Paper Topic Presentation Discussion AssignmentFinal paper project – class presentation discussion

by John Bandler

This page is about the discussion assignment where you present your paper subject to the class. By now, you have already submitted a paper topic and outline and are starting to draft your paper, in preparation for the final paper submission.

This discussion assignment is about sharing your work with the class and practicing your presentation skills.

If speaking or presenting causes you stress, you are not alone! Practice makes it easier.

In sum

In sum you will prepare and record a three-minute presentation about your topic, in a way that is engaging and informative for your colleagues. This is also a way for you to practice your presentation preparation and delivery skills. Three minutes maximum.

In the following week, you will view and reply to all of your classmates’ presentations.

This is a substantial part of the course requirements, so put in substantial work.

Also, the goal is also that you are continuing to refine your work on your topic and what is most important about it, and you will be at mile marker 19, in our marathon analogy.

Paper Project Process Marathon 2023-5 (5) Present

A PowerPoint template with some limited instructions

This PowerPoint template has a few of the instructions and could get you started. You do not have to use it, but you should refer to it.

If you use it, remember to customize it and make it your own.

Instructions and submission content in a nutshell

  • Plan, create, practice, record, and upload a 3-minute virtual presentation.
  • Your outline submission, and feedback to that and additional thought, is your main reference.
  • Prepare and use a slide deck with a few slides and minimal text as an aid to your audience.
  • Record a continual audio with no pausing, and no subsequent editing.
  • It is strongly preferred that you show your face as you present (but this is not mandatory depending on individual school rules).
  • 3:00 minutes maximum. Please don’t go over.
  • You will upload your recording to the appropriate learning management system discussion forum.
  • Practice your presentation skills
  • Teach your classmates about your topic
  • A little stress is good! But if you are feeling too much stress, relax, and just do your best.

Your steps in sum (a little more detail)

  • Plan your presentation
    • This is a standalone, interesting, informative presentation in no more than 3 minutes.
    • It has the same title as your paper, but you are giving a dynamic presentation covering the main point(s) in three minutes.
      • Discuss your topic. Present your topic to your listeners now.
      • Avoid referring to your paper and don't say "my paper will cover", or "I will research ..."
    • Share your learning and knowledge with the class
  • Create a short slide deck
    • See the sample template/guideline above
    • Just a few slides, be light on text, keep the focus on you the speaker
    • The first slide should have your name and the title of your presentation (same title as your paper)
    • The last slide should have your references
  • Practice your presentation
    • Preparing your presentation helps you learn
    • Preparing and delivering your presentation helps you practice verbal communication skills
    • Keep it informative, interesting, and within the time limit (all students have to view all presentations)
    • Deliver a concise, informative, engaging presentation on your paper topic.
    • Present the topic and your information
      • Avoid saying what the paper "will" have in it, or will cover.
      • Avoid referring to the paper at all.
      • Avoid saying what you "will research". You should have already done that research.
    • Plan your setup and technology
      • If you are unable to record video/audio and slides together, be sure to narrate when the viewer should go to the next slide
      • Zoom is a helpful and simple app for recording powerpoint and face and audio
    • Rehearse and check your timing.
  • Record it and create a video/audio of your presentation, going straight through as if you were live in front of the class
    • Incorporate all the above from planning and practice
    • Record it straight through. One continuous presentation, no pausing.
    • Do not edit in anyway.
    • Messed up? Record it again.
    • Messed up again? Record one more time.
    • Messed up again? That's it, pick your best and upload it, don't try to be perfect.
  • Keep to the 3 minute time limit! (Yes, this is a challenge but it can be done)
  • Use most (or all) of your 3 minutes.
  • Upload it
    • Create a post/thread, with an appropriate title, upload your presentation
      • Sample thread title: NAME - PRESENTATION TOPIC
    • Any uploaded files should have helpful filenames, and the filename should include your name
      • Sample file name:  NAME - PRESENTATION TOPIC.mp4
    • Upload it to the learning management system (LMS)
      • Don't post a link to it and host it on your cloud account.
      • Try to upload it so that it is viewable within the LMS (so that users do not have to download it to watch it)
  • Watch all of your classmates' presentations over the following week
    • Reply substantively and constructively to all of them over the next week. (All of them).
  • Put in good effort throughout. This presentation is an important part of the course. Please put good effort into it and see the points weight of it.

More details

First, make sure you understand the "big picture" and overall goals. Then, think of these details.

  • Name your discussion thread so that it includes your name and topic. [e.g., John Doe Cybersecurity Presentation]
  • Name any uploaded documents appropriately too (your name, title of presentation)
  • If you are having technical issues creating a video that includes your powerpoint and audio and video of your face, or other issue:
    • Try using Zoom
    • You could create the video/audio and narrate when the audience should transition slides
      • Then upload the video/audio and powerpoint as separate files to the discussion forum
  • Comply with copyright laws and plagiarism rules. "Fair use" of some images might be allowed for this educational submission. Always cite the source.
  • You will need to upload a file (or files) to the learning management system (LMS, e.g. Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace).
  • Give them good filenames that include your name and topic.
  • Create a slide deck. It needs to be very short and light on the text. Keep the audience focus on you, the speaker. The slides are just an aid.
  • Rehearse and plan.
  • Try not to read a script. Try to make eye contact with the camera as your audience.
  • Record your presentation in one take. Do not pause your video/audio or edit it. This is about practicing to do a live a presentation and simulating delivering a live presentation. This is not about being perfect, nor about editing skills.
  • Record the entire presentation in one take.
  • Messed up badly? Do another take. Or a third. But don't do a fourth.
  • This is not about being perfect, but practicing your speaking and presentation skills. Mistakes are OK.
  • Feeling self-conscious or that your speaking skills aren't good? That's OK. That's what this practice is for.
  • Consult individual course instructions
  • Consult instructions for your learning management system
  • Create a new thread in this forum with an appropriate thread name
  • Upload your video to the platform so it can be viewed via your thread.
  • Write one or two sentences to accompany your video. Something positive to tell your classmates what it is.
  • Watch all of your classmate's videos. Comment substantively on all of them.
  • This is a substantial work of class discussion both for the content you create and the time to review what other students created. Plan appropriate time and effort.
  • Presentations cause many people stress. Including for me, but less now that I have so much practice doing it. Take deep breathes, relax, try to enjoy the process of helping others learn. Know that it gets easier each time you do it.
  • Technology comes with challenges for all of us, so do your best. Contact support if needed, improvise if needed.
  • The following week, watch all of your classmates' presentations and comment substantively to all of them. Yes all of them.
    • If you experience a technical issue, be sure to comment and point that out, so that it can be corrected
    • If there is no audio, and your reply is "great presentation", the assumption will be that you did not actually review it.
  • Respond to any questions asked of you.
    • If classmates indicate an issue accessing your presentation, be sure to correct it.


  • Provide an understanding of the topic
  • Follow a clear and logical sequence
  • Spend adequate time on each element
  • Make the audience want to know more
  • Convey enthusiasm for the topic
  • Capture and maintain the audience attention (with facts, logic, and reason, not with unseemly attention grabbing)
  • Stage presences, eye contact, vocal range, steady pace, confident demeanor
  • Slides are minimal, light on text, and enhance presentation
  • Use most of the 3 minutes and does not go over
  • No pausing of the recording during the recording process, no editing after recording
  • Followed the instructions

Yes, you can present it in three minutes

Research Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) including:

Following week - view what your classmates' did and comment

Remember to submit your presentation on time since that is a course requirement and in consideration for your fellow students.

The following week, every student will view every presentation by every other student and leave a substantive comment or question. (That's another reason for the three minute time limit).

Be sure to note if there is a technical issue with the presentation or lack of audio so that it can be corrected promptly.

Links regarding final paper project

Other links

Watch me walk through these instructions in a short video

Posted 8/15/2022 based on years of teaching. Updated 6/12/2024