WAGS Fifth Annual Regional 3MT Competition


WAGS Fifth Annual Regional 3MT Competition

Virtual Conference
March 24, 2021
2:00 - 3:30pm

In 2021, WAGS will host its 5th-annual 3MT (research/scholarship presentation in 3 minutes) competition. 3MT presenters compete for cash prizes, bragging rights in the west, and an opportunity to participate in a national 3MT competition.

The deadline for nominations is November 15, 2020. Please send a note of commitment to inge.wefes@ucdenver.edu with the subject line WAGS 3MT Entry. More information about the competition will be shared with the nominees later.


The finalists will be awarded cash prizes in the following amounts:

  • First Place: $500
  • Second Place: $350
  • Third Place: $250
  • Honorable Mention: $125



  • Only graduate students from institutions that are members of WAGS may register for this regional competition. To become a member, please visit http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/wags/membership/
  • Competitors must be enrolled in Masters or Doctoral programs and must have won their university’s most recent 3MT competition. If a school’s first place winner is not able to attend the WAGS 3MT competition in March 2021, the school may enter its second place winner or the next highest winner available.

Virtual Presentation

  • Competitors are expected to have a stable internet connection. If necessary, participation from a library is recommended.
  • Participants should avoid using a window as background for virtual presentations. Such background can make it difficult to see the presenter’s face. Selecting a plain background will reduce distractions from the presentation and the slide!
  • While the competition will be virtual/remote, it will be set up in real time, i.e. the competitions are live! Presenter and slide will each take up 50% of the screen.
  • Presenters might consider sitting back a little. This way, hand gestures will be visible.
  • Presentations are delivered in traditional presentation style (e.g. no poems, rap, or songs or dance).
  • The computer camera should be at eye level.
  • Just as for an on-stage presentation, competitors should dress in business casual or business professional attire


  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified. The timer will start as soon as the presenter starts speaking.

PowerPoint Slide

  • The competition slide will have to meet a 4:3 aspect ratio. Other slides will not be accepted. No animations or 'movement' of any kind are allowed.
  • It is strongly recommended to keep the slide simple! Do not use complex composites. Make the image as big as possible and, if possible, do not include text. 
  • Ideally, the only text is the title of the slide, but the image, not the title should dominate the slide
  • If a label is necessary, use of a large font is recommended!
  • If photos, graphics, graphs, or illustrations included on the slide were not solely created by the presenter, a reference to the original source must be included at the bottom of the slide.
  • A pointer may not be used; clear and descriptive language should make the slide self-explanatory.
  • The focus is on the presenter’s speech, which should be informative and comprehensible to a lay audience - even without a slide. 

Technical Requirements


3MT competitors will be judged in two different categories on scores from 1-5 (5=best)

Comprehension and Content

  1. Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance of the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
  2. Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
  3. Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
  4. Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
  5. Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement and Communication

  1. Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
  2. Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize the research?
  3. Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for the research?
  4. Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  5. Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range, maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  6. Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was the image clear, properly sized and concise?

The scoring and decision of the adjudicating panel are final and not debatable.

For any question, please email inge.wefes@ucdenver.edu, using WAGS 3MT in the subject line.