Project Proposal Presentations

Due: Either Tues, Feb 26th or Thurs, Feb 28th depending on team (see below).

Note: everyone should bring their laptops to class (always) but especially Tues, Feb 26th and Thurs, Feb 28th. Don't forget your laptops! If you don't have a laptop, we will have the laptop cart so you can simply check one out during the class period.

Assignment Overview

In this assignment, you and your teammates will present your project idea and plan to the class in six minutes followed by two minutes of questions. We will be timing the presentations and will cut you off if you go over so you must rehearse beforehand. Note: you cannot and should not use Prezi. Trust me, it takes extreme discipline to use this tool correctly and most of you do not have enough speaking experience to do so. With Prezi, you will spend far too long on senseless animations that will only confuse your audience and take them awayfrom your message--exactly the opposite of what you want from a good talk. I ban Prezi for your own good. Oh, and don't use clip-art either. :)

Given the large size of the class this year, we unfortunately cannot fit all presentations into a single lecture. Thus, I've randomly split them up into two class sessions. We will follow the numbered order below for the presentations in class. Please post your presentations to your Wiki team project space by 10AM on the due date (so I have time to download them and place them on my laptop before class).

Tuesday, February 26th Presentations

Feedback survey link here.
  1. Using Mobile Technology to Remove Stress from Commuting
  2. Making Healthy Eating Easier With Maps
  3. Dining for the Deaf
  4. Pay it Forward UMD
  5. Learn to Speak Doctor: Translating Your Medical Tests into Results
  6. Protecting Activists with Automatic Face-Blurring Video Capture

Thursday, February 28th Presentations

Feedback survey link here.
  1. Using Smartphones to Increase Condom Use
  2. Choosing Healthier Food Options in the Supermarket
  3. Energy Conservation Home Monitoring Team
  4. Helping Shoppers Make Smarter Decisions
  5. Air Quality and UV Index Awareness Team
  6. Increasing K-12 Information Retention through Spaced Repetition

Talk Breakdown

The talks will be six minute presentations plus two minutes Q/A. You must use my laptop to mitigate transaction costs between switching teams (e.g., hooking up various laptops to the projection system which will inevitably fail; see law). We will be video recording both days and will privately post the videos for your own viewing (to help improve your presentation style for future talks).

Each presentation must include:
  1. A title with tagline
  2. Problem motivation
  3. Problem description
  4. A short review of past solutions to problem
  5. Your proposed solution and what makes it unique
  6. Your target users and how they will benefit from your specific solution
  7. A proposed method (or methods) of learning more about your users

Talk Grading Rubric

We will be using a sheet very similar to this for our grading [link].


You will be performing reviews as a way to learn from your peers. Please be polite and respectful in your critiques. Malicious, nonconstructive comments will NOT be tolerated. We are all in this together. Let's support each other towards the goal of making our projects the best they can possibly be. Also, please note that you should fill out feedback for your own team.

Talk Examples

Here are two examples from past classes that were engaging, told an appropriate and convincing story, and followed the instructions appropriately for the assignment (at least in 2012). Note: you cannot really get a full sense of a talk simply by viewing the slides (though the slides can, alone, show off primary points, the structure of the talk, speakers attention to detail, aesthetics, etc.). So, you cannot necessarily emulate these presentations exactly without knowing what the speakers did and how they did it. When I'm preparing for a talk, I like to remind myself that one can give an amazing talk without slides but the opposite is not true (i.e., I've seen plenty of bad talks with amazing looking slides).
  1. Example One: Our SafePath friends.
  2. Example Two: Alliance (their slides made the class dizzy and the animation disrupts the flow of the talk--despite these two things, however, this team made a very thought-provoking and compelling presentation).

Also, I suggest that you take a look at the slides of some of my talks to get a sense of what I aim for in my own presentations:

If you download the PPTX (PowerPoint) files, you will need Segoe Condensed, Segoe UI Light, and Segoe UI Semibold fonts. You may also need Helvetica and variants (e.g., HelveticaNeueLT Com 25 UltLt).