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How to Start a Presentation: 5 Strong Opening Slides and 12 Tricks To Test

Cover image of a How to Start a Presentation article with an illustration of a presenter giving a speech.

Knowing how to start a presentation is crucial: if you fail to capture the audience’s attention right off the bat, your entire presentation will flop. Few listeners will stick with you to the end and retain what you have told.

That is mildly unpleasant when you are doing an in-house presentation in front of your colleagues. But it can become utterly embarrassing when you present in front of larger audiences (e.g., at a conference) or worse – delivering a sales presentation to prospective customers.

Here is how most of us begin a presentation: give an awkward greeting, thank everyone for coming, clear our throats, tap the mic, and humbly start to mumble about our subject. The problem with such an opening performance? It effectively kills and buries even the best messages.

Table of Contents

  • The Classic Trick: Open a Presentation with an Introduction
  • Open a Presentation with a Hook
  • Begin with a Captivating Visual
  • Ask a “What if…” Question
  • Use the Word “Imagine”
  • Leverage The Curiosity Gap
  • The Power of Silence
  • Facts as Weapons of Communication
  • Fact vs. Myths
  • The Power of Music
  • Physical Activity
  • Acknowledging a Person

Closing Thoughts

How to start a powerpoint presentation the right way.

Let’s say you have all of your presentation slides polished up (in case you don’t, check our quick & effective PowerPoint presentation design tips first). Your presentation has a clear storyline and agenda. Main ideas are broken into bite-sized statements for your slides and complemented with visuals. All you have left is to figure out how you begin presenting.

The best way is to appeal to and invoke certain emotions in your audience – curiosity, surprise, fear, or good old amusements. And here’s how it’s done.

1. The Classic Trick: Open a Presentation with an Introduction

Bio Slide design for PowerPoint

When you don’t feel like reinventing the wheel, use a classic trick from the book – start with a quick personal introduction. Don’t want to sound as boring as everyone else with your humble “Hi, I’m John, the head of the Customer Support Department”? Great, because we are all about promoting effective presentation techniques (hint: using a dull welcome slide isn’t one of them).

Here’s how to introduce yourself in a presentation the right way.

a. Use a link-back memory formula

To ace a presentation, you need to connect with your audience. The best way to do so is by throwing in a simple story showing who you are, where you came from, and why your words matter.

The human brain loves a good story, and we are more inclined to listen and retain the information told this way. Besides, when we can relate to the narrator (or story hero), we create an emotional bond with them, and, again – become more receptive, and less skeptical of the information that is about to be delivered.

So here are your presentation introduction lines:

My name is Joanne, and I’m the Head of Marketing at company XYZ. Five years ago I was working as a waitress, earning $10/hour and collecting rejection letters from editors. About ten letters every week landed to my mailbox. You see, I love words, but decent publisher thought mine were good enough. Except for the restaurant owner. I was very good at up-selling and recommending dishes to the customers. My boss even bumped my salary to $15/hour as a token of appreciation for my skill. And this made me realize: I should ditch creative writing and focus on copywriting instead. After loads of trial and error back in the day, I learned how to write persuasive copy. I was no longer getting rejection letters. I was receiving thousands of emails saying that someone just bought another product from our company. My sales copy pages generated over $1,500,000 in revenue over last year. And I want to teach you how to do the same”

b. Test the Stereotype Formula

This one’s simple and effective as well. Introduce yourself by sharing an obvious stereotype about your profession. This cue will help you connect with your audience better, make them chuckle a bit, and set a lighter mood for the speech to follow.

Here’s how you can frame your intro:

“My name is ___, and I am a lead software engineer at our platform [Your Job Title]. And yes, I’m that nerdy type who never liked presenting in front of large groups of people. I would rather stay in my den and write code all day long. [Stereotype]. But hey, since I have mustered enough courage…let’s talk today about the new product features my team is about to release….”

After sharing a quick, self-deprecating line, you transition back to your topic, reinforcing the audience’s attention . Both of these formulas help you set the “mood” for your further presentation, so try using them interchangeably on different occasions.

2. Open a Presentation with a Hook

Wow your audience straight off the bat by sharing something they would not expect to hear. This may be one of the popular first-time presentation tips but don’t rush to discard it.

Because here’s the thing: psychologically , we are more inclined to pay attention whenever presented with an unexpected cue. When we know what will happen next – someone flips the switch, and lights turn on – we don’t really pay much attention to that action.

But when we don’t know what to expect next – e.g., someone flips the switch and a bell starts ringing – we are likely to pay more attention to what will happen next. The same goes for words: everyone loves stories with unpredictable twists. So begin your presentation with a PowerPoint introduction slide or a line that no one expects to hear.

Here are a few hook examples you can swipe:

a. Open with a provocative statement

It creates an instant jolt and makes the audience intrigued to hear what you are about to say next – pedal back, continue with the provocation, or do something else that they will not expect.

TED.com Jane McGonigal Ted Talk - This Game Will Give You 10 Years of Life

Image Source: TED

“You will live seven and a half minutes longer than you would have otherwise, just because you watched this talk.”

That’s how Jane McGonigal opens one of her TED talks . Shocking and intriguing, right?

b. Ask a rhetorical, thought-provoking question

Rhetorical questions have a great persuasive effect – instead of answering aloud, your audience will silently start musing over it during your presentation. They aroused curiosity and motivated the audience to remain attentive, as they did want to learn your answer to this question.

To reinforce your message throughout the presentation, you can further use the Rhetorical Triangle Concept – a rhetorical approach to building a persuasive argument based on Aristotle’s teachings.

c. Use a bold number, factor stat

A clean slide with some mind-boggling stat makes an undeniably strong impact. Here are a few opening statement examples you can use along with your slide:

  • Shock them: “We are effectively wasting over $1.2 billion per year on producing clothes no one will ever purchase”
  • Create empathy: “Are you among the 20% of people with undiagnosed ADHD?”
  • Call to arms: “58% of marketing budgets are wasted due to poor landing page design. Let’s change this!”
  • Spark curiosity: “Did you know that companies who invested in speech recognition have seen a 13% increase in ROI within just 3 years?”

3. Begin with a Captivating Visual

Compelling visuals are the ABC of presentation design – use them strategically to make a bold statement at the beginning and throughout your presentation. Your first presentation slide can be text-free. Communicate your idea with a visual instead – a photo, a chart, an infographic, or another graphics asset.

Visuals are a powerful medium for communication as our brain needs just 13 milliseconds to render what our eyes see, whereas text comprehension requires more cognitive effort.

Relevant images add additional aesthetic appeal to your deck, bolster the audience’s imagination, and make your key message instantly more memorable.

Here’s an intro slide example. You want to make a strong presentation introduction to global pollution.  Use the following slide to reinforce the statement you share:

Our Iceberg Is Melting Concept with Penguins in an Iceberg

“Seven of nine snow samples taken on land in Antarctica found chemicals known as PFAs, which are used in industrial products and can harm wildlife”

Source: Reuters

4. Ask a “What if…” Question

The “what if” combo carries massive power. It gives your audience a sense of what will happen if they choose to listen to you and follow your advice.  Here are a few presentations with starting sentences + slides to illustrate this option:

What if example with an Opening Slide for Presentation

Alternatively, you can work your way to this point using different questions:

  • Ask the audience about their “Why.” Why are they attending this event, or why do they find this topic relevant?
  • Use “How” as your question hook if you plan to introduce a potential solution to a problem.
  • If your presentation has a persuasion factor associated, use “When” as a question to trigger the interest of the audience on, for example, when they are planning to take action regarding the topic being presented (if we talk about an inspirational presentation).

What if technique analysis for a Financial topic

5. Use the Word “Imagine”

“Imagine,” “Picture This,” and “Think of” are better word choices for when you plan to begin your presentation with a quick story.

Our brain loves interacting with stories. In fact, a captivating story makes us more collaborative. Scientists have discovered that stories with tension during narrative make us:

  • Pay more attention,
  • Share emotions with the characters and even mimic the feelings and behaviors of those characters afterward.

That’s why good action movies often feel empowering and make us want to change the world too. By incorporating a good, persuasive story with a relatable hero, you can also create that “bond” with your audience and make them more perceptive to your pitch – donate money to support the cause; explore the solution you are offering, and so on.

6. Leverage The Curiosity Gap

The curiosity gap is another psychological trick frequently used by marketers to solicit more clicks, reads, and other interactions from the audience. In essence, it’s the trick you see behind all those clickbait, Buzzfeed-style headlines:

Curiosity Gap example clickbait Buzzfeed

Image: Buzzfeed

Not everyone is a fan of such titles. But the truth is – they do the trick and instantly capture attention. The curiosity gap sparks our desire to dig deeper into the matter. We are explicitly told that we don’t know something important, and now we crave to change that. Curiosity is an incredibly strong driving force for action – think Eve, think Pandora’s Box.

So consider incorporating these attention grabbers for your presentation speech. You can open with one, or strategically weave them in the middle of your presentation when you feel like your audience is getting tired and may lose their focus.

Here’s how you can use the curiosity gap during your presentation:

  • Start telling a story, pause in the middle, and delay the conclusion of it.
  • Withhold the key information (e.g., the best solution to the problem you have described) for a bit – but not for too long, as this can reduce the initial curiosity.
  • Introduce an idea or concept and link it with an unexpected outcome or subject – this is the best opening for a presentation tip.

7. The Power of Silence

What would you do if you attended a presentation in which the speaker remains silent for 30 seconds after the presentation starts? Just the presenter, standing in front of the audience, in absolute silence.

Most likely, your mind starts racing with thoughts, expecting something of vital importance to be disclosed. The surprise factor with this effect is for us to acknowledge things we tend to take for granted.

It is a powerful resource to introduce a product or to start an inspirational presentation if followed by a fact.

8. Facts as Weapons of Communication

In some niches, using facts as the icebreaker is the best method to retain the audience’s interest.

Say your presentation is about climate change. Why not introduce a not-so-common fact, such as the amount of wool that can be produced out of oceanic plastic waste per month? And since you have to base your introduction on facts, research manufacturers that work with Oceanic fabrics from recycled plastic bottles .

Using facts helps to build a better narrative, and also gives leverage to your presentation as you are speaking not just from emotional elements but from actually recorded data backed up by research.

9. Fact vs. Myths

Related to our previous point, we make quite an interesting speech if we contrast a fact vs. a myth in a non-conventional way: using a myth to question a well-accepted fact, then introducing a new point of view or theory, backed on sufficient research, that proves the fact wrong. This technique, when used in niches related to academia, can significantly increase the audience’s interest, and it will highlight your presentation as innovative.

Another approach is to debunk a myth using a fact. This contrast immediately piques interest because it promises to overturn commonly held beliefs, and people naturally find it compelling when their existing knowledge is put to the test. An example of this is when a nutritionist wishes to speak about how to lose weight via diet, and debunks the myth that all carbohydrates are “bad”.

10. The Power of Music

Think about a presentation that discusses the benefits of using alternative therapies to treat anxiety, reducing the need to rely on benzodiazepines. Rather than going technical and introducing facts, the presenter can play a soothing tune and invite the audience to follow an exercise that teaches how to practice breathing meditation . Perhaps, in less than 2 minutes, the presenter can accomplish the goal of exposing the advantages of this practice with a live case study fueled by the proper ambiance (due to the music played in the beginning).

11. Physical Activity

Let’s picture ourselves in an in-company presentation about workspace wellness. For this company, the sedentary lifestyle their employees engage in is a worrying factor, so they brought a personal trainer to coach the employees on a basic flexibility routine they can practice in 5 minutes after a couple of hours of desk time.

“Before we dive in, let’s all stand up for a moment.” This simple instruction breaks the ice and creates a moment of shared experience among the attendees. You could then lead them through a brief stretching routine, saying something like, “Let’s reach up high, and stretch out those muscles that get so tight sitting at our desks all day.” With this action, you’re not just talking about workplace wellness, you’re giving them a direct, personal experience of it.

This approach has several advantages. Firstly, it infuses energy into the room and increases the oxygen flow to the brain, potentially boosting the audience’s concentration and retention. Secondly, it sets a precedent that your presentation is not going to be a standard lecture, but rather an interactive experience. This can raise the level of anticipation for what’s to come, and make the presentation a topic for future conversation between coworkers.

12. Acknowledging a Person

How many times have you heard the phrase: “Before we begin, I’d like to dedicate a few words to …” . The speaker could be referring to a mentor figure, a prominent person in the local community, or a group of people who performed charity work or obtained a prize for their hard work and dedication. Whichever is the reason behind this, acknowledgment is a powerful force to use as a method of starting a presentation. It builds a connection with the audience, it speaks about your values and who you admire, and it can transmit what the conversation is going to be about based on who the acknowledged person is.

Now you know how to start your presentation – you have the opening lines, you have the slides to use, and you can browse even more attractive PowerPoint presentation slides and templates on our website. Also, we recommend you visit our article on Key Insights on How To End a Presentation Effectively in order to apply the best practices in your slides and how to make a PowerPoint Presentation .

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Countway Practical Presentation Skills

Presentation Slides

Story Telling

Presentation Software

Body Language

  • Showtime! (Tips when "on stage")
  • Upcoming Classes & Registration


On this page you will find many of the tips and common advice that we cover within our Practical Presentation Skills Workshop.

If you are hoping to attend a workshop in the future, please check the schedule of upcoming classes, and reserve your spot. Space does fill up each week, so please register early!

Creating slides to accompany your presentation can be a great way to provide complimentary visual representation of your topic. Slides are used to fill in the gaps while you tell the story.

Start your presentation with a brief introduction- who you are and what you are going to talk about. 

how to start a presentation university

Think about your presentation as a story with an organized beginning (why this topic), middle (how you did the research) and end (your summary findings and how it may be applicable or inform future research). You can provide a brief outline in the introduction so the audience may follow along. 

Keep it simple with a few key concepts, examples and ideas.

Be human. Be emotional. Audiences don't like robots.

Make sure your audience knows the key takeaway points you wish to get across.

A good way to practice this is to try and condense your presentation into an elevator pitch- what do you want the audience to walk away know? 

Show your enthusiasm!

If you don’t think it is interesting- why should your audience?

Some Good Alternatives to PowerPoint:

  • Google Slides
  • Keynote (Mac)  
  • Prezi  
  • Zoho Show  
  • PowToon  
  • CustomShow  
  • Slidebean  
  • Haiku Deck  
  • Visme  
  • Emaze  
  • and more…  

Your body language speaks volumes to how confident you are on the topic, how you are feeling up on stage and how receptive you are to your audience. Confident body language, such as smiling, maintaining eye contact, and persuasive gesturing all serve to engage your audience.

how to start a presentation university

  • Make eye contact with those in the audience that are paying attention and ignore the rest!
  • Speak slower than what you would normally, take a moment to smile at your audience, and project your voice. Don’t rush, what you have to say is important!
  • Don’t’ forget to breathe. Deep breaths and positive visualization can helps slow that pounding heart.
  • Work on making pauses where you can catch your breath, take a sip of water, stand up straight, and continue at your practiced pace.
  • Sweaty palms and pre-presentation jitters are no fun. Harness that nervous energy and turn it into enthusiasm! Exercising earlier in the day can help release endorphins and help relieve anxiety.
  • Feeling shaky? Practicing confident body language is one way to boost your pre-presentation jitters. When your body is physically demonstrating confidence, your mind will follow suit. Standing or walking a bit will help you calm those butterflies before you go on stage.
  • Don’t be afraid to move around and use the physical space you have available but keep your voice projected towards your audience.
  • Practice, practice, practice! Get to the next Practical Presentation Skills workshop in Countway Library http://bit.ly/countwaypresent and practice your talk in front of a supportive and friendly group!

how to start a presentation university

  • Excessive bullet points
  • Reading your slides instead of telling your story
  • Avoid excessive transitions and gimmick
  • Numerous charts (especially all on the same slide)
  • Lack of enthusiasm and engagement from you
  • Too much information and data dump
  • Clutter and busy design
  • Lack of design consistency 

Now you are on stage!

When delivering the talk, watch out for these bad habits:

  •  Avoiding eye-contact
  • Slouching or bad posture
  • Crossed arms
  • Non-purposeful movement
  • Not projecting your voice
  • Speaking away from the microphone
  • Speaking with your back to the audience (often happens when reading slides)
  • Next: Upcoming Classes & Registration >>
  • Last Updated: Jun 2, 2020 10:49 AM
  • URL: https://guides.library.harvard.edu/presentation

Presentation Geeks

How To Start A Presentation: Why Making The Right Start Is Critical

Table of contents.

We’ve all experienced a bad presentation. We’ve listened to bad speakers, heard boring information, and read slides that don’t keep us engaged.

A bad presentation is often bad for both the speaker and the audience members.

Grabbing the audience’s attention for the very beginning is key to keeping your audience engaged and running an effective presentation speech.

In this article we will look at what a presentation introduction is and how to start a presentation effectively.

What Is A Presentation Introduction?

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” That is the opening line of the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and it is known as one of the most famous opening lines in a book ever written.

A good opening line can do a lot for books and the same goes for presentation introductions.

Loyola University Chicago breaks down a presentation introduction into 4 key elements: “ 1) capture your audience’s interest, 2) give them a context for your work, 3) pose your central question, problem, or issue, and 4) offer the most concise answer or argument you can give.”

When it comes to any public speaking engagement, grabbing your audience’s attention is the most important thing.

For a presentation, this could make or break your presentation.

Let's Explore How You Should Start A Presentation, The Right Way...

Before you begin presenting, you should have a strong idea for how you will start your presentation. Here are a few strong ways you can begin your presentation and create interest within your audience.

Start With Introducing Yourself

how to start a presentation university

One of the most basic, yet effective ways you can draw attention is through introducing yourself to your audience. This is effective for both smaller and larger audiences and can be a way to create a connection between you and your audience.

Some of the best presenters introduce themselves through a personal story, a relevant quote, a job title, or a relevant yet funny video.

Ideally, your introduction should motivate your audience to listen and buy into what you are saying.

Your introduction should use effective body language and eye contact, and should relate to the general messaging of the presentation.

State The Purpose Of Your Presentation

Sometimes you can sit through an entire deck of presentation slides and leave without really understanding the purpose of the presentation.

A great intro will pre-emptively answer audience questions about the purpose of your presentation. Doing so creates interest in the information you will be sharing and engages your audience right from the start.

The purpose can be introduced through rhetorical questions, a thought provoking question, a bold and provocative statement, or through more personal stories.

You might even consider opening with an “imagine” statement (Example: “Imagine you’re lying on a beach sipping a drink…”).

Hit Your Audience With Captivating Visuals

how to start a presentation university

Another thing that many speaker use to engage their audience is with a captivating visual representation of the purpose of the presentation. This is often done through an attention-grabbing video or image and well-designed presentation slide decks.

Not only can visuals get your audience paying attention, it can also present key information or ideas that you will call back to throughout your presentation.

Encourage Audience Participation Early On

Audience participation is also vital to the effectiveness and overall performance of your presentation.

While audience engagement can be strengthened through professional practice or learning how to be a better presenter , there are a few things you can do to inspire participation right from the get-go.

One of the best ways to encourage participation is through direct questions that need responses from the audience.

When you begin with a direct question to introduce your presentation, message, or speech, you force the people in the room to pay attention and provide answers.

Some examples of relevant direct questions you can ask might start with:

Who has ever experienced….

How many of you agree with…

When was the first time you.. .

These opening questions don’t have to necessarily be deep or require a lot of thinking. Instead, think about questions that can be answered through the raising of hands, yes or no, or a by audience members yelling out an answer.

Don't Just Read Your Slides, Tell A Story

Finally, a good rule of thumb when doing any kind of presentation is to tell a story .

A good story that relates to the everyday lives or problems of your audience can have a dramatic impact on the effectiveness of your presentation and the overall audience participation and impression.

For example, if you are going to be talking about a business strategy you are proposing to a client, you might start with a compelling story of this strategy in action.

Think of how many TedTalks start. In many of these presentations, many speakers will introduce their key idea or speech through a story that directly relates to its message and purpose.

Stories can evoke certain emotions in your audience that will motivate them to engage and participate throughout the presentation.

Why Is Starting Off On Right Foot So Important?

how to start a presentation university

Some of the best opening lines in presentations enable the audience to fully participate and engage with your material.

Here are a few reasons why starting strong is so important to your speech, message, or presentation.

It Sets The Tone For The Entire Presentation

For one, a strong introduction can create and set the tone for the rest of your speech or presentation . Setting a tone is important for audiences to follow the message and relevant points outlined in your presentation slide.

For example, if you are presenting a sales pitch, you want to start with something that can motivate your audience to understand the appeal of what you are selling.

It Prevents You From Losing Your Audience's Attention

Additionally, a strong opener can help you avoid losing the audience’s attention. As a rule of thumb, you should periodically use some of your opening strategies to engage your audience throughout the entirety of the presentation.

If you just keep talking and talking for too long, it’s very easy for your audience to lose interest. Instead, grab them from the start and continue to grab them from beginning to the end.

Your Presentation Will Leave A Lasting Impression

A strong opening can leave a lasting impression even hours and days after you finish.

However you begin your presentation, consider how you might stick in your audience’s mind after you wrap up. This could be through a funny and memorable story, a shocking fact, or a generally appealing tone throughout your presentation.

Here Are A Few Common Mistakes You Should Avoid At The Beginning Of Your Presentation

As you prepare your next presentation using the strategies noted above, here are a few common mistakes you should avoid.

Starting With An Apology

Confidence is key when you are presenting a speech or talk. Starting with an apology of any kind can create an untrustworthy vibe that is hard to shake.

In general, you should inspire trust and excitement in your audience, not distrust through an apologetic statement.

Simply Reading From Your Slides

One of the most common mistakes people make when presenting is reading off their slides. Not only is this incredibly boring for your audience, it also shows your audience you aren’t well-prepared or particularly excited about what you are saying.

Not Engaging Your Audience

how to start a presentation university

Reading off your slides is so important to avoid because it does nothing to engage your audience. You want to have your audience view you as an engaging person to listen to, not a boring voice reading words that aren’t inspiring.

You can utilize the opener strategies listed above throughout your whole presentation to motivate and engage everyone in the room.

Not Providing Clarity On The Purpose Of The Presentation

Imagine spending an hour in a meeting and leaving without a clear understanding of the purpose. That would be extremely frustrating and would feel like a waste of your precious time.

This is why it’s so important for every person in the room to have clarity on the purpose of your talk from the start. You want them to leave with a full understanding of what they learned and heard. Not doing so will result in confusion, disengaged audience members, and a lack of excitement overall.

What Are Our Final Thoughts On How To Start A Presentation?

To get to the point, starting strong is extremely important for every presentation. Grabbing your audience from the very start can lead to more sales, more interest, and better public speaking skills overall.

Are You In Need Of Some Captivating Visuals That Tell A Story? Let's Talk.

Are you ready to create captivating visuals and slide decks that will leave a strong impression on your audience members? Are you looking for a team of experienced designers who can build engaging presentations for you and your business? PresentationGeeks is here to help!

Why Choose Presentation Geeks?

Our team of designers have decades of experience building slide decks that cater to your target audience and that engage viewers from the very beginning.

Want to learn more about our Powerpoint Design Services ? Contact us today to see how we can help you!

Author:  Content Team

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How to start a presentation - Talaera Blog

  • How To Start a Presentation: Follow These 4 Easy Steps

By Paola Pascual on Nov 29, 2021 12:25:31 PM

The introduction (together with the ending ), can be the most important part of your presentation, but it can also be the most awkward one. In this post, you will learn an easy-to-apply yet effective framework to start your next presentation.

Why is the beginning of a presentation important?

The reason why the beginning and the end are so important is called the Primacy and Recency Effects, which means that people remember the beginning and end best.

TGC Presentations 1 (Key Message - Structure - Openins and Closings) (1)

Also read: 21 Helpful Tips For Remarkable and Outstanding Presentation Skills

How to start a presentation

Soft start. Depending on the nature of your presentation, you may be able to do a soft start before actually kicking off your presentation. You can have some small talk with the audience before politely transitioning into your hard start. These few initial minutes will help you engage those who arrived early and allow a brief time for latecomers.

Hard start. Your hard start is your 'official' introduction, where you welcome everyone, introduce the people involved and the topic at hand, and transition to the body of your presentation.

Welcome everyone and thank them for attending your presentation. If you feel comfortable, use a hook or a catchy opening to capture the audience's attention right off the bat . You can use a surprising stat, a famous quote, a rhetorical question.

  • Hi everyone, thank you so much for joining us today, and welcome to this session.
  • In the 60 minutes it will take me to give this presentation, 7,000 businesses in the US will close down.
  • Somebody once said: "a brand is a promise." But what happens when that promise is broken?

#2 Introduce the people involved

When you introduce yourself, establish credibility by describing your relevant experience, responsibilities, and accomplishments. Why should we listen to you?

  • My name is Susan, and I’m part of the design team here at Globex Corporation.
  • I was fortunate enough to be part of the team at Globex that developed the original Datatronic 2000.
  • In my 15 years in Silicon Valley, I learned quite a bit about managing risk, and I learned it the hard way.

#3 Introduce the topic

Make a clear and general statement to explain what benefit the audience will gain from your presentation (this refers back to your WHAT and your WHY, which we covered in our previous lesson).

  • Today, I’d like to talk about…
  • The main goal of this presentation is…
  • What I hope you'll get from this afternoon's session is a clearer idea of how CRM works.
  • By the end of this morning's talk, you'll know how to say "No" and feel good about it.

#4 Transition to the main point

Use signposting language to tell the audience where you are going and what they can expect next. Use a segue or transition phrases to move smoothly to whatever follows without pause.

  • Alright, let’s dive right in!
  • Shall we get the ball rolling?
  • Great, let's get down to it!

Think about your next presentation and use this framework to draft the first few minutes of your presentation and paste it in the comments. Make sure you include all the sections and employ a variety of phrases!

This article works as supporting material for our podcast episode on how to start a presentation effectively. You can read the transcript below. Make sure y ou check out all our other Talaera Talks episodes and subscri be to get new episode alerts.

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Talaera Talks - Transcript Episode 30

If you are learning English, including new English words and expressions will help you with effective communication. Remember to check out our other episodes on how to make small talk, how to deliver engaging presentations, how to speak English fluently, and many more: visit the podcast website . Listen to it on your favorite platform.


Intro Welcome to Talaera Talks , the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon. In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show!

0:24 Welcome to a new Talaera Bit. This is Paola and, in this episode, you will learn an effective way to start your presentation. 0:32 Now, why the start? Well, it turns out the beginning, the start of your presentation, together with the conclusion, are the most important parts of your presentation. And this is due to what's called the Primacy and Recency effects. Don't worry, you don't need to remember the names. But it means that people remember the beginning and the end, best. So today, this is what we will cover –the different parts of the introduction or how to start your presentation so that everyone's listening to you and actually wanting to hear. 1:11 Depending on the nature of your presentation, you may be able to start or to do like a soft start before actually kicking off your presentation. Here's where you have a little bit of small talk with the audience before politely transitioning into your heart start. So these few initial minutes where you get to talk a little bit with the audience will help you engage with those who arrived early, but also allow a brief time for late commerce. So that's a bit the first few minutes a soft start with small talk. 1:51 And then you do have the hard start, which is your official introduction. And I usually this is the part where we will focus on today. And I usually divide this hard start into four small sections, where you welcome everyone you introduce the people involved, and also the topic at hand, and then you transition to the body of your presentation. So let's have a look at each of those four sections and make sure you pay attention to all the phrases I'm going to provide. 2:25 Alright, so we said the first section is the welcome. Here's where you welcome everyone and thank them for attending your presentation or talk. And if you feel comfortable, you can also use a hook, which is like a catchy opening to capture the audience's attention right off the bat. You can use like a surprising stat or a famous quote or a rhetorical question. And here are some phrases you can use for this welcome or first section: "Hi, everyone, thank you so much for joining us today and welcome to the session", or "In the 30 minutes that it will take me to give this presentation, 7000 businesses in the US will close down". That's a bit like a surprising stat, right? Or like a famous quote, as I said, "Somebody once said, 'A brand is a promise', but what happens when that promise is broken?" So now you have the first section, the welcome. 3:25 Now you move on to the people involved. This is when you introduce yourself, or perhaps even your co hosts if there are any. And here is where you establish credibility by describing your relevant experience, your responsibilities, your accomplishments, why should we listen to you, here's where you have to provide the evidence or reasons. And you can use phrases like just the simple ones such as, "My name is Susan and I'm part of the design team here at Globex corporation", or something like "I was fortunate enough to be part of the team at Globex that developed the original Datatronic 2000". Or here's another phrase, "In my 15 years in Silicon Valley, I learned quite a bit about managing risk, and I learned the hard way". 4:19 So you have number one, the welcome, number two, you introduce the people involved (and if there's someone else giving the talk or co hosting with you, make sure you introduce them as well), and number three, you can introduce the topic. And here you need to make a clear and general statement to explain what benefit –and I cannot highlight this enough– the benefit that the audience will gain from your presentation. What is your presentation about and why should they listen to it? And here are some phrases: "Today I'd like to talk about..." or "The main goal of this presentation is..." or "What is I hope you'll get from this afternoon session is a clear idea of how CRM works". Or "By the end of this morning's talk, you will know how to say no and feel good about it". Whatever benefit they will get, make sure you tell them in this heart start. 5:19 And the very last bit is the transition to the main point. Here you can use signposting language, which is what you use to tell the audience where you're going, and what they can expect next. Something like "Alright, let's dive right in!" Or "Shall we get the ball rolling?", or "Great, let's get down to it". 5:40 So those are the different parts of the beginning of your presentation. Remember, starting with a soft start is a nice way to engage people at the beginning and allow a little bit of time for those who are late. And then with your hard start, you have the welcome ("Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today"). Number two, you introduce the people involved, then you introduce the topic, giving them a clear benefit of your presentation. And number four, you transition to the main point. And that's it, I hope you're able to use all these phrases and tips and I look forward to our next episode.

And that's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it, and remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks . We'll be back soon with more! And visit our website at  https://talaera.com  for more valuable content on business English. You can also  request a free consultation  on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!

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Institute for Academic Development

Presentations and posters

Guidance and tips for effective oral and visual presentations.

Academic presentations

Presenting your work allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and familiarity of your subject. Presentations can vary from being formal, like a mini lecture, to more informal, such as summarising a paper in a tutorial. You may have a specialist audience made up of your peers, lecturers or research practitioners or a wider audience at a conference or event. Sometimes you will be asked questions.  Academic presentations maybe a talk with slides or a poster presentation, and they may be assessed. Presentations may be individual or collaborative group work.

A good presentation will communicate your main points to an audience clearly, concisely and logically. Your audience doesn’t know what it is you are trying to say, so you need to guide them through your argument.

There are a few key points that you should consider with any sort of presenting:

  • What is the format? Is it a poster, a talk with visual material or a video?
  • What is the purpose? Is it to summarise a topic; report the results of an experiment; justify your research approach?
  • Who is your audience? Are they from your tutorial group, course or is it a wider audience?
  • What content needs to be included? Do you need to cover everything, just one topic or a particular aspect? How much detail is expected?
  • How should it be organised? This is often the trickiest part of designing a presentation and can take a few attempts.

Planning a presentation

Different people take different approaches to presentations. Some may start by doing some reading and research, others prefer to draft an outline structure first. 

To make an effective start, check your course materials for the format you need to use (e.g. handbooks and Learn pages for style guidelines). If it is an oral presentation, how long do you have?  If it will be assessed, have a look at the marking criteria so you know how you will be marked. (If you do not use the required formatting you may be penalised.) Do you need to allow time for questions?

One way to think about the content and draft a rough structure of your presentation is to divide it into a beginning, middle and end.

  • The beginning: How are you going to set the scene for your audience and set out what they can expect to gain from your presentation? This section should highlight the key topic(s) and give any necessary background. How much background depends on your audience, for example your peers might need less of an introduction to a topic than other audiences. Is there a central question and is it clear? If using slides, can it be added as a header on subsequent slides so that it is always clear what you are discussing?
  • The middle: How are you going tell the story of your work? This section should guide your audience through your argument, leading them to your key point(s). Remember to include any necessary evidence in support. You might also want to include or refer to relevant methods and materials.
  • The end: What is your conclusion or summary? This section should briefly recap what has been covered in the presentation and give the audience the final take-home message(s). Think about the one thing you want someone to remember from your talk or poster. It is usually also good practice to include a reference or bibliography slide listing your sources.

Alternatively, you could start at the end and think about the one point you want your audience to take away from your presentation. Then you can work backwards to decide what needs to go in the other sections to build your argument.

Presentation planner worksheet (pdf)

Presentation planner worksheet (Word docx)

Presentation planner (Word rtf)

Using the right language can really help your audience follow your argument and also helps to manage their expectations.

Guiding your audience (pdf)  

Guiding your audience (Word rtf)

Oral presentations – practise, practise, practise!

Giving a talk can be daunting. If you have a spoken presentation to give, with or without slides, make sure you have time to rehearse it several times.

Firstly, this is really good at helping you overcome any nerves as you’ll know exactly what you are going to say. It will build your confidence.

Secondly, saying something aloud is an effective way to check for sense, structure and flow. If it is difficult to say, or doesn’t sound right, then the audience may find it difficult to follow what you are trying to say.

Finally, practising helps you know how long your presentation will take. If your presentation is being assessed, you may be penalised for going over time as that would be unfair to other presenters (it is like going over your word count).  

If you can, find out what resources and equipment you will have when you present. It is usually expected that presenters will wear or use a microphone so that everyone can hear. But you will still need to remember to project your voice and speak clearly. Also think about how you are going to use your visual material.

IS Creating accessible materials - PowerPoint presentations

IS LinkedIn Learning - online skills development

Making a video

There is no need to use expensive specialist equipment to make a recorded presentation. The Media Hopper Create platform allows film makers to create, store, share and publish their media content easily. You can create presentations using the Desktop Recorder on a PC or Mac.

All University of Edinburgh students are provided with an account on the Media Hopper service allowing you to record and upload media to your personal space and publish to channels. 

You can also use your mobile phone or tablet to make a video presentation. The DIY Film School is an online course covering the basics of shooting video on a mobile device, filming outdoors and indoors and how to get the best audio. Some materials from LinkedIn Learning are relevant to the DIY Film School and include editing advice.

IS Media Hopper Create

IS DIY Film School online course

IS LinkedIn Learning and the DIY Film School

Poster presentations

A poster is a way of visually conveying information about your work. It is meant to be a taster or overview highlighting your key points or findings , not an in-depth explanation and discussion. Your poster should communicate your point(s) effectively without you being there to explain it.

The trickiest thing with poster presentations can be the limited space and words you have. You will need to think critically about what it is important to present.

If the poster is assessed, or is for an event such as a conference, there may be a size and format which you need to follow (e.g. A1 portrait or A0 landscape). Your title should be clear.  Aim to make your poster as accessible as possible by considering the type size and font, colours and layout. It is usually good practice to include your name and email address so people know who you are and how to contact you.

Information Services (IS) have a range of resources including help on using software such as PowerPoint to make a poster and guides to printing one.

IS uCreate user guides and advice on poster printing

Standing up and talking can be intimidating; so can being filmed. Anxiety and stress can get in the way of performing effectively. 

The Student Counselling Service offer advice and workshops on a variety of topics. They have produced a helpful e-booklet about stress, why we need it and how to manage our stress levels to strike the right balance. 

Student Counselling service

Self-help online courses and workbooks on anxiety, stress and mental wellbeing

Stress: A short guide for students (pdf booklet)

Information Services (IS) provides access to a range of support and training for software provided by the University. This includes training and advice on LinkedIn Learning.

IS Digital skills and training

IS LinkedIn Learning

IS Microsoft Office 365 suite

Prezi is a popular alternative to PowerPoint but is often inaccessible to disabled people. Therefore, it is recommended that Prezi is not used for academic presentations. However, if you have to use Prezi, there are some steps you can take to improve your presentation.

IS PREZI and accessibility issues

If you are presenting at an external event, it may be appropriate to use University branding.

University brand guidelines and logos (Communications and Marketing)

How to Prepare for a Presentation in College

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  • Students can alleviate presentation stress through careful planning and regular practice.
  • For all courses and assignments, be sure you understand your professor's expectations.
  • Use engaging materials, and rehearse your presentation in front of family and friends.

Whether you're enrolled in online or on-campus classes, you should expect assignments that require you to present your work to professors and classmates. Many students feel uneasy with public speaking, but it doesn't have to be like this.

The following tips are designed to help you feel more comfortable with college presentations. Preparation and practice improve your skills and confidence, resulting in a better experience overall, not to mention better grades .

Do Not Procrastinate

If the thought of a college presentation stresses you out, waiting until the last minute to get started will only make the situation worse. At the beginning of each academic term, you should review each course syllabus carefully. Note any presentation-related assignments and due dates in your calendar, and start planning as soon as possible.

If research is required, this will take time to complete, in addition to preparing the presentation itself.

Understand the Assignment

It's important to know not only what's required of a specific presentation but also how it will be evaluated. Your syllabus and other course materials may include detailed instructions and a grading rubric. Look for details related to the following:

Time Limits

Scope and format, tools and technology, develop your presentation materials.

Once you have a clear understanding of what's required and expected, it's time to create your presentation. The following steps will help you get off to a good start with your next assignment:

Start With an Outline

Engage your audience, focus on your goals, follow basic design principles, consider creating a handout, rehearse and get feedback.

One of the biggest keys to speaking confidently, in person or online, is to know your topic. Calm any pre-presentation nerves with practice. Ask a classmate, friend, or family member to help out by watching you give your presentation. If that's not possible, try recording yourself so you can review it on your own.

To get the best results, some sources advise you to practice your speech as many as 10 times . Try the following techniques to make the most of your rehearsal sessions:

Do Not Read Your Presentation

Make eye contact, avoid 'um,' 'ah,' and 'like', anticipate technical problems, maximize success in your college presentations.

If you have any questions about presentations in your college classes, ask your professors for clarification. They can share their expectations with you and direct you to available resources. These could include help with your topic research, access to software and multimedia tools, and design templates.

Dartmouth College's library and the student research office at California State University, San Marcos , provide some examples of what you might find at your own college.

Practice makes perfect when presentation skills are concerned. Embrace your college presentation requirements as an opportunity to develop skills that will benefit you not only while you're in school, but also while you pursue a career.

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7 Creative Ways to Start Any Presentation (With Examples!)

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Creating an effective presentation is challenging and needs a lot of effort to become engageable to your audience. Many questions are indeed rounding inside your head.

Like how to start a PowerPoint presentation and a class set-up presentation, it helps people, such as entrepreneurs, organize and disseminate their ideas flawlessly.

It clarifies intentions, concepts, and other feasible topics specifically. They may differ from execution, events, and for whom the presentation. 

With that, the bottom line and the question are how to do it? How to start a board meeting presenting or how to start a presentation introduction in class?

Many students are also struggling with how to start a case study presentation and young entrepreneurs or start-ups with how to start a business presentation.

To ease the tension and upgrade your confidence , furthermore those people above, I will share some tips, steps, and how to start a presentation example.

Why Presentation is Important on Persuading

Presentations break communication barriers. Across this, it brings mutual understanding to the audience.

In winning your stances and goals, having and knowing how to start a presentation is a must. It helps you more to give an idea of what would be your topic could be through moving pictures and graphics in reality. 

The role of presentation on persuading can be categorized into many factors. First, it helps your audience to feel more comfortable with your spiels.

Second, you have the chance to tell your options,  choices, summary, and the result of your case study, etc., within your presentation. Especially can be stoop on how to start a business presentation.

Lastly, knowing how to deliver and how to start a presentation in persuading your listener includes support for your audience’s decision. Through it, the concept of persuasion becomes more reliable with tangible materials. 

It is evident in thesis defenses and academic proposals. To start a case study presentation, you must present facts, stats, related studies, and other materials.

And to achieve that in a well-presented way, you need to think and come up with a composition associated with your topic to make it reliable and credible. 

how to start a presentation university

Different Ways to Start a Presentation

Difficulties on how to start a case study presentation and the things you need to behold within your PowerPoint presentation would be easy after sharing with you this advice. 

As for direction and advice, take a look at this list to start a presentation generally. 

1. Start With a Strong Claim

The beginning is always the hard part of a presentation. But like a bottle of water, after it gets opened, the water inside can flow smoothly to your gulp.

Meaning after spitting out your first words, everything should follow accordingly to your presentation. That’s why it is the most crucial when you are learning how to start a presentation. 

Try to use iconic lines of a famous philosopher —striking advice of a hotshot entrepreneur for your business proposal presentation.

Through this, you can have a good impression from your listener. Shook them, contradict their ideas; indeed, you can have an intense or beneficial presentation. 

2. Know Your Prospect

Besides technicalities and visuals, knowing first the current state, perspective, wants, and needs of your prospect or audience are vital.

Before the presentation, you can send them a pre-assessment or survey consisting of what they want to see, learn, and things to keep them interested, or you need to get their attention and interest.

how to start a presentation university

3. Assist the Flow With Visuals

Showing your audience a good spiel in presenting your developing ideas and concepts through pictures that can’t be put quickly in language can break communication drawbacks.

Apart from describing your idea in a presentation, you are also giving quick ways to dice abstract ideas.

4. Moving Pictures

Pictures and videos are great instruments for nurturing your ideas and your audience counterparts.

The power of moving pictures is evident as the film business, and the movie industry is booming and depicting fictional stories into reality. 

5. Break People’s Expectation

To break the set expectation of your audience for you,  always stick to your premise. Whether on business, academics, proposals, and other topical presentations.

Call an action to smash misconception to your particular presentation. 

6. Spill Surprising Stories

Bring stories and the characters in life. Create conflict and suspense to highlight your goal’s presentation.

It also helps you to organize your presentation’s information to be catchy and relatable. Touching stories can affect audience decision-making. 

7. Know When to Pause 

Don’t present vague ideas, premises, and concepts. Stop bombarding your audience.

After a round of applause or before speaking, take a three second-pause. Observe your audience’s facial expressions. 

With that, you can focus on your tone. It is also an indication that you want to give your audience a short rest.  

Orai helps you perfect your speech with feedbacks on your tone, tempo, confidence and consicness.

Things to Avoid on Presentation

Introducing your name along your topic is not acceptable and not a killer intro. To nail a presentation, be careful, and prevent unnecessary elements. 

Here is the list of recommended things you should avoid on how to start a presentation.

1. Cliché Sentences

Do you believe that the flow and relevancy of your presentation depend on your introduction?

If you do believe, avoid cruddy beginning, initial, and phrases. Instead of stating, “what is your presentation will be about,” give them an idea of why they need it, why it is worth sharing?

2. Plain Visuals

Stop using standard PowerPoint templates, discarded pictures, and non-HD videos. For engaging your audience, mastering your spiels is not enough to convince your listeners.

The balanced presentation consists of a good speech , spiels, and an enticing display. Instead of using plain visuals, use simple but complex graphics.

3. Lame Transitions

It is not all about effects or glitching transition effects but about how you transmit your spiels. Always open your arguments with a bang and end them using striking remarks. 

how to start a presentation university

4. Unstable Stats and Facts

Don’t use outdated data, studies, and facts. Don’t go to less up-to-date data websites. 

Treat the facts and stats as vitamins for your presentation as it helps your exhibition look reliable and robust.

5. Colorless Templates

Pick templates that fit your topic and theme—download innovative templates and slides. Analyze your presentation structure. 

Make sure to go for a font that suits perfectly to the presentation. Go for roadmaps, unique mats, and decks. 

Check out this video for more tips on how to avoid presentation pitfalls:

Steps to Enhance Your Visual Presentation

To sort things specifically on how to start a presentation. Here are the steps and tips on how to start a PowerPoint presentation.

Step 1: Get a Color Palette

“Colors speak louder than texts.”

Aside from shapes, figures, and moving objects, picking the right color palette for your presentation can beautify the board’s ambiance if that’s the case.

Logos and company icons have their color combination to mark and emphasize their brand to all consumers. It may also apply to presentations. 

If you want to be considered or remembered, start it with choosing the right color palette. 

Step 2: Create a Theme

The theme supports the flow of your topic; it is the backbone of your presentation. Not considering this element can’t make your topic vague and not intact. 

Step 3: Add Hyperlinks

Going back to how to start a presentation,  comparing specific ideas is a waste of time. Using hyperlinks, you can offer your audience a “video game” theme.

Step 4: Play Short Video or  Create GIFS

Before or after spiels about a particular slide, play a short video as an ice breaker. It helps you to feed your audience with a large amount of information in a shorter period.

Step 5: Practice the Presentation with Spiels in Every Portion

Practice helps you to attain presentation skills. You can interact with your audience and disseminate the messages clearly and analyze your listeners’ mindset. 

You can also improve the flow in run-throughs. These will support you to polish and enhance persuasive skills.

Practice your perfect speech with Orai

Presentation Checklist 

Besides sharing the tips and steps on how to start a presentation, let me give you a sample presentation checklist to support and organize your presentation. 

This checklist may vary in every presentation. You can create and set your reminders. 

Vital Points of a Presentation 

To use your time wisely , try this outline on creating a presentation, such as how to start a board meeting presentation, and more. 

This table only serves as a sample outline. It may also vary depending on your topic and forte. 

How to Start Business Presentation and Other Samples

For all entrepreneurs, this portion is for you. To gratify your needs and to enlighten you on how to start a business presentation. Here are the basics.

  • Create a Plan

Always start with a concrete plan to strengthen the body of your presentation. With that, your listeners can’t easily stab your presentation.

  • Pick The Right Deck

If you are discussing in a formal setting, pick a deck with gray colors, choose dominant colors, and then combine.

  • Tell Stories and Laugh

To balance the whole presentation, put some ice breakers, and funny idioms about your topic . Make sure it is sensible.

  • Add Verbal Cues and Signpost

It helps your audience to get intact through the presentation. Try to use signal transitions, such as words or phrases that would give interconnections.

  • Collect Images and Charts

Of course, images and charts are vital. Make sure to use HD photos and reliable maps from data websites.

  • Initiate Audience Interaction

After the presentation, evaluate it by asking your listeners if they have any questions. 

Questions like these must be considered and answered in your presentation.

  • How would you design your material?
  • How factual is it?
  • What is the target deadline? Show your timeline.      

Watch this live speech or business seminar to get different hooks and other strategies to impress your listeners with your business presentation:

3 Essential Parts on How to Start a Board Meeting Presentation

As your supervisor and other executives watch you presenting, stand tall and present like a boss through these points.

  • Create the Structure of Your Presentation

It organizes the presentation and connects the main points to sub-points. With that, you can have minimal effort but impactful results.

  • Build Big Introduction

Try to begin asking the “why’s,” furthermore, enlighten them of “hows.” How to conduct, how to execute, and how to surpass their limits.

Stop introducing your presentation with your name. Always start to implore your audience with no cliché intro.  

  • Develop Your Data and Tell Crucial Parts

You can be ideological, symbolic, and rhetorical, and these things are not yet easy to comprehend without visuals. That’s why it is essential to develop and expand your data to make it understandable. 

Suppose you want to have a good impression on presenting a business proposal to your bosses and other hotshots. Watch this video on striking tips and techniques for a presentation:

Vital Aspects of How to Start a Case Study Presentation

Case study presentations are more technical, unlike the other displays. It should be specific, tangible, credible, and substantial.

Also, here are the vital points to follow. 

  • Show the Possible Results. Collect the possible outcomes or predicted results. With that, you can jump to “how” you will carry the topic into different methods and production. 
  • Prepare Back-Up Studies. Always have a back-up; there are some unexpected circumstances, emergencies, and other possible matters that may ruin your original presentation. It is wise to prepare around three to six back-up studies you can easily refer to. 
  • Connect to Your Prospect’s Situation. Research on their state, status, and other related ideas. It will help your case study to get a thumbs up. 
  • Focus on Deals. Keep in mind that you have a target deal. Always connect your study to the current agreement and profitable offers.

How to Start a Presentation Introduction in Class

Facing new students is challenging, right? If you want to get a good impression from your class in different situations, take a look at these tips.

  • Present Yourself With Manners

Tell them briefly who you are and why you are there in front of them while showing the right conduct and manners. 

how to start a presentation university

  • Cite Your Objectives and Its Relevance

The material or your material must be the center of any presentation. Discuss its factuality, how tangible it is. Along with these, tell stories that may catch their interest and attention throughout the presentation.

  • Leave Interesting Statement

End it with a bang! Make them think and stare at you. You can also give them riddles and some metaphorical set of words as an ending remark . 

Indeed, you will gain their participation, plus you are helping your listeners to think critically. 

Become a pro presenter. Download Orai and start practicing

How to Make an Unforgettable Start-Up Presentation 

To give more emphasis on how to start a business presentation and to help young entrepreneurs. I’ll share with you this detailed outline. I hope you tuck this with you. 

1. Set Goals For Your Business Presentation

Always set the stage with objectives. Since you are presenting to get clients and investment, it would help if you cleared how long it takes your business proposal.

2. Start With Provoking Questions or Stories

Never underestimate the power of storytelling. Initiate your presentation with real-life stories. 

Stating provoking questions can grab attention, positive or negative is a good result. It helps you to get your listener’s ears and eyes. 

3. Show Alarming Statistics, Graphics as a Clue 

This recommendation is similar to a word game, the “4-pics, One Word,” demonstrating the idea or topic with photos will be more immersing. 

Visuals are one of the key points to expand a presentation. They are depicting patterns, diagrams, and trends. Lend quick analysis and predictions. 

how to start a presentation university

By using graphics, you can easily sustain the interest of your listeners and attract more viewers. 

4. Know Your Material

Master your presentation, fill loops. And own your topic. Study the weak points and establish more the strengths of the presentation. 

With that, you can derive the information smoothly. Take note of this. It is also vital on how to start a board meeting presentation. 

5. Add Business-Related Stories and Humor

Put the top 10 successful corporations, traders, companies, and other information that may help you present your goal. Flash the motto of some famous entrepreneurs. Analyze, or contradict it to gain more attention. 

Try to spiel some business jokes as an ice breaker. Any possible facts about business that you can use — catch it!

6. Hold Your Audience With Visuals

Play videos like a Public Service Announcement (PSA), but make sure it is connected to your topic. 

Learn how to start a business presentation that has movement and action to society. With that, your listeners may think your presentation is worth investing in. 

7. Relax and Have an Early Set-Up

Stay calm and don’t even think about drawbacks or shortcomings, especially the night before the presentation.

Make sure to pamper your body. Create also a plan B for unexpected circumstances.

8. Calculate Your Time and Sort it Into Parts

In your run-through, always set a timer. It gives you a heads up if you may look rushing or too slow in explaining each slide.

Being not responsible for other people’s time is a turn-off, especially in business, where time is essential in the industry. 

To present other samples wisely. Let me share some videos to rock and how to start a presentation:


To be an effective speaker or presenter, you must master how to start a presentation. Learn the basics and dynamics. 

Earn persuasive skills and grasp how to start a PowerPoint presentation with the steps and tips above to disseminate the information in a free-lingual way effectively. 

I hope you find this helpful; you are free to use these tips for any goals. 

You can try Orai , an AI-powered speech coach that perfectly suits your budget! They provide instant feedback on your to help with your public speaking needs. Start your free trial with Orai today! 

7 Creative Ways to Start Any Presentation (With Examples!)

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How to Start and End a Presentation: 10 Practical Tips to Grab Attention and Make an Impact

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How to Start and End a Presentation

No matter how well-crafted and planned the body of your presentation, its impact depends on its opening and ending.  On one hand, you have 30 seconds to grab your audience’s attention so people would be interested in hearing what you have to say. On the other, your ending is what your audience will be left with and will shape how they feel about your presentation and how they’ll remember it. This might be like a lot of pressure but the truth is, it’s easier than it sounds. This is why, in this article, we will help you achieve this and more with 10 practical tips on how to start and end a presentation effectively .

Article overview: The Opening: 5 Tips To Get Your Audience Invested  1. The Hook 2. Transition 3. Personal Story 4. Build Tension with Silence 5. Use Startling Statistics The Ending: 5 Tips To Make an Impact 1. The Rule of Three 2. Come Full Circle 3. Food for Thought Question Ending 4. Inspire with Personal Involvement 5. Make Your Audience Laugh

5 Practical Tips on How to Start a Presentation

Imagine you spent weeks preparing an amazing presentation with lots of valuable insight that you just can’t wait to share with your audience. Unfortunately, only a few minutes in, you notice that most of your viewers are on their phones scrolling and barely paying any attention to what you have to say. What happened?

Presenters and speakers often start with a long introduction. They introduce themselves, share how excited they are, thank the audience for attending, explain what they’re going to speak about in a minute, why the topic is important, etc. This might take only one or two minutes, however, when it comes to presentation,  two minutes without telling anything interesting might result in losing your audience. In fact, you only have 30 seconds to grab your audience’s attention .

This is why, no matter the topic and goal of your presentation, you must always captivate your audience’s attention first. Leave the introductions and summaries for later .

In this section, we’ll talk about ways to hook your audience in the first 30 seconds and get them invested in what you have to say in your presentation.

1. The Hook

Anything unpredictable that catches you off-guard, will get your attention.

This tactic, masterfully named as a metaphor for attracting fish with a juicy worm on a hook, refers to a few-second short story, metaphor, shocking fact, statistics, analogy, controversial statement, or anything unconventional and unexpected that will capture your viewer’s imagination. We’ll have a look at three examples for hooks.

1.1 Bold Claim

“Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid.” This opening line by stand-up comedy legend George Carlin is a great example of a hook in the form of a bold claim. If you’re confident enough with your presentation and you have a bold claim up to your sleeve, don’t save it for the end. Instead, shoot that bullet confidently the second you start your presentation. It will immediately catch your audience off-guard and you will have it paying attention to your every word after that.

Here are some examples for bold claim starters in presentations and public speaking.

  • “What you’re doing right now at this very moment is killing you.” ( Nilofer Merchant )
  • “Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that are alive will be dead through the food that they eat.” ( Jamie Oliver )
  • “I’m going to try to increase the lifespan of every single person in this room by seven and a half minutes. Literally, you will live seven and a half minutes longer than you would have otherwise just because you watched this talk.” ( Jane McGonagall )
  • “I don’t want to alarm anybody in this room. However, it’s just come to my attention that the person to your right is a liar.” ( Pamela Meyer )

1.2 Imagine

One of the greatest ways to get attention and start strong is through storytelling. People love stories and are always interested in hearing one. In fact, many presentations may revolve around a story or just use small anecdotes to enhance their message. With this being said, amongst the best methods to create a compelling story is to get your audience involved. To do so, make them imagine themselves in the shoes of the main character. This attention-grabber invites your viewers to create a mental image and get emotionally invested.

Here are examples of speeches starting with the Imagine play:

  • “I want you, guys, to imagine that you’re a soldier, running through the battlefield. Now, you’re shot in the leg with a bullet that severs your femoral artery. This bleed is extremely traumatic and can kill you in less than 3 minutes. Unfortunately, by the time a medic actually gets to you, what the medic has on his or her belt can take 5 minutes or more with the application of pressure to stop that type of bleed.” ( Joe Landolina )
  • “Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3000 feet. Imagine a plane full of smoke, imagine an engine going clack-clack-clack-clack-clack. Well, I had a unique seat that day.”( Ric Elias )

1.3. Humourous Twists

Great stories have unexpected plot twists. The best stories, however, have a funny plot twist. Depending on your topic, you can start by telling your story, get your audience in the mood for a serious talk, and then contradict all expectations with a hilarious spin.

  • “I need to make a confession at the outset here. A little over 20 years ago I did something that I regret. Something that I’m not particularly proud of. Something that in many ways I wish no one would ever know. But here I feel kind of obliged to reveal. In the late 1980s, in a moment of youthful indiscretion, I went to law school.” ( Daniel Pink )

2. Transition

Your next step would be to make an organic transition between your hook and the main point of your presentation. You can do this seamlessly or by linking directly with “I tell you this, because”, “This brings us to…”. Mohammed Qahtani, for example, does this transition so smoothly, that you’ll never even catch it.

First, as a hook, he chooses to use a prop. He literally goes on stage and lights a cigarette, capitalizing on unpredictability, originality, bold statement, humor, and immediately uses the second hook in the form of a provocative question, asking the audience “You think smoking kills?”. The third thing he does is strike with shocking data that he immediately admits to being fake. He already has the audience on the tip of his fingers. Having accomplished that, Mohammed Qahtani is ready to finally move to the body of the presentation and reveal his actual message.

3. Personal Story

Another storytelling technique besides making people from your audience imagine themselves in a particular situation, is to start with your own personal story. One that is relevant to the topic of your presentation. Your personal involvement and experience give you credibility in the eyes of the viewers, and, as we mentioned, everyone loves to hear an interesting story. This is because stories are relatable, easy to identify with communicating honesty, openness, and connection.

4. Build Tension with Silence

Interestingly enough, saying nothing is also a very powerful option. In fact, standing in front of an audience and confidently keeping silent is as powerful as making a bold statement. Silence will definitely build tension and pique your audience’s curiosity about what you have to say. Be careful, however, as this technique requires knowing your timing.

5. Use Startling Statistics

Sometimes you just can’t think of a story, a joke, or a specific statement that is bold enough. And that’s okay. As a last resort, but also a pretty effective one, you can always rely on curious shocking statistics, related to your topic, to instantly gain people’s attention. Take your time researching curious statistics that will emphasize the seriousness of your topic or as a tool to start over the top.

To sum it up, your presentation opening follows 5 steps:

  • Hook: You immediately strike your audience instantly with something interesting and unconventional they wouldn’t expect.
  • Transition: You link your hook to your main point.
  • Introduction: Once you already have your audience’s attention, you can finally make a very brief introduction with something relevant to your topic.
  • Preview: Give your audience a brief preview of what you’re going to talk about.
  • Benefits: Tell your audience how will they benefit from listening to your presentation. (ex. “By the end, you will already know how to…”)

Keep in mind, that your opening, consisting of these 5 steps, should be brief and ideally not exceed 2 minutes . If you manage to make a great hook, transition, introduction, review and list the benefits in 2 minutes, you already have your audience’s full attention and they will be listening to your every word throughout the body of your presentation.

5 Practical Tips on How to End a Presentation

Let’s consider this situation. You start watching a movie that instantly opens with a jaw-dropping suspenseful scene that raises questions and makes you want to unravel the mystery. This scene will certainly make your stay through the movie. You are very invested, you love the story, the build-up keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end when the reveal is so underwhelming, you feel disappointed. The ending doesn’t fit the intensity of the story and feels incomplete and rushed. How does this relate to your presentation?

Having a great start for your presentation is what will keep your audience interested in what you have to say. However, the end is what your audience will be left with and will shape how they feel about your presentation and how they’ll remember it.  In short, if you fail your opening, you will still be able to catch up with your presentation and capitalize with a great closing line. But an underwhelming conclusion can kill the velocity of a good presentation and ruin the overall experience.

Let’s look at some practical tips and examples by great presenters to get inspired and never let that happen.

1. The Rule of Three

This powerful technique in speech writing refers to the collection of three words, phrases, sentences, or lines. In photography, there’s a similar rule, known as the Rule of Thirds, that serves to divide an image into three. In writing, the Rule of Three combines a collection of thoughts into three entities with combined brevity and rhythm to create a pattern.

Information presented in a group of three sticks in our heads better than in other groups. This is why this principle presents your ideas in more enjoyable and memorable ways for your audience.  It also serves to divide up a speech or emphasize a certain message. Let’s see a couple of examples where the rule is applied in different forms.

Examples of the Rule of three in Speeches

  • “ I came, I saw, I conquered .” (Veni, Vidi, Vici. ) by Julius Caesar in a letter to the Roman Senate
  • “…this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people , shall not perish from the earth.” from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
  • “ It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. lt means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.” from Steve Job’s Stanford Commencement Speech

In Veni Vidi Vici, the rule serves to divide the concept of Caesar’s victory into three parts to prolong the conclusion in order to give it more power. The “came” and “ saw” parts are technically obvious and unnecessary in terms of context. However, they serve to build up the conclusion of conquering, creating a story, rhythm, and, ultimately, a memorable and powerful line. A single “I conquered” wouldn’t impress the Senate that much, let alone become such a legendary phrase preserved in history.

Lincoln’s famous speech ending shows an excellent practice of the Rule of Three in the form of repetition to emphasize the new role of the Government.  “That Government of the people shaw not perish from the earth.” would still be a good line, however, the repetition makes it way more powerful and memorable.

And last, Steve Job uses the Rule of Three in the form of repetition to accomplish building up the conclusion and emphasizing what “it means”.  This repetition gives rhythm and helps the audience to be more receptive, stay focused, and follow the speaker to the final conclusion.

You can also use the Rule of Three to close your presentation by giving your audience two negatives and ending with a positive . Typical structures would be “This is not… this is not… but it is”; “You wouldn’t… you wouldn’t… but you would..”, etc.

For example, you can conclude a speech about self-growth with something similar to “Your future isn’t a matter of chance, it isn’t a matter of circumstances, it’s a matter of choice.”

2. Come Full Circle

In short, this means capitalizing  on your message by ending your presentation the exact way you started it . If done right, this is a powerful tool to make an impact. Usually, you begin your presentation with a statement that piques your audience’s curiosity. You use it to set the topic and start building on it. You take your audience on a journey, you make them start at one point, follow them through the entire journey, and make them end at the same point. By repeating the opening line as an ending, now the message makes more sense, it’s way more personal and makes a satisfying logical conclusion .

A good example of this comes from Yubing Zang in her speech “Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone.” The speaker opens her TED talk with that same line to take you on a journey. You experience her story, you learn how fear is the biggest thief of dreams while comfort is a drug that keeps you from following them. After that strong message, she finishes with that same phrase. In the end, this phrase isn’t just an abstract quote, now it makes more sense and feels more real and personal.

You can also use the full circle method to start and finish your presentation with the same question. As an opening line, your question will make your audience think. It will compel them to listen to your presentation and learn the answers. As an ending, however, this same question will become rhetorical .

And speaking of questions…

3. Food for Thought Question Ending

The easiest way to end a speech on a good note is to leave your audience with a question. The kind of open-ended question that will inspire your audience to reflect on . Such questions can be so inviting, they will give your audience something exciting to think about and even think of throughout the day.

Examples of open-ended questions, depending on your topic, could sound like this.

  • What if it doesn’t work out that way?
  • What does this look like for you?
  • If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?

Unlike close-ended questions that the viewers can answer immediately on the spot and forget about your speech later, interesting open-ended questions that give them food for thought will inevitably surface on occasion.

For example, Lera Boroditski closes her topic on “How Language Shapes the Way We Think” with ” And that gives you the opportunity to ask: why do I think the way that I do? How could I think differently? And also, what thoughts do I wish to create?”

In order for your open-ended question to become food for thought, make sure your presentation raises it organically . It should sound like a relevant and logical conclusion to what you’ve built during your speech. Otherwise, the question would be forced and would seem like coming from nowhere. The best way to think of such an open-ended question is to reflect on what is the question you wished to answer during your presentation but couldn’t. Something that doesn’t have a solution yet.

  • Why do people fear losing things that they do not even have yet?
  • Why do we strive for perfection if it is not attainable?
  • How much control do you have over your life?
  • When will we reach a point where terraforming Mars will be our only chance at human survival? How can you influence this deadline?

This will give a great puzzle for your audience to solve and something to remember your presentation with, for a long time.

4. Inspire with Personal Involvement

If you have a story to share, don’t hesitate to inspire your audience with it during your own presentations.

This method is most powerful when we share a personal story or experience . Our vulnerability and personal touch are what will help you inspire your audience without sounding insincere or forcing them a piece of advice out of nowhere. The key here is to have credibility and personal involvement . It might come from your degree, accomplishments, or from your life’s story. Also, make sure the story is relatable and encourages empathy from your audience.

Steve Jobs gave a commencement speech at Stanford University sharing his personal experiences in order to inspire change in his audience’s mindset. He uses his authority and credibility to shape the spirit of leadership and entrepreneurship in young people. He aims to inspire people that they should learn to color outside the lines instead of following the patterns and structure of society. And he serves as a great example with his own life story and accomplishments .

Which makes the ending memorable and impactful: “ Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Stay hungry. Stay foolish. ”

In conclusion, the entire speech builds up to this conclusion making it powerful as the personal involvement and experience make it sincere and inspirational.

5. Make Your Audience Laugh

If your topic allows it, one of the best ways to make your presentation memorable and a great experience for your audience is to end with a joke. Just make sure to craft a joke that relates to the main point of your presentation.

As an example for this tip, we chose the TED talk of webcartoonist Randall Munroe where he answers simple what-if questions using math, physics, logic, and -you guessed it- humor.

He ends by sharing an allegedly personal experience about receiving an email from a reader with a single subject line “Urgent”. “And this was the entire email: If people had wheels and could fly, how would we differentiate them from airplanes? Urgent. And I think that there are some questions math just cannot answer. ”

Final Words

In conclusion, the start and end of your presentation are crucial to its success. No matter the topic and goal of your presentation, you must always captivate your audience’s attention first, leaving the introductions and summaries for later. Having a great start for your presentation is what will keep your audience interested in what you have to say. However, the end is what your audience will be left with and will shape how they feel about your presentation and how they’ll remember it.  We hope we managed to inspire your inner public speaker to rock your presentation like a pro.

In the meantime, you could also check some more insights on related topics, gather inspiration, or simply grab a freebie?

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How to Give an Excellent Presentation (College Students)

Last Updated: October 4, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 86% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 126,536 times.

College seminars are conducted to test the presentation skills of a student or a group and also allow the student to convey their knowledge to the audience. When students don't come prepared, the presentation may become disorganized, unclear, and dull. It would make them confused during the presentation and lead to vague answers during the questionnaires.

Step 1 Connect with your audience.

  • Think of your main topic and break it down into 3 specific ideas. This will help you to focus your discussion and remain clear. Keep the 3 ideas simple and have them in your mind. Write out your main points, then picture what you're talking about so you can visualize what you're going to talk about.
  • To help you create the "soft humor," don't take yourself too seriously. Second, identify the fears and insecurities around the topic so you can address these in a way that shows we all have these fears, insecurities and taboos and that our feelings are normal. This helps keep you in the moment and present with the audience and allows you to recognize the reality of the effect of your topic on yourself and the audience.
  • Tell the audience you're excited about what you're talking about. This can make your excited mood infectious and lead them to be willing to come on this journey with you.

Step 2 Be studious.

  • You could try doing something fun, like bringing with you a relevant object, doing a magic trick or a dance move to take things out of the ordinary and add some life to your talk.
  • Another fun approach is to try a meditation and ask the audience to relax - feel your toes relax, your feet, etc.
  • If you want the audience to move around, don't hesitate to ask. Ask them to stand up and stretch, to shake hands with the person next to them, or to do a twirl on the spot.
  • You could try asking the audience to say a bunch of affirmations out loud with you, to get them caught up in the mood you're creating and help them to see its relevance to them too.

Step 4 Look at the audience when you are talking about the topic.

  • You can ask the audience to imagine something along with you, asking them to close their eyes and think about something with you, then resume with eye contact following this.

Step 5 Manage your time.

What Is The Best Way To Start a Presentation? . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

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  • Answer the questions asked after the presentation. Do not divert or change the topic. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ https://education.seattlepi.com/give-good-speech-presentations-college-1147.html
  • ↑ http://blog.online.colostate.edu/blog/online-education/presentation-tips-for-college-students/
  • ↑ https://www.princeton.edu/~archss/webpdfs08/BaharMartonosi.pdf

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How to give a presentation in class as a college student.

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How to Give a Presentation in Class as a College Student

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Presentation plays an important role in the learning process of a student. Well, we all have given presentations at some other point of time in our lives. But, for a student, presentation plays an important role, be it giving it during a seminar or an important event. If you are wondering how to give a presentation in class, then don’t worry; this blog will help you stand out in the classroom. Stick to the end to understand how to give a presentation in class and make an everlasting impression on your audience. This will also help you in understanding how to give presentations in college. 

What is a presentation?

A presentation can simply be defined as a way of communicating an idea to an audience by speech, slideshow, or other visual aids. It is used in academic settings like colleges and schools, or professional settings like the workplace. We can share information, persuade stakeholders, and showcase a product or service using a presentation. An effective presentation should be well-structured, engaging, and tailored to the needs of the audience. It should include an introduction, a main body and a conclusion, as well as nonverbal cues like body language and tone of voice.

Components of a presentation

Many university courses have their own grading systems that aren’t quite the same as schools. Your final grade isn't based just on a few multiple-choice exams. Instead, your final grade will likely combine assignments, exams and presentations. This is why you need to know how to give a presentation in class if you want a good grade at the end of your semester. 

To know how to give a good presentation, you first need to know exactly what goes into making a presentation. Your presentation will likely have two main components - a visual element and a spoken element. 

Visual elements

Whenever you’re made to give a presentation in class, it's usually to showcase your knowledge on a particular topic, including your research, findings, and essentially any data or information you’ve collected or created for your assignment. All your data will usually be represented in the form of a visual representation, usually a PowerPoint presentation. Most students will have a slideshow presentation that picks up key points from their presentation and puts it into a visual format. 

Tips for creating a good visual presentation

If you’re wondering how to create a presentation for the class that your peers and professor will love, here are a few important tips to give a good presentation:

  • Keep it brief: Make sure your presentation isn’t 20-30 slides long. Most well-made presentations can convey all the information you need in around 10-15 slides. 
  • Use minimal text: Do not over-crowd your slides with information. If people are too busy reading, they won’t pay attention to what you’re saying and will lose interest pretty quickly.
  • Use relevant images: The images and visuals you use during your presentation should be catchy, but don’t forget that they all need to serve a purpose. A picture can speak a thousand words, and that’s exactly what you want your visual component to do for you.

Spoken elements

The spoken part of your presentation is where most students have a tough time. Some students find it hard to write down a good speech, while others start sweating buckets at the mere thought of getting in front of a class and speaking. If you want to know how to give a presentation in class that’ll get you a good grade, your speech needs to be well-polished. 

How to assemble content?

Your speech ties together your entire presentation and is the anchor of your presentation. If you want to know how to give a presentation in class as a student, you must first learn how to write a good speech.

  • Use a good hook: The beginning of your speech should get the attention of your audience right away and pique their interest. They won’t be very interested in the rest of your content if you start off boring. 
  • Use some humour: Speeches are a way for you to showcase some personality. If your professor wanted a dry assignment, they would have made you write a paper. A spoken assignment gives you the freedom to be a little creative and better engage your audience.
  • ‍ Complement your visuals: Your speech needs to be informative and convey all the information you worked so hard to prepare. It must showcase your topic knowledge and accurately describe everything you’ve mentioned in your slides.

Public speaking tips for students

So your speech is written, and it's great! But that's only half the battle - your delivery is just as important. If the thought of public speaking makes you feel weak in the knees, try these few tips to help you out. 

1. Record yourself practising

Listening to yourself speak helps you better understand where you can improve your delivery at different points. Once you know how you’re going to sound in front of an audience, you can take the pressure off your final presentation. 

2. Practice in front of friends

To get comfortable with the idea of speaking in front of a crowd, practice with your friends. The people closest to you are often your harshest critics, so if you can handle them, you can handle anything. 

3. Memorise your speech

Most people fear getting up on stage and forgetting everything they had prepared. To ensure that doesn’t happen, ensure you’ve practised your speech enough times that you’ll remember it even if you’re nervous.

Speaking of assignments and exams- with exam season coming up, do you feel the pressure mounting? Read our guide on how to beat exam stress and enter exam season feeling cool and confident: How to Deal with Exam Stress as a College Student .

How to start a presentation?

Often, students get stuck during the initial stage of giving a presentation. Without proper guidance and knowledge about this, one can end up making mistakes and lose the interest of their audience. To understand how to start your presentation in class, check out some of the tips and tricks for you. This will help you understand how to introduce a presentation in class. 

1. Introduce yourself to the audience

Begin your presentation by introducing yourself with your name and background information to the audience. Sharing the details that are appropriate to your presentation helps you establish yourself as an expert in your domain.

2. Provide information to your audience

Convey what you are going to present to the audience in a brief manner. Make a list of key points of the content of your presentation. It will make the audience familiar with the agenda of the presentation. 

3. Let them know why it is relevant

It is crucial for the audience to understand the importance of your presentation. Try displaying insights or statistics to help deliver the message. Let them know how the presentation will help them develop useful skills and enrich their knowledge.

4. Narrate a story

Start off with a short, relevant story before you begin your presentation to build rapport with the audience. Try to keep the story short, under one minute, and use humour or thought-provoking ideas. A personal touch to the story can enrich it too. For example, let your audience in on a personal experience regarding the main point of your presentation.

5. Deliver a captivating statement

Share a thought-provoking fact about your presentation's relevance with confident body language and verbal tone. Stand up straight and keep your hands out of your pockets as it lets the audience know that the news that you just learned affects them too. You want them to know what you are saying is truthful and interesting.

6. Encourage your audience to participate

The best way to encourage your audience to participate is by asking an open-ended question requiring them to raise their hand and stand up to answer. Asking them to stand up while answering a question works best with smaller audiences and promotes engagement.

If you are unsure of what tactic to use, take the help of a friend, coworker or family member to practise. They will give you feedback on your body language, attire and the most effective tactic for your presentation.

Practice your presentation skills in your student accommodation!

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How to give a good presentation?

Now that you have a fair understanding of the different elements of your presentation, we’ll give you some tips on how to give a presentation in class that will earn you the highest grade in the class. Here are some tips to stick to before the big day: 

1. Understand your content

Your final presentation will be an amalgamation of both your written and visual elements. It is vital that you have a good understanding of the content that you are presenting. If you don’t understand what you’re trying to say, how will your audience? Test out your presentation on some friends to ensure that your content is understandable to someone who isn't too familiar with the topic, so you can ensure that your classmates and professor can easily understand your content. 

2. Organise your structure 

The way you structure your presentation is incredibly important to increasing its comprehension. If you want to know how to give a presentation in class that will get you an A, remember that a well-structured presentation is much more likely to impress your professor than a haphazard mesh of information thrown together. 

3. Engage your audience

Keep your presentation engaging by asking questions, sharing examples related to your topic, or using humour to make your audience interested and attentive. Maintain eye contact with your audience and avoid reading from your notes too often.

4. Speak slowly and clearly

While you’re giving your speech, make sure that you speak slowly and clearly. If you want to know how to give a presentation that will get you a good grade, the way you deliver a speech is very important. When nervous, people have a tendency to speak fast, which makes their voice much softer. Speaking slowly and clearly allows you to be as audible to your audience as possible. Speaking slowly is also a common power move exercised by many high-level executives in corporate environments. Speaking slowly forces people around you to hang on to your every word, drawing more attention to you.

5. Drink some water

Before you get up in front of the class, take a deep breath and drink a few sips of water to clear your throat and prepare yourself. If you’re slightly nervous, it can dry up your mouth and lips pretty quickly, which will hamper the understanding of your speech. 

6. Be mindful of time

Have a good understanding of the time duration that you require to present, and adjust the length of your content accordingly. Try to avoid an incomplete and rushed presentation. Instead, aim to have a concise and well-delivered one.

7. Use visual aids effectively

Visual aids like slideshows, charts and graphs should be used strategically to reinforce main points, engage the audience and improve the delivery of your presentation. Avoid cluttering your slides with extra information, and ensure that the font size and colours are readable.

8. Dress appropriately

Your appearance has a huge impact on the audience’s perception of your presentation. Make sure that you are dressed appropriately, your outfit is comfortable and doesn't distract the audience from your message.

9. Practice makes perfect

Don’t forget - practice makes perfect! It's a cliché, but it's true. The more you practice your presentation, the more confident you’ll be when it's finally your turn to get up in front of your class and present and once you’re up there, it'll all be over in just a few short minutes. 

10. Seek feedback

It is always good practice to ask for feedback from your professor or classmates after your presentation. It helps identify areas that you can improve upon for future presentations. It shows your open-mindedness as you are open to constructive criticism of your work.

Things to avoid during a presentation

Now that you know what you should do, here are a few things you definitely should NOT do. If you want to know how to give a presentation in class to impress your professor, do not make these rookie mistakes while you’re presenting. 

1. Reading from your slides

Professors have to watch dozens of students’ presentations every day, and the last thing they want to see is a boring presentation with someone reading off of their slides. Slides are a visual aid and should NOT be used as cue cards. 

2. Avoiding eye contact 

However uncomfortable you may be, make as much eye contact with your audience as possible. Do not look at your shoes or keep glancing towards your slides. Maintaining eye contact shows confidence and will keep your people engaged in your speech. 

3. Rushing your speech 

Your first instinct may be to get your presentation over with as soon as you can but fight that urge with all your might. Don’t rush through your words because that will make you come across as underconfident and will reduce your volume. Keep a consistent pace throughout, and you’ll get through your speech in no time!

Creative presentation ideas

If you’re wondering how to give a presentation in class, but the typical PowerPoint slides and speech combination seems to bore for you, there are a few different presentation styles you could try:

1. Video presentation

If you’re in a creative field, this could be the perfect presentation style for you. A video presentation is a great way for you to pack in as many visuals as you want into your presentation while still keeping your audience engaged. You can even try out some timed speech to complement specific parts of your video if you really want to go all out. 

2. Interactive presentation 

You can also fill your presentation with short quizzes or audience opinions to get the entire class involved in your presentation. This could be a fun way to lift everyone’s spirits after a long final week and will also ensure your presentation stays in their minds even once they leave the classroom. 

3. Prop-filled presentation

If you want to go the extra mile, you can bring in physical visual aids to supplement your presentation. For example, you could bring different candy bars and tie their names to some parts of your speech. “You all may snicker at me when i say this, but i truly think that mars is the best planet in the solar system.” That wasn’t the most creative example out there, but you get a general idea. Incorporating props into your presentation shows an extra level of planning, creativity and effort that your professor will be sure to reward. 

That was our comprehensive guide on how to give a presentation in class as a college student. We know we’ve packed in a lot of information, but if you break everything down step by step, it's all incredibly simple. If you follow all our tips to give a good presentation, we can ensure that you’ll give a killer presentation that’ll blow your class away! Before you start creating your presentation make sure you check our blog on best powerpoint presentation tips . For more, gain a fuller understanding by perusing our webstory on the top 8 presentation tools for students.

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Presentation 101 for University Students

how to start a presentation university

If you tremble when speaking before an audience, you are not alone. Public speaking is said to be the number one fear faced by human beings- something that is even more frightening than death. It is little wonder that we avoid the limelight at all costs. However, presenting is increasingly becoming a significant aspect of not only the working world, but also of university curriculum which we have to live with, like it or not. In many university courses, presentation takes up a substantial portion of the final grades that we receive. This percentage is expected to rise further as the world places greater emphasis on soft skills rather than on pure knowledge. It is not uncommon to see someone who produces a sloppy project piece but has the gift of the gab being awarded with stellar grades. It is no doubt that having solid presentation skills is going to give you an “unfair” advantage over your peers, allowing you to flourish not just in university but also in your career.

It is therefore crucial to acquire the skills of presenting with eloquence and totally captivating your audience, which this guide will impart you with. The good news is that presentation is a skill that can be picked up, just like playing a piano or driving a car. The bad news? It takes hard work, dedication and perseverance to deliver a presentation that is a class above the rest. So if you are willing to make the investment in time and effort, continue reading to find out the golden tips to ace your presentation. We have seen so many students evolving from a shy and reserved person to being a confident and composed presenter just by faithfully applying the principles in this guide. Whichever stage you are in right now- a polished presenter or a total beginner, you are going to see a marked difference in your presentation skills.

We will now walk you through the process of coming out with a presentation step by step, at the same time answering the biggest questions in this area.

1.How to Craft your Presentation ?

Crafting is the very 1 st step of preparing for your presentation. You have to decide what are the material that to be included amongst the sea of information that you can find on the internet. Bear in mind the 4 principles below, and you will be just fine.

Quote your audience

Any guru in public speaking will tell you that the first step in preparing for a presentation is to analyze your audience. In our case, let’s look into the mind of the prof who is our assessor and the sole audience who matters. (Let’s admit it, who cares about our classmates. As a prof, what do you want most from your students? Of course, you want your teachings to be internalized by them and your effort to pay off. Nothing excites a prof more than having a student quote him on what he said during one of the classes. What’s more, the whole point of a school presentation is to allow you to apply your knowledge learnt in that module and to gauge your level of understanding on it. If you are able to pull out a concept or two from one of the prof’s lesson and repeat it to him, then you have totally nailed it. Of course, this method can backfire if you wrongly explain or apply the concept that he has taught, because it shows that you have not been paying attention in class, so do this only when you are very confident. Next thing to note is that this cannot be overdone as you will come across immediately as a bootlicker and be penalized heavily. Rule of thumb: just one or two concepts per presenter will do, and make it fit seamlessly into your presentation flow, not artificially.

Do a lot of work

Ok, don’t get freaked out upon seeing the title. You don’t have to do a lot of work to appear like you are doing a lot of work. Sounds confusing? The bottom line is that your perceived effort in the project must be tremendous. The prof is going to mark you favorably if he /she deems that you have put in a lot of work for the project. One of the ways that we have done it is to include photos of us going down to the ground to interview people and to conduct surveys. We notice many students being very humble about showcasing the work they put in for their project. There’s always a time to be humble and project presentation is definitely not the time, so go ahead and publicize whatever you have done and blow the prof away. Include anything from demonstrations of software, creations of a sophisticated graph or possibly even a physical product you made.

Sympathize your audience

Your prof probably heard a dozen of presentations in one day and has to grade all of them. This is an extremely tiring endeavor, in case you haven’t realized. So do your prof a favor by making your presentation so easy to follow and digest that your prof don’t have to kill thousands of brain cells just to understand you. Follow the rules below:

– Have an printed outline of your entire presentation at the beginning of it

– Summarize the main points of your presentation at the end of it by reiterating the main points

– Organize your presentation in a logical manner and break it down into various parts. You can use the following structures:

  • Chronological : from past to present to future
  • Problem-solution
  • Cause and effect

– ‘Signpost’ your presentation by telling your audience where you are in your presentation. For example, “problem #1, …yadayada…… , problem #2 , ……yadayada……….. , problem #3, ……yadaydada……….” , followed by solutions and conclusion.

Display team work

In university, presentations are usually carried out for projects done in groups, rather than individually. Very likely, the content of your presentation is based on the outcome and findings of your project work with your group mates. The process of crafting your presentation is therefore going to be an interactive one involving your group mates.

Profs expect your project presentation to be a team effort and it is not too difficult to tell if your presentations are prepared without any cooperation and communication with one another by looking at the coherence of the various parts. Some of the questions you need to ask you look at your team’s presentation:

– Does it transition smoothly from one presenter to another? For eg, presentation of problems followed by solution

– Does all the content fall under the same theme? Or does one speaker digress?

– Are there any repetitions in the content? For example, 3 rd speaker repeating someone that has been said by 1 st speaker

– Does your content contradict one another’s?

It is hence important for your group to come together and vet through each other’s part, while answering the questions above in order to ensure the consistency throughout the presentation.

2.How to Prepare PowerPoint Slides

PowerPoint slides can be a friend or a foe. Many students have been misusing this tool and hence are bearing the brunt of it by receiving less-than-satisfactory grades.

The first thing you have to understand is that you are presenting, not reading your report. So please don’t put up your entire report on the screen and begin reading it out verbatim. Your audience can read it faster than you do. The rule of thumb is the same as above- make your content as easy to digest and follow as possible when designing your PowerPoint slides. So stick to the following principles when:

Add as many pictures as possible

Pictures are nice to look at and are excellent for conveying your intended meaning. A picture speaks a thousand words and you can pretty much save your breath on a thousand words just by including a picture. Isn’t that a good deal? It allows your audience to understand what you want to say right away. Something to bear in mind, do not include cliparts in your PowerPoint slides as they come across as childish and unprofessional, instead use pictures of real people . Also, don’t forget to quote the source of your picture at the end of your presentation! You don’t want to get into legal trouble.

One point per slide

I know you are tempted to squeeze in tons of content into one slide, but that is going to confuse your audience. Always seek to only convey one point per slide and do not include pictures/points that are not relevant into the same slide. Anyway, there usually isn’t a limit on the number of slides to use, so go ahead and create more slides! For example, in a problem-solution type of presentation, one slide should only illustrate one problem and not more than that.

Minimal words

Understand that your PowerPoint slide is not your script; it is there to aid the understanding of your content by the audience. The center of attention of a presentation is not the PowerPoint slide, but YOU! If you add in so many words, your audience will spend the whole time reading the words on the slides instead of listening to what you are saying, which causes your effort to go down the drain and your results to go downhill. So do not exceed 7 lines and 7 words per line in one PowerPoint slide. The font size should be at least 28 to facilitate easy viewing.

Be consistent

The design of the PowerPoint slides is also a mean of which the prof assesses if your group exhibits strong team work. Strive to adopt consistent font type, font color and background color throughout the slides to maintain professionalism in your presentation. The recommended font types are those that are simplest and easiest to read which are the sans-serif fonts(eg. Calibri, Arial ). Font and background color should reflect a contrast so that the words are apparent against the background .i.e. black against white.

‘Death by PowerPoint’ tells us exactly what are the pitfalls to avoid when it comes to designing PowerPoint slides.

Click the Link to Watch on Youtube: Death by Powerpoint

Be outstanding

Use of PowerPoint slides has become a standard practice in school presentations. While it is hard to go wrong with PowerPoint, it is not easy to be exceptional as well. Being outstanding requires going beyond the extra mile. If you are willing to invest the effort and you think that this project calls for it, you can be adventurous and try out some of the tools below:

Prezi – a cloud based software that allows you to create dynamic presentation that makes your information come alive

Sparkol – a video-scribing tool for creating videos to illustrate your message

3.How to Remember Speeches

I know, your next question is ; how am I going to remember what I’m going to say if I don’t have my script on the power point slides ? Too often, the question is wrongly phrased as “How do I memorize my speech?” Memorizing your speech is a no-no. Here’s the secret to remembering your presentation material without sounding like a robot.

Memorize ideas, not words

Do you find yourself being extremely nervous before making a speech? When you memorize your speech word for word, there is tremendous fear of forgetting your script, resulting in pent-up pressure that impedes performance. If you have been memorizing words, this should be familiar to you: you miss a word in your presentation and got really panicky trying to recall the word. Your mind suddenly goes blank. You ended up rattling throughout the rest of your speech, not knowing what is going on. At the end of the speech, all the words you memorized came back to you surprisingly, but it’s too late.

Memorizing words not only make you sound like a news broadcaster devoid of emotions, but also causes you to become outrageously nervous with the need to get all the words ‘correct’. The fact is that no one knows exactly what is on your script and it is perfectly fine to use different words to convey your intended meaning. Therefore, the trick is to memorize the main ideas in your speech and not the exact words that make up your idea. To give you an example, say you are giving a presentation on the problems of memorizing speeches, simply memorize your 3 main points: nervousness, lack of enthusiasm and tediousness. Elaborate based on the 3 main ideas on the spot. You should also memorize keywords within your 3 main ideas so that it will help you to construct your sentences during your speech. Some examples of keywords in this particular context are “robotic”, “script” , “memorize” , “rattle” and etc.

Even if you are not expected to memorize, you still have to rehearse your presentation at least 2-3 times before your actual presentation. When rehearsing, strive to use different word combinations to express an idea, not attempt to memorize the exact words. On the day of presentation, if you need a script, distill your long ‘essay’ to a few main points and bring it up with you. Your script should be there to jock your memory, not for you to read out word for word.

(Go to toastmasters magazines and quote the famous people)


A good organization of your speech goes a long way in creating a fluent presentation. Here’s the mantra : How you want your audience to remember your speech is how you are going to remember your speech . That is why we told you to organize your speech logically in the earlier section. If you make it easy for your audience to follow you throughout your speech, you will have no problem recalling it either. As mentioned above, use structures to hold the entire speech together.

The Remarkable Tool

No process is complete without a tool. In remembering your speech, you need one as well. Remember how you have been taught to remember the hefty amount of content in your textbooks prior to exams during your primary school days? It is now time to go back to basics and to wipe the dust off this timeless, classic, powerful but forgotten way of remembering tons of material photographically in the shortest time. Introducing to you the………..Mindmap!

According to Tony Buzan , president of the brain foundation and world memory championships, mindmap functions in accordance to the mechanisms of the brain. We remember things based on associations and mindmaps categorizes similar items together which facilitates remembering, unlocking the fullest potential of the brain.

With the advent of technology, you no longer have to draw your complicated mindmap on a big piece of paper and have all the bubbles and branches entangled with one another. We are proud to share a free tool that allows you to draw a neat and clean mindmap on your computer and print it out on the day of your presentation!

Freemind is an idiot-proof and convenient software that enables you to draw mindmaps with as many branches and bubbles as you like. You can even add small icons on the branches, change the color of the entities as well as its size so as to emphasize on certain points and to make it visually painless for your massive presentation.

4.How to Get Rid of Nervousness

You want to know the truth? You never do.

Mark Twain, who is known as the father of American literature said that there are 2 types of speakers: the nervous speaker and the liar. The best presenters in the world still feel nervous before they get on stage. This is just a normal reaction in a body as our fight-or-flight response is being triggered. There are however various ways for you to curb your nervousness and not let it get the better of you:

Take 2-3 deep breaths through your nostrils before you speak. This act alone will instill a direct calming effect on your brain, allowing your prefrontal cortex to deal with your fight-or-flight response and allowing you to gain composure.

Positive self-talk

Research has found that Olympic qualifiers and world class athletes made use of positive self-talk to reduce cognitive interference and thus improve their sports performance. Likewise, right before you deliver your presentation, it is crucial for you to tell yourself the following:

– I am a blessing to my audience

– I am a great speaker

– I have fabulous content to share with my audience

You are not performing

The more you want to impress the audience, the more self-conscious you will be on the stage, and hence the more nervous you are going to be. You will be cognizant of where you place your hands, make your eye contact and whether your English is perfect. Ultimately, the multitasking attempt will be so overwhelming that you forget what you are about to say, resulting in brain freeze. Therefore, think of the presentation as a sharing of important knowledge, findings and insights with intimate friends who will benefit from your awesome content. You will experience a liberating feeling, knowing that you are here to express, not impress.

5.How to Not Make your Audiences Fall Asleep?

Presentations in school are typically content-heavy with the need to squeeze in as much material as possible to show that you know your stuff. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see students yawning or playing with the phone while their classmates are presenting. At the same time, prof would be sipping his coffee incessantly while trying to keep the restless audience in order.

In this section, you will learn how to make your assessor’s job easier by delivering an engaging presentation that enchants and enlightens the audience. You may ask, why do I bother in making my presentation interesting when marks are given based on content? Then you may want to consider this: You have put in tremendous effort into the project and have excellent content to boast, but nothing gets into the head of a half-asleep and half-distracted audience. Imagine all the work that you have invested for the entire semester or year into creating content for your presentation, only to have it fly pass the head of your assessor? You are not doing justice to your effort. There will always be certain amount of biasness involved in marking, and the highest score will likely go to the team or person that has stood out in their presentation. Here are 3 powerful ways to create presentations that stick.

Make your statistics stand out

Statistics, graphs and figures are commonly used in school presentations to substantiate a point. Raw statistics are dull and boring, and it is in fact one of the biggest sleep-inducers in presentations. Make your statistics interesting by saying for eg. Instead of “16.67% of Singaporean teenagers are down with depression”, say “Among 6 of us here, 1 may be down with depression.” Other examples: Instead of saying, “this coffee is worth $30,000”, say “this coffee is worth $30,000 which is equivalent to a Subaru!” When your statistics are relevant to your audience, it gets their attention and causes them to sit straight suddenly. Use your creativity to think of other ways to make your statistics, graphs and figures stand out!


Think about sitting in a lecture theatre with a prof talking to himself for 3 hours, versus sitting in a seminar room with a prof asking questions occasionally and throwing in one or two exercises throughout the 3hours lesson. In which of the lesson does time flies faster? If you are a normal person, the latter should appeal more to you, given the same prof and all other conditions remain the same. Likewise, when you interact with your audience, they become invested in your presentation and want to listen to you throughout the whole presentation. Not only that, by interacting, you create a bridge between you and your audience and they begin to like you as a presenter. You can do so by incorporating the following into your presentation:

  • Questions. For eg. Raise of hand, how many of you dislike boring presentations?
  • Simple exercises.

For example, get them to close their eyes and try to recall how their watch looks like. Get them to paint a mental picture of their watch. When they are done, ask them to open their eyes now and look at their watches. It is usually totally different from the watch that they have imagined. This exercise proves the point that people don’t usually pay attention to things around them.

  • Quiz. At the end of each segment of your presentation, you can quiz your audience on what has been covered and offer a small award for getting the answer right.

This is by far the most important tip in delivering an engaging presentation. Be energetic! If you are energetic, your audience will begin to show interest in your presentation. There is scientific basis behind this. Human beings have mirror neurons that cause them to emulate the person they are looking at. When you exhibit energy, your energy diffuses through the entire room and passes on to your audience. They will no longer be looking at their phones, half dead, but will be paying utmost attention to you.

The secret to having limitless energy on stage? Just remember this mantra: If you sound interested, you sound interesting. Take interest or passion in the topic you are presenting and it will be glaringly obvious to your audience. Zero passion in that presentation about how to convert solar energy into electricity? Fret not, imagine something that you are passionate about .i.e. skating, gaming or eating. Whatever! The point is to get into the mood of passion and start presenting. You will be a rock star on stage.

Last Words by DS

As mentioned in the introduction, presentation is a skill that can be mastered through continuous practice. By reading this guide, you have availed yourself of the most effective way in being a proficient presenter in university, potentially saving you tons of time and headache in experimenting. Follow the tips given in this guide closely and you will most likely be the cream of the crop in your class when it comes to presentation. We would like to caution you though, to strive for progress, not perfection in the arena of public speaking. You will no doubt be better than who you were as a presenter before you read the guide, but it does not propel you to become a world class presenter right away. You have to continue practicing the principles covered here in order to become better and better at it. If you are a go-getter, then volunteer for every opportunity you have to speak and present in front of an audience. Gradually, they will become less and less intimidating to you, and you will be a master presenter in no time, applying what you have learnt. If you wish to further your public speaking aspirations, you may consider joining your school’s toastmasters club which will provide you with plenty of speaking opportunities. Otherwise, your university’s communication module suffices as an excellent avenue to hone your skills as well. Last but not least, we wish you nothing lesser than resounding success in your next presentation.



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  • Student Resources

Student Guide: How to start a presentation?

5 simple ways to start a presentation: A simple guide to the introduction of a presentation.

Giving presentations is a big part of the college experience. Teachers assign this project as a learning process because it may often be necessary in the workplace too.

After all, 70% of workers state that presentation skills are important for career success. As a student, it can be challenging to put together a presentation because it often seems like every student in the class winds up with nearly identical results.

As a unique person, the last thing you want is a boring speech!

We’ve put together five creative ways to start your presentation which are sure to make sure yours is remembered.

1. Start with a Time Warp

Don’t begin your presentation in the present day--begin with a jump back in time, or perhaps imagine the future. By taking your audience out of present day, you’re shaking up their sense of reality and causing them to think a bit outside the box. You’re immediately differentiating yourself from other lectures.

2. Open with Vulnerability

This tip obviously won’t work on every presentation, but if you can incorporate some emotion and show some vulnerability, you’ll immediately forge a connection with your audience. This connection will allow you to build to your apex later in the speech much easier.

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3. Tell a Story

Begin with a story that relates to your case. This is a tried and true presentation method that builds interest and helps you relate your topic with a real-world situation. Storytelling isn’t always something that comes naturally, so you may have to really practice this.

4. Begin with Video

Today it is easier than ever to incorporate multimedia elements into your lecture. Starting with a video allows you to provide something that already has the information you need to get across to your audience and can help you break the ice and relax before you get into the meat of your presentation.

5. Take a Poll

Take an informal survey, asking for a show of hands, as the first part of your presentation. By having audience participation first thing, you are investing each person into your speech and assuring they will follow along as the presentation progresses.

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to begin, make sure you follow up and fulfill the promise with a presentation that wows and provides great information. Putting some extra time and effort into this project will pay off in the form of better grades and it may help you later on in the workforce too. As Dale Carnegie stated: “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”

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Tips for Online Students , Tips for Students

Presentation Tips For Students – Show And Tell Like A Pro!


Giving a presentation to fellow classmates can be a bit daunting, especially if you are new to oral and visual presenting. But with the right PowerPoint tips, public speaking skills, and plenty of practice, you can present like a pro at your upcoming presentation. Here, we’ve laid out the best college presentation tips for students. And once you have one successful presentation, you’ll get better each time!

The Best Presentation Tips for Students

1. arrive early and be technically prepared.

Get to the room early and make sure you leave plenty of time for technical set up and technical difficulties. Have several backup drives (including an online version if possible) so that you are prepared for anything!

2. Know More

Be educated on more than just what you are sharing. That way, you can add points, speak candidly and confidently, and be prepared to answer any audience or teacher questions.

3. Share Your Passion With Your Audience

Connect with your audience by showing that you are passionate about your topic. Do this with the right tone, eye contact, and enthusiasm in your speech.

Photo by  Austin Distel  on  Unsplash

4. pace yourself.

When student presenters are nervous, they tend to speed up their speech. This can be a problem, however, because your speed may be distracting, hard to understand, and you may run under your time.

5. Rehearse Thoroughly

Don’t just practice, rehearse your college presentation. Rehearse the entire delivery, including standing up, using gestures, and going through the slides.

6. Show Your Personality

You don’t need to be professional to the point of stiffness during your college presentation . Don’t be afraid to show your personality while presenting. It will make your presentation more interesting, and you will seem more approachable and confident.

7. Improvise

You can’t be 100% certain what will happen during your presentation. If things aren’t exactly as you expected, don’t be afraid to improvise and run off script.

8. Pump Yourself Up

Get yourself excited and full of energy before your college presentation! Your mood sets the tone for your presentation, and if you get excited right before, you will likely carry that throughout and you’ll make your audience excited about your topic as well.

9. Remember To Pause

Pausing not only only prevents filler words and helps you recollect your thoughts, it can also be a powerful indicator of importance within your presentation.

10. Create “Um” Alternatives

Try hard not to use filler words as they make you look unprofessional and uncertain. The best alternatives to “um” “like” and “so” are taking a breath or a silent pause to collect your thoughts.

11. Using Your Hands

Using your hands makes your college presentation more interesting and helps to get your points across. Point at the slide, use common hand gestures, or mimic a motion.

12. Eye Contact

Eye contact is one of the most important presentation tips for students . Many students are nervous, so they look at their notes or their feet. It is important that you show your confidence and engage your audience by making eye contact. The more presentations you give, the more eye contact will feel natural.

13. The Right Tone

The best public speakers vary their tone and pitch throughout their presentation. Try to change it up, and choose the right tone for your message.

Preparing an Effective College Presentation

1. open strong.

Grab your fellow students’ attention by starting strong with a powerful quote, intriguing scenario, or prompt for internal dialogue.

2. Start With A Mind Map

Mind mapping is literally creating a map of the contents of your college presentation. It is a visual representation and flow of your topics and can help you see the big picture, along with smaller details.

Photo by  Teemu Paananen  on  Unsplash

3. edit yourself.

Some students make the mistake of including too much information in their college presentations. Instead of putting all of the information in there, choose the most important or relevant points, and elaborate on the spot if you feel it’s necessary.

4. Tell A Story

People love stories — they capture interest in ways that figures and facts cannot. Make your presentation relatable by including a story, or presenting in a story format.

5. The Power Of Humor

Using humor in your college presentation is one of the best presentation tips for students. Laughter will relax both you and the audience, and make your presentation more interesting

PowerPoint Tips for Students

1. use key phrases.

Choose a few key phrases that remain throughout your PowerPoint presentation. These should be phrases that really illustrate your point, and items that your audience will remember afterwards.

2. Limit Number Of Slides

Having too many slides will cause you to feel you need to rush through them to finish on time. Instead, include key points on a slide and take the time to talk about them. Try to think about including one slide per one minute of speech.

3. Plan Slide Layouts

Take some time to plan out how information will be displayed on your PowerPoint. Titles should be at the top, and bullets underneath. You may want to add title slides if you are changing to a new topic.

Photo by  NeONBRAND  on  Unsplash

4. the right fonts.

Choose an easy-to-read font that isn’t stylized. Sans serif fonts tend to be easier to read when they are large. Try to stick to only two different fonts as well to keep the presentation clean.

5. Choosing Colors And Images

When it comes to colors, use contrasting ones: light on dark or dark on light. Try to choose a few main colors to use throughout the presentation. Choose quality images, and make sure to provide the source for the images.

6. Use Beautiful Visual Aids

Keep your presentation interesting and your audience awake by adding visual aids to your PowerPoint. Add captivating photos, data representations, or infographics to illustrate your information.

7. Don’t Read Straight From Your Notes

When you read straight from your notes, your tone tends to remain monotonous, you don’t leave much room for eye contact. Try looking up often, or memorizing portions of your presentation.

8. Avoid Too Much Text

PowerPoint was made for images and bullets, not for your entire speech to be written in paragraph form. Too much text can lose your adiences’ interest and understanding.

9. Try A Theme

Choosing the right theme is one of those presentation tips for students that is often overlooked. When you find the right theme, you keep your college presentation looking interesting, professional, and relevant.

10. Be Careful With Transitions And Animations

Animations and transitions can add a lot to your presentation, but don’t add to many or it will end up being distracting.

Public Speaking Tips for Students

1. choose your topic wisely.

If you are able to pick your topic, try to pick something that interests you and something that you want to learn about. Your interest will come through your speech.

2. Visit The Room Beforehand

If your presentation is being held somewhere outside of class, try to visit the location beforehand to prep your mind and calm your nerves.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice, practice, practice! The only way you will feel fully confident is by practicing many times, both on your own and in front of others.

Photo by  Product School  on  Unsplash

4. talk to someone about anxiety.

If you feel anxious about your college presentation, tell someone. It could be a friend, family member, your teacher, or a counselor. They will be able to help you with some strategies that will work best for you.

5. Remind Yourself Of Your Audience

Remember, you are presenting to your peers! They all likely have to make a presentation too at some point, and so have been or will be in the same boat. Remembering that your audience is on your side will help you stay cool and collected.

6. Observe Other Speakers

Look at famous leaders, or just other students who typically do well presenting. Notice what they are doing and how you can adapt your performance in those ways.

7. Remind Yourself Of Your Message

If you can come up with a central message, or goal, of your college presentation, you can remind yourself of it throughout your speech and let it guide you.

8. Don’t Apologize

If you make a mistake, don’t apologize. It is likely that no one even noticed! If you do feel you need to point out your own mistake, simply say it and keep moving on with your presentation. No need to be embarrassed, it happens even to the best presenters!

When you smile, you appear warm and inviting as a speaker. You will also relax yourself with your own smile.

The Bottom Line

It can be nerve racking presenting as a college student, but if you use our presentation tips for students, preparing and presenting your college presentation will be a breeze!

Related Articles

Privacy overview.

Starting a cloud recording

Cloud recording is automatically enabled for all paid subscribers. When you record a meeting and choose Record to the Cloud , the video, audio, and chat text are recorded in the Zoom cloud. The recording files can be downloaded to a computer or streamed from a browser.

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Need to catch up on a long meeting or webinar? Smart Recording allows you to get the key takeaways in a quick and digestible format through recording highlights, and identify action items to take after the meeting or webinar with next steps.

Cloud recordings can be started on the desktop clients, as well as the Zoom app  on iOS and Android . Zoom also offers local recording , which saves the recording files to your computer. Cloud recordings allow you to record the meeting in multiple different recording layouts including active speaker, gallery view, and shared screen, and can be configured with a variety of cloud recording storage options.

After a cloud recording has finished processing, you can view, managing, and share cloud recording . If you're having issues with cloud recording, see our frequently asked questions about recording .

This article covers: 

Limitations for cloud recording

Cloud recording processing times, how to start a cloud recording, prerequisites for starting a cloud recording.

  • Licensed user on a Pro, Business, or Enterprise account
  • Cloud recording enabled
  • Cloud recording settings selected as desired Note : These settings will affect what's displayed in the cloud recording and the recording layouts .
  • Zoom desktop client for Windows, macOS, or Linux:  Global minimum version  or higher
  • Zoom mobile app for Android or iOS:  Global minimum version  or higher
  • Zoom Web App
  • Accounts with added HIPAA security may have this feature disabled entirely. Please contact your Account Executive regarding enabling this for your account.

Cloud recordings do not capture  nonverbal feedback or meeting reactions .

  • Cloud recordings cannot be embedded on websites, in order to protect the security of the recording.
  • Pausing a cloud recording does not create a separate file, but stopping a recording and starting a new cloud recording does create a new file.

Cloud recordings generally take about 2 times the duration recorded to process, but occasionally may take up to 24 hours due to higher processing loads at that time.

For example, an hour long meeting with only 30 minutes recorded would typically take 30 to 60 minutes to process.

Note : You can review this article if your recording is still being processed after 48 hours.

Only hosts and co-hosts can start a cloud recording. If you want a participant to start a recording, you can make them a co-host or use local recording . Recordings started by co-hosts will only appear in the host's list of recordings in the Zoom web portal.

To record a meeting to the cloud manually (you can also start your cloud recording automatically ):

  • Start your instant or scheduled meeting as the host.

how to start a presentation university

  • Select Record to the Cloud to begin recording. Note : If you are muted, a Recording Alert pop-up window will appear indicating You are muted .

how to start a presentation university

  • Once the meeting has ended, the recording must be processed before viewing.
  • If enabled in email notification settings, Zoom will send an email to the host's email address when the process is completed. There will be two links in the email, the first will be for the host, only to manage the recording. The second link will be for the participants. 
  • Once you stop the recording, you don't need to remain in the meeting for the recording to process.
  • Follow the cloud recording troubleshooting steps if you're having issues finding or sharing a cloud recording.

Learn more about how to manage your cloud recordings:

  • Download, share, or delete cloud recordings
  • Trim the playback range of a shared recording

Top Universities Presentation Example


Here is an editable presentation example about top 10 universities in the world and in China and Ivy League Universities. It also lists their school mottos so that readers can know these universities better.

Click the following picture or links to download this presentation example.

Top Universities Presentation Example

  • Download Top Universities Presentation Example:
  • pptx format
  • eddx format

This presentation example is amazing for the highly artistic design with visually pleasing diagrams. Applying list diagram to make such kind of presentation is quite effective. List diagrams are perfect for showing object from top to down in sequence. These slides will surely help you stand out from the crowd. See more list diagram examples . To draw diagrams like those shown in the presentation, try our amazingly powerful diagramming software .

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Babies may start to learn language before they are born

Newborn babies respond differently to their mother tongue, suggesting that exposure to language in the uterus may provide the foundations for learning

22 November 2023

how to start a presentation university

Newborn babies seem to recognise the language spoken by their mother

Fida Hussain/AFP/ Getty Images

Experiments with newborn babies suggest they can already recognise their mother tongue, hinting that language learning may begin before birth.

“We’ve known for a while that fetuses hear towards the end of gestation,” says Judit Gervain at the University of Padua in Italy. “[Newborn babies] can recognise their mother’s voice and prefer it over other female voices, and they can even recognise the language their mother spoke during pregnancy.”

To investigate further, Gervain and her colleagues studied the brain activity of 49 babies with French-speaking mothers aged between one and five days old.

Each newborn was fitted with a small cap that contained 10 electrodes placed close to regions of the brain linked to speech perception.

The team then played recordings that began with 3 minutes of silence, then 7-minute excerpts from the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears in English, French and Spanish in different orders, followed by another bout of silence.

When the babies listened to the French audio, the team saw a spike in a type of brain signal called long-range temporal correlations, which is linked to speech perception and processing. These signals were reduced when the babies heard other languages.

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In the group of 17 babies that heard French last, the team found that this spike in neural activity was sustained during the silence that followed.

These findings imply that babies may already recognise their mother’s native language as one that is more important, says Gervain. “It’s essentially a boost for learning their native language,” she says.

The entire brain may be involved in language, not just a few regions

The team now hopes to conduct experiments involving babies with mothers that speak different languages, particularly Asian or African ones, to see how generalisable the results are. It also wants to explore how the development of speech perception in the uterus could vary in infants with less typical prenatal experiences, such as premature babies.

“Of course, it’s nice to talk to the belly,” says Gervain. “But we show that even just natural, everyday activities like shopping or talking to the neighbour is already enough speech to act as a scaffolding for their baby’s learning.”

Journal reference:

Science Advances DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adj3524

  • neuroscience /

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