Impact Interview - What to do in between district events?

Hey all,

This past weekend my team presented our Impact presentation at our first district event at the season, I felt we did very well during the interview and the judges seemed super engaged and impressed. We didn’t end up winning (the team that did win did very well!!!) so we’re presenting again in two weeks at our next district event.

I was wondering if there was anything we should do in the down time between events in order to be better equipped. All of our presenters know our material extremely well, we have visual stimuli, we have been practicing and working hard on presentation skills, and we’ve done practice questions.

Thanks in advance, and good luck to all my fellow Impact and Awards people out there!

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Hey, our team is in the same boat!
We were mostly going to focus on questions if there was any we struggled with or ones that judges kept asking…
Other than that practice every once in a while to keep familiar with material is always a good idea!!
Best of luck to you guys :smiley:

According to FIRST, you should be getting feedback on your Impact Award from your Judges about 48 hours after your event, so make sure to look at that. Other than that, I would say to just keep practicing and revise your presentation if necessary to emphasize weaker parts or add new events that have happened since it was created.

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Thank you! I honestly feel like we have a good chance since we do similar things as the team that won at our event. At this point it’s just refining minute details till it’s as good as we can get it.

I definitely think I’m going to get the team focused on questions. We answered the questions pretty well but it can never hurt to have stronger answers.

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That’s good to know, I’ll keep an eye out for that! Thank you

Did any of the questions your team got ask for more details about something in the submission or presentation? Is there a way to tweak the presentation to include those details so the Q&A is open for something else?

Otherwise, present to a couple people who don’t know the intricacies of your team and ask them where they need clarification. That can help identify any spots in the presentation that might need small adjustments. Do all the presenters have personal stories prepped they can use if relevant? Something that shows how FIRST has impacted them personally, or a way they personally saw the FIRST impact in their community. Our team finds that making the lofty ideas personal helps connect all the dots.

Has anything new happened since the written submission is finalized that they want to include? Updated data?

Otherwise, practice Q&A. Know what information they want to get in front of the judges and how to work that in to a variety of questions.

We’ve done most of those things already, I’m planning on going through our script again and tweaking one or two minor things but we were well prepared. We answered all of their questions no problem except one which has then since been fixed.

Will definitely work through more Q&A in the meantime :+1: Thanks!

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And make sure to get some sleep too. Catching up on sleep can work wonders for focus and morale!

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Sounds like the team is well prepared, which is the only piece in your control. Good luck to them!

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It’s our team’s first time applying for the Impact Award so I’m not sure if any of my suggestions are any good but here are my thoughts:

  1. practice presenting to people who know nothing about your work and then prompt them for questions

  2. Develop a more memorable presentation (dress up in an interesting way, have a part of your presentation that is particularly standout, etc.)

  3. Record yourself presenting so you can address small things like hand gestures and such.

I also have a few questions regarding the presentation:

Are mentors allowed to hold a timer of some sort so that presenters can know what time they are at? Is there any way for presenters to know what time they’re at?

When does the timer start? As soon as you walk in?

What sort of questions did you get? What was the most standout one? (I know that some teams have gotten questions from judges asking what the judge’s name was.)

Thank you so much for this thread!

As to your questions:

  1. According to this website, “the mentor is not allowed to provide any assistance during the interview”. I would consider holding a timer to be providing assistance, although judges/JAs, feel free to correct.

  2. I’ve never had the timer begin immediately as I walked into the room, though YMMV.

  3. I often get many questions that are specific to my team’s outreach initiatives, so be prepared for those. As for general questions, some frequently asked ones in my experience are:

  • Why should you be given the FIRST Impact Award?
  • What’s your favorite core value?
  • If you had to choose only one outreach initiative to continue, which one would it be?

These are certainly not the only ones.

Good luck to you!


In my experience, we’ve had judges start the timer as soon as we walk into the room, but it definitely changes from judge to judge/event to event. We come up with a full plan for walking in mostly all set up and just starting. That’s also good to practice.

For questions, one that (embarrassingly) messed us up during our first time presenting was: “What does FIRST stand for?”

It was a truly traumatizing experience. I’ve also heard of judges asking questions about your favorite core value, plans to continue with FIRST after high school, how FIRST has impacted you, etc…

Otherwise, questions are primarily tailored to your presentation as judges read through your essay and write questions on anything they want you guys to elaborate.

Good luck on your presentation! It truly gets easier after the first time. Just be in the moment and enjoy sharing about all the awesome stuff your team does!

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