Although we know that Heritage Fair is all about connecting with our peers and coming together to learn about our heritage, let’s face it. We all desperately want to make it past our school fair into Regional’s, and then hopefully to Provincials! However, with hundreds of other kids just as eager to make it as far as you, making your Heritage Fair board an award winning project can seem like a daunting task. Here are some helpful tips to win your way to the judges’ hearts!
The most important thing about Heritage Fair is to enjoy your project and to have fun learning.
Make sure the judges see how passionate you are about your subject by appearing enthused and excited about your presentation. Sure, you are probably extremely nervous, but try your best to act confident and sure about what you are saying.
Try to make your project original and stand out from the rest.
This seems like a given, but I can’t get across how important it is! Make an effort to pick a topic that hasn’t been done, or if you picked a subject that has been done many times, try looking at it from a different point of view. For example, if you wanted to do something about Terry Fox, instead of researching his life, you could research the history of cancer in Canada.
Besides making your topic stand out, you can make your board unique as well. For my Heritage Fair project last year, I attached extra flaps to the inside of my board so that I had an extra layer of information. That way, I was able to draw a huge map that covered the entire outside of my board and still have room for loads of information on the inside. Many judges commented that they were very impressed as it was something they hadn’t seen before.
Talk to the judges as if you were talking to your friends.
Besides making you feel much more comfortable while presenting, it can also be a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. Your presentation doesn’t have to be a one sided speech, so don’t be afraid to strike up conversation with your marker. Ask them if they’ve had any personal experience with your topic, or if there’s anything in specific they would like to learn about your project. Who knows? They could happen to be an expert in your topic’s area and you could end up learning a little from them! When I did my presentations, many judges were eager to talk with me about how my topic had affected their lives, and some even gave me suggestions on books and movies related to my topic that they had personally seen.
Connect your historical event to the present.
Judges absolutely love when students are able to show the historical significance of their topic; in fact, it’s a question many judges will ask you if you don’t already cover it during your presentation. Make sure that before your presentation, you really know exactly how your topic has affected Canadian history, or maybe talk about what it would be like if your event or person had suddenly disappeared from history. Would we be better off? Or maybe worse off? Make sure you show that you really know the importance of your topic and why it deserved to be the focus of your Heritage Fair project.
All in all, make sure you are always having fun during your presentations. Try to forget that you are being marked, and just pretend you are telling your best friend about something you’re really interested in. You’ll be able to have much more fun and overall will appeal to the judges lot more than someone who looks nervous or doesn’t appear to be enjoying presenting their topic.
What do you guys think the judges look for most in their presentation? Comment below!