Chairmen's Equipment Provided

Hello, I was wondering if for the Chairmen’s presentation equipment such as a projector or television is generally provided, or if you are expected to bring one yourself. Thank you!

You are expected to bring everything yourself. Be mindful of room sizes. Some presentation rooms could be huge and have lots of space for equipment or props, and others could literally be 6ftx 6ft offices. I’d recommend having something that is easy to set up and tear down, and is small enough to fit through small doors. I’d personally go with something that doesn’t need a large monitor or stand because setup time cuts into your presentation time.

Nothing is provided. Furthermore, I would caution against using anything electronic. Don’t tempt malfunction.

Others are right about equipment. As a reminder, here are few more tips, remember to take extension cord, sometimes the power outlets are not close by. If you have video presentation, take bigger monitor/tv or use a big screen laptop. Queue up few minutes ahead of your schedule and prep your laptop and presentation ready to go. Remember students are expected to do the setup inside the judging room, adult’s help will downgrade your team. Keep setup simple and finish with in first minute, your time starts as soon as you enter the room. Some judges may be little forgiving, but don’t expect.

For what it’s worth, when I was a student we actually presented Chairman’s in a locker room shower for one of our events. Barely enough room of the easel we were using for our visual aids. Keep it simple!

While I agree you should keep set-up time minimal, we do a cart with a small monitor and laptop attached. All of this is connected to a battery (of which we have 3 backups). The idea is we wheel in and start presenting simply by hitting “play” on our presentation. It did take us a week or so to setup so if you have a regional coming up I recommend just going in without tech. Last year was the first year we ever won, and the presentation had no props or anything electronic.

We have a ‘countdown’ that last quite a while, but at T-minus 1 hour our cart has its final inspection and test.

The cart was a donated laptop cart. We pulled out most of the shelves. We build a battery or’ing box, that connects to 3 robot batteries, to a 12vdc bench power supply, and then feeds a DC to AC inverter. With 3 batteries the rig can run about 4 hours AC free. The bench supply provides ‘shore’ power and can run forever. Simply pulling the wall plug drops us into running off of robot batteries.

The inverter feeds a laptop, that has the charger plugged in, and the laptop configured to NOT SLEEP. The inverter also feeds the power to the monitor.

The presenters simply walk into the room with the cart, then turn on their heels, and start. Typically within 4 or 5 seconds of when the cart stops rolling.
Key points.**

  • Setup and ready to go before entering the room.
  • Multiple inspection and tests on a countdown schedule before the presentation.
  • Test, Test, Test,
  • Have a fallback strategy. (grab the laptop from the rig, hold it in your hand, and keep moving.

The rig is great for corporate presentations, school presentations, and in-house teaching.

The back of the cart has two 8020 pieces bolted on, then a flat panel aluminum sheet bolted onto the 8020, then an inexpensive 42" monitor (Insignia / Best Buy) bolted onto that.

The best part is most of it was donated. (I can tell by seeing the light through the upper left door, that is is on shore power). And we can lock it.

Late CONGRATS on winning last year. I am pretty sure you were qualified for the win and were able to impress judges without visual aids. Many a times visual aids helps in presenting quantifiable data. I totally agree on keeping set easy and quick, any extra second taken for setup is a second last in convincing judges.

reminded me of this, with the N sound moved to the previous word:


Visual aids are great for pulling your story together!

We don’t use anything electronic, we just use an easel and foam core board.

Practice with whatever props you do use to make sure the end of your presentation is not cut off. We start our timer from the moment the students walk through a door to the end of the presentation.

We always try to leave a little cushion of time in the 7 minutes for anything unexpected.

Like the others have said… whatever you need – chair, table, easel, computer, monitor, power – just make sure you bring it all in the room with you and set-up time is minimal. Your message is the important thing.

I also always recommend practicing questions & answers as much as the presentation and you should practice all of it in the 12 minute block numerous times, so they have a feel for the whole experience.

Good luck!

We’ve never used anything that required power in our presentation, mainly foam core boards on easels that we printed at made when we arrived at each event. There were a few reasons we never tried anything electronic:

  • We’ve spent a large part of our history as a travelling international team. It’s already expensive to get to the tournament, and we didn’t have the funds to bring over a complicated visual system for our presentation when we believed that our foam boards (when well produced) would achieve our purpose.
  • We wanted to create visuals that complemented our presentation as much as posssible, so we avoided visuals that were distracting or too attention grabbing. A portable electronic visual display doesn’t fit this strategy.
  • We had our presentation practiced and timed to 6:45 with a +/- tolerance of 5 seconds. Granted, we could have factored setup time into this, but we wanted to maximise all the time we had without complicating our visuals. Keep it simple was definitely part of our strategy.

Granted, you can do some pretty cool things if you use electronics to supplement your visuals, and I’ve seen videos of presentations that are epic because they’ve done just that. Our team arrived at the conclusion that we didn’t want to go down that path but your team may choose the opposite. That’s part of the beauty of FIRST; one complex and rigorous challenge approached in a variety of creative ways by different people. Pick your strategy and stick by it!

Absolutely Agree !!! Loving the flexibility and creativity !!!

Interesting. We have never used props.

Here’s my $0.02, for what it’s worth. I typically advise teams to stay away from electronic or elaborate props. Electronics can break and malfunction, and can even detract from your presenters. Last year’s visual visual aid was the simplest it has ever been for our team, and I think it worked out really well :wink: . We had a board with a map of robotics teams in WV before MARS was founded, and halfway through the presentation the board was flipped to reveal what it looks like today. That one simple graphic was more meaningful and impactful than any of the elaborate slides or images or videos we have presented before. It also gave the judges the ability to focus solely on our presenters, make eye contact, and establish that connection instead of being distracted by the visual aids. Our students did create a 8.5x11 sheet (given to each judge) to help the judges follow along, but we have found that the simpler visual aids are usually the most effective. Our presenters wanted to squeeze as much face-time with the judges as possible, because that is what effectively communicates your message, and your “why.” In fact, this is why I also typically advise teams away from showing the chairman’s video in the presentation as well. We always do mock judging sessions with members of our community, former parents, and alumni, and the concept of simpler visuals shows in the feedback we have received.

That being said, I don’t want to be the person telling teams what to do or not to do in the interview room. Teams have been successful with elaborate electronic visual aids, while others have been just as successful with no visual aids at all. I’m just sharing what has worked best for us, and the added benefit of not worrying whether the electronics would fail before the presentation was an added bonus. The simpler visual aids were more successfully conveyed our message, or our “why” because of the added focus on the presenters themselves.

It is up to the team to present in any way they want as long as it’s 7 minutes or less.

As a chairman’s judge, I want to hear a great story about your teams impact. I don’t want to be distracted by presentation materials or props.

Simple is better. It is all about content. If your video or props blend into the presentation, then great. Bring it on.

Don’t distract or confuse me. Be on point, use appropriate props or video. I need to connect with your story. I want you to convince me that your story is better than all the other stories I will be hearing that day.