Guidance to Speakers

General Advice
The Colour Group is an interdisciplinary society that draws together people interested in colour from many different disciplines. Some members come from university research laboratories, some from industry, and some from the fine and applied arts. Consequently, the task of the speaker is an especially difficult one, in that he or she cannot assume a common level of expertise across all members of the audience. It is certainly safe to assume a basic knowledge of the physical nature of colour and of the more common ways of specifying colour; but many members of the average audience will not have a detailed grasp of the speaker’s particular area of expertise. Thus, the Group’s committee asks speakers to take, say, five minutes at the beginning of their talk systematically introducing the fundamental concepts or facts required to understand their field of expertise. In return, we hope that speakers will then draw useful feedback from members concerned with colour in other disciplines.


We ask speakers to enunciate clearly and use simple language because some members who have been attending meetings for decades are now a little hard of hearing. Some young members travel to meetings from Europe and are not native English speakers. – and other members of the audience are sure to be grateful to you too.

Generally, the most successful talks to the Group – as in the case of all societies – are those that are not read from a script, but yet follow a structure that has been prepared and timed in detail beforehand. We recognize that for some non-native English speakers, a written talk may be necessary.

You will probably wish to illustrate your lecture with informative and colourful images. Nowadays, most venues have projection equipment capable of displaying PowerPointpresentations. It is not safe to assume venues will have facilities for 35 mm transparencies or even overhead projectors. Please check with the organiser if you want to use slides or transparencies.
The following points might help:
 It is often best to come with your presentation not just on a memory stick, but also to bring your own laptop computer, or ensure that somebody else will have a laptop that will run your presentation.
• Most theatres have some kind of IT facility but it will probably be Windows based. Presentations made on Apple Mac computers, if not saved in PowerPoint but in Keynote, will run on inhouse theatre IT systems using Windows and PowerPoint but some functionality may be lost.
 The screen resolution and the availability of fonts and symbols will probably not be the same as those of the computer on which your slides were made: resolution can usually be adjusted if necessary but it is advisable to save your presentation with embedded fonts, especially if you use uncommon type faces and symbols – Greek characters usually give problems unless a Greek font is embedded.
 Remember that serif typefaces, e.g. Times Roman, are not as legible on slides as sans serif ones, e.g. Arial. We strongly recommend using san serif fonts and the use of no more than 18 lines of text per slide. If you cannot get all the information in one slide, redesign the slide or use two slides.
• A table that is clear enough on the printed page will almost certainly prove too detailed and illegible when projected.
 Do a run-through somewhere – preferably in an average sort of theatre – and go to the very back of the room and view your most detailed slide. If it is not very clear to you through squinting eyes, then the text, and details are too small, and your slides need revising.
 If you are not an experienced speaker, do a rehearsal with some friendly and knowledgeable person who can help you on points of presentation such as annoying habits (nose scratching, smirking, etc.), audibility, clarity of ideas and of the slides, and of timing.
 Please try to follow the advice on presenting graphics for those who have colour vision deficits (colourblind) which you can find here.

If you have concerns about facilities or you have other audio-visual requirements, contact the meeting organiser well in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

Short Powerpoint presentation of advice on producing clear slide presentations