Capstone 1 Presentation Tips from CPA Panelist

May 2, 2024
Photo credit: Dacpro/
In this article, Winston Sim, CPA, and a previous Capstone 1 panelist will delve into how Capstone 1 candidates can prepare for their group presentation.

Winston completed his CPA through the legacy CMA program in 2014 and had the opportunity to serve as a panelist. Having experienced the evaluation process himself during the CMA board report presentation and understanding the rigorous preparation required, he now shares what distinguishes outstanding groups during their capstone 1 presentation. 

Panelist's Advice 


Drawing from his experience on the opposite end of the table, Winston underscores the paramount importance of clarity and relevance in presentations. Given panelists' limited familiarity with case specifics, it's advisable for teams to concentrate on the most crucial analysis and information to bolster their recommendations within the allocated timeframe. 

During presentations, candidates should prioritize refining their soft skills, emphasizing clarity, confidence, effective teamwork, and succinct communication. These attributes are pivotal for effectively conveying proposals and recommendations to the board of directors and adeptly addressing inquiries during the Q&A segment. 

To sidestep common pitfalls, groups ought to contemplate unveiling their recommendations and decisions earlier in their presentations, ensuring a more potent impact, as opposed to rushing through them towards the conclusion. Guarding against the overshadowing of main points by technical minutiae is imperative to maintain recommendation clarity. Moreover, the employment of expansive Excel spreadsheets as presentation aids may pose challenges due to readability concerns. 

For a polished presentation, candidates should rehearse and meticulously manage timing. Allotting ample time for each recommendation and supplying supporting appendices can heighten presentation clarity. Additionally, furnishing hard copies of supplementary materials ensures accessibility for panelists. 

Professional Development Opportunities 

The Capstone 1 experience extends beyond the exam room, providing invaluable opportunities for candidates to develop essential skills for their professional careers. Working collaboratively to analyze business scenarios, evaluate alternatives, and present recommendations fosters critical thinking and decision-making abilities crucial in the business world. 

Key Takeaways 

Prioritizing clarity, relevance, and effective communication ensures candidates' presentations stand out, leaving a lasting impression on the panel and advancing their journey toward the CPA designation. As successful CPAs, candidates can also aspire to become panelists themselves, contributing to the development of future generations of accounting professionals. Visit our website for more information on becoming a panelist.

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