Evolution of Technology (TEC 154 2014S) : Assignments

Notes on Presentations

These notes address various aspects of your presentaiton.


The length of the presentation is ten minutes. You will need to stay focused on your thesis.

A short (five minute) question/answer session will follow the presentation.

Visual aids are approrpriate, and will usually take the form of a slide deck using some presentation software (LibreOffice, Powerpoint, Google Docs, Prezi, etc.). Remember, these are visual aids which should complement what you plan to say.

You should plan to use the classroom computer/projector for your presentation. Make sure to test the computer and projector before you prsent. You will find it easiest to store your slides on a flash drive or on the Interweb (e.g., using Google docs).

Each member of your team should speak. (Depending on how you split up the presentation, one member may have a longer speaking time than the others, which is okay with me.)

While I may invite others to attend your presentation (and you may also invite guests), the intended audience for the presentation consists of the members of this class. You should assume the audience is familiar with the material covered in the course, but not your specific topic.

Your presentation should address history, benefits, and drawbacks of the technology.


Your colleagues and I will use the following rubric to evaluate your presentation.

Content -- Does the presentation have a clear thesis? Are the history, benefits, and drawbacks of the technology discussed in ways that address the thesis?

Organization/Structure -- Is the presentation well organized? Is the structure easy to follow? Are the transitions between topics and between speakers smooth? Is the overall structure of the presentation clear to audience members?

Delivery -- Do all team members speak? Is the presentation well prepared? Do the members speak confidently? Do presenters make eye contact with the audience members? Are questions asked by the audience answered well?

Visual Aids -- Do the slides complement the oral presentation? Do the slides enhance the presentation or distract audience members? Is the text/font easy to read?


Here are some further suggestions for preparing and delivering your presentation:

I strongly recommend that a single person presents a contiguous chunk of the presentation. In other words, Person A should not talk for one slide, then go to Person B, then go back to person A.

You (each individual speaker) should prepare the slides for your own section of the presentation so that they complement what you are planning to say. You may also find it helpful to outline what you plan to say before you make slides. Of course, you should revise your slides based on feedback from other members of your team.

The first speaker usually introduces the entire set of presenters at the beginning of the presentation.

Practice. It will be clear to the audience if your group has rehearsed the presentation. Practice the presentation within your team, practice it with your friends, practice it to a wall. You should also practice to make sure your presentation is the appropriate length. Practice your presentation with your slides.

In general, people tend to speak more quickly in front of an audience, so keep that in mind when you determine the overall timing of your presentation.

Have fun and relax while you are speaking.


Much of this document is based on Janet Davis's instructions from a previous semester.

Davis, J. (2007). TEC 154 2007: Research Project. Online resource available at http://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~davisjan/tec/154/2007S/project.html (last modified 4 May 2007; visited 30 March 2014).

Copyright (c) 2014 Samuel A. Rebelsky.

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