UCTV Edit Stylebook: Lectures/Panels

Lecture programs usually consist of a person or persons speaking to a group of people from a podium at the front of a room. Often the speaker uses visual aids such as slides, overheads, PowerPoint or video. These programs should rarely exceed 60 minutes.


Whenever possible, lectures should be presented as part of a series with a consistent theme shared by all the programs. The programs are then unified with an opening sequence and CG. A typical opening sequence might be made up of a montage of images cut to music, ending with the series title followed by a space for the title graphics for the particular episode. The first graphic is the program title and speaker's name and full credentials. A typical example:

Penguins of Antarctica

presented by

John Doe, Ph.D.
Marine Research Station
University of California, Santa Barbara

Sometimes, there is more than one speaker, in which case the speakers are listed in order of appearance:

UCSD Alternative
Therapies Seminar

presented by

John Alksne, M.D.
Dean and Vice Chancellor
UCSD School of Medicine

Jalees Rehman, M.D.
Veterans Administration Medical Center

Tahir Bhatti, M.D.
UCSD Department of Psychiatry

If the program title and/or speaker list is too long for one page, it should be spread out over two.

Each series should have designated fonts and layout for all CG pages. This way all programs within the series will have a uniform look. In general, for lectures use fonts and colors that are relatively simple and easy to read. Sans-serif (i.e. Helvetica) or simple serif fonts (i.e. Times) work well. White with small black border and drop shadow always work well, and yellow and light blue fonts can be effective. A translucent gray box behind the letters, in order to help them stand out from the busy background can be used.

The speaker's name should be in a slightly larger font size than their credentials:

Francis Crick, Ph.D.
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Another example is big upper case/small uppercase scheme for lettering:

Wildlife Photographer

Main Body of the Program

After the title sequence is the main body of the show. Fade up from black to the program, and bring up the lower third I.D. immediately.

Lower Third IDs

A lower third graphic of the speaker's I.D. should be on the screenat least every 2 to 3 minutes. Everyone who appears in a program must be ID'd on screen. ID the speaker the first time s/he is seen, 1-2 minutes later, then at least every 3 minutes throughout the program. Try to keep it to 2 lines (no more than 3) - the top line is the speaker's name, the bottom line his/her affiliation. It should be simpler than the credit given in the opening sequence. For example, a speaker during the opening sequence might be credited:

Jane Smith, Ph.D.
Professor of Geology

whereas during the program, her lower third might read:

Jane Smith

We suggest that academic credentials (Ph.D., M.A., B.A. etc) are not used, in the lower thirds, only in the title credits. It keeps the ID's easier to read on screen. The exception is that M.D's may be identified in the lower thirds and the opening credits

Lower thirds are justified left or center so that there is no interference with the station logo which is in the bottom right corner of the screen. At times a right justified ID will be necessary if there are always 2 people on screen and the one on the right needs to be ID'd. A left justified lower third often works best, because it provides the maximum amount of space for names and titles. If the speaker's affiliation is especially long, wrap the affiliation around to a second line.

Lower third I.D.s of speakers should only be shown over close-ups, never a wide shot. Besides I.D. of the speaker, a lower third should be used to show the date the event was taped if the program contains time-sensitive material. It should be a very simple text line, justified center, reading something like:

Recorded April 12, 2002

The date should alternate with the ID. If the location or name of the talk is desired that should appear on screen as well and alternate with the other titles. Some include a web address as one of the alternating elements.

Inserting Graphics

Cut to sides (and overheads, PowerPoint, etc.) from the speaker and cut back to the speaker after the insert. Dissolves should be used if going from one slide directly to another.

Many times, showing just the slide is not enough, as the speaker is referring to specific things on the slide, such as a particular point on a graph, or a specific part of a picture. In this case, add small arrows to the slide, pointing directly at the right area. Generally, cut in the slide first, then dissolve in the arrow at the appropriate moment, then dissolve the arrow out, and eventually cut back to the speaker. The arrow should be large enough and with enough contrast to be visible against the graphic itself.

How to Handle Q&A

Most lectures include a question & answer period. The audience is almost never directly mic'd. The editing of the Q&A is dependent on how it occurred during the event. The first thing is to try to boost the audio level during the question, and if it is audible that can be used. In the best case scenario, the speaker repeats the question after it is asked.

If the speaker does not repeat the question, and the audio level on the audience member is not adequate, then a simple graphic paraphrasing the question must be created. For example:


What is the main difference betweenseals and sea lions?

This graphic is on-screen long enough to be read by the viewer. It then dissolves or cuts to the speaker's answer.

Ending the Program

At the end of the program, try to use the actual conclusion of the talk, followed by audience applause. Fade to black.

Programs in a series should have some sort of established ending sequence, at least CG over a still frame, with music underneath. The tail credits should always restate the title of the talk and the presenter. Followed by production credits, presenting credits (when applicable), disclaimer and copyright.

This is also the opportunity for a "more information" phone number or web address.

Disclaimer:The views, contents and opinions expressed herein
do not necessarily reflect those of
The University of California


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