Symposium on Community Engaged Scholarship

How to Prepare a Showcase Presentation

Each semester the Nashman Center hosts the Symposium on Community Engaged Scholarship, an afternoon for students, faculty, and community partners to share and reflect upon their experiences. During the Showcase Session, student presentations describe the nature of their community engagement during the semester, in terms of:

  • the outcomes for the community,
  • the outcomes on their own learning and growth, and
  • what they believe the general public needs to know about the issue they addressed or the community they worked with.


To prepare a Showcase Session presentation, it is important to keep in mind a few key aspects of the context of this portion of the Symposium.

During this part of the Symposium, the audience flows through presentations much like an art gallery or tabling fair.
We advise students to carefully prepare a 1-2 minute “pitch” presentation, which they will give many times. The goal of this pitch is to persuade your audience to stay longer and ask follow-up questions. Students should summarize their experience, highlighting community impact, scholarly learning outcomes, and reflections about civic participation.

Leverage visual aids to get audience attention and make your points memorable.

Students use posters, powerpoint slides, handouts, art, or other visual aids to be able to quickly and memorably make their points. Engineering and interior design students have been known to bring the actual product they designed for their community partner.

Presentation slides are displayed on a laptop, not projected. Given this scale, photographs, maps, and graphs have greater impact than bullet points or text. Students bring their own laptop, making sure its battery is fully charged.

Consider ways to engage the audience in active participation.

If your findings are surprising, ask your audience what they think or expect before revealing the results. Take an audience poll, indicating the results in real time. Invite your audience to write a letter to their representative – have writing materials and fact-filled letter samples at your table.