Silly question, but I figured I'd ask. What information should be present in the opening slide of my presentation to a conference and how do I format it? Should it be like this:

Interesting picture
Name of presenter
MA Student, Department, University

Logo of Department/University

  • 1
    My opening slide usually has the title of the talk, my name, my affiliation, the name of the conference, and the date. Sep 3, 2022 at 23:31
  • @AndreasBlass Thank you! And do you include your department in your affiliation or just the university?
    – flen
    Sep 4, 2022 at 21:09
  • 1
    I've usually included only the university on my opening slide, but that's mostly because it's pretty well known that I'm a mathematician. I think it's perfectly reasonable to also include the department, especially if the conference is interdisciplinary. Sep 4, 2022 at 22:27
  • 1
    Heh heh. The first slide is your chance to tell a "dad" joke.
    – BillOnne
    Sep 6, 2022 at 3:41

2 Answers 2


If there is a presentation template of your university, I would follow it. It is often desirable to present a uniform "corporate design" to the public. If there is not, you can check whether the conference provides a template and use that as a reference.

Otherwise, I would use the information on publications as a guideline:

  • Title
  • Author(s): Presenter can be highlighted if there are multiple authors.
  • Afiiliation: position/job description, department and university.
  • Name and place of conference
  • Date of the presentation

About the graphical design:

  • An interesting picture that fits the content of the presentation is always nice, of course.
  • Logo of the university and department (if available)
  • Logos of other involved project partners / of the research project

Note: For funded research projects, it is often also intended that the logo and funding code of the funder are present. However, if there are no clear guidelines for this, this information can also go on the last slide of the presentation. I would also include contact information there.

  • Skip the name and place of the conference. Skip the date. Your audience is guaranteed to know those details by virtue of being there. (Yes, it's common to include this information. But bear in mind it is also common to give incredibly bad presentations at academic conferences...) Sep 5, 2022 at 16:20
  • 5
    @user2705196 That info is nice to include if your slides end up floating around the internet afterward. It can also be useful later when you want to search through your old files of slides.
    – Kimball
    Sep 5, 2022 at 23:36

The content of a talk depends very strongly on the audience and the effect you want to produce.

Once I gave a talk on fundamental methods (as in, introductory methods, almost at a remedial level) for producing high quality source code in computer programming. Things like variable names and using white space to improve readability and such. Real basic stuff, leading up to the basics of code arrangement, routine style, etc. All very basic stuff that I noticed people did very poorly when I did code review.

My first slide was a picture of a beach in the tropics. My opening few lines of my talk was about the surfing guru who accepted a student. The first thing the student was required to do was swim the reef. He had to go snorkeling and find out where the water was deep and shallow, how the level changed, and where the jagged coral was that would rip you apart if you fell on it. That is, the underlying fundamentals. And today we would "swim the reef" of computer programming.

Maybe you don't want exactly that. But you do want to select an opening slide that matches the goals of your talk, judged according to audience, the venue, and the general nature of the conference.

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