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1 Background

Each electrical or computer engineering student is required to clear the Technical Presentation Milestone (TPM) before his or her 3B Academic Term. Normally, this milestone is cleared when the student gives an acceptable presentation of a technical nature to an audience of his or her peers and two evaluators at the Technical Presentation Proficiency Examination (TPM 1X000) in the 2A Academic Term.

The there are two complementary justifications for requiring this milestone:

First, we must define what is and—more importantly—what is not a technical presentation.

Technical presentations in an engineering environment are usually associated with a requirement to either

the audience on the status, analysis, design, or technology of a project to an audience which may include executives, managers, peers, or subordinates with varying degrees of technical knowledge.

A technical presentation has come to be a slide-based presentation coordinated with a speech given by the speaker. In such a speech, the speaker informs or persuades and does not attempt to either teach or sell (in a superficial manner) concepts to the audience. There are two other forms of oral presentation which achieve these latter goals: the lecture and marketing pitch, respectively. Similarly, a technical presentation is not meant to contain excessive detail nor should it be thorough. The appropriate medium for an engineer to convey large amounts of information is a written report. The next three sections will discuss these differences in more detail.

Reference: Michael Alley, "The Craft of Scientific Presentations".