Blog Post #6: Matt Feryo

Overall, I think that my group’s first presentation went fairly smoothly. In order to improve my presentation skills for next month, here are ten things that I will do to strengthen my next presentation:

  1. On this first presentation, my group and I felt that since this was the first presentation, we had to present a good amount of background information for the judges to understand the purpose and importance of our project. In future presentations, this information will not be as necessary because the judges have already heard the information. This will allow us to touch on more of the actual research that we have done.
  2. Personally, I was very nervous for the presentation. I rarely present in large groups of people, so doing so was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone. I think that for the most part, I did a good job being confident in the information that I was presenting, but occasionally I noticed that I was tripping up on some of my words and stuttering. In the future, I would like to be more fluent in my presentation.
  3. Going along with the last point, something that I can do to fix this would be to practice more with my team. All three of us were very busy and did not have time to rehearse the presentation beforehand. Although we were able to pull everything together, some practice will only make the presentation smoother and more cohesive.
  4. During the questions part of my presentation, I noticed that all three of us tried to chime in and give our answer to the question. In reality, it may seem that we were stepping over each other. In order to fix this we will have to come up with a plan on how to address questions in a more concise manner to allow for more questions.
  5. That being said, I felt as if I could have answered questions that one of my group members answered. Once again just proving that we need to figure out a way to address questions and deliberate who is answering them.
  6. This last presentation, we had a question bank that we were prepared to answer. Unfortunately, none of these questions were asked. So, in the future we are going to have to think of new questions to prepare for and make backup slides for these.
  7. Something that I noticed was that a lot of the questions were about stuff that we had thought about, but was much further down the line than we are now in the project. Perhaps, the best way to address this problem so that it doesn’t occur again would be to put a timeline on one of our slides so that the judges no exactly where we are in the project.
  8. I think something that we did well as a team was bring a specific product to the meeting. This is definitely something that we should do for the next meeting.
  9. We got a lot of feedback saying that the judges really enjoyed seeing the graphs that we put on our slides. This is something that we will definitely include again in future presentations.
  10. Finally, in this presentation our group had a difficult time with the time restraints. Going into the presentation we had planned how long each of us would speak. Not all of us followed these restraints and we were forced to rush in some areas of the presentation. Again, this is something that will come from practice.


Our project does require IRB approval for our malnutrition product in Sierra Leone. We will be planning on working with some families to determine if our product is something that would be accepted into the diets of a typical household. Because this has minimal risk involved, we should qualify for the expedited IRB application. While in Sierra Leone, perhaps we will work with schools and distribute our project there because there are such a large number of children at school. Additionally, we will have to work with the Community Health Workers to determine if they think this product would be accepted in society.

For our venture, like many, there are many incomes that we will be putting into the model (time, money, and partners). The outputs that we are hoping for is that we have developed a product that boosts the nutrient levels in children in Sierra Leone and that families incorporate the product into their diets. The outcomes should improve the lives of children in Sierra Leone, by making them live healthier lives with healthier diets.

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