Presentations are an important requirement for every undergraduate or postgraduate course. Whether you study Nursing, Political Science or Finance, at a certain point during your degree you will have to deliver a presentation for a particular class. Many websites, which deal with essay writing service and academic help, provide guidelines on how to deal with presentations and their delivery. The internet provides bountiful information on how to plan, structure and deliver your presentations. This short article explains the most important stages you need to follow, if you want to create a memorable and interesting presentation for your next group or individual project.
Stage 1: Planning and research
Just like any other type of academic assignment, the presentation requires some time for preliminary research. In case you do not have sufficient information on the subject you are researching, you need to find the most relevant information. Do not go into details, because presentations are normally designed to fit a lot of information within a given time limit. Think about the time limits and use the information you have collected wisely. Once you start doing the research, take thorough notes and even create an outline. It is essential that you follow a clear and simple structure, which might later help you in creating the separate slides. Some students find it easier to even create a plan of the presentation first before they start the research, using the titles of the different sections (sub-headings). You might even want to put the sub-headings in their relevant order on the dissertation slides – do not worry if you have to change them later. It is more important that you have the backbone of your presentation!
Stage 2: Creating the slides
The next step is creating the slides. It is very important what layout you are going to choose. Make sure that it allows you to fit as much or as little information on your slides as required by your topic or subject. For example, if you are writing a presentation in History or Politics, you might want to choose slides which will help you fit more words. If you are writing a Business presentation for example, you might want to choose slides which give you the option to add images, graphs and charts.
Do not create slides which are too wordy and contain whole paragraphs of text. This will make your audience lose concentration, and you are likely to make the presentation sound tedious. Create slides with snappy and informative content.If you need to explain a concept or idea, you do not have to put the whole information onto the slide unless it is absolutely necessary. As far as the use of images and videos is concerned, this is always recommended, but do not over-rely on them. You might want to include photos or some video content, but make sure they are well-selected and fit well.
When you create your slides, make sure to include brief table of content after the introductory slide. When you get to that slide – briefly mention what your presentation will cover. This will make it sound professional and well-structured. At the end, always include a “Thank you for your attention” slide. This is the tribute to your audience. Whether you presented in front of five or fifty people it does not matter – your audience likes to be appreciated. Do not be afraid to prompt questions and to encourage debate.
Notes are crucial for any presentation. Make sure you create 50-100 word notes, accompanying each slide. They will help you out during the delivery. Make them easy to read and most importantly – easy for you to follow. Make sure the transition between your slides is smooth.
Stage 3: Practice and delivery
After you have prepared your presentation, it is important that you practice. Always leave a day or two for practice, because this will help you out to smooth things and to get more comfortable with concepts and ideas, which seemed far too distant in the beginning. Practice in front of the mirror, or in front of friends. The second one will be extremely useful for those of you who are shy and timid as public speakers. Have the time limit into consideration. If you are given only ten minutes to deliver your presentation – you have to fit in those. Many students with wonderful presentations fail, because they are unable to fit their speech into the time limit.
The scariest part for many students is not the actual preparation of the presentation, but its delivery. Not all of us are natural born public speakers, and delivering in front of an audience can be intimidating. There are, however several simple rules you need to remember. Before the presentation – breathe and relax. Breathing is very important – it will prevent emotions from travelling into your voice. Talk with your normal speed and remember to introduce yourself. A small, but amicable introduction is always a good way to shorten the distance between you and your audience. Remember – your audience is not your enemy – these are your friends and colleagues who are sitting there to listen to what you have to say. Keep the eye contact and if you are delivering in front of more than twenty people – make sure you keep your eyesight in the approximate middle of the room – this creates the impression that you are making eye contact with more people. If the group is small – use the eye contact to make sure everyone is involved. The most important tip you need to remember while delivering a presentation is: do not read from the slides! Instead, you might be referring to your notes from time to time. Relax your body and use your hand if you need to show something on the slide.
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