The presentation or viva

Josh Smith blog entry

Our final coverage of project/dissertation work ends with the presentation or viva.

This will be the final part of your project/dissertation and the last opportunity to gain vital marks towards the module.

You will most likely have a time limit for the presentation so ensure that you run through it a few times in front of your peers, friends or family to make sure you have the timing right – this practise can also be used to gain comment from format, clarity and style.

Consider your room, time of day, resources and audience before producing the presentation. Can the audience see your slides from the seats they will be sat in? Does the lighting inside and outside the room affect the projector? Is your voice projection adequate for all to hear at an appropriate level?

Upon constructing your presentation you need to make sure of the following:

  • Is the template and font style professional and clear
  • Introduce yourself, why you are here and what you are going to be presenting
  • The slides aren’t text heavy but that the text used is clear to see. Keep it short and concise –you can elaborate on the key points yourself
  • Clear images and diagrams are used and aren’t affected by being projected to a larger size
  • That you understand every element of each piece of information that you include
  • Clear and concisely titled slides to make it easy to follow
  • Conclude the presentation and your project – ask for any questions

Be prepared for questions that probe your knowledge and understanding – take your time to compose your answer and ask for the question again if you do not understand it.  Be confident in answering – it’s your project – you should know it!

Eye contact and voice projection and appropriate pace are key to a good presentation, look at each member of your audience but don’t stare – don’t rely on slides to read from.

You can use props/hand-outs/visual aids to assist your presentation, this could include the slides themselves printed, more important parts on larger paper, physical parts and models.

Ensure your presentation clearly explains the purpose of your project, clear statement of aims and objectives. Highlight main points throughout.

Include critical analysis, methods, results and discussion

Was it a success? Reflecting on the project, are there any future uses for the project or additional ideas. How would you go about it differently or extend the project?

Wear a suit or dress smartly!

These tips should see you through your presentation and give you the best chance to achieve the best grade possible.

Remember to check your assessment criteria to make sure you hit each point…..Good Luck!