Last Minute Tips
Re-read the RfP and make sure that your designs are hitting the minimum requirements. This is essential to keep your design concentrated on the key requirements that you have to hit.
This makes it so much easier for the judges to ask questions afterwards.
This allows the judges to see that you have tackled all the points of the RfP.
Make sure that the information you are trying to get across is presented in a format that is easy for the judges to understand. We are far more likely to be impressed by an idea that is presented in a way that we can understand, rather than something hidden within a wall of text!
Remember that if you don’t add dimensions, we don’t know if we are looking at something the size of an ant or a blue whale! We need to know the sizes of the things we are looking at in order to judge them.
Putting dimensions in using text boxes allows them to be more legible than hand drawn dimensions, which is again an essential for the judges.
If you put in so much infomation that it has to be crammed so small that we can’t actually read it, you might as well have put none of the information at all! Make sure that you use a sensible (and preferably uniform) font size throughout your presentation.
Remember that pencil does not show up very clearly on images, and so hand drawings should be given an ink outline so that we can properly see all the amazing work you have put in to make them.
Whether you made a diagram yourselves, or you got it off the internet, we would like to know where it came from. The same is true for information that you may have researched during the competition. This allows us to fact check those sources that you have used, and most importantly to congratulate students who have clearly played a key role in creating some of the wonderful diagrams that we always see in your presentations!
This may sound like intentionally reducing the amount of time you have available to work on your presentation, but it is absolutely essential if you are to have a persuasive final presentation. It allows you to work out the time that you have available, and where you need to speed up. It also gives everyone who chooses to freestyle their presentation a chance to work out what they are intending to say, making everything smoother for the final presentation.
A must have at online competitions, as you never know when someone’s internet may decide to kick the bucket! You do not want to be losing time or seeming unprofessional as you scramble around trying to find someone to cover their slide.
This even holds for in person competitions, as individuals may end up being too tired, or feeling unwell on the day of the competition.
A uniform way of indicating to your presenter that it is time to change slides is a true sign of professionalism and it only takes a couple of minutes to decide. Bonus points if you are able to make this a non-verbal cue.
We all know that the presentation is going to be time-pressured. You are trying to condense many hours of work into only a few minutes! Minimising the number of time consuming handovers between speakers is a good way to gain back a few precious seconds and allow yourself more time to impress the judges with your ideas instead.
Whilst some people may trust their ability to freestyle, it’s a sure-fire way to miss out key bits of information that you want to get across to the judges, especially when functioning on less sleep than you’d have liked to have. It is recommended that you at least note down the key topics that you want to bring up as a set of speaker’s notes, as this allows you to be confident that you have presented all the key details to the judges.
You may wish to write a script for yourself if you get time, as this will allow you to refine your wording and fit as much detail into the short period of time you will have to present each slide. However, remember that a good presenter will be looking up at their audience regularly, and not just reading from a script. Eye contact is important and over-reliance on notes or a script can distract from your actual message. If you need to make a correction or amendment, an overly rigid script can make it hard to extemporise.