New Chairman's Team

Hey guys!
My team has never entered for the chairman’s award before and we are super excited, yet nervous.
Here is a link to our video:
We are most concerned about our presentation. Are there any tips anyone could give us just on how it goes, what we could do to help the judges like us better, or anything a rookie chairman’s team just might want to know in general??
Thanks so much!
Lilly from the GreengineerZ 3452

Lilly -

At the event, you will sign up for a presentation slot with Pit Admin on Thursday evening for a presentation appointment on Friday. Since you won’t know the match schedule yet, I recommend you select chairman’s presenters from other team members who are not the driver, operator, human player, pilot or coach. It is very difficult to reschedule a presentation appointment.

Other considerations:

  1. Have “pit talkers”. The judges are in blue shirts and they come around frequently to talk to the teams. Mentors should plan to step away from the pits but stay in the general area. These students should be very familiar with the information you submitted for the Chairman’s award. The judges know the presentation appointment schedule and many times a judge team will appear in your pit at the same time as your presentation. They want to talk to a wide variety of students.

  2. Have documentation - but not too much! An organized binder of information is useful, but the judges have very little time to review. Use a table of contents if you submit a binder. MAKE SURE your team number is on the binder, so Pit Admin can return it to you at the end of the event. Print 3 copies of the Executive Summary questions with your team’s responses and the Essay. Hand these to the judges when you enter the presentation room.

  3. It is a 10 minute presentation with up to 3 students. You have 7 minutes (from the time you walk into the room!) to tell your story. Memorize your presentation well. Practice with the presentation team. There is never too much practice. Give your presentation to adults at your school, team mentors and even your team. You are allowed to have a mentor accompany the presenters as a non-participating adult observer.

  4. The CA videos are not judged, but they are viewed to make sure they are appropriate.

  5. Pay attention to body language and distracting behaviors. Rocking back and forth, using filler words like “um” are distracting. Video your presentation and play it back to make sure you are projecting your voice and clearly enunciating your words.

  6. After your presentation, the judges will ask you clarifying questions. Practice answers to these questions and plan which team member will answer about particular topics.

  7. Presentation prop : Teams can bring props to the room. Make sure it can fit through a standard door AND it fits in the vehicle you use to travel to the competition <–true Killer Bee stories.

Good luck!

Practice Q&A! This is often something that teams overlook, but Q&A id s big part of your presentation. Look for things in your submission that are vague or non-specific: it is likely that judges will ask you to clarify these points. RUSH has a great set of practice questions here:

Remember that judges are there for you. They are regular people who take time out of their lives because they are excited about FIRST and want to know what you have to say about it. They are truly enthusiastic, kind people who love FIRST & FRC teams as much as you do. That being said, don’t be too nervous or psych yourself out. They really just want to talk to you and learn more about you and your team.

I’m not entirely sure if you will have this opportunity, but some competitions have what’s called a Chairman’s Exchange where on the Thursday of the event, you can go and practice your presentation, as well as ask other teams questions and watch their presentations. You may not want to change your presentation for that competition, but you could always tweak it for the next one if you think of more ideas. That may be something you want to look into.

The judges also provide feedback. Even though you won’t be able to change and edit your essay, you can always tweak your presentation based off of that. Just don’t change the entire thing unless you are committing to a whole lot more practicing.

But like the person before me said, make sure you are practicing potential questions. I was also going to recommend Team 27 because they have a list of questions they have kept over the years. What our team has done is we look over the questions and actually come up with general answers. They don’t have to be memorized, but having an idea of what you want to respond with will be really helpful. It’s better to attempt to answer a question than to ask them to skip over it.

I know some teams like to just “assign” topics of what to talk about during the presentation so they can just wing it. I don’t suggest this. I think it will be a lot more professional looking if you have the entire script written out and memorize it word for word. These presentations are a great way to go into more detail on things you touched on in your presentation.

Having numbers and stats for how much of an impact you have made is a great thing to incorporate in your presentation. Putting the emphasis on those and using different tones for different parts of your script will grab their attention.

Remember to practice even the hand motions you are going to use. Just standing there during a presentation tends to make people more monotone, and adding nice movement can really benefit.

I hope this has helped you! Good luck!!!:slight_smile:


All of the information that is in this thread is good advice. Just remember to do what is best for your team.

For the presentation, make sure to bring the judges the feedback form. You have to bring it to them or else you will not get any feedback. I’ve posted the link for your convenience.

Also, bring a three copies of your essay & executive summaries that are in word document format. STIMS messes formatting up and makes the essay difficult to read, so if you have the essay in a nicely formatted and printed out the judges will be thankful for it.

Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of resources from presentations, videos, and essays, for students to learn from. This link I’ve posted may be helpful for you and to anyone else who needs it.