Oral Presentations main content
Guidelines for CS 481 Oral Presentations
Your oral presentations summarize the work done on your software engineering or research project this quarter.
Ordinarily, every member of your project team delivers part of the presentation. Exceptions to this must be approved in advance of the presentation.
Direct your presentation to the audience consisting of
- Department Faculty (viewed as senior management of the company): Your goal is to present your work done so far at a level of detail that the senior management feels confident in your team's software engineering process and product.
- Client(s): Invite your client(s) to attend. However, inform your client that the content of this presentation is developed for the computer scientist department faculty and not necessarily for clients. Do not feel constrained to limit your content or vocabulary to the understanding of your client.
- CS 481 Students: All CS 481 students are expected to attend all presentations.
- Others: Any other interested students. You are encouraged to invite your friends and spouses as well.
Rehearse your presentation. Determine, well in advance, that a demonstration of your working program is displayable on the projection equipment in Hebeler 121.
- Dress professionally. You will make a better impression and exude more confidence if you look the part of a software engineer.
- Most teams use PowerPoint slides
- Waterfall teams: The midterm presentation does not generally include a demonstration of your prototype or working program
- Agile method teams: The midterm presentation generally includes a demonstration of your team's most recently completed iteration
- Speak to the audience, not to the PowerPoint slide show or screen
- Begin with a strong introduction and remind the audience of the problem being addressed and the scope of your project
- Practice the transitions between team members so that the presentation flows smoothly
- Conclude your presentation with a summary of the main points and a statement of where you are currently at in your project schedule
- Ask the audience for questions at the end of the presentation. Involve all team members in providing answers to the questions
Your grade will be based on both your demonstrated presentation skills and on the contents of your presentation and program demonstration.
- Professional appearance: Team members appear professional.
- PowerPoint slides: The slides are easy to follow, the color scheme chosen projects well in a semi-dark room. Carefully proof-read your slide's spelling and content to ensure that they are error free. The occasional use of visual representation in slides usually helps.
- Audience awareness: Presenter talks to the audience with minimal reading from prepared notes. Avoid turning your back to the audience and speaking to the screen. Avoid speaking to the computer monitor (it is generally recommended that someone other than the speaker be seated at the computer to transition the slide show)
- Clarity and Enthusiasm. The material presented is clear and easy-to-understand. Avoid speaking too fast or too softly. Avoid signaling the transitions between sentences with ums and has. Show enthusiasm for your topic; avoid speaking in a monotonic voice.
- Transitions between speakers. Practice your transitions from one speaker to another so that they go smoothly and the sections's content flows naturally from one to the next.
- Length. Plan your presentation to take 20 minutes plus an additional 5 minutes for questions and answers (total of 25 minutes). Everyone in the group should speak for an approximately equal length of time.
Content of presentation
- Begin your presentation with a strong introduction that clearly explains the real-world problem being addressed. Remember that many in the audience have forgotten the important work you team is undertaking.
- Include details on the your program's design, testing, and implementation. Be as specific to your project as possible.
- Present selected examples of your work to illustrate your process and results.
- Talk in project specific terms using software engineering terms. Avoid explaining generic software engineering concepts as if you were lecturing in a CS 480 classroom.
- End your presentation with a conclusion that explains the current status of your project.
- Spread the answers to questions asked from the audience among all the team members. It is better to acknowledge problems and ways your team plans to deal with them rather than trying to explain away real problem areas identified through the questions.