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5 Minute Rapid Presentations


The importance of being concise

Simplify. SumMarize. Streamline.

In order to help scientists strive for brevity in their communications, ASA, CSSA, and SSSA are debuting a new style of presentation at the 2016 Annual Meeting: the five-minute talks called 5 Minute Rapid. We are excited about this format, and excited for all the presenters who have signed up for the inaugural "class". Watch the training video to the right to learn more about how to set up your talk to fit the Rapid Fire format.

In standard writing and presentation recommendations, experts state the following length limits:

  • Six words—recommended titles
  • Three minutes—best readership of blog posts
  • Three minutes—best viewership of YouTube videos

So, you can see that by following a 5-minute format, we're on the leading edge of science communications!

5 Minute Rapid Benefits

What will you get out of doing a 5 Minute Rapid?

  • Brevity creates excitement. Be prepared for robust discussion about your research after the session is over.
  • If you also do a poster presentation, the 5-minute talk can be your “advertisement.”
  • Experience with being concise gives you tools to communicate with the public, funders, and other audiences, too!
  • The main benefit is learning how to tell our story in a clear, succinct manner. Our world is on information overload. To be truly successful, we need to help others see why our work is important in a short, impactful way.

5 Minute Rapid Format

There will be three slides per talk (several Annual Meeting Planning Committee members have done this!) An optional template is downloadable from this site, and the 5-minute training video on this page gives examples of how to get to three slides - and a 5-minute presentation.

  1. Title slide (six words)—uses the question as the title and lists authors/co-authors and their respective institutions.
  2. Results—one slide, including figure/table. Use SI units in text, figures, and tables.
  3. Recommendations/summary slide.

FAQs about the 5 Minute Rapid talks

  1. Questions about PowerPoint formatting:

  2. Questions about the technical program or other non-5 Minute Rapid questions:

  3. Will I really be limited to 5 minutes? Yes, the moderators are trained and will need to make sure the program runs smoothly, so all presenters will run on time.

  4. How can I get help with making sure my talk is 5 minutes? Watch the training video on this page, and send format and editing questions to the email listed in #1!

  5. Are there examples of other 5 minute talks? Yes, watch the 5 minute video training and you’ll see one in action.

  6. I want to change my title to more closely represent the 5 Minute Rapid format. Is this possible? Yes, editing of submissions can be done all the way up to the Annual Meeting. You will want to find your email submission confirmation which contains login instructions. You will then be able to edit author, title, content, etc.

  7. I note an emphasis on 3 slides from the “Rapid Fire Training and PowerPoint Template” message. Is this the rule? Could Charlie’s results slide not been presented as 3 slides? I have 3 results slides! You are correct...three slides is the rule the committee has set based on experience to keep talks to 5 minutes (see #2). You will need to stick with that format.

Abstract submissions are closed.

Use your Society login information to edit your existing abstract.


Webinar: Make Your Abstract Compelling
View this webinar, recorded on March 16, 2017, sponsored by the ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Career Center.
"Yes You Can ... Make Your Abstract Compelling!"
FREE to all members. Log in required.
View the webinar now at ASA | CSSA | SSSA


Before beginning your abstract submission:
Also, be sure to learn more about available competitions via the Graduate Student Competition descriptions.
Nonrefundable abstract fees for: Feb. 28 - May 9 May 10 - May 23
All Non-Members $75 $100
Professional Members $50 $70

Graduate and Undergraduate Student Members*
*You must be a student member of the Societies.

$30 $50


Early abstract deadline: May 9, 4:00 PM CDT
Final abstract deadline: May 23, 4:00 PM CDT
Program published online: Mid July
Abstract editing deadline: Aug. 10*, 4:00 PM CDT

*This is the editing deadline for the printed program book and abstract CD. Edits can continue to be made for the online program and app.

Promote your presentation with the Annual Meeting Poster.

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