

Oral presentations / performances and judging procedures

Each judge is given a rubric to assign the projects he/she reviews a total score out of 100. The judges’ scores will be z-scored against themselves and the normalized scores for each participant will then be averaged to develop a rank (1, 2, 3, etc.). The ranking will be used to determine place winners for the Arts and Humanities Oral Presentations and Performances category. A sample of the judging rubric for oral presentations / performances can be downloaded here.

You should be ready to present at the time you are scheduled. You should arrive to the presentation room ready to present at least 20 minutes prior to your scheduled presentation time. You should wait until students are finished delivering presentations (or are in between presentations) before entering or exiting the session room.

A room assistant has been assigned to chair the oral presentation session. The room chair will be responsible for introducing each speaker and inviting audience questions after each talk has concluded. The room chair will also be responsible for keeping the presentations on schedule and will signal the speaker using a sign when there are 5 minutes left and 1 minute left for his/her talk time.

On Symposium day

Arrive to the symposium to check in at least 20 minutes prior to your scheduled presentation. When you arrive to the Symposium, you will need to check in before going to the presentation room. Registration tables will be located at the front entrance of the event space. Upon registration, you will receive:

  • a name tag for the principal presenter (individual whose name was on the abstract submission form)
  • and an abstract booklet program.

The number on your name tag will be your project number. There is a schedule located in the Abstract Booklet you should use to confirm your presentation time. You will also receive the schedule prior to the presentation day. Registration information will be listed under the name of the principal presenter, and printed nametags are only available for the principal presenter.

Once you have registered, you may go to the scheduled presentation room. You will give your oral presentation at the scheduled time you have been assigned. The Honors College is not responsible for any forgotten, lost, or stolen materials and personal belongings.