The Senior Design Showcase brings you, undergraduate students from different disciplines, to showcase your final team-based projects to the community. You’ve spent your last year cultivating original ideas and designing products to create practical solutions for industry problems.
The Senior Design Showcase team is here to serve as a resource. Allow us to provide you with tips on how to create a great research poster and video to help you present your capstone project to its greatest potential as well as tips on how to use Zoom or other video conferencing tools!
Resources and FAQs
Poster and Video Production Tips
Where can I get a poster template to present at the Showcase?
You can download poster presentation templates here (you need to use your FIU login credentials to download these assets). We offer both vertical and horizontal orientations that employ FIU’s greatest visual and branding assets. Both orientations offer six different (color) templates you can choose from. If you are unsure which poster orientation (horizontal or vertical) to use, please consult your capstone instructors. If you have trouble downloading the templates, please contact email@example.com.
What makes a great poster?
- Utilize bullets and headings to make your poster easier to read.
- Visuals are key in any good poster. Consider using charts, graphs or photos to share your research and findings.
- Include required information, like your name, institutional affiliation, acknowledgments and your department’s official logo. If in doubt, use the FIU-approved logos created for the College of Engineering & Computing. Please avoid altering the logo.
- Use FIU official fonts and typography to achieve a professional and uniform look. FIU’s official fonts are Adobe Frank New (sans-serif) or Helvetica (sans-serif). Avoid using more than three fonts in your document as this may cause the poster to look disorganized and inconsistent.
- Keep in mind spacing. You want your professors and judges to find the information easily. Open space helps give them this impression and invites them to read. Try to keep 40% of the poster area empty of text and images.
- The use of correct FIU colors will help you create professional-looking assets that reinforce FIU’s brand identity. For the code of FIU colors, visit FIU’s Brand Standards Page.
For a full list of research poster tips, download PDF.
Where can I get a senior design presentation template?
You can download power point presentation templates for your virtual meetings at the senior design showcase here. If you are not sure which one to use, please consult your senior design/capstone course instructor.
How to build great slides for your research or team projects?
- An ideal PPT structure includes a title slide, introduction, methodology, results, conclusion, a thank you slide and back-up slides.
- When creating your slides, apply following strategies:
- Avoid text-rich slides. On most occasions, short phrases will be sufficient.
- Using images will allow you to introduce a topic. With fewer words, your audience will pay attention to what you are saying.
- Slides should not be a replica of your talking points. Explain or reinforce what you’ve captured on the slide with your own words.
- Simplify your slides; one message per slide.
- Optimal use of bullets and numbering will keep your presentation focused. Show them one at a time to prevent your audience from reading them ahead of time.
- Avoid words or graphics flying or circling around the screen. Use slide animation sparingly.
- Many speakers will vary between 30 seconds to a minute per slide. Prepare 10 slides for a 10-minute presentation.
- Choose one of the power point presentation templates (CEC Hybrid or CEC Real Triumphs) to create your slides and employ FIU’s greatest visual assets.
- Use of FIU logos, images, color, and fonts that adheres to university’s branding guidelines. More about FIU’s color guidelines can be found at: https://pantera.fiu.edu/design/colors/index.html
- This is a quick summary of tips and guidelines. For a complete guideline on how to create impactful PPT slides, please download the PDF checklist.
What if I've been assigned to record myself presenting my project?
- Dress for success! It’s important to look your best by wearing business professional attire.
- Scout a location. Choose a background that isn’t busy with picture frames and posters and keep in mind lighting, which should come from in front of you.
- Leave a positive and lasting impression by being mindful of your body language and making eye contact with the camera.
- Be able to explain what influenced your topic, what hardships did you face, what did you learn and what impact does your project have on the community.
- Take advantage of free screen and record video software, like Loom, where you can record your presentation and also capture your voice and face.
You’ve been assigned to create a video. Where do you begin?
- Watch this brief tutorial video that will help you create quality home-made videos with the resources you have around you: https://youtu.be/kkP1JgXvCCw
- Allot time to write a script that fits within the length of the video. Your script should provide a very clear and complete explanation of your product. Use of humor can work, as long as it flows throughout the entire video.
- The second step is to draw a storyboard, a graphic organizer that shows the images displayed in sequence. Consider using a wider variety of shots, like wide, medium and close-ups shots. For instance, a close-up shot adds emotion to a shot because the audience can see the details in a subject’s face.
- When envisioning your video, think of having a set-up explanation both in the narration and visually. For instance, your narrator can introduce the product and while that is taking place, change the shot so you can see someone else using the product, then zoom into the product.
- It’s helpful to have high-tech equipment to produce a high-quality video, however, it’s not needed. If you’re using your cellphone to film, make sure to wipe down your camera. The oil from our skin can easily get on our phones, causing blurriness.
- Film at a time when the sun is not too bright, right after sunrise or right before sunset is ideal.
- If you don’t own a microphone, ensure your cellphone is close to the narrator for better audio. Always test the audio right after a shot has been filmed, in case you need to reshoot.
- If you decide to have a main speaker provide the narration of the piece, it’s encouraged to have them “fill the frame more.” In other words, filmmakers, get your narrator closer to the camera (while practicing social distancing!)
- When editing, you can incorporate music as long as you’re able to fully hear the narrator.
- Avoid abrupt endings. Fade outs are encouraged. This is when a shot gradually turns to a single color, like black or white.
Video Production Safety Guidelines During Pandemic
If you are preparing this video with other team members present in the filming location at the same time:
- Wear a facial covering.
- Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet. This includes refraining from physical contact with others such as handshakes.
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizers.
- Refrain from using others’ work and personal equipment (e.g., phones, computers, pens).
- Disinfect all equipment before and after use.
If you are preparing this video at FIU grounds (parking lots, offices, labs, etc.), please fill out the screening questionnaire on the Panthers Protecting Panthers (P3) app prior to coming onto campus. Facial covering must be worn at all times while on campus.