Many capstone projects culminate with a presentation. Let’s face it, not everyone is comfortable standing up in front of the room to present to classmates and peers. However, it’s an important life skill we all need.
Here are some tips to ease the pain and help students build professional presentation building skills for life.
Reflect on presentation material.
Are your students taking time to document, reflect and understand the processes they used to construct their presentation? Documenting the process and reflecting on the project can help students prepare the script or talking points. And when student go back through the project, teachers gain insights into the process and progress.
Here are some reflection questions to help your students organize their thoughts, ponder what they learned and how to present their findings.
- What inspired the presentation idea?
- What prior knowledge did you have of the presentation material before you started?
- What part of the project came most easily to you?
- What part of the project are you most proud of?
- What area was the most challenging? How did you tackle those challenges? Would you have approached those challenges differently if you were to do it over again?
- What area do you think you grew the most?
- What does the audience need to know about the process of your project that they might not have already known?
- What artifacts (pictures, videos, audio files, etc.) will be needed to support the main idea?
Use powerful and effective presentation tools.
What tools are students using to communicate their ideas? How can students use several different tools to share their work and ideas that will last beyond presentation day?
We recommend these.
- All your work in one place. Create, publish and present all from the same tool, such as bulb Digital Portfolios, in a sleek, integrated way. Not only will this alleviate stress for you and your students, who are trying to tie up many loose ends at the end of the year, but parents will thank you for the permanence of their students’ work. Have your students try a digital portfolio tool, like bulb.
- Web Apps means no technical issues. Need to get through 30 presentations in one day? Don’t do the USB/cable/projector dance. Present from the same platform on any device. The only requirement is having access to the internet. When your presentation is built in bulb, it’s available from anywhere. Simply access it using your secure log-in and password.
- Use images. Images say a 1,000 words, right? Combined with text, images are powerful and can convey a lot of emotion and provide context. Images can be created by the student or sourced online, but make sure your students are honoring copyright law. Pixabay and Unsplash are two free image sites, among many more.
- Video and audio clips to capture a student’s actual voice. A student might find that they communicate more effectively through the spoken word, more so than the written word. Have them record a voice clip on their iPad or phone and upload it to a bulb page.
- Create an infographic. We live in a visual world and our brains tend to love information presented in an organized, graphical and interesting manner. You can create infographics on canva or content interactive using ThingLink.
- Break up dense blocks of text. Be thoughtful about organizing your information and breaking your content into digestible paragraphs. Be intentional about breaking your content into paragraphs. Use headers to categorize information visually. Use bullets and numbers when listing pieces of a whole. Hyperlink when possible and provide more information by giving images and videos captions.
Visual, interactive presentations are just better. We know the one-size-fits-all learning method doesn’t work anymore. Your students can be presenting information in more than one way, whether it means an image, video, audio file or more.
This student documents her process of creating a final art project. She introduces her passion for cars, the object of her piece, to lay a foundation for the project. She builds out the history of car art and how she became interested in them. Then she brings us step by step through her art process — from drafting to adding color and texture, and editing.
This group of students researched, identified and tackled the issue of endangered elephants in Africa by creating a kinetic elephant model and presenting it to the Dallas Zoo. See how the project evolved, from start to finish.
This design student builds out every step of the ideation process behind a brand’s logo. See how she moves through the process herself to create a logo for her own make belief company.
The combination of infographic, images, videos and lists make this page easy and enjoyable to digest.
Watch this video to learn how you can present your work on bulb: