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Preparing Your Synopsis Project

Preparing for Your Oral Presentation Based on a Written Synopsis
What is a Synopsis?
A synopsis is a discussion paper with few keywords to your exam presentation or project presentation. In a few pages the synopsis presents your research and your design product in distinct headings and subheadings. The background for the synopsis is your given assignment, i.e. you are asked to solve the assignment strategically in terms of communication, interaction, visual design and project planning. But these details, along with the number of pages, time schedule, individual or group examination etc., will clearly be defined in the current assignment.

Make sure always to be familiar with the curriculum, the exam requirements and the content of the specific assignment. Ask your teachers for guidance if you have questions.

The Synopsis Presentation Consists of Three Parts

The synopsis presentation traditionally consists of three parts:
A short written paper. A prepared oral exam based on the guidelines in your short paper. A discussion and an examination with the teacher (and sometimes also the external

examiner) based on your presentation and your multimedia product. There is a golden rule: The most individual part must be demonstrated at the oral examination.

Writing and Presenting: Making the Synopsis Paper Work for You
Start by defining a problem formulation as simply and specifically as possible. Make sure that you can solve this question with the use of the theoretical and practical tools you have learned. Make an introduction in your paper pretty much as you would have done in a more lengthy report. Then briefly and in short chronological paragraphs present your questions and solutions as well as the conclusion of your paper. It is very important that you make use of a good structure in relation to your presentation.
Written partfocus 1: A conventional, short introduction defining a problem field and a

problem formulation. See also the guide to making a problem formulation.

Written partfocus 2: A structure of the content, for example theory and definitions,

theoretical applications into methods, visual design and application, analysis, chosen communication implementation and perhaps also tests of the strategy. Dont write long texts. Make good use of a coherent, typographical layout. Remember to write a bibliographical appendix.

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Oral presentation focus: Present and develop further the topics that you have prepared

for the oral exam, and remember to make use of the defined theory. Remember also to use the time you have been given for the presentationthe exact time. Practice your presentation before going to your oral exam. Use a Power Point presentation, because this is a good visual tool. If you have corrections or other appendices, hand them out at the beginning of the exam. Always remember to refer to specific parts of your media design and to make use of references to your literature whenever needed. This is the backing of your arguments (this element will be defined later).

Making the Discussion Work

End your presentation by making topic suggestions for the discussion. This gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that you can discuss a topic from a critical angle. Also, be attentive to the questions you will be asked. Listen and be open towards the discussion, and dont panic if there are questions you might not be able to answer. The more prepared you are for your presentation, the better you can focus on new questions.

The Strong Argument

These are some guidelines for testing your arguments in the synopsis paper as well as in your presentation:
Your argument: Whenever you make a claim, you want to substantiate your claim towards

your listeners or readers. For example, if you make the argument that taking digital notes on your groups working processes is a good procedure for better evaluation of the work schedule.
o Rebuttal: You may in some cases be justifiably critical towards some parts of your own

argument. You could for example say: Sometimes the processes need some organic flexibility and a bit of creative freedom. In other words, this does not always weaken your credibility, but it can position you as open for dialogue and critique.
o Modality: The way you stress your argument is important. Do you say: I think that

or do you say: I am convinced that and why do you use this specific language?
Your data: You base your argument on some data, also called grounds. The above

mentioned example can be based on the grounds that this is a precise measuring of intentions stated in your time scheduleseen in relation to the speed of work, cooperation, team culture, overview of the tasks etc.
Your warrant: This is the rule that permits you to justify your point of view. Again, seen in

the context of the example mentioned above, the rule given here could be that we must develop our ability to be self-critical and to innovate our group dynamics. This is done according to modern management culture. Use

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o Backing: The rule can furthermore be strengthened by the use of the way you refer to

research, cases, literature and other well defined sources and reliable materials.

The Rhetorical Situation of Your Presentation

Before making a precise disposition of your oral presentation, take some time to consider these aspects, because they are all mutually interwoven:
The sender: Who am I as a sender? Perhaps I have some strengths due to the collective

work of the group as its presented in the synopsis paper. But what is my unique strength and focus? This leads to thoughts about

The subject matter: What am I going to say? What have I achieved and how. What has already been said and what must be elaborated on. Has anything changed since the handin of the assignment?

The receiver: Who is my audience? The whole class or just a few teachers? What do they

know about the subject? Must I define something more specifically? Get used to the idea that you are the expert on you assignment!
The language: What kind of language should I use? Do I often speak in very narrow

technical terms? Do I mumble or murmur? How can I practice to be better at getting to the point? I represent my group, but I am also an individual with my own style.

The situation: In what kind of a situation am I presenting my design? Do I have ten minutes or twenty minutes? Am I going to present in front of many people, is it my class mates or is it my teachers along with an external censor whom I have not met before? Do I know the physical environment, in which I am going to speak, is it cold or warm? Do I know the technical possibilities for connecting my pc to the net and a projectorand does it actually work? Dresscode?

Example of a Synopsis and an Oral Presentation (keywords)

Examples of the Written Part Too often there is a lack of a coherent design in the combination of web interaction and the standards of the typographic web design. The problem is especially concentrated on sites as (name cases). The problem is also discussed in (refer to sources, specific acknowledged research/researchers in the field) I will investigate how it is possible to optimize the user interaction by enhancing the creative typographic design in relation to visual aesthetic
Presenting the

Examples of Implementation at the Oral Presentation

Make a brief recap of the



Focus on an

Comment shortly on this process,

aspect of the problem and the tools to be used.

i.e. how you decided on what specific theories and technology to use, which ones you

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strategies. I will make use of the newly designed web typeface called Fugu (example) for the display typography The practical design will be done by making use of the web Typekit application (link and short description) In relation to the given assignment, I have chosen to base my research and my design work according to this problem formulation: How is it possible to combine usability with a more unusual typographic webdesign. An investigation based on with an example of a design prototype solution implementing In this assignment I started out by making the hypothesis that a normative typographic web design involves what (source) defines as I tested it by making a user test Then I tested my own design The results were in short that In this paper I will shortly describe the design and the theoretical backdrop
Defining the theoretical base of Precise Problem

considered and why you turned some down.

How did the practical design

relate to the theoretical focus, what worked, what did not, why.

Present the problem formulation.



Comment precisely on what you

(in this case the method is also described in the introduction).

think of your result. Communicate that you will elaborate on this result in this and this way during your oral presentation.

Parts of the

Focus on an argumentation in

the research. Legibility on the webor, do we read or do we experience type? The design of my website Presentation of topics for the oral presentation Appendix: (Group contract, project phases with deadlines, design manual etc.

written paper.

Topics for the

oral presentation.

details. This means that parts of your paper may have ended conclusions while you have left other parts open and unexplained, and these open parts will be dealt with at your oral presentation. You could focus on design, on the theory or on the process. You may have been asked in the assignment to elaborate on a specific part at the presentation, if this is the case, you must answer this question as a first priority as well as adding why your individual solution works.
The discussion is also an

Suggestions for the discussion.

Relevant ideas or

problems for discussion.

examination. You may be asked about aspects of your synopsis or design, that could have been included. Be open and innovative in relation to your designs possibilities.


Multimedia Design // Preparing Your Synopsis Project