I submitted a paper (together with my team) for a conference. The paper has been accepted and I have been asked as speaker to present this work.

In my presentation, should I try to use exact copies of the figures used in the paper, or should I adapt the figures?

Changing figures could make them a bit clearer in the context of a presentation (for example, the presentations are to be done with 16:9 slides, but the paper is written in two-column text, and as such has rather square graphs), but I don't know if this will make them harder to relate to the graphs in the paper.

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    Something that I saw at a conference recently and liked was figures being taken from papers but with much bigger axes labels to make it easy to read on a slide and arrows drawn on to highlight important points. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


Prepare your figures for optimal use of the medium at hand.

The main goal for your presentation will be to present the content and impact of your research and to advertise your paper to the audience. In my experience, the format of a journal paper figure is usually not the best to convey the most information in a slide presentation, and you also seem to be aware of this.

Since you want to make the presentation as convincing as possible, I would suggest to prepare any figure for the best possible appearance in the presentation, just as you had prepared the original figures for their best possible appearance in a paper. If a paper figure would waste beamer screen space, rescale it for the presentation. If color would help explaning the figure but the journal only has grayscale, add color for the presentation. And so on..

You want to win readers for your paper, and I am sure that most of them will recognize the figures and their meaning later when reading the paper. Those modifications may change the style or layout of the figure, but even then, the content of the figure (e.g. the general appearance or tendency of a graph or diagram) will not change drastically. What will change is how interesting the figure appears to the audience, and you want to benefit from that.

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