Chairman's Interview


This is my first year in charge of Chairman’s and the second year participating for Chairman’s and FRC in general. From what I’ve read in the 2013 manual (and I suppose this applies to previous years) is that the interview that occurs at the event is what is said: an interview. My impression of interviews are professional and businesslike.

However, reading through the previous (and now closed) threads, teams have done more creative things for their interview, such as Team 1899’s presentation from 2 years ago:
Other teams have shown their video during the interview (which I understand you are able to, according to the manual).

Basically, my question is: is the interview professional or is it a more creative display? And what information is needed to get across to the judges that is exclusively for the interview?

Thank you!

All the ways you listed are effective, and various teams have won Championship Chairman’s doing their presentations in each of those ways. The important thing to remember is to do what is right for your team. Our team does a more traditional interview, but we also use fun props to engage the judges. Look at how you want to represent your team in the room, and just do what fits that representation.

As far as what to put in the presentation, you’ll probably want to include impact statements from each of the presenters. Impact statements are basically personal statements about how FIRST and your team has changed your goals/future/outlook/life. The presentation is basically a change to make your teams accomplishments personal and to empasis the important aspects of your Chairman’s submission, so this is usually the things that make your team unique.

I know this is kind of obscure, but I hope it helps. If you need any more help or have any more questions, feel free to PM me or email me at [email protected]. I would really love to help you guys out!

Essentially, what I believe you want to aim for when doing a Chairman’s presentation is to not only show your team as being a well run team with business-like strategies, but also as a team who can have fun and embrace all the values of FIRST as they are meant to be. Creativity is always a great thing to have in the presentation. You are telling your team’s story to the judges. There are some things you can assume they already know, such as what FIRST is and what it is all about, however you want to tell them who you are and who your team is and why you deserve to win the Chairman’s Award. It isn’t just a presentation either, the judges give you 5 minutes for a presentation and then 5 minutes for them to ask you questions. They will ask some tough questions so you always want to be prepared for whatever they could throw at you. Even if you decide to approach it in a strictly professional way, always try to be yourselves and exemplify what your team is and what you do to spread the values and ideas of FIRST and STEM education.

The interview is your team’s chance to really shine! I think the most important thing to do is let your team do what is right for them. Some teams will be comfortable with a very business-style presentation others would find it too uptight. Some teams will feel comfortable doing their presentation “in morph-suits swimming in lime jell-o,” (As our team likes to joke.) while other teams would find this too silly. In general, I think most teams are somewhere in the middle of the road, somewhere between the silly and the serious.

Figure out what will work best for both for your team and presenters and stick with it!

These all sound great, thank you! Once again looking at previous threads, I’ve noticed that the video is not a real important part of the Chairman’s Award compared to the other two components. If you have an amazing video, would it be more beneficial to play it during your interview, or let the judges see it a different time?


I think it’s definitely up to your team.

a couple of years ago, the team decided to play the video with an iPad during the interview at the Regional. At the end of the event, when we talked to the judges for feedback, they told us it would have been better to use the time showing it, for talking more about our team.

On the other side, we had one regional in which the judges told us it would have been better if we had shown the video in the interview.

I think you should consider both options and decide if you need the video to support what you want to say in the interview, or not. As written above, it’s all about how you want to present your team, and what fits better for that purpose.

Hope this helps you with the decision. Greetings from Mexico.

When we make our video, and again, this works for our team, but may not work for yours, we think of it as a way to show others why you deserve the award, not necessarily the judges. I know that doesn’t really answer you question, but it just shows that the video can be done in a number of ways.

To answer you question though, if you don’t show you video during the interview, there is no garuntee the judges will watch it. If you want to look at a really well used video during the interview, look for Miss Daisy’s 2010 interview when the won Chsmpionship Chairman’s.

I recommend not showing your video the judges during your interview. My team applied for the first time last year and we were naive enough to simply place a laptop in front of the judges and show our video. They weren’t impressed by that.

The disappointing thing is, we got good ratings for everything else on our feedback sheet, except for presentation and non-robotics community outreach. If we’d just planned our presentation better and had some more volunteering done, we might have won.

This year we’ll try something more engaging, possibly a judges’ packet/folder to give them, or some kind of infographic.

The Chairman’s Interview should reflect your team to the best of your abilities. If you have a very fun, energetic team, with a fun and active theme, then you may want to have a much more laid back but focused and energetic presentation. Our team is sponsored by Harris, and our whole theme is military and our logo is always a tank. We do not use the image of the tank as a symbol of imperialism/militarism, we use it as a symbol of overcoming obstacles and continueing to advance. I have presented for our team 2 times, one year we were very professional and well scripted. The second year I did it we were a lot more relaxed and tried to have a lot more fun with it. My first year we won Chairman’s in Washington DC, and my second year we won Engineering Inspiration, which was not just because of the theme (the theme might have actually helped us), there were tons of other factors involved. But in short, go with a theme you feel your team can reflect well, not only in the Interview room, but also in the pits, the stands, the hotel, and literally anywhere else your team may venture during the competition! Good Luck!

I’ve had the pleasure of judging RCA for the past two years. We’ve seen some great presentations over the years… some “professional”, some “theatrical”. Actually, I shouldn’t compare “professional” to “theatrical”… the more creative presentations have been very professional, as well.

What makes the presentation a great one though, is that the team is able to present their accomplishments in a convincing manner that helps us to understand the team’s role in the event and the impact of the event.

Compiling a log book of photographs, news stories, “thank you” letters and other documentation of your activities over the course of the year can be a big help in demonstrating the “sustained excellence” of your team’s activities. The judging team that I have worked at has taken advantage of the opportunity to review this documentation and return it to the teams at the end of the event.

Make the most of your five minutes to present your activities and achievements in an engaging, organized way that is right for your team. I think I can speak on behalf of all the RCA judging teams when I say we will do our honest best to recognize the team that best meets the award criteria. I think I also speak for all the RCA judges when I congratulate the many teams who make this an incredibly difficult task.


P.S. Just for clarity, although there is an FRC team number associated with my CD profile, I only began judging after the team folded. It was a great experience to go from the pits to the judges’ room… I can 100% guarantee that the judges are just as impartial, enthusiastic, and driven to find the most deserving team as you’d hope. There are always many more teams at the event whom we would like to recognize than there are awards that can be presented.

Your team can decide which one works best for you! You want to show your team identity in the presentation and be comfortable. Talk amongst the team and see what they think they’ll be most comfortable with.

When I work with teams on the RCA I remind them that there are many different places you can tell your team story. You have an essay, an executive summary, the Judges Information Page on TIMS, 4 pictures, and 10 minutes of personal time with the judges (5 for presentation, 5 for Q&A).

I suggest looking at the essay, executive summary, and presentation all together and determine the most important information you want the judges to know and sort that into your presentation (with the idea that those 10 minutes are your personal time with the judges). The executive summary asks specific questions that you can answer in 500 characters (including spaces and punctuation). The essay is the place where you can put the rest of the information about what the team has done (If you’ve done the RCA submission process before and received the feedback form look that over to determine additional questions you should answer in your essay. If you don’t have the form PM me and I can send that over to you).

There may be times where you have these big things your team has done and when telling the team’s story in the essay you can’t leave them out. If that’s the case I would mention them in passing in the essay, but then in the presentation expand on those big things, show pictures, talk about the impact, use quotes you may have received, etc.

Take a look at FRC 1114’s Championship Chairman’s Award Submission information (Essay, Video, & Presentation Board) since they won at the Championship Level last year they are a great team to learn from:

Additionally look at:

ACE is a website Carolyn and I have created to help team’s break down the Chairman’s Award Submission. We’re working on building up the resources but if you look at the blog we’re posting RCA tip’s to walk through and we’re willing to help team’s if they have questions or want help with editing.

Feel free to PM me, I love talking about the Chairman’s Submission Process!