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Creating an Effective Board Presentation. Mercer Science and Engineering Club 3 Creek Rim Drive Titusville , NJ 08560. Overview. The starting point: good research Why is the presentation important What needs to be included Laying out the board Choosing fonts and figures

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Creating an Effective Board Presentation

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Creating an effective board presentation l.jpg

Creating an Effective Board Presentation

Mercer Science and Engineering Club

3 Creek Rim Drive

Titusville , NJ 08560

www.mercersec.org


Overview l.jpg

Overview

  • The starting point: good research

  • Why is the presentation important

  • What needs to be included

  • Laying out the board

  • Choosing fonts and figures

  • Simplify, simplify, simplify

  • Construction Tips

KISS (Keep it simple, stupid)

www.mercersec.org


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Good Research: It’s a start

  • You can’t hide bad research with a fancy presentation

  • Good research does not sell itself

  • Not all details are equally important

  • You will know what should be presented. It is simply a matter of how.

  • A research paper and research documents complement a presentation

www.mercersec.org


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Why The Presentation Is Important

  • It helps sell your project and results

  • Elementary and Junior Division

    • Entries are judged exclusively on the presentation

  • Senior Division

    • Judging includes both the presentation and an oral defense

    • The presentation is the backdrop for the oral defense

www.mercersec.org


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Presentation Components I

  • Required

    • Board

    • Abstract (can be on its own stand)

  • Recommended

    • Research paper

    • Research documents

    • Detailed results

    • Abstract handouts

www.mercersec.org


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Presentation Components II

  • Optional

    • Audio/video presentation if it augments the static, board presentation

    • Project artifacts if useful for oral presentation (senior division)

    • Artifacts built by student (photos recommended)

  • Not Recommended

    • Project artifacts not used for oral presentation

    • Tools used for experimentation

www.mercersec.org


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What The Presentation Does

  • Attracts attention to the project

  • Provides the initial introduction to viewers of the project (i.e. judges)

  • Provides organized overview of the project

  • Visual aid when describing a project

  • Helps students organize their thoughts when describing their project to judges

  • A picture is worth a thousand words

www.mercersec.org


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Target Your Audience

  • Decide who is the target audience

    • Judges, teachers, parents, students

  • Design presentation to use terms familiar to the target audience

  • Explain unfamiliar terms or procedures

  • Use drawings and explanations that target the audience’s level of understanding

www.mercersec.org


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Presentation Tells A Story

  • The board should speak for itself

  • Photos and drawings should enhance the story, not the way the presentation looks

  • The sequence of the story should be obvious

www.mercersec.org


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What needs to be included on the board

  • Title

  • Problem

  • Hypothesis

  • Materials

  • Methods

  • Data

  • Analysis

  • Conclusion

  • Abstract (may be free standing)

  • Recommended items

    • Benefits

  • Optional items

    • Future plans

    • Photograph acknowledgements

Photograph taken by …

www.mercersec.org


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What NOT to include on the board

  • Your name

  • Name or logo of school or affiliation

  • Sponsors

  • Photos of identifiable people

    • Remember, it is the experiment that is important

    • Caveat:photos relevant to the experiment can be included

www.mercersec.org


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More on Photos

  • Photos of researcher can be included only if they are showing something relevant to the research that could not be shown otherwise

  • No photos showing identifiable people

  • Any photographs showing identifiable people, other than the student investigator(s), must have a signed release form

  • No photographs of body parts or tissue, except those allowed by ISEF rules

www.mercersec.org


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Laying out the board

Model it first. It’s easier

Project Title

Problem

Data

Photos

Analysis

Hypothesis

Methods

Materials

Conclusion

www.mercersec.org


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Where The Eye Goes

Decide what, when and where a viewer should look

Project Title

Title 1st

Problem 2nd

Data 3rd

Analysis 4th

Problem

Data

Photo

Analysis

Hypothesis

Methods

Materials

Conclusion

www.mercersec.org


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Choosing fonts and figures

  • Dont’s

    • MiXiNg Ffhts IS nftagsod Idea

    • Too manycolorsarebad

  • Do’s

    • Fonts tips

    • Figures and Photos

    • Constructing a complex page

www.mercersec.org


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Font Tips I

  • Use as few fonts as necessary

  • San serif fonts like Arial work best on presentations

  • Use serif fonts in research paper

  • Use fonts like Cooper for titles

  • Look for free fonts on Internet (www.1001freefonts.com)

  • NEVER USE ALL CAPS

    • It is hard to read

    • Use Bold, Italic or Color instead

www.mercersec.org


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Font Tips II

  • Use same font and color for similar uses such as explanations of the Problem or Conclusion

  • Choosing font size

    • Must be readable from at least 3 feet away

    • Size should be related to surrounding text

    • Size should indicate the text’s importance

    • Titles should not giant while explanations are microscopic

www.mercersec.org


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Figures and Photos

  • Should be viewable from at least 3 feet away

  • Figures should be as simple as possible

    • Use thick, not thin lines

    • Use colors judiciously

    • Use legends when necessary

  • Scan and print photos

    • Allows captions and acknowledgements to be included on same piece of paper

    • Annotations like arrows can be added

www.mercersec.org


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Taking Photos

  • Take lots of photos of the same thing

    • Choose the best

    • Different angles can eliminate glare and highlight aspects of the project

    • Try close ups, multiple items in photo

    • Where does the photo fit in the story

  • Scan and edit photos

    • Crop: allows larger images, eliminates extraneous details

    • Print and try adjustments: a printed image looks different from it viewed on a display

  • Digital cameras: Always use highest resolution

www.mercersec.org


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Constructing A Page

  • KISS – use a single page of paper for each item if possible

  • Generate pages using a word processor, presentation or drawing program

  • Use color printer to add borders and background

  • Don’t forget to try landscape page orientation

www.mercersec.org


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Simplify, simplify, simplify

  • KISS – Less is better. Clutter is bad.

  • Eliminate redundant or unimportant information

  • Keep titles and sentences short and concise

  • Only show figures or photos that help explain key points

  • Leaves more space for other information

www.mercersec.org


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Construction Tips I

  • KISS

  • Double sided tape for mounting paper/photos

  • Always use a paper cutter

  • Borders

    • Print borders on paper

    • Use a matte or colored paper to back paper

  • Colored board background

    • Highlights items placed on board

    • Buy colored background

    • Spray paint

www.mercersec.org


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Construction Tips II

  • Maximize white background on paper

    • Minimizes print time and cost

    • Simplifies combining multiple pages

  • Use photo matte or glossy paper

    • Thicker paper, nothing shows through

    • Works well with double sided tape

    • Best for photos and figures

  • Use same type of paper throughout presentation. Differences stand out.

www.mercersec.org


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Gotch ya’s

  • Always use a spell checker

  • Use a grammar checker

  • Read the rules !!!

  • Catch errors early: get multiple critiques from the initial layout design to the final product

  • Remember the ISEF abstract

www.mercersec.org


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Video Presentations

  • The board should not require the video presentation

  • Do not duplicate board contents in presentation

  • Video presentation should show something that is more easily explained using a movie or animation versus a figure or photo

  • Do not include video presentation if it is unnecessary

  • Keep video presentation simple and short

  • Video presentation should run automatically

www.mercersec.org


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More Suggestions

  • Peer review

    • Have students critique boards for extra credit

    • Rate boards on how well they explain a project

    • Use simplified judging forms

  • Involve other teachers

    • Make them aware of the projects and goals for improving the student’s presentation skills

    • English: effective text descriptions

    • Math and science: methods of presenting data

    • Computer: use of tools to create complex pages

www.mercersec.org


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Summary

  • Good research means good artifacts (results)

  • Presentation is important because it is selling your project and its results

  • Include all relevant information

  • Board layout catches the eye and explains the details

  • Text and figures must be readable from a distance

  • Remember KISS but complexity is relative

www.mercersec.org


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