BY JANE HURST
As a student, you are going to be giving a number of presentations throughout your college life. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that you are automatically going to be a great presenter. In fact, it can take many years and a lot of presentations to get really good at it, and even then, many students just don’t master the skill of giving great presentations. There are some things everyone needs to know if they are going to give great presentations. Here are some tips and resources to help you.
- Practice First – Before you give your presentation, practice, practice again, and then practice some more. That way, you will be completely sure that you have plenty of materials and activities prepared for the time you are allotted. Be sure to allow time for questions, which can take up a lot more time than you may think.
- Prepare Notes – While you don’t need to have a book prepared, it is wise to have notes with you. Any good speaker knows they need to have notes to keep them on track. Make sure your notes have key definitions, solved problems, analogies, examples, and proofs. Practice what you are going to say so you give the best presentation possible.
- Highlight What You are Speaking About – Make sure that you highlight your words. Use contrast or call-outs, arrows, bullet points, etc. to show the audience what you are speaking about when showing the various slides. Bold type and contrasting colors also work well when there is a lot of text.
- Check Out the Classroom – Before you give your presentation, check out the classroom you will be speaking in. Get to know the layout, figure out the best place to stand, how easy it will be to move around, etc. Also be sure to find out if the classroom has audio-visual equipment, or if you will have to supply your own.
- Use Visuals – Even though it is important to have a lot of slides in a presentation to keep the audience from becoming bored, it is important that the slides actually communicate what you are talking about. Make sure that you talk about each slide (about five minutes per slide should work), and be engaging to other students.
- Don’t Talk Too Much – It is important that you keep the verbosity to a minimum. Make one point per slides, plus a couple of sup-points if it is absolutely necessary. Don’t be afraid to use less talk and more visual represenation, and keep the actual speaking to a minimum.
- Smile – If you go into a presentation with a dull look on your face, it is going to end up being a dull presentation. “Give your audience frequent smiles, and show them that you have some personality. This is going to keep them more interested in what you have to say,” suggests Dr. Navid Rahmani from Dental Center.
The following are a few terrific resources that will help anyone to give an effective presentation.
- Giving Effective Class Presentations – This website has loads of great information on giving presentations, and there is lots to read about how to overcome anxiety and give an effective presentation.
- Make Your Presentation More Dynamic – Check out the article on ten ways to make your presenation more dynamic. These tips will really help you to become a more effective speaker.
- Online Resources Every Presenter Should See – This site is a must-see for anyone who is giving presentations. Here you will find loads of resources that will help you to give the best presentations you have ever given.
- Practice Tips for Effective Presentation Handouts – Here you will find a great article about the best practice tips for effective presentation handouts, including benefits for both the presenter and the audience members.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.