Speaker Guide

2024 Version

Above all, thank you for agreeing to participate in our program.  The quality and content of presentations and papers are critical aspects of our forum.  Accordingly, it is the objective of the organizers to have the presentations and papers be of high quality, technically well supported as well as easy to understand and applicable to the topic. 
Please pay close attention to the following information as it includes the expectations for the speakers, their presentations and papers. Reference the requirements while preparing the paper and PowerPoint® presentation. Your efforts will help us provide a top quality event for the attendees.

Presentation Details & Deadline: APRIL 5, 2024


  • Presentations must be non-commercial and not a sales effort.  The brief, one-time mention of product sources is allowable and even informative, but no competitive or marketing pitch is allowed.  Audiences are very intolerant on this point and speakers who are too commercial will be at serious risk of being interrupted by the moderator.  No speaker will be allowed to make a commercial or sales presentation, even if this means canceling a presentation.  No confidential information may be included.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint with an aspect ratio of 16:9 is the official format for electronic presentations.
  • Your presentation will be reviewed by ISTA staff and you will be contacted if we have any changes or suggestions.
  • We understand speakers may need to continue working on their presentations AFTER the April 5 deadline. DO NOT email or upload your revised presentation to ISTA Headquarters AFTER April 5. Bring your presentation on a USB flash drive to the ISTA Forum and we will load your presentation at the Audio Visual area in the rear of the room.
  • If your presentation contains links to video files, it is essential that you bring not only your PowerPoint file, but also your original video files.
  • Required: You must visit the audio visual area in the general session room at least 4 hours prior to the beginning of the session in which you are presenting to UPLOAD ANY CHANGES and TEST your files. At that time we are happy to give you a tour of the stage, confidence monitor, mouse used to advance your presentation and the wireless microphone.
  • Most importantly, we are here for you so please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Bonsignore or Kathy Joneson if you have any questions about presenting. Lisa (517) 325-0434 or Kathy (517) 325-0426.

1. Timing:  All presentations should fit comfortably into the assigned time, with some allocation for questions.  For example, if the assigned time is 30 minutes, the material should be presented to allow at least 5 minutes for questions at the end, or during the presentation, and still end on time. While no speaker should be expected to present in less time than allocated, the moderator will interrupt a speaker who has gone past the time by more than a few minutes. 
2. Presentation technique:  Speakers differ in their presentation style and these differences help keep the audience interested and are encouraged.  However, some styles are more appreciated than others: 
  • The speaker must always be heard clearly, even in the back of the room.  This will require the use of the microphone provided. 
  • Reading a paper is NEVER allowed – the speaker‘s paper will be published in the conference proceedings and distributed to the attendees.  Therefore, reading the paper is unnecessary.  Reading aloud is tedious for the audience and does not allow you the freedom to emphasize material or delete unnecessary detail.  You may refer to notes or read short sections when exact wording is important.
  • A.U.A. (Avoid the Use of Acronyms).   Many forum attendees will be new to the world of packaging, or may not understand the terminology used by some presenters, so please be sure to explain any organization or group acronym that you use.  We suggest you try to avoid the use of acronyms altogether.

3. Audio-visuals:  We are requiring the use of the Microsoft PowerPoint application for your presentation.  IMPORTANT: In order to take full advantage of the widescreen display that we will be providing, you should create your presentation in 16:9 aspect ratio. We will be using high definition projectors and two 10‘x18‘ screens that will provide a bright and clear display of your presentation in the general session room.

Changing your PowerPoint aspect ratio: From within PowerPoint, click on the Design tab. Click Page Setup. PowerPoint will default to Slides sized for: On-screen Show (4:3). Change the setting to On-screen Show (16:9) and click OK. Please also note in PowerPoint 2010 you cannot simply convert your existing presentation to 16:9.
Color: Please be aware of how the colors used in the slides will appear to the audience – contrast is VERY important!  Dark lettering on a Light background is preferred.  Red, Blue and Yellow lettering often gets lost when projected on a large screen, so don‘t use those colors for fonts on a dark background.  We may ask that you edit your font or background if we feel the contrast isn‘t strong enough.  Submitting your template on time will be crucial so that changes can be made if necessary.
Target Results: Please remember that the content of every presentation should provide the Forum attendee with information, techniques and ideas that can be applied, in the short term, to their protective packaging problems.  The emphasis should be on proven, applicable information.  Our research has shown that when attendees return to their organizations with tools they can apply immediately, they see the educational event as a success.

Laser Pointers: Please note that laser pointers will not be available during your presentation.

Paper Requirements

1. Papers:  Papers are not required but highly recommended.  PowerPoint® slide handouts may NOT be substituted for the paper but may be included in addition to the paper.  Please comply with the following guidelines when preparing the paper to be submitted to the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA).

2. Paper Guidelines:
a.  Specifications: 

  • There is no limit on length, however it should be adequate to present the material.  Usually 1000 to 3000 words is appropriate for a 30-minute presentation.
  • Microsoft Word file
  • 1.5 spaces per line or double spaced
  • 10 point type
  • Arial font
  • One column
  • Do not include title page
  • Margins are top and bottom 1.0 in., left and right margins 1.25 inches.
  • Do not number pages
  • All materials must be original, unpublished and written by the speaker: major re-writes previous material written by the speaker may be allowed, check with ISTA‘s Staff in advance.  Do not submit a sales brochure, previously published magazine article or similar material.  No confidential information is to be included.

b. References:  Use a reference whenever you are quoting someone or referring to someone else‘s ideas or experiences.  A typical paper might have 2-8 references or more, including magazine articles, books, personal conversations, etc.  Whenever possible, use the Author-Date reference system, placing the author and date in the text near the reference, for example: (Marcondes and Prabakaren 1994).
Detail the references at the end under References or Bibliography.  Bibliographies should be arranged alphabetically by author‘s last name.  In general, each reference in the list should be of the form: author and date, title, source.
We are not stringent with reference style, but you must be consistent within the paper.  The speaker should be aware that the reader might wish to find the information referred to, and therefore needs enough detail to do so.  As an example, the following reference would be suitable:
Marcondes, Jorge A. and Prabakaren, Naganathan, 1994, Evaluation of a Small Scale Cushion Tester, Packaging Technology and Science, vol. 7. pages 73-80. Also see the Speaker Agreement Requirements
c. Accuracy:  All papers must be carefully checked for accuracy of content.  In addition, spelling, punctuation and grammar are of top importance.   Be aware and comply with intellectual property consent requirements (including trademarks and copyrights).
d. Internal approvals: 
Please remember to allow time for any required internal approvals by your organization before the paper is sent to ISTA.

Submitting Your PowerPoint & Paper Presentation

We reserve the right to decline publication or suggest modification of abstracts, paper and/or PowerPoint Presentation by the speaker and the right to proofread and edit the format to be in accordance with the ISTA requirements.  All approvals for publication are the responsibility of the author(s).  See the Speaker Agreement regarding your responsibility.
Papers and Presentations Upload: Please email your presentation to Lisa Bonsignore at lisa@ista.org. If your presentation includes video, please request a link from Lisa Bonsignore at lisa@ista.org for a link to upload your file.