Presentations are becoming more widely used at university and can vary in terms of whether or not they are assessed and the number of people who deliver the presentation. Essentially, they are a method for the presenter to convey information to an audience and most presenters use a form of visual aid (by using PowerPoint or a poster) to enhance their presentation.
Planning your presentation:
- Think about the purpose of your presentation.
- Identify clear aims and outcomes (What do you want to achieve? What do you want the audience to take away with them?).
- Keep the structure straightforward and logical. The basic structure for a presentation is:
- Tell them what you are going to tell them
- Tell them what you need to tell them
- Tell them what you said
- Keep the content relevant and focused.
- Any visual aids you use should support your presentation - and not take over!
- Allow time for questions and invite questions from your audience.
- Practice! Practice! Practice!
Audience: Always be aware of who you are presenting to (as this will help you determine what approach to take).
Timing: Be aware of time limits.
Structure: Make sure your presentation has a sensible structure (usually an introduction, main body, conclusion and remember to allow your audience the opportunity to ask questions).
Visual aids: Use these to support rather than be the central focus of your presentation.
Practice: Practice your presentation out loud and time yourself (some people may wish to record themselves).
Tips on building your confidence:
- Effective planning and plenty of practice will help you to feel confident on the day.
- Remember - everyone feels anxious about speaking in public. The following steps can help:
- Make sure you are organised and have all your materials ready
- Focus your energy on your audience
- Make eye contact and smile - it can help both you and your audience to relax
- Take deep breaths to help you calm any nerves
- Don't rush your speech
- Be yourself!