Your research or experiment is only a portion of your final project grade. Presentation is an essential component of proper scholarship. An excellent experiment can reach stellar status with an attractive and appealing trifold board presentation. Originality and variety are your best weapons against the boredom of blandness and empty white space.
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Basic Layout and Design
Your project board should attract people from across the room. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to purchase a trifold board with a bright base colour. White is a boring, sterile colour, and black can be just as unappealing. Bright blue, red or green will catch the eye and draw visitors to your board.
Your title should be printed in large font, so that it is clearly visible from 20 feet away. Come up with a clever title that references the project but doesn't sound too wordy or boring. For instance, a project on magnetism might be entitled, "Laws of Attraction: A Study of Magnets and Serious Relationships." The title of each section should also be clearly visible to visitors walking past your exhibit. Graphs and charts should be clearly labelled to avoid confusion.
The layout of your information is also crucial to an effective presentation. American readers naturally read from left to right, top to bottom. Therefore, start with your introductory information on the top-left, work down the left panel, cross the centre of the board and then work down the right panel. Balance out the information so that one side isn't more wordy than the other.
Display Board Additions
Purchase another board identical to your own and cut out squares slightly larger than your heading slips. Paste the slips on the squares and the squares on your board to create a three-dimensional look that flies in the face of flat board appearance. Add two squares behind the title to give it added emphasis. You won't be able to fully close your board anymore, but display boards are meant to proudly stand open.
Purchase a header panel for your board. These rectangular pieces of cardboard or foam attach to the top of your trifold board via two vertical slits. Your project title achieves new prominence while offering more space on the centre panel for charts, graphs and other types of data. Select a header panel of the same colour as your trifold board for unity, or select a complementary colour for added variety.
Add shapes or images to your board that are relevant to your topic. For instance, a project on electricity would be complemented by glittered lightning bolts along the edges. Take care not to add too much decoration, to avoid distracting visitors from the information.
Some projects are complemented by sound or video. Place a small stereo beside your display with relevant music or sound to add another sensory experience to the presentation. For example, a project concerning average rainfall during the month of September could be complemented with thunderstorm recordings or quiet renditions of "Singing in the Rain." As noted before, ensure that your additions complement your project, rather than distract visitors from the information.
Another option is to cut a small hole in the bottom of the centre panel for a small television. Hook up your television to a VCR or DVD player and play applicable footage to add visual and audible stimulation to your project. For instance, play a video of the experiment being performed. If your project concerns the rain forest and extinction laws, play a nature documentary filmed in the Amazon. Video not only adds interest to your project but also adds supplementary information.
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