"The medium," Marshall McLuhan famously said, "is the message." Help your students to decide what format best conveys the information they wish to share. Some things they should consider:
What is the nature of the message?
Are they trying to convey straight factual information? Are they distilling complex information so that it can be easily digested? Do they have information that could easily be understood as a still or moving image? Are they trying to evoke an emotion or provoke a reaction?
Here are a couple of guides that might serve as resources for your students when it comes to selecting a medium for presenting their research:
What is the nature of the audience?
Students need to consider their readers/viewers and tailor their messages appropriately. Are they writing for other students or academics? For the general public? For people with in-depth knowledge of the topic or none at all? For people who agree with them, for those who disagree with them, or for those who are uncertain where they stand? Identifying the audience affects not only the language that is chosen, but the tone and structure of the presentation.
Here are some resources to help students to understand audience:
Degree of mediation
One thing students need to consider is whether they are anticipating that they will be "mediating" the information they are presenting--in other words, will they physically be there making a presentation in front of the audience, or is this multimodal project standing on its own because the audience will be absorbing it on their own time? Both approaches have an impact on format choice. If it is the former, that may speak more strongly for using presentation software (e.g. PowerPoint, Prezi, slides, etc.). Further, it has ramifications for the structure of their presentation: they have to prepare both the slides and their own words and ensure that they all work together.