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Research Exhibition Guide: How to Prepare

Find everything you need to prepare and succeed.

Schedule an Appointment

If you would like assistance or feedback at any stage of the research process, please schedule an appointment with one of the librarians.


Phone: 717-728-2500

What to do

First Things First

1. If this is a class assignment, gather all information from your instructor regarding topic selection. Your instructor probably will provide a broad topic, then you will need to narrow it down into a manageable research question.

2. Register your topic (use the Register tab in this guide).


3. View the research tutorials & tips videos in the box below - these will be invaluable to you.

4. Begin your research. Start researching early. Collect all your research materials in one place, like a citation manager or a OneDrive folder. Think beyond just looking at articles in EBSCOhost and Gale; explore books and films as well.

5. Organize your research into coherent thoughts and sentences that other people will be able to easily follow and understand. Begin thinking about how the research could best be visually displayed in a presentation - what information should be text and what graphs or images you should use.

At any point during the process, direct your questions to your instructor or a librarian.

Create Your Presentation

7. Organize the information for your presentation. Make sure to follow the guidelines found in the template (see the Template tab in this guide). Also be sure to look over the judging rubric (in the Judging tab of this guide).

Tutorials & Tips

Watch the brief videos below for information about how to access Library resources in Blackboard, search the Library's catalog, and conduct academic research in EBSCOhost and Gale.

For more detailed assistance on using the library's databases, visit the Online Resources Guide.

For additional support, contact your Librarians (

Time to conTEMPLATE your research

Want help applying your research to the PowerPoint template? Watch these short videos for guidance on how to best use the PowerPoint template and for design tips.

We recommend that you watch videos in full screen mode.

Your visual should contain charts, graphs, or infographics to communicate your findings. Watch the brief videos below for instructions about how to begin creating these visuals in Excel or Piktochart. For additional support, contact your Librarians.

You are required to provide a list of your references on both your poster and your handout, and you are required to include in-text references on your poster board or PowerPoint presentation. Watch the brief video below for information about plagiarism and citations. For details about how to begin citing your sources, visit our APA guide or contact your Librarians.

While the information on your poster is important, so are the words you say as you present for the judges. Your presentation should be about 2 minutes in length. Here are a few details and tips to help you with your presentation:

  • Display your poster in the designated area, and stay with your poster during the event. Give your handouts to visitors and discuss your research with people throughout the event.
  • When the judges get to your poster, you will present your research. Be sure to introduce yourself, introduce your research and research questions, discuss your research methods, and state your findings and conclusions.
  • After you finish your presentation, the judges will ask you a few questions. Answer these questions as best you can. Remember, if you don’t know the answer, it is okay to say, “I don’t know. I did not come across that detail in my research.”
  • Remember to be concise, stand up straight, speak clearly, make eye contact, and dress professionally.
  • Be sure to practice your presentation. Do not read directly from your poster or note cards.

Tips for Creating Your Presentation

  • If using Teams you must use PowerPoint. If using VoiceThread your presentation should still be slide based, but you have more options. Compatible formats for VoiceThread:
    • PowerPoint
    • Microsoft Word
    • Microsoft Publisher
    • Images (JPEGs or PNGs)
    • PDFs
  • Video files often don't work with VoiceThread, so they are not recommended (including Prezi).

Tips for Your Narration

While the information on your slides is important, so are the words you say as you narrate your presentation. Your presentation should not be more than 12 slides and no more than 10 minutes with the narration.

  • Do not read directly from the slides. In your narration communicate new or similar information that relates to the slide, and direct you audience's attention back to the slide.
  • Allow enough time for viewers to read the slide but do not spend longer than 2 minutes on any one slide.
  • Write a script at first, then read from your script when you record the narration. This will allow you to think critically about the words you choose, and it will decrease the likelihood that you might forget to say something.
  • Use discipline-specific language, and keep your tone academic, not casual.

Putting it all together

All presentations should have:

  • A title slide that includes:
    • The title of your presentation, research question, or topic
    • Your name (or names if working in a group)
  • A depiction of your research process
  • References in a citation format (such as APA)


After you register a librarian will contact you about picking up a trifold poster board for your presentation.

Build Your Poster Day!  All Day June 1st in the Library -  Bring your poster boards and any other materials you would like to add to your poster to make it stand out!  Glue sticks, scissors, and construction paper will be provided by the library.

If you are providing handouts, and would like your handouts printed in color, email a copy to by 5pm on June 1st. If you are using black & white handouts, print 10 copies to have with you during your presentation.

June 2nd - Arrive in the Conference Center by 2:45pm with your poster and handouts. Dress professionally and have a brief one to two minute speech prepared to explain your research to others.

Online submissions

Your presentation should have less than 12 slides.

If using Teams: Contact the library to set up a time to record your presentation before May 31st. See instructions on using Teams to present in the How to submit your Digital Presentation box below)

If using VoiceThread: Upload your presentation into VoiceThread in Blackboard (See instructions in the How to submit your Digital Presentation box below) .

May 31st  - Add your narration to your presentation by 11:59 pm. The entire presentation should be less than 10 minutes. Judges will view the presentations on June 1st and submit questions to you in VoiceThread.

June 2nd - Respond to the judges' questions in VoiceThread by 11:59pm

Librarians are available to help!

How To Submit Your Digital Presentation

The videos below (and more) can be seen in the VoiceThread Resources for Students module on the My BlackBoard page

Creating a VoiceThread

Adding Comments to your VoiceThread

VoiceThread submission

Creating a VoiceThread

  1. Go into Blackboard and locate the VoiceThread assignment. Click on this.
  2. On the right side panel, click the “Start Assignment” button.
  3. Creating a VoiceThread is two steps. First you will add your content, and then you will comment on your content. These steps are located on the top left corner of the page where it says “Add media” and “Open and comment.”
  4. Begin with the “Add media” option selected.
  5. To add your PowerPoint slides, select “Add from computer” and open your file. It may take a few minutes for this file to load.

Adding Comments to your VoiceThread

  1. Next, select “Continue” on the bottom left corner of the page. This moves you to the “add comments” step of the process.
  2. Select the plus sign at the bottom of the page. You will see multiple options to record your comments.
  3. Add an audio comment by selecting the microphone icon.
  4. You will see a countdown on your screen. When the countdown is complete, your device will begin recording your voice.
  5. Select “stop recording” when you are finished. To save your recording, select “save.”
  6. To record on the next slide, select the next arrow on the bottom right of the page. Repeat these steps for each slide.

Submitting your VoiceThread

  1. Select the “Submit” button on the right side.
  2. You will see a message at the top of the page pop up and a submission date and time on the right panel confirming you have successfully submitted your VoiceThread.

Answer Questions from the Judges in VoiceThread

  1. Access your VoiceThread
  2. Click the comment button in the upper right corner of the presentation preview.
  3. Listen to the judge's question
  4. Answer the question:
  • Hover over the judge's initials
  • Click the Reply button  ‚Äč
  • Select the microphone or telephone button
  • Record your answer
  • Choose Cancel to try again, or Save
  • Check each slide for questions so you don't miss any.

This video provides an overview on using the Presenter mode in Teams. You will need to arrange a time with the library to record your presentation (this is so the library has access to the recording later). Ideally we'll be able to arrange a time to present with the judges. Otherwise, the presentation will be recorded and you will respond via chat to the judges questions.

Chat with a Librarian

Contact the Library

The Library is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday,  & Friday from 10AM - 5PM and Wednesday from 1PM - 8PM.

If you need help from the librarian or need to access the library resources outside of those hours let us know!

Call or text 717-728-2500 or email to make an appointment.

Remember the Learning Hub is also open with lots of great faculty and staff willing to help with tutoring, advising, and general questions.

Library Director