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Presenting Your Project on Demo Day

At WEquil School, students present the projects they have created every week. This is because the best way to learn is to teach since it forces you to deeply understand the subject enough that you can break it down and explain it to someone else. Not only that, but it builds public speaking skills and others can challenge you and give feedback on your project further reinforcing your knowledge.

Presenting your project can be intimidating sometimes. Today I will cover a few different ways you can go about preparing and giving your presentation depending on your comfort level and preferences. If you would like examples of project presentations feel free to check out WEquil School’s playlist of Demo Days:

Script Your Presentation

When you’re first getting started with presentations it can be helpful to have a script to follow that summarizes your project. You don’t want to directly read off your project since if someone wants to read your project, they can! The purpose of your presentation is to hit on the main points of your project while elaborating and giving examples to your audience to ensure they understand.

First you want to identify the points you want to convey in your presentation. This should be easy since they should be the same points in your article. Then elaborate on them enough you think will give your audience a sufficient understanding.

After that you want to create a compelling introduction where you introduce yourself and the topic. When doing your presentation you have flexibility to explain the context and background of your project. This can be helpful in letting the reader know why they should even be interested in the topic. You can do this by explaining what made you want to create the project as well as how that led you to certain observations. At the very beginning you also want to state some simple introductory remarks such as your name, age or whatever is relevant.

The very last step is creating your conclusion. This is arguably the most important, and hardest part of your presentation since the goal is to leave your audience with your most important takeaway. In order to do this you must decide what you think is the biggest takeaway you want to leave your reader with. This can be a question, a thought, a practical fact, or an inspirational idea.

An example of a scripted presentation is the video version of Aila’s project on All About New Zealand! You can see her original written project here:

Here is her scripted video presentation articulating the same information in a different forum:

While there is nothing wrong with scripting your presentation, in my opinion it is more of a stepping stone for other forms of presentation. Since you are talking about a project you have created, you already know your material very well. From that point on it is more about engaging your audience and effectively communicating. It is also good to have the skills of being able to give a presentation without too much preparation. Which leads me to the next way of preparing your presentation.

Bullet Outline Presentation

A bullet outline presentation has a bullet point for each main point, as well as several detailed bullet points under each point to help you elaborate. This doesn’t script out exactly what you will say, but provides a detailed structure that you can follow in case you get lost. There will also be a main point for the introduction and conclusion with sub-bullets outlining the things you want to say. A bullet outline presentation gives the benefit of flexibility where you can connect more with your audience, and not make your presentation sound too scripted.

The same first step is applied here which is to identify the main points you want to convey. Each of these will become a main bullet point. Underneath you can add a few talking points with more detailed remarks. This will largely be based on your article so not much work really needs to be done. You can also add examples in your presentation that aren’t included in your article to help your audience understand more clearly.

In your introduction you can add some sub-bullets of what exactly you want to mention such as your name, why you decided to choose the topic, etc. Your conclusion should state the most important takeaway. That takeaway should be your main bullet which you can add more detail to in your sub bullets.

Here’s an example of a bullet outline presentation for my article on Learning from Life Lessons:

  • Introduction

    • My name is Sumay

    • Talking about Learning from Life Lessons

    • My family had a house fire

    • Making the most of tragedy

  • Turning Tragedy Into A Learning Opportunity

    • Why would you want to turn tragedy into a learning opportunity?

    • Curiosity is a great way to deal with tragedy

  • The Availability Heuristic

    • The most recent or extreme experiences influence your behavior the most

    • Be aware of this bias

  • Unknown Unknowns

    • There are things that you don’t know that you don’t know

    • Especially aware of them in areas you think you know a lot about

  • Generalizing Problems

    • Learn from experiences and develop principles

    • Principles can be applied in future challenges

  • Conclusion

    • Tragedies are hard, but they are the most powerful learning experiences

    • Learning from them can make it easier to cope with loss

Depending on how comfortable you are with presenting your project, you can make your bullet points more or less detailed. And although you have flexibility in your presentation, it still has a lot of structure to help you know what to say.

Talking Points Presentation

A talking points presentation only prepares the main points that you want to talk about in your presentation. As you have more and more experience presenting, you’ll find that you don’t need much preparation to give your presentation. Since you are presenting a project that you wrote, you already have everything in your head! However, for someone just getting started this can be really hard which is why this mode of preparing is the last step in this progression.

The only step here is to lay out the main points you want to convey in your article. These bullet points will serve as a light sketch that you can glance at during your presentation to make sure you cover everything. This type of presentation will make more sense in certain types of contexts more than others. If you are giving a technical presentation relating to subjects like science, then you’ll want to cite specific facts which will be hard to include in this type of presentation.

Here is an example of what it might look like with the same article I used above.

  • Turn tragedy into a learning opportunity

  • The most available experiences influence your behavior the most

  • Unknown Unknowns

  • Generalize Problems

  • Tragedies are hard, but they are the most powerful learning experiences

This doesn’t really give me anything specific to say, but it gives me talking points so I can make sure to cover all the main points that I want to make. It will be really hard to do at first, which is why I recommended starting with a script, and then working down to maybe not even preparing anything at all!

Everything gets better and easier with practice. There is a reason why people report that public speaking is their number one fear, because it is hard. But even so, it is an incredibly valuable skill that anyone can do if they try.

At WEquil School we help our students prepare for demo day to build their public speaking skills in whatever way they feel comfortable. Many young people don’t have the opportunity to present their work in a real world way. However, these skills are built from practice and it is much better to start early than to not have any experience when you go into the workforce. If you would like to sign up for our program, or learn more about our process, head over to



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