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Presentation Guide: Presentation Tips

This is a guide to help students create and give successful presentations in any class or on any subject matter.

Steps to Creating Your Presentation

1. Select your Topic- Something you care about, not just something easy

  • If you're bored, your audience will be too

2. Decide the General Purpose of your presentation- There can only be one

  • Inform
  • Persuade
  • Entertain

3. Research & Support your topic- Use Critical Thinking to find valid sources

  • Remember, your reputation will be linked to your sources

4. Plan your Outline

  • Keep your time limit in mind; too much or too little can sink you

5. Create Visuals- Make sure they enhance your message not distract from it

  • See PowerPoint section

6. Practice your presentation- Make sure to do this with the visuals

  • Do you know how to use all the technology properly? Does the sound work? Do you need to switch back-and-forth?

7. Think about your Whole Message- Make sure to think about the non-verbal message and the verbal one

  • Eye-contact, gesturing, vocal tone, movement, dress, posture, etc.

8. Leave time to Revise- No one likes their first draft, so give time to improve

  • Seek outside input and feedback

9. Practice- Do this in as close to the Presentation setting as you can

  • Standing, with the visuals, dressed, out loud
  • Only practice your presentation silently in your head and sitting down, if you plan to present it to your audience that way

10. Enjoy- This is your time to give people your message

  • The more practice and control you have over your presentation, the less nerves you will have


Top Oral Presentation Tips

Presentation tips from public speaking expert,  Garr Reynolds:

  • Show your passion: "The biggest item that separates mediocre presenters from world class ones is the ability to connect with an audience in an honest and exciting way. Don’t hold back. Be confident. And let your passion for your topic come out for all to see."
  • Start Strong: "You’ve heard it before: First impressions are powerful. Believe it. The first 2-3 minutes of the presentation are the most important. "
  • Keep It Short: "Humans have short attention spans when it comes to passively sitting and listening to a speaker...It is better to have the audience wanting more (of you) than to feel that they have had more than enough. Professional entertainers know this very well."
  • Move Away from the Pondium"Removing physical barriers between you and the audience will help you build rapport and make a connection."
  • Make Good Eye Contact: "Try looking at individuals rather than scanning the group. Look for your supporters in the audience giving you clear positive body language."
  • Keep the Lights On: "The audience should be looking at you more than the screen."
  • At all Times: Courteous, Gracious, & Professional: "When audience members ask questions or give comments, you should be gracious and thank them for their input. Even if someone is being difficult, you must keep to the high ground and at all times be a gentleman or lady and courteously deal with such individuals. The true professional can always remain cool and in control."
  • Prepare for the Presentation: "A good 10 minute presentation tends to take about 1 week of preparation."
  • Practice, Practice, Practice: "Practice by Re-creating the speech setting. Reading your speech at a desk (or from your computer screen) is not optimal unless you are preparing for a webcast."


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