Swing and a hit: Knock-out your Capstone 1 Virtual Presentation

By Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA
Jun 19, 2020

During these challenging times we, the co-authors of this blog post, have taken many of the presentations we typically deliver live and in-person and transitioned them into the asynchronous virtual world.

Here are some practical tangible tips tailored for you to ensure the magic of your content will shine through to your virtual Capstone 1 presentation, mixed in with some tried-and-true presentation tips. Although groups are not being penalized for the quality of the video, you have the opportunity to redo or correct any mistakes. Take advantage of this and hit it out of the park!

Do these…

  • Look at the video camera, your virtual audience, when speaking.
  • Arrange a presentation flow with your group members:
    • Have the first presenter introduce the group and who will speak to which part of the presentation, then
    • Have each presenter “pass” the presentation to the next presenter, ensuring for a smoother transition.
  • Grab the attention of your audience right away. Consider opening with a quote, statistic, or some other interesting fact related to your case to pique interest.
    • Consider showing this quote on your screen as a transition while you are talking. A few select animations can strategically enhance the delivery of your content.
  • Speak loudly. Nothing is worse than not being able to hear someone presenting.
    • Checking the sound before recording your actual presentation can save you much time re-recording or editing your work.
  • Be confident! You have worked hard on this report and you know your stuff. You know much more about this case than the panel does. 😉
  • Look like you enjoy presenting (or at least look like you don’t hate it).
    • Smile. This will help relax you.
  • Be honest with one another regarding your presentation styles. If you see your teammate doing something distracting while practicing, tell them. It is better to hear it now than from the panel.
  • Thank the panel for their time at the end of the presentation.

…But not these…

  • Make it obvious that you are reading from your screen or your notes while speaking.
    • If you are speaking in front of your laptop, put sticky notes around the camera to remind where you to look and help you connect with your audience when you are reviewing your words.
    • If you insist on using cue cards, consider taping these behind your camera on the wall so they are accessible without losing that connection with your audience.
  • Speak in a monotone. Ensure the volume of the voices is relatively consistent for all group members. The panel will be listening to many presentations and you want to make a good impression.
  • Appear bored or uninterested. Listening to someone talk about something they are passionate about makes any presentation better. Nikki could listen to a presentation about hedging and enjoy it (!) but only if the presenter was passionate and confident.
  • Using excessive hand gestures: these distract from your great presentation!
  • Speak too fast. Slow down and over-annunciate if needed.

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”

– Dale Carnegie

Looks like Mr. Carnegie did not have the advantage of editing the perfect shot, eh? We invite you to consider the benefit of our current circumstance: during an in-person presentation, you only have one shot. Here, take as many as you need. Prepare, practice, be coherent, but also recognize that you have the power to say “cut!” and redo any whoopsies.

In recent months, many other professionals had to make a transition to an online platform. You are not alone.

As CPAs we do not dwell on what could have been, rather we embrace the challenge, scan the environment, analyze our options, then conclude and advise consistent with that analysis.

Good luck completing your Capstone 1 presentation and your transition to Capstone 2. 

Nikki and Sam 

Guest writer Nikki Reardon Marchiel, CPA, CA (left) is a long time CPAWSB session leader, facilitator and mentor to other facilitators.

Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA, (right) is an educator and lead policy advisor for CPAWSB, and an instructor of accounting at Dalhousie University. She is on a mission to understand and enable learner efficacy while eliminating doldrums occasionally associated with accounting education.

Read more of Nikki and Sam’s posts at the CPAWSB blog.

Do you have feedback on this post or a question you’d like answered by an experienced CPAWSB educator? Please contact your facilitator or send a question to the General Topic in the Candidate Discussion forum.