Wow! I can’t believe it’s presentation week already! I keep thinking about how long we’ve all worked on this amazing project, and now it will finally be able to start (once the winners are announced). Our forty minutes to present is hardly enough time to explain our months’ worth of work and effort, but of course the presentation can’t go on indefinitely. I hope my group can convey our enthusiam and in depth work to the judges as we feel ourselves (we definitely feel the toil of the work, but it really has started to pay off).
[The rest of this blog entry may sound out of place as I wrote the following after my group’s presentation.]
To prepare for the DAP final presentation, I reviewed all the notes and research I conducted over the 5 month duration of the project to refresh my knowledge of what I would be speaking about–the electrical and solar system and appliances and the propane system. This included information about the solar panels and battery bank; Ventura’s power consumption, the appliances such as the vent fan and lighting (LED bulbs and bar lights and their eco-friendly aspects), and the parts of the propane system, as well as referencing the beautiful diagrams Annalise had drawn to accompany the presentation. I specifically worked on drafting my oral presentation and the green materials information (pricing, vendor, and pictures) to go on the presentation board and to serve as the presentation powerpoint–this was definitely the most time consuming part of the preparation, as it took a bit of new research to supply as many pictures as possible, as well as going back through the budget and green materials document to collect the products and their sources. I also helped cut out backing paper and glue down the green materials slides onto the tri-fold. I also spent all four and a half hours that my group met up last sunday cutting out and gluing together a 3D physical model of the trailer out of cardboard. Using an exacto-knife for that long can really make you sore! But it was worth it. Although it was a bit rough around the edges, I still liked my idea of cutting flaps for the jalousie windows. And Libertad did a brilliant job of painting the model–you won’t be able to see this but she also glued down gold ribbon around the edges to serve as the metal trimming!
To prepare for my individual oral presentation, I constantly edited and cut down my “script” to a duration of less than 7 minutes so our presentation wouldn’t go over our allotted time of 45 minutes including setup and time for questions from the judges. I then wrote out the topics I was discussing on notecards for reference during our presentation. For the two days before and the morning of the presentation, I practiced giving my part, and nearly memorized it. This was a minute problem as I didn’t want to sound automatic and robotic; I needed to sound relaxed and conversational.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t worried or too nervous going into the presentation. I kept in mind that it would make us look more confident if we weren’t visibly nervous or tense, and that it was only 45 minutes of our life and would be over before we knew it. I felt really confident about my ability to explain my knowledge of the topics I explained and researched, but I was a little worried about my ability to enunciate and clearly communicate my ideas–I was worried I would stutter and stumble over my words, or take up a lot of presentation time.
Some things I should remember about oral presentations are that it’s important (as I said earlier) to enunciate (say the words clearly), to be loud enough, and to speak slow enough for comprehension of the audience. I practiced my speech out loud a lot, so this helped me feel more confident going into the presentation.
Here are some pictures of Trendy Trailer’s presentation board, and my practice notecards (sorry for the low quality!)