How do I determine the appropriate screen size for my event? What size screen do I need for the audience to be able to read text?


Follow the 2-and-6 rule to ensure the screen image is readable:

Optimum screen size as determined by The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is known as the 2-and-6 rule:

  • Screen width should equal (and not exceed) one-half the distance from the screen to the first row of seats.
  • Screen width should equal or exceed the distance from the screen to the last row of seats divided by six.
  • In case of a difference between the two guidelines, the one yielding the larder screen should prevail.
  • Screen height should equal or exceed the distance from the screen to the last row of seats, divided by eight.

Quick Tips:

  • Keep it simple! Keep the screen image uncluttered. Don’t use busy backgrounds, or light colored logos as a background with light colored text. Keep the background dark and the text in light colors with easy to read fonts.
  • The question as it appears on screen should be just a prompt of the entire text of the question. Note: The presenter may read the entire question while the audience views a simple prompt.
  • If you must show a lot of text or keep a document, or image on screen while the voting is in progress, consider multiple projection screens.
  • Don’t have unnecessary multiple choices within a question. If there is one correct choice you don’t need more than 3-4 choices to choose from.
  • In rooms with round tables consider eliminating the two seats that face away from the front of the room.
  • Consider large monitors, or secondary projection on the sides of the room.
  • Always place a “confidence” monitor in front of the speaker, or panel so that they can see the screens without turning their backs to the audience, or look foolish by not being aware that the question or response is on screen.

With over 30 years of experience in helping clients achieve their meetings goals. I am passionate about the power of insight. If I can help your firm discover this power, please contact me.

Alan Warshaw
Quick Tally® Interactive Systems, Inc.
Direct Dial: 310.306.4930

About Me

After graduating from New York University with a degree in Communications, Alan attended the New School for Social Research, Graduate School at N.Y.U. and the Master’s Program in Cinema at U.C.L.A. Following his service in the U.S. Army, Alan was employed by Doyle, Dane and Burnbach Advertising Agency. He worked in the U.S. and Europe in the feature motion picture production business. He was employed by Quick Tally Interactive Systems for one year prior to acquiring the company. He has owned and run the company for almost three decades and has pioneered in the manufacturing of ARS equipment and providing interactive event services. In addition to US State and Federal Government Agencies, America’s leading companies, associations and television networks, he has also worked for events clients in the EU, New Zealand, Hong Kong Thailand and Dubai.