Presentation Guidelines

Unit Co-ordinator: Dr Yash Shrivastava


You are encouraged to read the article 'Your paper has been accepted!' [6].

You are also encouraged to look at the slide format for an example IEEE conference (the International Microwave Symposium). At this conference, speakers have 20 minutes; you have 9 minutes!
IMS08_Slide_Guidelines_RC1.ppt [7] or IMS09_Slide_Guidelines_RC2.ppt.

The project presentation is a seminar and an optional demonstration. The seminar itself is a presentation of key points, diagrams, graphs, photographs and conclusions of your project. In general, your presentation should cover:

  1. what the problem is and why it is important,
  2. what other people have done before you,
  3. what you did,
  4. what were the results of what you did, and
  5. your conclusions and suggestions for further work.

With five sub-topics to speak on in 9 minutes, that gives you less than 2 minutes per item. So, you must be crisp and concise. Indeed, a good presenter is able to get straight to what is important about an engineering problem, which is often different from how you spent your time while researching the topic. You might also realise that much technical detail follows obviously from an exposition of a few key concepts, and so is unnecessary. You are also warned against having a demonstration within your seminar. Most concepts can be conveyed by a few photographs and screen shots, whereas demonstrations usually have a habit of not working properly. The allocated time will be strictly adhered to.

Although the demonstration is optional, in some cases it can improve the overall presentation of many projects. You should consult your supervisor regarding the necessity of a demonstration in addition to your seminar presentation. However, your seminar must be complete in itself. The assessment is based on your demonstrated presentation skills and your understanding of the material, independent of any demonstration.

Groupwork needs to be clearly identified and your contribution to the group clarified. Your presentation must NOT rely upon a previous group-member's presentation for understanding.

For your seminar, you will be allocated a 12-minute time slot (1 minute of set-up, 9 minutes of talk and 2 minutes of questions) at the end of the semester.

Most students dress up as if they are going to a job interview and have very-pretty PowerPoint slides. However, we are not only trying to assess your general oral presentation skills, but more importantly your ability to verbally present the technical details, achievements and outcomes of your particular project. So, wearing a tie, using good English, having colourful overhead slides and talking generally about your topic area, are not enough. You must analytically discuss and present your particular project, detailing the five areas above and emphasising what YOU did. A common reason for being marked down, despite talking well about the topic, is not clarifying what you did (assuming you did something).

A final point is equipment failure. This is rare but not unexpected. You are to take this in your stride and carry on---the true test of a good speaker.