Do’s and Don’ts of a Presentation

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“Your presentation MUST be memorable.” That one sentence with the bolded “must” was from the instructions for the Frankenstein project for the 1st semester English final, and it was the first thing my eyes zeroed on.

Usually in an AP class, students go out of their way to impress the teachers, going beyond the requirements of the assignment. However, when the instruction requires you to make your presentation memorable, how do you achieve past that?

“Your presentation MUST be memorable.”

The common “impressive” strategies AP students utilize include showing self-created videos, involving the class in activities and games, and bribing the class with sweet delicacies ranging from Frankenstein’s monster cupcakes to green mint Oreos. As the second to last group to present in the span of one week, all those tactics had already been used before we presented.

When we first created the presentation, we had a PowerPoint, a video of a female’s reaction after reading Frankenstein (see below), and information about Mary Shelley’s novel analyzed through the feminism critical lens. After watching five absolutely amazing presentations on the first day, we decided to meet up again and add more entertaining factors to our presentation.

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We did not want to repeat the same strategies the other groups had used, which means we had to brainstorm a new and ground-breaking way of impressing the class (and teacher). We threw ideas around; we considered making a video for each slide, but it would take away what we had planned on sharing in front of the class in person, leaving us to stand awkwardly as we get tortured by the humility and embarrassment of seeing and hearing ourselves on video. We also thought about dressing the two males in our group as females just for the class’s entertainment. None of the ideas were too appealing, which made the project even more difficult.

Since we could not find a good alternative, we focused on bad ideas: things to avoid in a presentation. Long presentations was one; even if you feed the audience macaroons, they still will not want to sit through a 30-minute presentation. PowerPoints in general was considered to be a sleep-inducer since most pictures in the slides remain stationary and are too blurry to comprehend since they blown up on the projector, but it was a requirement to use a PowerPoint for the presentation. Therefore, we decided to make the PowerPoint more enjoyable and appealing to the eyes.

The pictures we had first selected featured strangers we found online. This disconnection between the class and the pictures made the two unrelatable, so had we only used those pictures, the class would not have been intrigued at all staring at strangers. A member in the group suggested that we place pictures of us doing the same pose as the people in the original pictures next to those pictures so that our classmates will be humored and entertained into paying attention to our presentation.

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Our presentation was a hit; in addition to our special images, we showed our rendition of Frozen’s “Let It Go” and awarded Girl Scout Cookies to those who answered the questions at the end of the presentation correctly. The peer review from the entire class was almost unanimous. We had done something original and unique that no other groups had done, and they bestowed upon the presentation the honor of being called “memorable.”

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