It is difficult to imagine a modern educational process without presentations.
Both teachers and students prefer this way of presenting material as you can not only listen but also visualize the text with its help, let alone watching videos or listening to the audio. The presentation is a general frame for the text, images, sound, video for them to be organized and displayed in a comfortable way. At the same time, not every presentation is interesting to watch. Here are some important tips for students how to make their presentations informative and appealing to the audience.
1. Prepare what to say
The first thing you should focus when you start making a presentation is the message you wish to convey. It should not be too sizable – only one sentence will be enough. Only then you can surround this message with the other content.
Use only short and clear sentences as most of the people remember only a fraction of everything told, so the key phrases of your report should be underlined in the presentation. It is also advisable to pay attention to the typography of the text to make it readable and memorable.
2. Structure the material
The structure of the text should remind a standard essay structure with the introduction, main body and conclusions. When you start speaking, your task is to capture the attention of your target audience. You can do that with a funny quote, anecdote, some impressive statistical data or rhetorical question.
As soon as you introduce the topic and your objectives, it is time to stick to the main point. The speaker should always tell the audience what he is going to tell as it is easier to percept information being aware of the content. Moreover, it will make it more interesting for the audience as some people desire to pay attention to specific topics, not the whole speech.
Another important thing is to support the arguments with the examples. It will make the report more lively and engaging.
3. Opt for more than simple text
It is always difficult to understand and remember the content if you see only a typed text. For the material to be comprehensive, use different formatting issues like bulleted lists or enumeration. Opt for various fonts and emphasize the most important points.
Naturally, it is not enough to use only text in the presentation. Here students can try a variety of approaches how to make the presentation more appealing. Bright images and short videos, diagrams and graphs, tables and background sounds – there are so many ways to organize material and make it exciting. It is necessary to find that way of data presentation that will reflect it clear and easy to remember. Students should remember that people memorize 20% and 30% of what they hear and see correspondingly, and 50% of the information they both see and hear.
4. Be an actor, not a lecturer
Every person who is going to listen to the report would prefer to watch a show rather than hear a dull statistics. Every presentation should be a story for the audience performed with a dramatic flair. People should not only become aware of the raw facts but also feel the emotional burst. Think of the changes in your voice to emphasize some important statements, gestures you might use, face expressions — all these things can be a key to the success of your report.
You should also remember that the speaker is the main hero and slides are only an accompaniment. Leave the impression about yourself, not information you present.
5. Practice aloud
It is natural to be nervous while you present the material. Even the most experienced performers do have some hesitation when they step on the stage. For this nasty feeling not to spoil your great efforts experts advise having some practice. The best way is to practice it aloud for several times. As soon as you create short notes on each slide and have enough practice, you will easily retrieve it in front of the audience. If you have an opportunity to record your performance, do it to analyze what is wrong and requires improvement. It is also necessary to time the period you speak to be confident that you do not exceed time limits if there are any. Pronounce every word clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear you.
6. Sound persuasive
There are several ways to sound persuasive to your audience including:
- Speak about one key point every time;
- Provide the audience with a short summary to last for 3 seconds for them to grasp the idea;
- Be economical. Tell only that information and data that serves the purpose;
- Support your statements with visual materials;
- Be specific and avoid cliches;
- Add some facts and emotive stories to interest people but keep them short.
7. General tips
There are also some more general ideas how to cope with presentations successfully. Here are some of them:
- Use only reliable resources for the presentation content not to be made fun of;
- Opt for high contrast colors of the background and font to make slides well-readable;
- Dress neatly to be confident in your look;
- Have a little smile to produce a positive impression;
- Make pauses before and after main ideas;
- Never avoid eye contact with the people listening to you;
- A proper posture and a confident look are important for being heard.
These are the main tips for students who are assigned to make presentations. Of course, the key to an effective presentation is a hard work and thorough preparation. Only by doing so your creation can be impressive and interesting. Another constituent part of the presentation success is the speaker – only his or her efforts can contribute or vice verse can spoil the impressions about it.
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