Project Research and the Psychology of Presentation

In the morning judging, the area we were weakest in was Project Research.  Specifically, we could do better in:

(1) Identifying the Problem (3/4)

(2) Analyzing the Problem (3/4)

(3) Reviewing Existing Solutions (2/4)

Problem Identification and Analysis are partly due to the incompatibility between the indirect skit format we used and the information-dense complex nature of our Project.

For the Problem Identification, we didn’t frame the problem as well as we could have. Like writing a good book, our presentation should immediately grab the judges and emotionally move them.  After our first 15-20 seconds the Judges should be vigorously nodding their heads in agreement about how bad the problem is that we’ve identified.

We need to give them an emotional punch to the gut straight off the bat.  Here is are two good video that discusses the art of presentations and the psychology of persuasion and illustrates how people are govern by emotions over reason supported by many studies.

The first video gives a good example of explaining and presenting the hook at the beginning of a presentation (ignore 2nd half infomercial).

For Problem Analysis, we need to clearly identify the current problem and current inadequate solutions and where they fall short.  The word “analysis” tips off that they want us to support everything we argue for with hard facts, logical decomposition of the problem, solid research and quantifiable outcomes.


To Review Existing Solutions, we couldn’t go wrong following the best practices of the analyst industry in creating competitive matrices of current solutions in a 2D charts with axis that best characterize our goals and styles like those shown below.  Just as we are emotional his type of information is conveyed particularly well using infographics.




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