Presenting Your Thesis
We host Presentation Days in December and May. Participation is mandatory, as presenting your thesis is an Honors requirement.
- In December, our presentation day is for a small group of December graduates, and those are held right in the Honors suite.
- In May, all graduating Honors seniors will share their Thesis projects 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.
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 Thesis Coordinator if you need further details!
- You will receive a 'pre-scheduling' email from Honors in mid-April.
- You will be asked to look at your 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.
- Please keep in mind, the schedule accommodates approximately 150 students, and hundreds of other advisors, readers, and guests. Once the schedule is published it is FIXED. If something comes up and you cannot present at the time you are scheduled for, you must contact your thesis coordinator to explore your options.
- Important(!): You will also be asked to provide your final project title at this time. The title you provide will be used in our convocation program booklet, and all end-of-year programming materials.
- 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.
- We will publish the schedule on our website a few days prior to turn-in day, so you will know when you are presenting and who else is in your panel.
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.
You are free to use whatever software suits your project and that you are comfortable with. Most students use either Google slides or Microsoft PowerPoint. We've also had students experiment with less traditional and more engaging formats such as Prezi, Swipe, Haiku Deck, and Adobe Spark.
Note: You will receive instructions from Honors regarding uploading your prepared presentation file to our central Presentation Day Dropbox account. There will be about 20 presentations per room, and the schedule is tight.
- Students cannot bring their presentations on USB or external media due to the time lag it takes for the computer to find, scan, and load your file.
- If you have a cloud link to a presentation, you will be asked to upload a document with a publicly viewable version of your presentation file. We do not have the time for students to login to their individual cloud accounts.
Instead, you will have already uploaded your file or provided your public URL, and when it is your turn to present, you will just access your file from the Dropbox folder on the classroom PC.
Your presentation, which may be in any form appropriate to your discipline, should last 15 minutes, plus 5 minutes for questions, discussion and transition. You will be part of an hour-long panel with two other presenters, 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 Thesis into 15 minutes! Instead, say to yourself "I have 15 minutes. What can I say that will best present my project in that time frame?".
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.
You and your fellow students will of course be the audience for one another. We strongly encourage the Thesis 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.
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).
Note: You will receive instructions from Honors regarding uploading your prepared presentation file to our central Presentation Day Dropbox account. There will be about 20 presentations per room, and the schedule is tight. Students cannot bring their presentations on USB or external media due to the time lag it takes for the computer to find, scan, and load your file. Instead, you will have already uploaded your file and when it is your turn to present, you will just access your file from the Dropbox folder on the classroom PC.
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. We need you to submit your material that a PC can read. We highly recommend using presentation software that is a hosted solution, such as Prezi, or Google slides from your Google account. That way, you can build your presentation on your Mac and just present it from the classroom PCs in Hall of Languages.