The difference between a project that receives full funding, and one that doesn’t, often depends upon the presentation. This is your chance to explain to the committee why your project is the best choice to award funding.
Here’s an example of how a good Student Initiatives Fund (SIF) presentation may go:
"Hi, our names are ______ and ______. We’re from the student group ______, and we’re here to request $______ from SIF for our project ______. Our project is …
[In as few sentences as possible, describe your project; we recommend three. Tell the committee what your project does, why it does it, and who it’s for.]
We feel this a perfect project for SIF to fund because it fits into the scope of SIF. It …
[Tell the committee how your project fulfills the Scope of SIF.]
We are asking for $______ from SIF so that we may buy…
[Tell the committee what you plan to use SIF funding to buy.]
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to present our project to you today.
Are there any questions?”
This is by no means a comprehensive example of how to give your presentation, and it does not speak to all the possible information you may want / need to include. But remember, you only have five minutes to tell the committee why they should offer your project the funding you’ve requested: use it wisely.
We recommend your 5 minute presentation focus on answering these questions:
- How will your project fulfill the Scope of SIF?
- How many Ryerson students will benefit from this event, and what is that benefit?
- What will you use SIF funding to buy?
Below you will find some more tips to help you prepare and give an effective presentation.
- Come 15 minutes early to your presentation time. Being early makes your group look organized and dependable; the committee is more likely to grant funding to a group they feel is responsible and will be able to look after the funds they are granted.
- Be comfortable for your presentation however, we recommend that you treat this as a formal presentation, similar to if it was a job interview. Business Casual Dress Code is suggested.
- Your presentation should be brief and concise. You will only have 15 minutes with the committee: 5 minutes to present your request, and 10 minutes for the committee to ask you questions. Don’t waste time presenting a lot of superfluous information—ask yourself: “What is
the most important thing the committee needs to know about my project, in order to give me the money I’m asking for?”
- Use your written application wisely! The committee reads it before you ever enter the room, so let it describe your project for you. This allows you more time to explain why SIF should fund your project (rather than what your project is).
- The committee is made up of your fellow student leaders—and there is a really good chance they have heard of your project (and think it is a good idea)! You don’t need to convince them of your project’s merits, just that it is a perfect fit for SIF to fund.
- Practice, practice, practice! Use a stop watch to test your timing, and remember—the actual presentation will go faster than you think.
- Come prepared to talk, in depth, about every single line item on your budget. The committee will spend the most time asking clarifying questions about it, so it’s a really good idea to bring the person that prepared your budget.
- Be ready to talk about the decisions behind your budget items; you need to be able to explain to the committee why you’re spending what you are spending. (For example, why you chose to fly to a conference, rather than take a bus.) If the committee doesn’t feel you are being fiscally responsible, they are less likely to fund a project.
- Visuals are often helpful to illustrate your point, but are not always necessary. You are welcome to use a PowerPoint, Prezi, video, etc. during your presentation (but you don’t have to), just remember, the time it takes to set-up this media is included in your 5 minutes (and that it doesn’t always work). It’s a good idea to have one person start the presentation while another brings up videos, websites, etc.
- If you do have a presentation aid you plan to use, finish it early and upload a copy to your SIF application. On the day of a SIF meeting, the SIF administrator will download all the presentation materials and have them ready to go on the laptop provided.
- If your project involves creating something physical (for example, a magazine) or if you have work to demonstrate to the committee, we suggest bringing examples to your presentation.
Remember, this is not SIF’ money—it’s student money. We’re just here to make sure the money is used wisely, to benefit the growth and involvement of as many Ryerson students as possible. Your presentation should reflect how your project is a responsible choice to award funding.
Please note, if you require any accommodations to ensure your inclusion in the Presentation process, please contact SIF@ryerson.ca with your needs at least one week before your interview.
Q & A Tips
To help you prepare for the 10 minute question period, here is a list of questions that committee members have asked previous projects:
- If we weren’t to give you these funds, how would you still run the project?
- How are students involved and/or consulted in the decision-making, implementation, and development processes for the project?
- What are the objectives of this project?
- How will you evaluate the success and outcomes of your project?
- How will this project assist in developing a sense of community within Ryerson?
- How will this project enhance and contribute to Ryerson students’ development beyond their academic requirements?
- How do you see this event contributing to the reputation of Ryerson and/or your student group?
- How many students are expected to benefit from your project?
- From which segment of the Ryerson community do they belong?
- How will this project benefit the wider Ryerson community?
- If any funding is requested for equipment purchase, who will be responsible for it during and beyond the scope of this year’s project?
- How involved will your project supervisor be throughout the entire planning, execution, and wrap-up process?
- How will you sustain this project if SIF does not continue to fund it after this year?
- What will you do if this committee provides partial funding?
- Where did the idea for this project come from?
- What need in the Ryerson community does this project meet?
- Is there student support for this idea?
- How have you attempted to secure funding from alternate sources?
- How have you made the Ryerson Community aware of your project?