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Tips to Give a Good Presentation

Making a presentation is one of the most common projects that we are given in school, and since it is done so often, it is getting harder and harder to make your presentation stand out. Here are some tips to help you take your presentation to the next level.

1. Know Your Topic

When making a presentation, it must have a focus and a main point, otherwise you won’t be able to properly convey your message. This will require lots of research and preparation ahead of time. Once you know the subject well, you can begin to plan out your presentation.

2. Plan

Before you start writing your script or making your presentation, you need to have a basic plan. It should outline each slide and follow a logical progression with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Review the rubric or success criteria to ensure that you have all the necessary information before making your presentation. Once you have all the necessary content, and a plan for the slides, you can prepare what you are going to say.

3. Audience

One thing to keep in mind throughout the creation of your slides and script is your audience. There are many aspects of your presentation that you need to adjust for your audience. The language you use on the slides and when speaking must reflect who you are speaking to. In an academic setting, for example, you must have a professional tone and language.

4. Materials

To make a good presentation, you need to be prepared, and an essential part of being prepared is knowing what you need. Consider what things you need for your presentation and ensure you have them ready before presenting. Some examples of needs would be cue cards, a computer or a projector.

5. Engagement

One thing that most people forget about when creating their presentation is how they will make it engaging. Teachers assign presentations because they want other students to learn from your research, so think about how you will teach them. Presentations can be made more engaging in many different ways, like having a colourful and cohesive slideshow, or adding a video to break up your talking. Another way to make it more engaging is by asking questions at the end of your presentation or adding an engaging activity.

6. Body Language

When actually presenting, you should be aware of your body language and hand gestures. Try to avoid slouching, and instead stand upright and confident. You always want to face the front or where the audience is, and never face the whiteboard or the back. Make sure you look at your surroundings before presenting and don’t hide behind any furniture. Use your hands as tools to emphasize what you're saying. If you are using cue cards, don’t stare at them and only take quick glances. The rest of the time, your eyes should be focused on the audience, and you should try to make eye contact with your teacher and a few students.

7. Practice

You want to use your voice as a tool to take your presentation to the next level. To be able to use your voice effectively, you must practice. Practicing out loud or recording yourself then listening back are both effective ways of practicing. Make sure that you speak clearly and slowly while projecting your voice.

8. Slideshow

Your slideshow is there to aid your presentation, but it is not the entire presentation. Meaning, only the most important information goes on the slides and you add the details when speaking. Even though you are using slides during a presentation, you should have a backup plan. What if there is no internet connection, or what if the projector or laptop break? Be prepared to present without slides. But when making slideshows, here are some general guidelines your slideshow should follow:

  • Have a creative title and your name.

  • Have a visual theme to ensure that there is cohesiveness and unity.

  • Open with a hook that intrigues your audience in the first content slideshow.

  • Use bullet points on the slides and never paragraphs.

  • Use the font and text features intentionally, ex: bold, underline, or colour to make something easier to read. Make sure that you use colours that make reading easy for the audience.

  • Use photos to enhance the meaning. Every photo must be carefully selected and serve a purpose.

  • At the end, include a slide that circles back around to the main point - closing or summary.

If you take these 8 tips and apply them to your next presentation, I am sure that you can take your presentation to the next level.


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