Presentation skills are essential anytime, at the mid of semester as well as before the finals, when you have to be ready with every kind of stuff you can ever imagine. Therefore, the team of our experts decided to finally make up an article explaining which aspects of presenting material are of bigger importance and how to prepare yourself to give a speech. Enjoy!
The first thing you base your “performance” on is the relevant information and, of course, its visual representation. You are lucky if you have a lot of time to prepare it; in this case, the first step you take is writing the body of your speech (or, say, an essay). However, if you are run out of time, better make an extended outline or ask our experts in writing to help you out. But here remember that you have to create a logical building of your arguments so that it wouldn’t crash in the end.
Same as the essay, the structure of your speech will include the introduction, the main body and conclusion. It may also have bright metaphors and similies (but don’t overuse, take into account the subject you’re dwelling on). “Public speaking is the art of diluting a two-minute idea with a two-hour vocabulary” – should not be your main principle: put every thought to the point and use fewer words-fillers, since your teacher is going to evaluate your ability to be brief and clear. So just cut out all words like “well”, “kind of”, “you know”, “so um… yeah”, etc. While addressing any question, remember about the audience you deal with and their expectations. And hey, read the teacher’s notes on speech presenting as they always have a rubric for grading.
There are two types of them, those which you show and those that are “in your sleeve”. Let’s get them started. When you’re done with the scenario of your presentation, get down to transferring your ideas to the canvas. Make up informative but simple slides, asking yourself after each one, “Is this clear enough or needs brief explanation?”, “Should I actually talk about this, is this important?”, “Does the audience still care? Would I keep being interested if I was to listen to this information?”.
Don’t forget about some meaningful pictures and graphics for your presentation, those are quite useful stuff: without them, your audience may get distracted quicker, so hold their attention as long as possible.
Now that the presentation is ready, prepare your supporting card(s). You can’t memorize the entire speech (OK, you can, but you don’t need to), keep in your mind perfectly just the introduction and the conclusion. Leave the rest of the things of upmost importance for the small cards, which will be your little helpers so that nothing could slip your mind. You may also want to ask the question based on your presentation in the end, so write down a set of them, too.
The thing that you do not learn your presentation by heart word by word doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do a proper research. You have to show your confidence and feel free in the stuff you present, so study out not only the surface information but also dig into some interesting facts which hardly a person from your audience knows. In other words, be a teacher!
Now, some general tips.
- Practice the whole speech beforehand, yeah, before the mirror, you’re right.
- Speak in a relaxed manner and make pauses where necessary. You may prepare an intonation sketch of your presentation.
- If you are too nervous, don’t try to get rid of stuttering as that will only make you stutter more. Don’t pay attention to other students’ reaction.
- Plan your movements, control gestures and maintain eye contact.
- Start with a rhetorical question, add some jokes, in other words, let the listeners feel involved.
And the last one, sleep well. Your grade won’t get reduced due to your eye bags, but at least you’ll look more aesthetically pleasing and be fresh-minded. Now go get your “Bravo!