Capstone Presentation Day

We host Presentation Days in December and May. Check the appropriate timeline for dates. In May, seniors will share their Capstones with each other and with the wider University community in concurrent sessions throughout the day. We host an Honors Café for lunch, which adds to the festivities.  Presenting on this day is an Honors requirement.

Many students have questions about presentation day. We’ve tried to answer the most common questions below, but please get in touch with your Honors Capstone Coordinator if you need further details!

How does the schedule work?

You will receive a ‘pre-scheduling’ email from Honors in early April.

You will be asked to look at your academic schedule for presentation day, and submit a form detailing any times in which you CANNOT present, either because you have an academic commitment, class, or perhaps your advisor can’t make it at a certain time. All those are VALID conflicts.  Once we hear back from you about your conflicts, we will build our schedule for the day.

You will be assigned to a room in the Hall of Languages, and a ‘panel time’ (e.g. 9 am – 10 am). Your panel time represents the hour-long slot during which you will present.

Note: We expect you to stay for the whole panel, rather than just showing up for your individual time within the hour.

We will publish the schedule on our website prior to turn-in day, so you will know when you are presenting early on.

Both your advisor and reader will be invited to attend presentation day, and will be provided with a copy of the full schedule, but please invite them yourselves as well; they will be pleased to know you’d like them to attend.

What presentation software can I use?

We welcome the use of PowerPoint as a presentation tool, but if you are looking for some creative options that give you more, some of our favorites are listed below.  All of these options feature cloud-based storage, so there’s no need to send a copy of your presentation to Honors. However, it is always advisable to bring a backup on USB.

Prezi Customizable in-and-out zooming lets you literally hone in on certain ideas, so you can better demonstrate your thought process. This makes it easier for the audience to grasp what you’re trying to convey.

Swipe With Swipe, anything can be a slide and you can present it live to anyone, anywhere, on any device.  Great for presenting shared content from across the social web.

Check out an example here

Projeqt A non-linear, online story engine. Find out what ‘pulse’, ‘stacks’, and ‘cross’ all mean.  Projeqt is a creative storyteller’s dream come true! Pull material from multiple sources and insert it straight into your presentation. From LinkedIn and Facebook to YouTube and Spotify, the possibilities are endless. Even pull live tweets or blog feeds.

Haiku Deck  Haiku deck is built around three ideas: Keep it simple, make it beautiful, and have fun. Mashable calls Haiku the “Instagram of Pitchdecks“.

How long do I present?

Your presentation, which may be in any form appropriate to your discipline, will last 15-20 minutes, plus about 10 minutes for questions, discussion and transition. You will be part of an hour-long panel with another presenter, and you are required to stay for your entire one-hour panel.

Be sure your oral presentation does not exceed the allotted time; our schedule is tight! Time your talk, and practice speaking in front of a mirror. Also: it’s ok to use PowerPoint, but don’t simply read your slides out loud. (Your audience can read just fine!) Instead, talk to us about what you did and why it matters to you. (PowerPoint is best used for images, or data, not text.)

Hint: Don’t try to cram your entire Capstone into 20 minutes! Instead, say to yourself “I have 20 minutes. What can I say that will best present my project in that time frame?”.

When should I arrive?

Arrive 10 minutes before your panel begins.  You will be grouped in a panel that is an hour long. We ask that you make every effort to stay and watch the other students who are in your panel.  It is a good way to support your fellow students in their work, and also makes the day go much more smoothly in terms of transitioning between presentations.

Who is my audience?

You and your fellow students will of course be the audience for one another. We strongly encourage the Capstone Advisor and Honors Reader, and other faculty, to attend; Honors staff are there as well.

Invite friends, families, and anyone else you wish. The rooms are large so there is space for everyone. Some audience members will want to come just for an individual presentation but cannot stay for others, and they are welcome to do so, although you’ll stay for your entire panel.

What equipment is available in the classrooms?

Each of these rooms has standard audio/visual equipment and you are free to use any of it: a DVD player, a document camera (which displays the actual object on a screen), and a computer (with Windows, including PowerPoint software).

Can I rehearse my presentation?

Sure. Contact Kate, Naomi, Karen, or Blythe and we’ll be happy to work with you. Just send us an email and we’ll set that up.

Can I just bring my MacBook and plug it in?

It’s not that simple. First, it takes time to do that, and we are on a very tight schedule. Second: each new Mac comes with its own cable, some of them need special adapters on our end, and there are often compatibility issues. So we need you to submit your material on a CD or DVD that a PC can read. If that’s just not possible, work with Blythe Scherrer ( in Honors to find a possible solution. We will have a room or two with a MacBook, and we’ll work something out.