Does public speaking make you nervous? Or maybe you’re comfortable with it but would like to shine up your skills. Well, read on!
In many, if not most classes at Schiller, students are asked to give presentations. Later on in your professional life you will probably need to lead meetings, present proposals, and perhaps represent your company at public functions.
Since public speaking is going to be part of your life, you might as well be good at it, right? Here are a couple of areas you’ll want to consider.
- Of course your presentation needs to meet the guidelines of the assignment. We can’t tell you what to talk about, but if you have questions, ask your professor or other students
- Structure it! Make an outline with a few major points and some sub-points
- If your presentation corresponds with a paper, choose the most important parts for the presentation and cite your paper as a reference at the end
- Choose simple, professional-looking themes and designs for your presentation. Many professors recommend a light background with dark text
- Only use graphics that are related to your topic. Consider company logos and graphs or charts if applicable
- Don’t put too much text on each slide; use bullet points instead of writing out paragraphs of text (recommendation– three or four bullet points per slide)
- Don’t distract the audience with fancy slide transitions
- Enthusiasm and energy go a long way. Remember, if you’re not excited about your presentation, why should anyone else pay attention?
- Make eye contact and smile. People enjoy listening to friendly presenters
- Ask your professor if you can include a short video if applicable. This will deflect attention away from you for a little while, and can also provide a very helpful learning supplement
- Practice your presentation once or twice. This will help you estimate how much time you’ll use and will decrease the likelihood of stumbling over words while searching for the right way to phrase things
- If you want to go above and beyond, video tape your presentation and watch it back. If you notice you’re fidgeting or doing other distracting things, this will help you curb those tendencies
- Use the restroom before class (just sayin!)
- Don’t forget to breathe. Breathing deeply can calm your nerves and ease stress
- Ask your professor for specific feedback when he or she grades your presentation
- Observe the techniques your classmates use for great presentations
- Practice makes perfect! Don’t worry if you’re not a stellar presenter at first.
We hope these tips will be helpful for your next presentation. You can also check out the links below for more information. And of course, should you need help with any academic assignment, please see your professor or a Schiller staff member. We’re here to help you succeed!
How to give a great presentation: http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/18/how-to-give-a-great-presentation-forbes-woman-leadership-career_3.html
How to give a good presentation: http://www.princeton.edu/~archss/webpdfs08/BaharMartonosi.pdf
How to give a killer presentation: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-28241584/how-to-give-a-killer-presentation/