An effective 3-minute PRD video presentation is dynamic, concise, informative and focuses on the essential points of your research. Use your three minutes to shine to address three major points: the WHAT, HOW, and especially the WHY of your work, aimed at a broad, non-specialist audience. Think of it as an exercise in generating excitement for your scholarship in others who are most likely to be outside of your discipline or specialty.
To that end, here are some suggestions for you as you prepare your video submission:
Be sure to tell your audiences who you are and what your role is at Princeton University.
Be extremely clear when defining your project. After all, there are bound to be several viewers who will have never been exposed to your field before your presentation. Think about how you would introduce your work to someone who you already knew had no prior understanding of your topic (e.g., a roommate or family member), or how you would sell your work to as wide of a demographic as possible without jeopardizing the richness of your scholarship. What fundamentals and essential information would they need to know? What question(s) about the world are you trying to approach or resolve? Instead of trying to present the whole project in its entirety—and rushing through lots of details—you may want to focus on one or two of the most exciting, crucial points that lend themselves to good, broad takeaways.
How you’ve done your work is just as important as the work being done. How has your project taken shape, and how have you carried it forwards? Be sure to articulate your methods to viewers outside of your field who may have never set foot into a science lab, did a close reading of a text like the one you’re discussing, been to the part of the world you’re studying, or ever thought about art in the way you’re performing or presenting it. You might ask yourself: how do I give my audience the tools to understand my motives for approaching my project in the way that I have?
Why should audiences care about your project? Why do YOU care about your work? The last thing you want is for your audiences to be left wondering what the point of your presentation was, or what’s at stake in any of it. If you submit an art piece or performance, you must also discuss the scholarship behind it. This presentation is not only a chance for you to lay out what you’ve done and how you’ve done it, but also to concisely demonstrate what it brings to the table within and beyond your field. Remember, you’re speaking to a general audience, so try to think about your work’s applicability in a relatively broad sense.
Remember, this is only THREE MINUTES. Think carefully about how much time you’ll allot for each of the three categories above. Rather than trying to condense your entire project into three minutes, think of this presentation as a window, a brief glimpse into what makes your work exciting and fun. We’re not asking you to outright minimalize or diminish your work, but rather, to frame it in a way that suits the time allotted. Cut to the chase! Get us to the juicy bits as soon as you can!
On that note, if you’re excited about your work and what it contributes to the world, it should be to your presentation’s benefit. Present with energy! Practice your presentation several times, and experiment with different cadences, different audiences (if you can), and different styles. See what works for you, and whatever it is, get us excited about it!
Think about ways that you can make your presentation memorable not just in its contents but also in how you present them.