Getting Ready for Capstone Project Presentation Day

by janetkayfetz

Tomorrow is a big day for the 43 Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Computer Engineering seniors in UCSB’s College of Engineering “Senior Capstone Design in Engineering” class. The nine project groups will present their amazing senior projects at an all-day industry-sponsored event — the culmination of 5 months of creative, collaborative work with their group members, professors, and industry mentors.

I have been working closely with Computer Science Professor Tim Sherwood, helping the groups get ready for presentation day.

What presentation ideas have Tim and I been focusing on to help the groups prepare for their presentations? Here are a few of the important things we have been talking about, along with some photos of our preparation and practice sessions:

1. The project story, including the three essential components of the talk: First, the industry problem the group is addressing; second, the nitty-gritty technical details of the project development and execution; and third, the hands on, real-time demonstration of the project itself.

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2. The organization of the components of the talk: How long should each section be and who will present which part(s)? All members of the group present at least one portion of the 20 minute talk.

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3. The visuals and the project poster.

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4. Important aspects of delivery: Self-introductions; connection with the audience; volume; fluency; confidence; interaction with other group members; what to do if you cannot remember what to say; how to field audience questions after the talk and how to give clear, direct responses.

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