Developing and giving presentations
Giving presentations can be quite nerve-wracking particularly if you’re not used to public speaking. You will give many presentations throughout your studies and with careful planning and practice, your presentations will be effective and engaging. Follow these tips.
Developing your presentation
Check the presentation assignment details
Plan your presentation
- Who are they?
- What do they value?
- What do I want them to take away from my presentation?
- What is the purpose of my presentation?
- Do I want to persuade my audience?
- Do I want to inform my audience?
- Where will I present?
- How much time will I have?
- What presentation aides do I need to include?
Write a presentation outline
Your introduction should briefly outline what you will cover in your presentation. Try to hook your audience with a thought-provoking statement or image to capture their attention.
The body of your presentation includes the main content. Your content should be structured in a logical and coherent manner so it’s easy for your audience to follow.
Your conclusion should sum up the main points of your presentation. You could include a list of key takeaways that you want the audience to remember from your presentation.
This downloadable presentation outline template will help you plan what you will cover in each part.
Develop your presentation
Once you have planned your presentation outline, develop your presentation. Regardless of the programme you use, follow these tips:
- Use a simple and consistent design
- Select fonts that are easy to read – avoid cursive fonts
- Ensure text is at an appropriate font size
- Place dark fonts on light backgrounds and vice versa
- Allow for plenty of white space
- Use bullet points and lists – you can elaborate on these points through your speech
- Select meaningful images and visual aides
MS PowerPoint includes templates that you could use. You could also use the following programmes:
Tips for developing your presentation
Giving your presentation
Public speaking tips
- Know your content
- Be authentic – be yourself
- Make eye contact
- Relax your hands
- Avoid the use of filler words such as umm, ah
Practice your presentation
|Volume||People need to be able to hear you without shouting. Try to project your voice out to people who are furthest away. Breathe deeply to project your voice out.|
|Clarity||Speak clearly so people can understand what you are saying. Make sure you take the time to pronounce words properly.|
|Pace||It is very common to speak quickly when you are nervous. Consciously try to slow down your pace when you are speaking.|
|Pitch||Vary your voice tone to engage the audience. People quickly lose interest if you speak in a monotone (a flat voice with no variation). Emphasise certain words and phrases.|
|Pause||Pauses are an effective way to hold the audience’s attention. You can hold a pause for a few seconds to give the audience time to reflect on your message.|
|Rapport and stance||Look directly at the audience when you are speaking and try to appear interested and excited about what you are saying. Smile and use hand gestures to convey your message where appropriate. Stand up straight as this displays confidence and will help you speak clearly.|
|Dress||Dress appropriately for the audience. You want people to take you and what you say seriously so be mindful of the way you present yourself.|
|Timing||Pay attention to timing and stick to the allocated time. Rushing if you run out of time can make you appear hurried and stressed. Marks can also be deducted if you go over time.|
Practice your presentation
Create some cue cards noting key points that you want to address in your presentation. Refer to these occasionally throughout your presentation. Taking note of the areas above, practice your presentation and video record yourself on your phone or device. Watch your recording and assess your delivery against this rubric.