CSCI 3327 Presentation Guidelines


As stated in the course syllabus/classes/os/syllabus/, a paper together with a presentation will account for 10% of your course grade. The paper will comprise 6% of your grade while the presentation will account for the remaining 4%. These instructions apply to the presentation.


Presentations should last 12 minutes (give or take 1 minute) and will be followed by a short time of questions and answers. The presentation grading sheet to be used by the instructor is attached to this handout. A brief explanation of each of the categories is given below:

Appearance and Persona
The presenter should be dressed in a ``professional'' manner (jeans, t-shirts, and flip-flops are not appropriate). The term ``persona'' here refers to the impression that you leave with an audience. Poor grammar, unclear diction, and distracting mannerisms are examples of the kinds of ``things'' that would negatively affect this portion of the grade.
Knowledge of Subject
There's not much explain here.
Presentation Materials
You will be expected to produce presentation materials that effectively communicate your topic. This may include printed handouts, the use of presentation software, or diagrams written by hand on the board. None of these elements is required. If your presentation involves the use of equipment it is your responsibility to test and familiarize yourself with said equipment prior to your presentation.
Organization of Presentation
For this portion of the grade I will be concerned with some of the following issues:
  • did the presenter provide necessary context?
  • is there a tangible outline in effect or does the presenter appear to be distributing random facts
Staying Within Time Limit
Your presentation should last 12 minutes. There will be a one minute ``grace period'' on either side of the 12 minutes so that presentations in the 11-13 minute range will not be penalized.
Overall Communication
The ultimate goal of a presentation is to effectively communicate the topic at hand. This portion of the grade is a fairly subjective rating of how well you accomplished that goal.

Common Pitfalls

Presentation Materials
In years of requiring presentations I have never seen a good presentation that did not make use of some materials. The best presentations have been ones that make use of multiple types of materials. Some students read ``none of these elements is required'' and mistakenly assume that having presentations materials is only for people of like to do extra work. I don't require any particular materials because the kinds of materials used can depend on the speaker's individual style. Don't expect many points for your presentation materials if you don't have any. In theory, you can get full credit and not have any if you have carefully handled numerous other factors to ensure complete and effective transfer of information without them, but that would be unprecedented.

Practice your presentation and time it. Have a visible time-keeping device during the presentation so you know if you are on track or not. Would be good to make a note in your outline of where you consider the halfway point to be so you can adjust as needed.

Reading a Presentation
Reading a presentation is not particularly good but is better than ``winging'' a presentation. Even better is knowing the material well enough that you can talk, look at your audience, and engage them without constantly referring to your notes. I recommend working from an outline rather than typing word-for-word what you want to convey.


Your presentation will be evaluated using this rubric. See descriptions of each category above.

Presenter :   Stop Time   :  
      Start Time   :  
Project/Title :   Total Time   :  

  5 pts Appearance & Persona
  10 pts Knowledge of Subject
  10 pts Presentation Materials
  5 pts Organization of Presentation
  5 pts Time Management
  5 pts Overall Communication
  40 pts Total

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