Advanced Presentation Techniques for My Final Year Project Students (Part 2: Make the Final Slide a Powerful Conclusion)

Advanced Technique 2: Make the Final Slide a Powerful Conclusion

I always advocate that the final slide should not be called “Thank You” or “Question and Answer”. In fact, these two slides should not appear in the presentation as they do not present any information about the presentation that you are delivering.

If you want to thank the listeners, you can thank them verbally and sincerely.

If you want to invite the audience to ask questions, just say so.

Leave the final slide as a conclusion to leave a lasting impression of what you want to tell them.

~Flex Tio~

If that is the case, what sort of impression will I leave for the assessors if I were a student you might be asking? I will do this:

  1. Reiterate my contributions (aka summarise)
  2. Relate how my contributions impact my project objectives (aka synthesise)
  3. Resist my urge to provide new information (aka sans as in the Latin word “sans” which means without)

1 and 2 helps remind your assessors to give you marks. Help the assessors recall why you deserve that A, or B. It also helps to influence guide them in asking questions that are relevant to your contributions.

That’s one way to prepare for a Question and Answer session.

3 does exactly the opposite. It encourages the assessors not to ask further questions. This is especially so when you seem to have delivered the perfect presentation so far, only to be thwarted by a new piece of (usually controversial) information delivered at the end that does not gel with the rest of your presentation.

In short, we are trying to create a lasting impression that the assessors can remember well long after the assessment is over. We would like them to say “That student is very capable isn’t it? He/She can do this, this, this and that!”


Advanced Presentation Techniques for My Final Year Project Students (Part 1: Purposeful Chunking)

You can be the most intelligent person in the world. If you can’t communicate what’s in your mind, that wisdom is lost. ~Flex Tio~

This is an advice that I gave to my very first final year project student under me, a brilliant programmer, a hater of presentation.

You know what else is true? Great presentation skills can shift you up by a grade. Terrible presentation skills shifts you down by one. Not all chatty people are great at presentation and not all quiet people are bad at it.

Everyone has it in them to turn their presentation into a great one. These techniques which I’m sharing are not the conventional ones that tells you that you need to organise your presentation into an intro, body and conclusion, focus on eye contact, open up your body language and practice. These are techniques based on how an assessor perceives the quality of your work through your presentation. These are actual techniques you can use for work too.

The One Prerequisite

For these techniques to work, there is only one prerequisite. We need to have produced sufficient work in the first place. No amount of presentation techniques can hide a person’s lack of contribution or lack of know how. However, with some, then there’s something to talk about.

Advanced Technique 1: Purposeful Chunking

Consider the following example:

Before Purposeful Chunking

I’ve done four things for my Final Year Project:

  • Designed a T-Shirt for the Library Community event
  • Designed three posters for the Open House
  • Trained students to use Photoshop to edit pictures for visitors to the Open House
  • Produced a 3D animation video for XYZ Company

After Purposeful Chunking

My contributions for my Final Year Project are:

1. Produced Publicity Material and Delivered a Technical Training to Students for Outreach Effort of the Diploma. This includes the following:

  • Designed a T-Shirt for the Library Community event
  • Designed three posters for the Open House
  • Trained students to use Photoshop to edit pictures for visitors to the Open House

2. Produced a 3D animation video for XYZ Company

Essentially, both content are the same. An additional statement is added to the top of the latter to “purposefully chunk” three different tasks together into one single big task. It should clearly explain your work and link to the objectives of your project.

I used the term “purposeful” to describe the chunking because the main aim in the chunking process is to try to relate all the things you are doing to a central theme, thereby adding more meaning to the small contributions.

Limit your presentation to about 2 to 3 chunks. People seldom remember beyond three points in a presentation and your assessors are human after all. It’s a good way to reduce the number of points you have in a presentation without losing any content too.

In summary, use purposeful chunking when you have many different small and seemingly insignificant things that are unrelated to showcase. The benefits are that:

  1. It makes small separate contributions look and sound big.
  2. It makes the contribution look more meaningful and impactful.
  3. It’s easier for the assessors to remember “that major contribution” and helps you to make a better impression.

Caution: Careful not to oversell such that the group of tasks is not able to match up to the expectation of your chunk.