banner I have been a Lego League coach since 2007. This year, I wanted to document the season to give rookie coaches a resource to help them through to competition. The process can be intense, but it can also be a lot of fun for you and your team.

I hope to cover enough through my posts, but if I leave anything out, please feel free to leave a comment, or contact me.

Make the Presentation Fun

Author: fllCoach | Files under Research Project

In our last team meeting, we spent the entire hour and a half working on our presentation. I wasn’t involved with the presentation side last year as I left it to my co-coach to handle. There was a definite distinction of expertise since I was a technical guy and he enjoyed performing on stage. This year, the distinction wasn’t as obvious, so it’s been more of a partnership.

The thing I took from the meeting was that you can have a lot of fun when working on the presentation. We did a skit last year and are doing one this year. The kids were having a blast writing the script. Don’t just regurgitate your facts and figures and throw in your problem and solution. It will turn out like a dry five minute political speech. Have some fun with it. Use your kids’ creativity.

No matter how good your research is, if the judges enjoy themselves, they will reward you for it. Given two presentations with the exact information, one as a regurgitation of facts and the other as a skit with interjected humor, which do you think they will score better? I’d put money down that they would give more props to the skit. People like to have a good time and you can use that to your advantage.

I found that my team was thoroughly enjoying themselves as well. Most kids come into Lego League wanting to play with Legos and program robots. The presentation piece is the boring part. But it doesn’t have to be. Help your team by throwing in juvenile jokes (they are only 9-12, after all) to get the creative juices flowing. Make them laugh by making a funny face when they say something that doesn’t make sense. If you have fun, your team will have fun. And that will come across in your final presentation.

5 responses. Wanna say something?

  1. Pebblekeper - Angie
    Oct 8, 2010 at 09:34:23

    We are starting on the presentation tonight as well. I have a few fun ideas to get the creative juices flowing. I have a young team, mostly eight year olds. I keep reading blogs about these 3rd and 4th year teams and need to remember, that we are planning the start of their joy of engineering and robotics and presentations. I’ll post pics and my blog after tonight’s meeting. 🙂

  2. Dean Hystad
    Oct 8, 2010 at 11:58:52

    My research judge friends tell me that the actual presentation is worth about 25% of the score. You can look at that and think “Is that all?” or “Wow, that is a lot.” Solid research and a well thought out solution are on what most of the score is based.

    The real value of a fun presentation is (as mentioned above) that it keeps the team’s interest and involvement up. If the team is having fun their research will improve. If they have pride in their presentation they are more likely to take a real interest in the topic.

    Our best research project was the “Sky Gardens” infomercial. For some strange reason my girls all love infomercials and they are all big fans of Billy Mays. So my daughter dressed up as the master pitchman and sold the judges on the idea of buying into a rooftop farming franchise.

    Never before had they spent so much time and effort on the project. They contacted construction firms for estimates on the cost of building greenhouses on top of skyscrapers. They contacted hydroponic gardeners to get information about expected yields and performed their own hydroponic vs soil gardening experiments. They learned how to do video editing for the testimonials. They designed a business logo and promotional materials (and learned a lot of photoshop tricks).

    The judges enjoyed the presentation, but most of their comments were about the post-presentation interview. There was an answer for every question, and the answers were detailed and concise.

  3. fllCoach
    Oct 8, 2010 at 13:31:39

    That’s a really cool approach to have the presentation drive the research. In our case this year, we did all the research and are presenting it in a creative way. I’m not sure how my co-coach did it last year. I can see that going the other way would really get the team engaged and produce a killer presentation.

  4. Pebblekeper - Angie
    Oct 8, 2010 at 21:56:12

    We took the FLL’s request to post a video – and included it in our blog post. 🙂 Thanks for all of your help and encouragement!

  5. Pebblekeper - Angie
    Oct 8, 2010 at 21:56:57

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