Giving a presentation is a terrifying experience for most of us during our school years, especially when you’re talking to your peers about an unfamiliar topic. But don’t worry, I’m here to give you some helpful tips on giving the best presentations:
Tip #1: Do your research.
Now, in order to give an engaging presentation/discussion, you obviously need to know what you’re talking about. You don’t need to read every book, or website and become an expert on your topic, but you should be able to answer any questions your classmates or TA might have. Just make sure that where you’re getting your research from is a reliable and trustworthy source. Also, another suggestion is that if you are feeling anxious and nervous about your presentation, the best person to talk to is the one who will be grading your presentation. Talking to your professor and/or TA will ensure that you are on the right track and will also ease the stress before presenting.
Tip #2: Write notes.
Whenever I am presenting, I always write my notes either on an index card or on a computer. Write your main ideas down and don’t write all the details or you will be stuck with the fate of looking down, staring at your notes card while reading. Doing that will make your presentation boring and not result in the mark you wanted. While planning your presentation, you can put some fun facts, discussions questions or even create an interactive group activity to share with your classmates. If you need to consult your index cards or your notes, you’re only going to want to scan the index cards or your notes for information, and refrain from reading your notes during your presentation. Most importantly, putting information down on your index card will help you remember the information. So, if you all of suddenly go blank or forget what to say, you can always have your index card or notes to help you remember what to say and keep you on track.
Tip #3: Practice makes perfect.
You know that saying “practice makes perfect?” It is clear that in most presentations, you can tell who has practiced and who hasn’t, including your professors and TA. Work on what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. You’ll feel a lot more confident when you do the real thing and eliminate the “likes” and “ums” unlike those who try to “wing it.” (Trust me, your professors, your TAs, and your peers will know if you did your research or not, so please don’t “wing it”!) My advice is to practice in front of a mirror, or by yourself. Once you feel comfortable, ask your family, friends or even your roommates if you can practice in front of them and even ask them for feedback after your mock-presentation. Keep on practicing for 20 minutes each day until it’s the day of your presentation, this way it will ease the nerves and stress before you present.
Tip #4: Be Confident
When you give your class a presentation, you are essentially a TA for that time period. It’s your job to make sure everyone understands what you’re trying to tell them. Just image the success before, during and after the presentation. Be grateful to have this opportunity to present and there is no need for cockiness because people don’t like cockiness. Just keep thinking positively and don’t let the thought of failure creep into your mind. Also, most importantly, just remember to smile and make eye contact with your audience. When it comes time to present, smiling is a great way to draw the audience into your presentation and be happy because being happy will get your peers to feel comfortable in speaking in your presentation. Just remember to relax, breathe and keep calm. Just imagine your audience is made up of your friends. Since you talk to them all the time, it will make it easier to present with this mentality.My advice is that I have a goal to look at every person in the class at least once, that way, everyone will feel engaged and it will look like you know what you’re talking about… and that could possibly lead to an A or an even an A+.
Well Badgers, hope my tips help you do well on your presentation and remember to just be confident about yourself!