Technical speaking competition

Faculty Co-ordinator: Sarah Meunier

The technical speaking competition is held in the Spring and Fall calendar terms. At the competition, as many as eight Waterloo engineering undergraduate students will each give an 8 to 10 minute technical presentation followed by an opportunity for questions from the judges. All University of Waterloo undergraduate students are eligible to compete.

The topic of the technical presentation must demonstrate either engineering design or analysis based on work done by the student either as part of a work placement, an academic research project, or a volunteer role. Confidential technical presentations will not be accepted.


Judging will be based on the following five aspects:

  • Organization
  • Quality of Presentation Slides
  • Presentation Style
  • Engineering Design and Analysis
  • Response to Questions

The linked  assessment form will be used to assess presentations. In the event of a tie, the judging panel will select the presenter that is expected to best represent the University of Waterloo at the Ontario Engineering Competition. In many cases, this decision will be based on the societal impact of the engineering design problem chosen, the quality of the engineering design and analysis, and the overall presentation quality.

Intended audience

The intended audience is engineering undergraduate students. You may assume that the audience has some knowledge of the following topics:

  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Circuits
  • Differential equations
  • Engineering as a profession
  • Engineering economics
  • Engineering writing
  • Linear algebra
  • Mechanics
  • Programming

Students from all levels of engineering are encouraged to participate. Keep in mind that talks should demonstrate engineering design and analysis at a level suitable for typical engineering undergraduate students. The talks should be accessible to a general engineering audience.


Recorded Presentation

Presentations will be pre-recorded and reviewed by the judges prior to the live question period. Submissions must follow these guidelines:

  • Between 8 to 10 minutes in length
  • Presenter must be visible in the video (ideally waist up)
  • A separate copy of the slides in pdf format must be submitted

The video should prioritize the presenter over the slides. Judges should be able to tell what slide you are on but can use the submitted copy to view the slide contents. If using a picture-in-picture format, it is preferable that the presenter is on the larger screen. An alternative option is recording the presenter with a monitor or TV in the background showing the slides. As a last resort, if you are unable to include the slides directly in your video, you may use comments like “On slide 3 we see that ….” to help the judges follow along using the slides you submitted.

Videos and slides must be submitted by 5:00 PM ET on July 19. They can be submitted to Sarah Meunier using Send-It.

Question and Answer Period

Presentations are followed by a question and answer period with the judges. Questions to each presenter will be asked live from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM ET on July 22. Participants will be sent a link to join the virtual meeting with a schedule for the live session. If you cannot attend during this time, send Sarah Meunier an email to discuss possible alternate arrangements.