A guide to Presentation Ethics for Navigating Ethical Landscape


I recently had a chance to present research work on the mental health of breast cancer survivors at a conference in Sukkur. This experience prompted me to reflect on the ethical aspects of presentations, particularly when addressing sensitive topics. The case study presented below highlights the need for thoughtful consideration and ethical principles in public communication.

Case Study:

During the conference, I observed presentations that employed broad and stereotypical narratives, particularly regarding women. Such portrayals, especially when addressing sensitive topics, raise questions about the societal perspectives conveyed on significant platforms. The case study emphasizes the importance of critically reflecting on content, especially in areas contributing to socio-cultural growth.

This experience led me to consider the necessity of a comprehensive curriculum on public behavior and communication. Effective communication involves more than vocal expression; it requires an awareness of words, tone, and attire. I propose the introduction of guidelines or training sessions, especially for newcomers in public speaking, to create a more inclusive and thoughtful discourse.

Ethical Considerations in Presentations:

Effective presentations not only deliver compelling content but also uphold ethical standards. Whether in academia, business conferences, or public forums, adherence to ethical principles is crucial. Let’s explore the key considerations:

1. Truthfulness and Transparency:

Presenters should accurately represent information, avoiding exaggeration. Transparent communication builds trust and fosters an environment for critical evaluation.

2. Credible Sources and Attribution:

Always attribute information to credible sources. Misrepresenting data violates ethical standards and undermines presentation integrity.

3. Respecting Intellectual Property:

Ethical presenters uphold the rights of intellectual property. All content and research work presented in conferences must be original, with information and findings validated and authentic.

4. Inclusivity and Cultural Sensitivity:

Presenters steer clear of culturally sensitive content in their presentations, ensuring that language, examples, or imagery used do not offend or exclude specific groups.

5. Acknowledging Conflicts of Interest:

Presenters should disclose any personal or financial interests in the subject matter to maintain transparency and enable the audience to assess external influences.

6. Respecting Audience Engagement:

Ethical presentations respect audience autonomy, avoiding manipulation tactics. The feedback and listeners’ views on the presentation must be open and welcoming to encourage open discussions and foster an environment.

7. Data Privacy and Confidentiality:

Safeguarding sensitive information, avoiding sharing any identifying information to respect data privacy rights, and implementing the principles of confidentiality and data protection.

8. Providing Accessible Content:

Ensure presentations are accessible to all audience members, including those with disabilities, by using accessible design principles and alternative formats.

9. Addressing to Questions and Feedback:

Handle questions and feedback with professionalism and honesty. Take the constructive criticism as an opportunity for growth.

Presentations are not just about delivering content or findings; they are about shaping narratives influencing perspectives and reflecting the society picture scientifically. Through this case study reflection, the need for ethical principles and dimensions during the presentations was highlighted. Let’s create a culture of responsible and considerate communication that promotes positivity with our audience and contributes to a more comprehensive society. Embracing presentation ethics ensures that your message resonates authentically and ethically with your audience.


Ethical considerations are an integral part of research even through the dissemination stage. The presentation ethics shapes narratives and influences perspectives not to offend anyone’s values norms and beliefs. By following the principles of truthfulness, transparency, and respect, presenters contribute to the broader ethical landscape of public communication. Implementation of ethical values during presentations ensures that messages resound authentically and ethically, fostering a positive impact on the audience and society. Let built a culture of responsible and considerate communication in presentations.

Written By

Zaib Un Nisa

Research Associate at Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning and Ph.D. fellow at the Department of Psychology, University of Karachi