60-Second Pitch

As a participant, you are required to deliver a 60-second pitch at the plenary pitch session early in the conference.  The goal of your pitch is to advertise your work so you can make more connections at the poster session later on.

Design & submission guidelines

Important Change for MARC2019: No more than 20 words on the slide (not counting title, authors, sponsors) - 7 out of the 8 winning pitches last year had less than 20 words on the slide. Less is more!

  1. You may use one slide as a visual aid for your pitch.  You may use animations, but be aware that slides will be compiled and presented from one computer.  Also remember that your entire presentation is strictly limited to 60 seconds.
  2. Download the pitch slide template and use it to design your slide. The template can be found below, as an attachment on this page.
  3. Please use the following naming convention: "Session#.Presentation#.pptx" (ex: 6.08.pptx). Please check your assigned presentation number here.
  4. E-mail your slide to your session chair by Sunday January 20, 2019. Please ensure that your file size is less than 10MB.
  5. Please attend the pitch review session, on the first day of MARC2019 (Jan 29), to ensure that your slide has been properly queued for projection. Slides can be reviewed on the presentation computer, from 9:00pm to 10:30pm, in front of the Presidential Ballroom.
  6. If you have any issues/questions regarding the pitches please contact Rachel Yang (rsyang [at] mit.edu).


Ten awards will be awarded, each for $100, for the best oral presentations.  Presentations will be evaluated for clarity, effectiveness, and originality by the industry and faculty attendees.  Awards will be presented at the end of the conference.

Tips for a Successful Pitch 

  • Your goal is to pique the audience’s interest, not to teach the audience about your work (you don’t have time for that).  Highlight the importance of the problem you’re solving and the impact of your solution.  Be very brief about your solution; the audience can find out more at your poster.
  • Target a very broad audience.  Practice your pitch for someone with some “distance” — outside of your research group, but within the field.  If there’s anything they don’t understand, rework your pitch to make it more accessible.  You can find trained experts with appropriate “distance” at the EECS Communication Lab, which is staffed by graduate students and postdocs from all across the department.
  • The first and last sentences are golden opportunities that are usually wasted.  They are especially important in short pitches, where they can take 20% of the available time. 
  • Avoid starting by introducing yourself and reading the title of your entry; instead start strong by telling the audience about a problem they (should) care about.  
  • Avoid ending with “come to my poster # XX”; instead, end with a sentence that highlights the impact of your work.
  • Polish your pitch.  You have a very short time to present, so every second counts.  The best way to polish your pitch, of course, is to practice it.
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