Judges are primarily interested in two criteria: the project itself and your presentation of it. The criteria are weighted so that the project impacts the final score slightly more than the presentation itself, but they now reflect the presenter’s ability to address questions as well. Each presenter may take 15 minutes for the presentation (including set­up), followed by a maximum of 5 minutes for questions and answers.

Each presentation receives a score from 1­-5 (5 is the best) in the following numbered categories (see brief descriptions below each criterion):


Presentation: 15 points possible

Presentation structure 

  • This criterion assesses organization, audience assessment, and time management. Do you present the material in an organized way and at a level appropriate for your audience? Do you adequately distribute your time: setting up visual or other aids, introducing the project, covering the details, explaining the results, and allowing for questions?

Verbal and nonverbal communication 

  • This includes articulation, tone and volume of voice, eye contact, posture, hand gestures, etc.

Visual or multimedia ancillaries

  • Have you chosen an effective medium for your presentation? If you use Powerpoint or some similar presentation software, do you use it effectively? Were other appropriate visuals used? Perhaps, based on the material presented, visuals are not needed, but if you need to describe some data or evidence, then let the audience see it. Having visuals just for the sake of having them are not effective, but they can be a powerful tool for conveying your work. Choose wisely.


Project: 20 points possible


  • Are the project objectives/goals reasonable and clearly stated? Do they seem to be a good idea?


This assesses research methodology and investigation of the objectives.

  • Did you choose useful and appropriate methodology to investigate the stated objectives? Was the research conducted in an effective way? Was the methodology challenging or simple to conduct? Was it inventive?

Evidence (Humanities), Results (Social Sciences and Natural Sciences)

For the humanities, this assesses the evidence that serves your conclusion.

  • Did you conduct an adequate survey of the appropriate literature?
  • Do you present reasonable backing for your conclusion?

For the social sciences and the natural sciences, this assesses the quality and clarity of results from your methodology.

  • Do the conclusions seem valid? Are they clear? Do they adequately address the stated objectives?


  • What impact will this have in your field? Also, do you make the results significant to the average intelligent consumer of information? That is, do you make clear why somebody would care about your study and its conclusions?


Effectiveness at Question­ and ­Answer: 5 points possible

Effectiveness at Q&A

Effectively fielding questions about your project can be important, so you should demonstrate your ability to field them, allowing time for judges and other audience members to ask questions. This criterion assesses your fluency with the material (the project content itself) and your performance (verbal and nonverbal communication, extemporaneous organization); thus, it incorporates both criteria above. Can you answer questions about your project? Can you do so in an effective manner?

TOTAL: 40 points possible

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