Resources:Presentation resources

From Projects
Jump to: navigation, search


This contains resources to assist with the development and delivery of project presentations. Specifications for the project presentations, deadlines and assessment information are in the Course Information folder on MyUni.

  • Seminar Template.pptx


Supervisors have seen a lot of good, bad and ordinary seminars down the years. There are things we expect to see, and others that annoy us every time. We have started a list of suggested do's and don't below. We encourage other supervisors to add their own points, or their own perspectives to the points we have raised.

General Seminar Tips

  • Put your names and the names of your supervisors on the title slide. [BJP]
  • Include the project group number and seminar date. [HGC]
  • Introduce yourself at the start of the seminar. "My name is John and these are my team members Bruce and Wendy." [BJP]
  • In the footer, include the slide number and the number of slides e.g. "Slide 3 of 15" or just "3/15". [BJP]
  • Make sure your explain the title of your seminar. It sounds crazy but I have seen seminars called something like "Fitting Jostonian hypercurves to capacitive flux density" that never mentioned Jostonian curves or explained their relationship to capacitive flux density. [BJP]
  • Do read the assessment rubrics and make sure you cover all the points - with relevant discussion.
  • Don't make up crazy pointless stuff just to address a rubric point.
    • For example, if your project does not need to spend any of the budget, don't dwell on the budget. "The project has a budget of $500 but the software tools we need to perform our simulations are all open source. Hence we do not expect any expenses." Done. Move on. [BJP]
  • It may be a cliché but pictures do tell a lot of words. In your slides, consider including photos of the equipment and apparatus you will use. Use flow diagrams, even simple ones with arrows connecting images of people doing things, to explain the steps in a process. [BJP]
  • Structure your seminar so that it walks the audience through a story, step by step. This does not necessarily mean you need to go slowly but it does mean you should be careful not to skip critical steps. If you miss a step you will loose your audience and they won'r catch up. We see this too often. [BJP]
  • Support your argument, and demonstrate that you have researched your topic thoroughly, by including references to high quality publications. My preference is to place the references in small text as footnotes at the bottom of slides. There should be a reference for every claim. For example:
   The number of people with vision impairment in Antarctica has doubled over the last decade[1].
   Hence in this project we propose...
   [1] Richard Coldy, "Sight in the Ice," Journal of Antarctic Medicine, Vol. 54, No. 7, July 2012.
I find this more useful (and convincing) than a bibliography slide at the end to which you say "And we read lots of good stuff. Here it all is." [BJP]
  • Rehearse your seminar: you have a limited time allowed for your talk, and you will be stopped if you run significantly over time. If you train your talk a few times at home, your presentation will be better timed, more fluid and you will be less nervous when you have to present. [TK]
  • Brevity is your friend: While having full sentences can be an easy way to clearly show important statements, it will distract the audience and people will stop listening to you (and read the slides instead). If you want to keep the audience's attention, just put your statements as short, concise bullet points. [TK]
  • Don't read from notes. Never. If you are afraid you might miss some important points, rehearsing your talk will help you. And if you put all the essential statements in bullet form on your slides, you can use that as your guide. [TK]
  • No jumping backwards: you should NEVER jump back to a previous slide. If you need to go back to a previous statement, you can repeat/summarise it on that current slide. If you jump backwards, you signal the audience that you are not prepared well. [TK]

Proposal/Progress Seminar Tips

  • Start with the Aim of the project and end with the desired outcomes and deliverables [HGC]
  • Identify tangible deliverables. Don't say "research flux capacitors - deadline April 30." Say "interim report listing measurement techniques previously applied to flux capacitors - deadline April 30". [BJP]
  • Project management
    • In most cases, project management items do not need to be included in the proposal/progress seminar [HGC]
      • Only projects that have complex/tight/critical timelines/budgets should include their PM process
    • In your project risk assessment, give sensible risks and describe sensible ways to mitigate or manage the risks. Too often I have seen, "Risk: falling behind schedule", "Management Plan: work harder". For this particular example I suggest that one sensible way to deal with schedule slip is to reduce scope. To do that you need to have a prioritised list of deliverables so that it is clear how the scope will be reduced. [BJP]
    • Show who will be doing what and when. [BJP]
    • Don't cut and paste a Gantt chart into your slides. It will be too small. You won't be able to read it. Instead, think about other ways of showing the same information. A time line for each participant may be sufficient. [BJP]


The students who wrote these seminars have all kindly given their permission for them to be used as examples. All of these seminars are very good but none of them are perfect. I challenge you to do better! Note that we have now removed the requirements for project management details, so you need not include them. (Supervsiors, please contribute other examples with permission from the authors.)

  • Final Seminar 1
  • Final Seminar 2