General Presentation Instructions
Purpose of Presentations
The presentations you give through the project have several purposes:
- To give you practice at presenting in a public forum
- To allow the committee and other students to see what you have done and give feedback
- To allow the committee to evaluate your progress
Some presentations are primarily to allow you to practice, while others (especially at the end of the semester) are to evaluate you. Therefore use your presentations and feedback to improve throughout the project.
Most presentations are group presentations: all members of the group must contribute in preparing the presentation, speaking and answering questions in a roughly equal amount. (There may be individual presentations as well).
Presentations will have a time limit. You should prepare such that you can complete within the allocated time. You may be penalised if you do not. Most committee members will tolerate a small variation of about 10%, e.g. may not penalise if a 10 minute presentation goes for between 9 and 11 minutes. Outside of this range indicates you either haven't planned your presentation well and/or you haven't completed enough work.
Presentations involve you speaking, often with supporting material such as slides (Powerpoint) and demos. There may be presentations in which no supporting material is allowed. You should not use notes (e.g. handwritten or on your phone) when presenting, although you may prepare and practice a script in advance. You may use a microphone if available (although may not be necessary in some cases).
Rooms will have a projector and computer available, but you may also use your own laptop. You should check the equipment before your presentation session (preferably 1 day before). If you cannot get the projector to work with your laptop when it is your turn to present then you may be penalised.
The audience will normally consist of 1 or more committee (faculty) members and other senior students. You should present at a level of detail that all audience members can understand. Even though the faculty members may be experts in a particular topic, do not assume they have background on your topic. In other words, you may assume the all the audience has the background/knowledge of average senior students.
You must attend your allocated session from the start to end. If you need to leave a certain time let a committee member know at the start of the session. While others are presenting, you must be quiet: show your fellow students respect by listening to their presentation. Excessive talking, using phones/computers, arriving late or leaving the room too often may be penalised.
You should dress in a professional manner for presentation sessions.
Presentations may be evaluated by one or more committee members and/or other students. Evaluation forms typically ask about:
- Is the quality of the technical content good? E.g. accurate information is presented
- Is the level of detail cover appropriate? E.g. audience learns a lot about the topic without needing much background
- Is the amount of content presented sufficient ? E.g. the work presented is appropriate for the amount time that has been available for the group of senior students
- Are the speakers well-spoken, clear and confident? E.g. they are easy to understand
- Was the contents and organisation of the presentation well-prepared? E.g. smooth flow of presentation, no confusion from presenters
- Were supporting materials well-designed? E.g. slides are clear with easy to view colours, pictures and text; demo was easy to follow
- Was the presentation interesting? E.g. the speakers spoke and presented in a way that captured the audience's attention
- Was the presentation within the time limits?
- Did the presented dress in a professional manner?