Digital Presentation: Reflections

Introduction
Interpersonal communication skills are essential to engineering job performance.  However, communication is increasingly becoming digital, rather than face-to-face or in person.  This assignment is intended to strengthen the students’ digital communication skills in a professional engineering context.  Students that master this assignment will be prepared to make effective digital business presentations and communicate more effectively in professional settings.

Learning Objectives
This assignment advances ABET learning objective G. — Communicate effectively.  Specifically, students are expected to familiarize themselves with digital media and develop presentation skills.

Learning Activities
Working individually, students will select one of their prior technical reports, or any other aspect of the class they found compelling to present in a digital format in five minutes or less.  This can include conation, the Citicorp Tower case study or any other compelling aspect of the class, including a memorable discussion or experience.  The video must be posted to YouTube, although it need not be publicly listed. (I.e., you may post it as “unlisted” so that only those with the right link will be able to see it).  Additionally, students will serve as peer-reviewers for at least five videos produced by classmates by responding in CritViz (see Part 2: Critique).

The videos themselves should be informed by these guidelines:

  • The story should have a logical flow.  Consider an outline that follows an order like this: 1) Problem Statement, 2) Hypothesis or Proposition, and supporting evidence, 3) Investigative Method, 4) Results & Recommendations. You may find very helpful the guidance provided on publicly available web-sites like this one.
  • It is essential for the viewer to understand the main point of the video, as encapsulated in a recommendation or argument.  Follow the guidance contained in this 23 minute lecture

In video, visuals are essential. Too many powerpoint presentations are merely notecard slide compilations. Powerpoint in particular has also presented frustrating audio issue for students, making a working presentation difficult to achieve. Minimize the use of words on your slides (if you use them), and instead let your voice speak the words to your viewer. Maximize the use of visuals such as graphs, charts, data, or figures that help dramatize your point and make it intuitive.

It is better to have a relaxed, informal style in which you have confidence (but make mistakes) than to have a formal style that is mistake-free, but fails to put your viewer at ease. Recording your video will likely require several attempts, but don’t obsess over small mistakes in your speaking. Your audience will be forgiving if you simply move on.

Grades will be based on the quality of your presentation, as judged relative to the guidelines above.

46 thoughts on “Digital Presentation: Reflections

  1. Rachael S

    As with the other comment, I think it would have been more effective if you defined ICF, as I didn’t know what you were talking about at the beginning. Also, I think your topic of choice would benefit from a few visuals, whether it’s, as suggested, your own house, or even a picture. However, you were incredibly knowledgeable and with this topic, even though I don’t know about it at all, I didn’t find myself completely lost in technical jargon. For improvement, I think it would help if you spoke with your hands, or something of the sort, as this would give the video a visual aspect and a more conversational feeling. Although minor, the background noise is sometimes distracting and it might be better to be in the center of the camera. You clearly knew what you were talking about, and I really enjoyed how you made sure to talk about the different benefits as well as explaining what each option really was. The information you presented was really interesting, and it was very well done.

    Reply
    1. Nick Coronado

      Kristian-
      What I like about your video is that you get straight into your reaction. You quickly noted which stories you were going to be talking about and then you dove in. Also, for your discussion of “Who Moved my Cheese” it is imperative to limit summarizing to a minimal and focus more on analyzing and making connections. From what I saw, you did a great job of this. Something small that I noticed was that it was very easy to tell where you jumped from one recording to another. For instance, there was a click and then a brief pause. Like I said, it is not a huge deal, certainly not to me, but it could disturb the flow for some people. Something that would be worth fixing is to double-check spelling. On your “This is Water” slide, you spelling ‘mopping’ instead of ‘moping’. Another thing I enjoyed about your video is that you list only your major points on the side, so it notifies your audience what they should be looking for in your words. Lastly, you not only drew connections from the themes to real life, but also from one story to another. Fantastic work!

      Reply
    1. Nick Coronado

      Christopher-
      Great start to the video. Something as little as the joke you made helps lighten the mood of the audience and makes them want to continue listening. Unfortunately, right from the beginning I could tell the audio is going to be challenging over the course of the video. If your headset does not include a microphone. then what are you using it for? This is just something I questioned from the video. Your idea to include both video recording and slideshow presentation was a unique twist of things and helps your video stick out. The sustainability triangle was a great tool to help me understand your logical thinking and in a simple way, too! Remember that having a reference sheet/script is good, but it is also good to improv a bit, making your reflection more dynamic. Once again, the most important thing is clarity, and the video can be quite hard to follow at points, so that is definitely something to work on. Other than that, great work!

      Reply
      1. Christopher Fellows

        My headphones do have a mic, and it was only slightly less terrible than my laptop’s mic. (My headphones also had the benefit of keeping my hair somewhat under control). Either way, I wasn’t really happy with the sound quality either, and if I had the ability I would have messed with the EQ to try to make it sound less muddy. But you work with what you have.

        I scripted the entire thing because I am particularly bad at improv. Go QS 1 and FT 7.

        Reply
    2. Rachael S

      Your video was very thought provoking! Your reflection of the actual societal impact and parallels was thorough, and I found the information interesting. Also, the presentation of your thoughts was well done, as the powerpoint added into the normal video was a helpful visual of what you were explaining. Your reflections on how our class did in the Pisces game were a cool insight, and adding actual instances into your descriptions was a nice touch. RIP boat. Although I think your video is scripted, it didn’t sound as such as was dynamic and interesting, good job finding the balance between the two. Also, the sound quality of the video could use some improvement, as sometimes it was difficult to understand.

      Reply
    1. Christopher Fellows

      The instructions say the video must be uploaded to YouTube. You sound very tired. Also, “one hydrogen bonded to two oxygen” – what? Your narration got cut off at the end. Your choice to challenge David Foster Wallace’s point that people work for free was ambitious, and I think it paid off. I say “I think” because what you said didn’t really stick with me; once the video was over, I didn’t remember what you said. That might just be because your communication style in the video not resonate with me personally. Others might remember your points very well, and I hope they do.

      Reply
      1. Madison Grayson

        lolol I could try to play it off like that was on purpose, but honestly I didnt even catch that, took the video one too many times it appears >.< Ahahahaha dying right now! H20! Oh my..

        Reply
      2. Christopher Fellows

        I read this again and I realize I come off like a [very mean person]. That’s not the intent. My reviews tend to be more of a stream of consciousness than something that would go in a newspaper, so sometimes I come off as more terse or cold than I would like. For example, I know that you know water is two hydrogen, one oxygen, and I was attempting to make light of your misspeak, not chastise you for it. However, I don’t know how to edit my comment, so this will have to suffice. Take solace in the fact that I think you did as well as the others here, as far as I’m concerned, so good on you.

        Reply
    2. Kristian Santana

      Hey Madi good video! I really like the video scribe format. You kept a good pace throughout the video, but you did sound a bit monotone. Try to give a little more “umph” in your voice. I agree that leaders show influence instead of authority, but to me that influence has to be brought on by example. The end of the video got cut off so that a minor error. Overall though good video.

      Reply
    3. jonathanedgington

      The video has a pace setting that is consistent. The video does have flow to it and keeps a coherent and cohesive message throughout, with the exception of the word “suck”.
      I did not find the producers voice sleepy if I did not know this person I would not know if she sounded tired, drunk, unenthusiastic, or perhaps was just keeping a evenly flowing voice without over emphasizing words and or speaking to fast for others to understand.

      Voice inflections such as pauses, raising of the voice, or increasing and decreasing volume or pitch should be avoided if not well adept at the practice.

      Reply
    1. Nick Coronado

      Husain-
      After watching your video, I have come up with a few suggestions to help you improve your movie-making skills for the future. First off, presentation is key. I understand not everybody (myself included) is the best at all the programs offered these days such as VideoScribe, but if you are going to have a visual as you speak then you need to make certain its visible for your audience. Unfortunately, the method you chose to do is quite difficult to read and when that’s the case it becomes more harmful than helpful. Instead of your audience focusing on what you are saying, they may be guiding their attention to trying to make-out what has been written. However, toward the end, the writing is legible since the camera suddenly focused. If you were to focus it from the beginning, then the visuals would have definitely been beneficial. Another piece of advice would be to set up the camera in some way so that it is steady throughout the whole video. A shaky screen makes it more difficult for the audience to read what is on the screen, and possibly even cause some to get sick (depending on the intensity). My suggestions are mostly presentation-based because the information you had was very good, but in order to implicate it efficiently, display must be proper.

      Reply
    2. Kenneth Magaña

      Husain,
      First off, I feel overall you did a good job, I just have a few suggestions to make your presentation more effective. The visual you have shown through the video is not quite clear, using darker writing could have made it much more clear. Thus, instead of paying attention to everything you are talking about throughout the video, the audience was likely having to focus more on trying to read what you were writing. Other then that great job.

      Reply
    1. Tessa Wessel

      Your video is awesome! I like that instead of just repeating what Seager said about the topic, you gave examples of leadership. I especially like that you used examples from movies, it made the video very interesting. Your Mufasa impression is great too!

      Reply
    2. Christopher Fellows

      When I saw “Mufasa impression” I had to check this one out. The narration is nicely done, and the examples really drive home your points. However, you left dead air at the start and end of the video. If you had the ability, you should have edited out these periods of silence. The end was also a little abrupt; I was expecting a little bit of sign-off, something like “thanks for watching,” nothing big. Well done.

      Reply
    3. Alexander Bernal

      Wow RACHEL!
      I love how you opened up with a question. instantly you had me interested and thinking about your presentation.
      Your flow is perfect, and your voice is relaxed. You did a great job with staying calm.
      You absolutely had an awesome idea using the VideoScribe as well. I think your Simba reference was AWESOME! This is one of the best examples of being a leader (that has been brought to my attention). You really did a wonderful job on this presentation and it is shown in your work. You did a great job really perfecting this. Your graphics and presentation style is off the charts. I really can’t even think of any thing to help this video.. Listen, respect, connect, and lead… This is 100% true. Everyone respects someone that considers others, along with what is best for the task at hand. A leader isn’t someone who is appointed, but rather someone who earns that role from the thoughts of their peers. You absolutely blew this out of the water Rachel. Great job!!

      Reply
    1. Tessa Wessel

      You did a great job with this reflection video. I liked that you shared a personal experience that related to “Who Moved My Cheese”. I cant imagine moving to a new country and having to leave my friends and family, especially in high school. It’s nice that you talked about more than one topic discussed in this class. Your experience with the “This is Water” video is something I think a lot of people can relate to because sometimes we don’t think our actions through, or see whether it actually has meaning. The video was also good quality and had good audio. Great Job!

      Reply
    1. Christopher Fellows

      Your method of presentation was very creative and easy to do; not something I would have thought of. Your narration, though, was very choppy, and you were speaking very quickly. You should speak more fluently and a little more slowly. Despite that, the content came across clearly and was very easy to follow.

      Reply
    2. Rachael S

      The visuals in your presentation were great, very creative and interesting! Your method of jumping right into the topic, rather than providing an introduction, was an interesting choice and I think that it went over well. This method kept my interest as I was was trying to figure out what you were doing initially. To improve, it would be better for you to slow down your speech and make sure there is a better flow, as it was a bit choppy. However, your inflections to the story were a nice touch! Overall, I enjoyed your presentation and the content was presented well.

      Reply
    1. Rachael S

      Your video started off as expected, but it definitely didn’t stay that way for long. I liked that you looked at the assignment differently than most and made it personal. Your thoughts on the This Is Water video were certainly not what I expected, and I found myself especially interested in what you had to say, as it was clear that you put thought and effort into what you were going to say. I think that by bringing such a personal touch into your reflection, viewers will be able to connect with what you had to say and in turn, reflect as well. I also liked that you didn’t just sit in the chair like a statue, but instead you started talking with your hands. This made the video, which didn’t have any specific visuals, more interesting and seemed conversational rather than scripted. To improve, I think it might have been more effective to brighten the room in which you were recording, as it was a bit dark, and to try and clean up the sound quality a little, as sometimes it sounded especially muffled or fuzzy. I really enjoyed your reflection of the This is Water video, and how you reflected on a personal level.

      Reply
    2. Nick Coronado

      Alex-
      First off, let me say I found the beginning of this video quite entertaining. I am not sure if it was supposed to be like this, but by your tone and how you broke up your sentences made me laugh and put me in a good mood. All joking aside, the video gets very serious very quickly and it surprised me and kept me interested. There are two reasons why I really enjoyed your video- It’s simplistic and it hits home. It is clear why you chose what you did to reflect on and by doing so, it shows your audience that you really care about what you’re talking about. Almost all reactions thus far have been taken from the perspective of David Wallace, but you turned the tables and reflected from the other side of the cash register; a very nice and eye-opening twist of things. I did something similar to this in my reflection of “This is Water” because I, too, experienced something like this and it helps me get an idea of what you are talking about. The only thing I was not much a fan of was the location you chose to film. The background has a glare right above the head and at times I found myself losing attention to the video because of it. I know I said I liked the simplistic feel to it, but a barren wall can cause issues such as the glare I mentioned. In the end, however, I was really impacted by your video and it made me evaluate myself.

      Reply
    3. Alex Cano

      Alex,
      I truly did not expect this from your video. I thought you were going to have standard reflection that explained the deeper meaning of the “This is Water” video that we discussed in class. Oh was I wrong! I began getting more and more teary eyed the more I watched your video because it was authentic and from the heart. I relate to your story because I come from a single parent household. My dad left my family when I was 6 years old, I have 3 older siblings. So I understand the sacrifices she made for my family. I cannot give any criticism to your video because I think that you took this assignment and took it to the next level. I know how hard it can be at times talking about your personal life so I want to thank you for sharing your experiences. Great job Alex.

      -Alex Cano

      Reply
    1. Kristian Santana

      Great pace throughout the video you were never rushed. I really enjoyed the personal story you added and its kind of crazy that it just happened, but yeah I totally agree with your reaction. You could have blown up on the woman, but you chose to make it easier on the both of you by taking the path you did. A comment I would make on the video would be to remove your headphones. Even if they were your speaker, it would be more professional if you found a better way to get your voice on the video. Other than that its a good video.

      Reply
    2. Christopher Fellows

      Was the pizza sauce thing a joke? I don’t follow. (I got to 3:30, and I think I follow now). You spent 50 seconds talking about the assignment instructions, and that’s wasted time. You should quickly get to the content. Good job turning your collision into a relevant topic for this assignment. I noticed you were rather motionless during most of the video. A little more physical expression would have been good.

      Reply
      1. Nick Coronado

        Yes, Christopher! My humor comes dry on camera (probably cause its was like my 15th take). For the past couple days I have been greeted constantly with “what happened to your face”. So I just wanted to address it in a (somewhat) funny way in case my viewers had the same question. Apologies if I lost you.

        Reply
    3. Alexander Bernal

      Nick! I really liked the light sense of humor. You did not read off of a script and that is apparent. I enjoyed listening to your voice. It was calm and relaxed, and just the right speed. The video was just long enough to convey your message, but not bore me. I was confused about the pizza sauce chin, but I get it now. Just yesterday, my boss and I were talking to a customer about letting anger go. It’s such a big difference when someone is smiling, versus being rude. I like that you did not make the girl feel bad, but rather assessed the situation, and turned a terribly negative experience into something far greater and more positive. In addition to everything I’ve said above, I really like the aspect of dressing professionally all the time. I absolutely dig it now. I dress up for everything I can, and one time this semester I thought we were celebrating my brothers birthday at his house. My mother picked me up and a few minutes into the ride I found out that we were going to meet at Barro’s. Oh and his boss was going to be there (my brother is a Civil Engineer)…. I had my mom flip and quick U-turn and I made sure to put on a business appropriate outfit. Wow, I should have mentioned that in my video! Great job Nick! Way to keep the video alive with some small side jokes.

      Reply
    1. Rachael S

      I like the visual presentation and how it related specifically to what you were talking about. However, I feel that you could have added a bit more “oomph” into your voice, as you were discussing a story and it almost felt like more of a lecture. Knowing the story, it may have been more effective to discuss the story more in depth and how it pertains, rather than focusing on the summary. However, I really liked your closing statements, as they related specifically to the engineering world and summed up some of the key points of the story and what you were discussing. Again, I felt that the visual presentation was interesting and kept my focus, the added pictures were especially nice!

      Reply
    2. Nick Coronado

      Kenneth-
      Your reflection is very neat in its style of presentation. VideoScribe is a very cool program there is no doubt about it. However, there were a few things that I picked up on that could help improve the effectiveness of this video. For instance, color contrast is a huge deal when presenting to an audience. I have never used VideoScribe before, but I am sure it allows you to choose the color of text. Early on in the video, there is a quote in yellow text on a white background. Doing this puts a lot of strain on the eye and makes it very hard for your audience to read the slide. Another thing I picked up on is the tone of your voice. From what I hear it sounds like you are just going through the motions and reading your lines off a script. Keep your audience entertained by changing your voice and being louder at times. Also, there are moments when you take long breaks from speaking almost as if you are waiting for the slideshow to catch up with you. I know its pretty difficult you be perfect, but you always want to limit these things and be as close as possible with the video. Lastly, the purpose of this video is to be your reflection on something we have encountered in class. For the most part, your video is a summary of the story, and you only then begin to relate it toward the very end. If I were you, I would quickly summarize the overall meaning behind the story and give an example of how this ideal came about in your life. Good job!

      Reply
    3. Alex Cano

      Kenneth,
      The format of your presentation was clear and concise. I enjoyed the quick recap of the story about the plot with two little people and their cheese. You did a great job with keeping a slow and constant pace throughout your video. The visual representations did a great job with the voice over. I enjoyed how you related this story to the world of professional engineers.

      A few minor suggestions would be to…although your voice was clear, it lack enthusiasm and felt that you were not interested in telling me about the cheese and how that relates the real world examples. You seemed bored while you spoke. This is fine but to keep the audience more engaged, I usually try to smile while I speak. You will be surprised how your voice changes if you are smiling. I know it sounds weird and silly but it puts in a great mood. Other then you voice, I feel that the video was well developed.

      Thank you for sharing,

      Alex Cano

      Reply
    1. Christopher Fellows

      You should have started by defining the acronym ICF. Some pictures of ICF forms and wood-framed walls would have served your purpose very well. The background noise was very noticeable. I feel like you missed an opportunity to go all Billy Mays and bang on the walls of your house to demonstrate the rigidity of ICF walls, and excitedly yell “ICF.” I know you’re more knowledgeable about ICF than the average person, and that shows through your video without being too technical; good job there.

      Reply

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