Speech Presentation Tips for College Students
BY JANE HURST
During your college career, there are going to be times when you are required to make presentations. For some people, being in the spotlight comes naturally, and they have no problems giving presentations. Others, however, get nervous, tongue-tied, and even physically ill when they have to present their work in front of their peers, professors, etc. Here are some tips that will make giving presentations a whole lot easier.
- Be Prepared – The first thing you need to do is make sure that you are completely prepared for the presentation. Practice it over and over again until it is pretty much committed to memory. That way, you won’t have to look at notes all the time, and you can make more eye contact with your audience. If you are going to be using props, make sure that you have everything you need, and that everything works. Make sure that all of your notes are in the proper order. The better prepared you are, the less anxious you will be about giving any presentation, or doing any other type of public speaking.
- Make it Exciting – One way to make your presentation more exciting is to make it animated. This is really going to get the attention of the people in the audience, and hold it. They will be entertained, while learning at the same time. You don’t have to be an experienced designer, or spend a lot of money to get great animations. You can create awesome videos and presentations, with animations, easily, when you visit PowToon. You can use the free basic service, which offers Slides Basic, 38 royalty-free songs, 11 styles, and up to five minutes of animation. If you decide you like the service, packages start at just $19 per month.
- Be Organized – Once you have done all of your research, it is time to organize everything. No matter what type of outline you are using (web, mind map, or traditional), be sure to write down a minimum of three key points that you want to make, along with details to support those points. Have everything in order, so as not to confuse your audience, and yourself. There are many different ways to keep your presentations organized. One popular method is to use color coded index cards. Put one point on a card, along with the supporting data. Do this with all of the points you intend to make.
- Create a Story – When your audience is entertained, they are going to pay more attention to what you are saying. Your introduction should be short and sweet, with a story that is going to grab the attention of your audience. Then, you can dive right into the heart of the presentation, knowing that they are ready to be receptive to your ideas. The main part of your speech should be right after the introduction, and it should include your main point. Use key words to get the audience to connect the points you are making so they can see the big picture easily. Don’t overwhelm them with boring statistics. Keep things simple, and your presentation will be successful.
- Relax and Take the Stage – When the time comes to give your presentation, take a couple of minutes to relax and ground yourself. Take a few calming breaths, chant a mantra, do some relaxing stretching exercises, etc. Basically, do whatever it takes to get you relaxed enough to give an awesome presentation. When you get on that stage, be sure to scan the audience, and try to make eye contact with each person in the audience at least once. Move around so you don’t look and feel stiff, speak clearly and slowly, and speak loudly enough so you can be heard by all. Use different vocal tones to make your presentation more interesting.
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!