Over the years, I have seen many engineering students' project and have a few recurring recommendations for your consideration.
- Chose a course relevant subject. It can be either an extension of the course material or in-depth study.
- Focus. Do not go for large, general topic (e.g. 4G network). Instead, choose a sub-area to drill down. For Frank's class project, depth always carries more weight than breadth.
- Ask yourself why you choose the subject and what questions you like to find answers.
- If possible, layout the expected outcome in advance.
- Number of slides: 10 - 15 is a good size if there is no demo. Less slides if demo is involved.
- Frank's special request: put your picture besides your name on the title page. It is useful for me to know who is doing which part of the project (for fair grading and future references). If you need me to write a recommendation of any kind, this could be the link between your name and my impression.
- Do not repeat what has been taught in the class. But, it is very welcome to correct and/or extend class materials.
- If people before you have already elaborated the basics, don't repeat it. Instead, add to it to reflect your in-depth knowledge.
- Minimize the marketing and sales pitch. Leave it to your managers.
- Clearly describe your approach, effort, and result. No result or wrong result could also be good if you can analyze them.
- If you have a demo, be sure to allocate time for it. In most cases, students rush through the demo without really making the point. One credible alternative is to make a video of your demo and show it during your presentation.
- Present a conclusion. If you can not complete all your initial objectives, analyze the reason(s). In many engineering projects, understanding "why not" is as important as understanding "why".
- Relax and have fun. You're sharing your experience.
- No more than 4-5 pages.
- Avoid trivial web cut-n-paste. It increases the volume, but decrease your credibility.
- Go back to your proposal: review "why" and answer the "questions" you have asked before. You may have more questions now that you did the project. Discuss them.
- Negative result is also a result, but no result is not a result
- Give a candid evaluation of your performance
It usually takes a few minutes for a presentation to connect to the classroom projector. Hence, it is highly advisable that you make sure it works before your presentation schedule.
For the first presenter, if you can leave the machine in place and let other teams use USB drive for their presentations, it will speed up the set-up / tear-down time for everyone.