Oral Presentation Tips

Here are some tips and suggestions for FYP and FYT presentations.

  • Every FYP or FYT student must speak during presentations, and his/her performance will affect both his/her personal grade and the group's grade, so FYP groups with 2-4 members should try to plan the presentation so that every member speaks around the same amount of time and speaks about areas of the project that he/she worked on and/or is confident about.
  • In April, check the FYP presentation schedule or the FYT presentation schedule.
  • Practice several times beforehand, making sure every group member speaks loudly, clearly and confidently.
  • If you take too much time to give your presentation, your advisor may simply ask you to stop before you get to the end, so time yourself when you practice and cut out the least important parts if necessary.
  • Encourage your audience to ask you questions at any time; pause every few minutes and ask, "Any questions?"
  • At the very beginning, make sure your audience clearly understands the goal of your project; if they have to ask, then you have not communicated well.
  • If you did something difficult, be sure to mention it.
  • If you did something creative, be sure to illustrate it.
  • If you have 100 things you could say, pick the most important and/or interesting 10 or 20 and organize them logically.
  • Demonstrate important functions with a live demo or a pre-recorded demo video, whichever is more practical for your time and space limitations.
  • If you record a demo video, make it realistic and interesting and use some humor, if appropriate; if practical, upload it to YouTube.
  • If you need to use the PC in the room you will use for your presentation, be sure to test your software and/or demo on it beforehand. It's very embarrassing if you have to say, "But it worked on another PC! Really!"
  • If you need to connect your notebook PC to the overhead projector, bring your own video cable.
  • If it is practical, run your PowerPoint, software and/or demo from a web server, so they will most likely work on any PC with Internet access.
  • Avoid boring your audience. If you're bored giving the presentation, the audience will be bored watching it.
  • Look professional. (Guys - comb your hair, wear your tie correctly, tuck in your shirt, button your shirt collar buttons.)
  • Presentations are open to anyone to watch, so don't be surprised if your audience has 10 or more people.
  • Invite your parents! This may be the climax your education at HKUST, and they are probably very proud of you.
  • You should be prepared to answer around 5-10 questions from your advisor and the second reader, so decide in advance who will answer which questions.
  • Some FYP advisors have special expectations for the FYP presentation. You can ask yours directly.

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