Rules and Judging Criteria


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or movement of any kind, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  • No additional electronic media (e.g., sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g., costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes. Presentations exceeding 3 minutes are subject to disqualification at the discretion of the judges.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g., no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Judging Criteria

Each of the below three judging criteria have equal weight. Note what each criterion has in common: an emphasis on the audience--peers, colleagues, university faculty, the East Foundation Professional Advisors Group, East Foundation professional staff, and other invited guests from a cross section of south Texas.

  • Communication style: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: Did the presentation make the audience want to know more?