Video During Presentation?

I’m curious to know whether teams are showing their video during their Chairman’s Presentation or not.

Our team is probably not going to show our video, and just use posters as visuals.

Videos sound like a good idea but it does take time away from the Q&A and I think that would help the judges get to know you better. You said you’re doing posters and such as a visual. Does that mean that you didn’t do the essay?

All teams are required to submit the essay, and that essay was submitted online. This is my first year working on the CA, but to my knowledge, the judges have read the essay beforehand, so it doesn’t need to be re-read during the presentation. I believe that there’s a 5 minute limit for the Q&A and a 5 minute limit for the presentation, so showing a video would eat up the presentation time, not the Q&A time. (however, I could be interpreting the PDF incorrectly: again, it’s my first year working with the award)

We’ll probably be showing the video with our presentation. Because it’s required this year, we would like to see some payoff for the work and effort that we put into making it, so that it wasn’t done just to fulfill a requirement.

You might have a few clips from your video as part of your presentation.

Simply hitting the “play” button, standing still for a 3-minute video, then jumping to Q&A won’t impress judges as much as a live, interactive session.

We learned that via judge’s feedback a while back.

That’s correct! The judges often times use your submitted essay to develop their questions. But I think that if they are going to be seeing the video, it might help to reinforce what is presented in the video with, as David said, some animation and interaction from the students themselves!

It also depends on what you are showing in your video v. what you will be presenting. We were originally going to have the video focus on our team and how we’ve overcome changes, and then our presentation focus on the impact, but we decided to give our video another twist so that it will be able to stand on its own.

But I have heard that although the video is required, it is not “judged;” I am not exactly sure what this means…does it mean that they will not view it unless you win and they have to show it? or that the content of the view does not influence their decision in choosing a winning team?

The exact wording in Section 5 is “Although it is a requirement of submission, it is not a requirement for the judging process for 2010.”

It may or may not factor into the judging, but the lack of it certainly will, as not having it means an incomplete submission.


You say that the judges weren’t impressed with you standing around while you played your video. Can you provide some more detail into this? Did you not talk at all during the first 5 minutes? What exactly did they say? And do you think that your judges had an isolated opinion about this strategy and that its not a FIRST-wide opinion?


We figured it like this, we have three ways to get information to the RCA judges; the essay, the video, and the presentation. In order to maximize the amount of information, we did our presentation without the video and using information that complimented the essay.

Additionally, adding a video and computer into the mix complicates the limited amount of time you have to present, another reason to nix high tech props.

We printed our presentation graphics on tshirts. While one student was talking about their part of the presentation, another student would turn their back to the judge to show a chart, picture, or other graphic. It was pretty cool, worked well, cheap to implement, and little that could go wrong. Kudos to my daughter, Danielle from FRC3295, for coming up with the idea.

I wasn’t in the room for the Chairman’s presentation, so I cannot tell you exactly how it played out, but here’s what I was told: The first minute was used for brief introductions of the two students and mentor, some information on the team history and composition, then an introduction for the video. Roll video. After the video, the students talked a bit about the build season then opened up the discussion for questions.

The judges’ feedback regarding more talking and less video was provided in the written evaluation of the Chairman’s presentation given to the team after the awards ceremony. I cannot say whether the judges’ opinion is FIRST-wide or not. Last year was Team 980’s first Chairman’s submission since 2003, so we’re dealing with a pretty small sample. This year, our presentation will have more live, real-time discussion, with just a snippet of our video.

I can say last year our team did show our 3-minute video during our chairman’s presentation at Champs (I was presenting that one, but not at regionals, so I don’t know what they did there - I think the same thing). Our logic was that we had put a lot of effort into our video (and it wasn’t just a basic windows moviemaker movie, a guy in the film class had spent a week plus on it) and we knew the material in it was just as good as what we could say ourselves, so we showed it during the presentation knowing that it would then be included for review by the judges. We used the remaining two minutes by having each presenter speak for 40 seconds, covering anything missed or expanding on other topics from the video. We then went to Q&A.

I know we got a lot of really good feedback from this from the judges - they really liked our video and like I said, it covered the information well. My opinion would be this - it’s up to the individual teams, but if you’ve put a lot of effort into making your video (especially more than just MovieMaker), and know that the material in it is good, and it shows off your team well - show it. A video doesn’t forget information like the presenters might, and if it’s done well, may impress the judges nearly as much if not more than a student.


I agree with your sentiments and am encouraged to hear of such a positive response from your set of judges. I agree that our team has put a tremendous amount of time into our video and I believe its the best video our team has ever produced. A large fear of our team last year was that the judge’s never saw our video since no where in the rules does it state that they will actually watch it.


Thanks for the response. I guess it really just depend on the quality of your video and what each individual judge thinks of your strategy.