Before you start working on your presentation:
Speaking is fundamentally different from writing because listening is fundamentally different from reading. It is storytelling, and you are the storyteller.
The information for your presentation usually comes from a paper, case study, analysis, essay, or report. Choose only the key points from your paper. Go back to the question you were asked when you originally wrote your paper.
Your presentation needs an introduction, body, and conclusion. Plan what your presentation will look like before you begin. Use only the important points from your paper to plan for sections of your presentation. These points then become the focus.
For each major section of your presentation, follow the 4 S Structure:
It is from these that you then design your slides and choose corresponding images and text.
This rule states that a Power Point presentation should have no more than 10 slides, be 20 minutes long, and use no less than 30-point font.
This rule will keep the presentation on track so that you keep to time, as well as having a presentation that moves at a good pace and that is readable.
Never read your presentation word for word. A good presentation is one where the presenter makes eye contact with his or her audience over the entire presentation. This means not reading your paper - your eyes are down, you lose your audience.
To help with this, make good notes, use cue cards, or put all notes on one sheet of paper. You can then glance at your notes for prompts. Better yet, learn and understand the material for your presentation, practice, and then use the images and text in your visual presentation as cues.
Avoid becoming monotone. Use variations in speed, inflections, and force to enhance your meaning and hold audience attention.
Practice pronouncing words with which you are unfamiliar.
Often times, a presenter does not notice their voice and body habits, which can be distracting when presenting. Remember, presenting is visual and oral story telling. With this in mind, understanding how a presentation looks and sounds is important. Keep these elements in mind:
Voice - “um,” “uh,” “okay”; everything sounding like a question (raising voice at the end of sentences); nervous laugh at the end of sentences; clearing the throat a lot, reading too quickly.
Body language - flipping hair back, playing with pen/pointer etc., rolling and unrolling notes, pushing sleeves up and down, playing with keys or coins in pockets, stepping back and forth/tapping foot, rocking body, touching face/adjusting glasses, turning rings on hand, waving hands around, tugging at shirt.
Visual aids - flipping overheads/slides too fast, talking to the screen.
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