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6 steps to a successful presentation
If you feel nervous at the thought of having to stand up in front of your peers and deliver a presentation you're not alone, but you're unlikely to get through university without having to do it. Follow these six steps to ensure success
Your tutor or lecturer mentions the word 'presentation' and the first thing you do is panic but there's no need.
Depending on your subject, you might be expected to summarise your reading in a seminar, deliver the results of a scientific experiment, or provide feedback from a group task. Whatever the topic, you'll usually be presenting to your tutor and fellow students.
While getting up and making your case in front of an audience isn't easy, especially when you're not used to it, it really is good practice as many graduate employers use presentations as part of the recruitment process.
To help ensure that your presentation stands out for the right reasons, Graham Philpott, head of careers consultancy at the University of Reading provides some advice.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare thoroughly, as a last-minute rush will leave you flustered when it comes to delivering your presentation.
'There are two important things to think about when preparing for a presentation,' says Graham. 'What do you want the audience to do once you have finished, and who are the audience? If you know these two things, preparation becomes so much easier.'
Plan out the structure and format of your presentation. 'A simple and successful way to structure your presentation is - agenda, message, summary - or to explain it a different way, tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you've just told them,' advises Graham.
To help plan your content, Graham explains that 'there are only two purposes to a presentation, one is to inform, the other is to persuade. So, your content will either tell the audience what they need to know or convince them.' To make sure you stay on track ask yourself what you're hoping to achieve.
You can make detailed notes as part of your planning, but don't rely on these on the day, as reading from a prepared text sounds unnatural. If you want to take a memory aid with you use small index cards, as referring to A4 sheets of paper during your presentation can be distracting and highlight your nerves if your hands shake.
At the planning stage also consider the timings of your presentation. Time limits are set for a reason - falling short or going over this limit will likely result in a loss of marks, especially if it's part of an assessment or exam.
Don't forget to also devise answers to common questions you may be asked at the end of your presentation. You might think this adds to your workload, but it actually prevents you from being caught off guard on the day.
If you have to give a group presentation, discover three tips for successful group work .
Use visuals wisely
'A presentation doesn't necessarily need a visual aid,' says Graham. 'However, if you decide to use them, they can help the audience understand what you're saying, and give you a framework to talk around.'
Bear in mind that visual aids should complement your oral presentation, not repeat it, nor deliver the presentation for you. While your slides should offer a summary of points, or illustrate the concept you're discussing, you need to remember that you are the main focus.
When putting together your slides and visual aids:
- Keep them simple . Stick to one idea per slide to avoid cluttering them and use short phrases or sentences.
- Think about accessibility . Does the design of your presentation interfere with its readability? Will everyone in the audience be able to read your slides? To ensure your presentation is accessible minimise the number of slides, use high contrast colours and a large, clear font. If using graphics, make them as simple as possible and avoid over-complicated charts or graphs. If using videos, make sure they are captioned.
- Don't let them distract you . If you intend to provide hand-outs for your audience, distribute them at the beginning or end of your presentation. Doing it halfway through can disrupt your flow.
Don't fall into the trap of merely reading aloud what is written on your slides - instead use them as a starting point from which you can expand and develop your narrative.
It's also worth pointing out that a presentation is only as good as its content. Your presentation could look visually beautiful, but if it lacks knowledge or substance your audience is unlikely to be fooled.
Consider your audience
Speaking of your audience, it's essential that you keep them in mind at every stage - from the preparation of your presentation right through to the delivery.
To show that you have thought about the audience consider how much background information they will need. Do they already have some knowledge of the topic you're presenting?
Spending the first half of your presentation telling an audience what they already know will be frustrating for them. Equally, if you go straight into the detail, they may get lost. It's vital you get the balance right.
The tone of your presentation will also depend on your audience - if its purpose is to demonstrate to your seminar group that you've understood a certain topic you could strike a light-hearted tone. If it's an assessed piece of work on the other hand, you'll need to be more serious.
Practice with a friend
Before the main event you should run through your presentation in full more than once. 'It's also a good idea to practice the presentation out loud. This will give you a much better idea of how long it takes, and whether there are any parts that don't flow very well,' adds Graham.
'It might feel cringey, but practicing to an audience - friends, coursemates, family, your careers consultant if it's for a job - will really help too. Their feedback will be especially important when it comes to checking that your main point is getting through, loud and clear.'
Ask your practice audience to sit at a distance to check that everyone attending can hear you speaking and that they can see the slides. If possible, try to do this practice run in the room you'll be giving your presentation in.
This level of preparation will enable you to work out whether your presentation is the right length when spoken aloud and give you the chance to get used to expressing yourself in front of others.
While you practice make sure that you:
- Speak slowly - nerves can make you rush but try and moderate your speech. Take a breath at the end of every sentence or point you make.
- Face the audience - to give a confident impression regularly make eye contact with your audience. If using a screen stand at a 45-degree angle so you have a good view of both your audience and your slides. Don't turn your back on your audience.
- Leave time for questions - factor this into your overall time limit and be prepared to field any questions that come your way.
Another good tip is to record the practice run - you can do this on your phone or on Teams or Zoom. Play it back and reflect on it. Ask yourself if it's clear, concise, and if it makes sense. Pay particular attention to less obvious factors such as your facial expression and mannerisms. Do you come across well? Are you talking too fast or waffling? Are you smiling and personable?
Leading up to the presentation try developing a positive attitude. This may seem easier said than done, especially if you're nervous but it will make a huge difference to how you perform.
Acknowledge your nervousness but don't let negative thoughts win. Instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong visualise a positive outcome and focus on what you can do to ensure it runs smoothly.
On the day nerves can conspire to make you think that the room is against you, but this isn't the case. Remember that your tutor and your coursemates want you to succeed. To set your presentation up for success make sure your introduction is strong. Start with a confident attitude and a smile.
Don't rely on technology
We've all witnessed the agony of a presenter struggling with a faulty USB stick, failing to connect to the internet or not being able to get the projector to work. However, with a little bit of planning, you can minimise the risk of technology tripping you up.
If possible, test your presentation beforehand with the same equipment that you'll be using during the main event. Otherwise, arrive early on the day and have a run through. Make sure you know how to link your laptop to the projector and if your presentation includes links to web pages or video clips make sure these lead to the right places and are working beforehand. Bring back-ups of your documents and print out a few copies of the slides to share if things go wrong.
And if a piece of technology does fail, don't panic. It will happen to everyone in the room at some point. If you prove yourself prepared in the face of a disaster and handle it with grace it could impress your tutor more than if everything went according to plan.
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How to prepare and deliver an effective oral presentation
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- Peer review
- Lucia Hartigan , registrar 1 ,
- Fionnuala Mone , fellow in maternal fetal medicine 1 ,
- Mary Higgins , consultant obstetrician 2
- 1 National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
- 2 National Maternity Hospital, Dublin; Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin
The success of an oral presentation lies in the speaker’s ability to transmit information to the audience. Lucia Hartigan and colleagues describe what they have learnt about delivering an effective scientific oral presentation from their own experiences, and their mistakes
The objective of an oral presentation is to portray large amounts of often complex information in a clear, bite sized fashion. Although some of the success lies in the content, the rest lies in the speaker’s skills in transmitting the information to the audience. 1
It is important to be as well prepared as possible. Look at the venue in person, and find out the time allowed for your presentation and for questions, and the size of the audience and their backgrounds, which will allow the presentation to be pitched at the appropriate level.
See what the ambience and temperature are like and check that the format of your presentation is compatible with the available computer. This is particularly important when embedding videos. Before you begin, look at the video on stand-by and make sure the lights are dimmed and the speakers are functioning.
For visual aids, Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Mac Keynote programmes are usual, although Prezi is increasing in popularity. Save the presentation on a USB stick, with email or cloud storage backup to avoid last minute disasters.
When preparing the presentation, start with an opening slide containing the title of the study, your name, and the date. Begin by addressing and thanking the audience and the organisation that has invited you to speak. Typically, the format includes background, study aims, methodology, results, strengths and weaknesses of the study, and conclusions.
If the study takes a lecturing format, consider including “any questions?” on a slide before you conclude, which will allow the audience to remember the take home messages. Ideally, the audience should remember three of the main points from the presentation. 2
Have a maximum of four short points per slide. If you can display something as a diagram, video, or a graph, use this instead of text and talk around it.
Animation is available in both Microsoft PowerPoint and the Apple Mac Keynote programme, and its use in presentations has been demonstrated to assist in the retention and recall of facts. 3 Do not overuse it, though, as it could make you appear unprofessional. If you show a video or diagram don’t just sit back—use a laser pointer to explain what is happening.
Rehearse your presentation in front of at least one person. Request feedback and amend accordingly. If possible, practise in the venue itself so things will not be unfamiliar on the day. If you appear comfortable, the audience will feel comfortable. Ask colleagues and seniors what questions they would ask and prepare responses to these questions.
It is important to dress appropriately, stand up straight, and project your voice towards the back of the room. Practise using a microphone, or any other presentation aids, in advance. If you don’t have your own presenting style, think of the style of inspirational scientific speakers you have seen and imitate it.
Try to present slides at the rate of around one slide a minute. If you talk too much, you will lose your audience’s attention. The slides or videos should be an adjunct to your presentation, so do not hide behind them, and be proud of the work you are presenting. You should avoid reading the wording on the slides, but instead talk around the content on them.
Maintain eye contact with the audience and remember to smile and pause after each comment, giving your nerves time to settle. Speak slowly and concisely, highlighting key points.
Do not assume that the audience is completely familiar with the topic you are passionate about, but don’t patronise them either. Use every presentation as an opportunity to teach, even your seniors. The information you are presenting may be new to them, but it is always important to know your audience’s background. You can then ensure you do not patronise world experts.
To maintain the audience’s attention, vary the tone and inflection of your voice. If appropriate, use humour, though you should run any comments or jokes past others beforehand and make sure they are culturally appropriate. Check every now and again that the audience is following and offer them the opportunity to ask questions.
Finishing up is the most important part, as this is when you send your take home message with the audience. Slow down, even though time is important at this stage. Conclude with the three key points from the study and leave the slide up for a further few seconds. Do not ramble on. Give the audience a chance to digest the presentation. Conclude by acknowledging those who assisted you in the study, and thank the audience and organisation. If you are presenting in North America, it is usual practice to conclude with an image of the team. If you wish to show references, insert a text box on the appropriate slide with the primary author, year, and paper, although this is not always required.
Answering questions can often feel like the most daunting part, but don’t look upon this as negative. Assume that the audience has listened and is interested in your research. Listen carefully, and if you are unsure about what someone is saying, ask for the question to be rephrased. Thank the audience member for asking the question and keep responses brief and concise. If you are unsure of the answer you can say that the questioner has raised an interesting point that you will have to investigate further. Have someone in the audience who will write down the questions for you, and remember that this is effectively free peer review.
Be proud of your achievements and try to do justice to the work that you and the rest of your group have done. You deserve to be up on that stage, so show off what you have achieved.
Competing interests: We have read and understood the BMJ Group policy on declaration of interests and declare the following interests: None.
- ↵ Rovira A, Auger C, Naidich TP. How to prepare an oral presentation and a conference. Radiologica 2013 ; 55 (suppl 1): 2 -7S. OpenUrl
- ↵ Bourne PE. Ten simple rules for making good oral presentations. PLos Comput Biol 2007 ; 3 : e77 . OpenUrl PubMed
- ↵ Naqvi SH, Mobasher F, Afzal MA, Umair M, Kohli AN, Bukhari MH. Effectiveness of teaching methods in a medical institute: perceptions of medical students to teaching aids. J Pak Med Assoc 2013 ; 63 : 859 -64. OpenUrl
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Academic presentations are an integral part of university study and assessment. Academic presentations may be presented individually or as a group activity but both require the key skills of planning and structuring key information. The key difference between an academic presentation and a general presentation is that it is usually quite formal and includes academic research to evidence the ideas presented. The presentation will include references to credible sources and demonstrate clearly your knowledge and familiarity of the topic.
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Intro to presentations, academic presentations, presentation phrases , what is an academic presentation , presentation ppt slides, improve your ppt slides, create effective ppt slides, a basic ppt presentation , graphs & charts, presentation feedback, marking criteria, teacher feedback form, peer feedback form, peer-to-peer feedback form, terms & conditions of use, academic presentation information.
- Good Presentations
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Giving a good academic presentation
- Think about the aim of your presentation and what you want to achieve.
- Concentrate on your audience: who they are and what they (want to) know.
- Choose the topic that interests you: involvement and motivation are key to confidence.
- Give your presentation a clear and logical organization so that everyone can follow.
- Present information visually : this adds interest to your talk and makes it easier to follow.
- Practise giving your presentation until you are familiar with the key points; this way you may discover any potential problems and check the timing. Besides, practice will also make you feel more confident.
Basic outline / structure
- Introduction: introduce the topic, some basic background, thesis (your stance or argument).
- Outline: provide basic bullet points on the key parts of the presentation.
- Main body: divide the main body into sections.
- Evaluation: always include evaluation. This can be a separate section or part of the main body.
- Conclusion: summarise key points, restate the thesis and make a recommendation / suggestion / prediction.
- Reference list: create one slide with all your sources.
- Questions : be prepared to answer questions.
- Cope with nerves: breathe deeply; it calms you down and stops you from talking too quickly.
- Control your voice: speak clearly and try to sound interesting by changing intonation and rhythm.
- Watch your body language: try to give the impression that you are relaxed and confident.
- Maintain eye contact with your audience: it keeps them interested in what you are saying. For this reason, you should not read.
- Provide visual information, but do not give too many facts at a time. Give your audience enough time to take them in.
- Keep attention by asking rhetorical questions.
Advanced Signposting Language –
key language phrases for presentation
Presentation Speaking Criteria
This i s a basic criteria to assess presentation speaking skills. It has three key criteria: Language accuracy & language range, fluency & pronunciation, and presentation & engagement. Example / Level: ** *** [B1/B2/C1] TEACHER MEMBERSHIP
An Introduction to Academic Presentations
Introduction to presentations (new 2023).
This lesson is designed to introduce students to academic presentations. It contains information on how to plan, structure, and deliver an academic presentation. It includes a listening worksheet, presentation signposting phrases and a mini-presentation activity. Example . Level: ** * ** [B1/B2/C1] TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
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Presentation Phrases (Signposting Language)
Presentation phrases sheet : a range of standard english phrases .
Suitable phrases to use for greeting, structuring, examples, transitions summarising and concluding .
What is an Academic Presentation?
This lecture discusses the key ideas of giving an academic presentation including referencing, signposting, delivery and rehearsal. 2-page listening worksheet with answers. A great introduction to giving a presentation. Example. Level *** ** [ B1/B2/C1] Video [7:00] / MP3 /
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Improve your PPT Slides
Improve your Presentation PowerPoint Slides
These are PPT slides from the above video or go here . It’s a great way to explain how to present effective slides by using the correct fonts, focusing on key points and using animation to help audience engagement. The slides can be adapted to sort your style and method of teaching. Video [12:00] Level *** ** [B1/B2/C1] / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
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Create PPT slides people will remember – Duarte Inc [CEO]
Harvard Business Review: How to plan an informed presentation and what is needed to create really effective slides that keep an audience engaged. More HBR listening worksheets are Example Video [03:08] Level: ** * * * [B2/C1] / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
A Basic PPT Presentation
This is a video example of a ‘basic’ presentation on Domestic Violence using signposting language and a basic structure
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Academic Presentation Marking Criteria
A basic criteria that can be used to assess and grade a students’s presentation – full criteria in paid version (below).
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A practical guide to presentations
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- Delivering a presentation
Presentations are a part of academic and professional life. Be you disseminating research, teaching, or applying for a job, chances are you'll be asked to deliver a presentation at some point. In this guide we'll take an in-depth look at the technological aspects of delivering a presentation, including software choice, slide design, accessibility, and online presentation methods.
Do you even need presentation materials at all?
PowerPoint vs Google Slides
Five golden rules
Making simple but elegant slides using the full-screen image method
Controlling layout using masters
Footers, Headers, Layouts, Page numbers, Slide Master
Font choice, Font size, Paragraph attributes, Reading order, Selection pane, Shape effects, Shape fill, Shape outline, Shapes, Text attributes, Text boxes, Text margins, Text positioning, WordArt
Gradient fill, Picture or texture fill, Solid fill
Artistic effects, Compression, Cropping, Inserting, Picture effects, Repositioning, Resizing, Resolution, Transparency
Copyright, Creative Commons
Diagrams & charts
Diagram tool, Drawing tools, File types, Importing, SmartArt
Animation pane, Basic animation, Effects options, Morph transition, Re-ordering, Start conditions
Sound & vision
Inserting, Live captions, Playing, Screen recording, Slide narration, Subtitles
Presenting your slides
Audience Q&A, Custom shows, Export options, Keyboard shortcuts, Live captions, Presenter view
Sharing your presentation
Exercises and associated files can be found at:
The Google Slides in that folder are shared as 'view only'. In each case you will need to make copies of the files in order to edit them. So long as you're signed into a Google account, just open each file and go to File > Make a copy
You can download the whole folder in Google Drive as a zip file: right click on the folder name in Google Drive and select Download . Once unzipped, the files in the downloaded folder will be in PowerPoint and Word format.
Excel versions of the exercise files can also be found on university-managed machines at T:\IT Training\Essential Spreadsheets
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Forthcoming sessions on :
Please ensure you sign up at least one working day before the start of the session to be sure of receiving joining instructions.
If you're based at CITY College you can book onto the following sessions by sending an email with the session details to your Academic Liaison Librarian:
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Create a presentation
Create a presentation in PowerPoint
Create presentations from scratch or start with a professionally designed, fully customizable template from Microsoft Create .
In the left pane, select New .
Select an option:
To create a presentation from scratch, select Blank Presentation .
To use a prepared design, select one of the templates.
To see tips for using PowerPoint, select Take a Tour , and then select Create , .
Add a slide
In the thumbnails on the left pane, select the slide you want your new slide to follow.
In the Home tab, in the Slides section, select New Slide .
In the Slides section, select Layout , and then select the layout you want from the menu.
Add and format text
Place the cursor inside a text box, and then type something.
Select the text, and then select one or more options from the Font section of the Home tab, such as Font , Increase Font Size , Decrease Font Size , Bold , Italic , Underline , etc.
To create bulleted or numbered lists, select the text, and then select Bullets or Numbering .
Add a picture, shape, and more
Go to the Insert tab.
To add a picture:
In the Images section, select Pictures .
In the Insert Picture From menu, select the source you want.
Browse for the picture you want, select it, and then select Insert .
To add illustrations:
In the Illustrations section, select Shapes , Icons , 3D Models , SmartArt , or Chart .
In the dialog box that opens when you click one of the illustration types, select the item you want and follow the prompts to insert it.
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What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)
Presentation skills are essential for your personal and professional life. Learn about effective presentations and how to boost your presenting techniques.
At least seven out of 10 Americans agree that presentation skills are essential for a successful career [ 1 ]. Although it might be tempting to think that these are skills reserved for people interested in public speaking roles, they're critical in a diverse range of jobs. For example, you might need to brief your supervisor on research results.
Presentation skills are also essential in other scenarios, including working with a team and explaining your thought process, walking clients through project ideas and timelines, and highlighting your strengths and achievements to your manager during performance reviews.
Whatever the scenario, you have very little time to capture your audience’s attention and get your point across when presenting information—about three seconds, according to research [ 2 ]. Effective presentation skills help you get your point across and connect with the people you’re communicating with, which is why nearly every employer requires them.
Understanding what presentation skills are is only half the battle. Honing your presenting techniques is essential for mastering presentations of all kinds and in all settings.
What are presentation skills?
Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images.
You'll make presentations at various times in your life. Examples include:
Making speeches at a wedding, conference, or another event
Making a toast at a dinner or event
Explaining projects to a team
Delivering results and findings to management teams
Teaching people specific methods or information
Proposing a vote at community group meetings
Pitching a new idea or business to potential partners or investors
Why are presentation skills important?
Delivering effective presentations is critical in your professional and personal life. You’ll need to hone your presentation skills in various areas, such as when giving a speech, convincing your partner to make a substantial purchase, and talking to friends and family about an important situation.
No matter if you’re using them in a personal or professional setting, these are the skills that make it easier and more effective to convey your ideas, convince or persuade others, and experience success. A few of the benefits that often accompany improving your presentation skills include:
Enriched written and verbal communication skills
Enhanced confidence and self-image
Boosted critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities
Better motivational techniques
Increased leadership skills
Expanded time management, negotiation, and creativity
The better your presenting techniques, the more engaging your presentations will be. You could also have greater opportunities to make positive impacts in business and other areas of your life.
Effective presentation skills
Imagine yourself in the audience at a TED Talk or sitting with your coworkers at a big meeting held by your employer. What would you be looking for in how they deliver their message? What would make you feel engaged?
These are a few questions to ask yourself as you review this list of some of the most effective presentation skills.
How you use language and deliver messages play essential roles in how your audience will receive your presentation. Speak clearly and confidently, projecting your voice enough to ensure everyone can hear. Think before you speak, pausing when necessary and tailoring the way you talk to resonate with your particular audience.
Body language combines various critical elements, including posture, gestures, eye contact, expressions, and position in front of the audience. Body language is one of the elements that can instantly transform a presentation that would otherwise be dull into one that's dynamic and interesting.
The ability to project your voice improves your presentation by allowing your audience to hear what you're saying. It also increases your confidence to help settle any lingering nerves while also making your message more engaging. To project your voice, stand comfortably with your shoulders back. Take deep breaths to power your speaking voice and ensure you enunciate every syllable you speak.
How you present yourself plays a role in your body language and ability to project your voice. It also sets the tone for the presentation. Avoid slouching or looking overly tense. Instead, remain open, upright, and adaptable while taking the formality of the occasion into account.
Incorporating storytelling into a presentation is an effective strategy used by many powerful public speakers. It has the power to bring your subject to life and pique the audience’s curiosity. Don’t be afraid to tell a personal story, slowly building up suspense or adding a dramatic moment. And, of course, be sure to end with a positive takeaway to drive your point home.
Active listening is a valuable skill all on its own. When you understand and thoughtfully respond to what you hear—whether it's in a conversation or during a presentation—you’ll likely deepen your personal relationships and actively engage audiences during a presentation. As part of your presentation skill set, it helps catch and maintain the audience’s attention, helping them remain focused while minimizing passive response, ensuring the message is delivered correctly, and encouraging a call to action.
During a presentation, projecting confidence can help keep your audience engaged. Stage presence can help you connect with your audience and encourage them to want to watch you. To improve your presence, try amping up your normal demeanor by infusing it with a bit of enthusiasm. Project confidence and keep your information interesting.
Watch your audience as you’re presenting. If you’re holding their attention, it likely means you’re connecting well with them.
Monitoring your own emotions and reactions will allow you to react well in various situations. It helps you remain personable throughout your presentation and handle feedback well. Self-awareness can help soothe nervousness during presentations, allowing you to perform more effectively.
Writing is a form of presentation. Sharp writing skills can help you master your presentation’s outline to ensure you stay on message and remain clear about your objectives from the beginning until the end. It’s also helpful to have strong writing abilities for creating compelling slides and other visual aids.
Understanding an audience
When you understand your audience's needs and interests, you can design your presentation around them. In turn, you'll deliver maximum value to them and enhance your ability to make your message easy to understand.
Learn more about presentation skills from industry experts at SAP:
How to improve presentation skills
There’s an art to public speaking. Just like any other type of art, this is one that requires practice. Improving your presentation skills will help reduce miscommunications, enhance your time management capabilities, and boost your leadership skills. Here are some ways you can improve these skills:
Work on self-confidence.
When you’re confident, you naturally speak more clearly and with more authority. Taking the time to prepare your presentation with a strong opening and compelling visual aids can help you feel more confident. Other ways to improve your self-confidence include practicing positive self-talk, surrounding yourself with positive people, and avoiding comparing yourself (or your presentation) to others.
Develop strategies for overcoming fear.
Many people are nervous or fearful before giving a presentation. A bad memory of a past performance or insufficient self-confidence can contribute to fear and anxiety. Having a few go-to strategies like deep breathing, practicing your presentation, and grounding can help you transform that fear into extra energy to put into your stage presence.
Learn grounding techniques.
Grounding is any type of technique that helps you steer your focus away from distressing thoughts and keeps you connected with your present self. To ground yourself, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and imagine you’re a large, mature tree with roots extending deep into the earth—like the tree, you can become unshakable.
Learn how to use presentation tools.
Visual aids and other technical support can transform an otherwise good presentation into a wow-worthy one. A few popular presentation tools include:
Canva: Provides easy-to-design templates you can customize
Powtoon: Animation software that makes video creation fast and easy
PowerPoint: Microsoft's iconic program popular for dynamic marketing and sales presentations
Practice breathing techniques.
Breathing techniques can help quell anxiety, making it easier to shake off pre-presentation jitters and nerves. It also helps relax your muscles and get more oxygen to your brain. For some pre-presentation calmness, you can take deep breaths, slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
While presenting, breathe in through your mouth with the back of your tongue relaxed so your audience doesn't hear a gasping sound. Speak on your exhalation, maintaining a smooth voice.
The more you practice, the better you’ll become. The more you doanything, the more comfortable you’ll feel engaging in that activity. Presentations are no different. Repeatedly practicing your own presentation also offers the opportunity to get feedback from other people and tweak your style and content as needed.
Tips to help you ace your presentation
Your presentation isn’t about you; it’s about the material you’re presenting. Sometimes, reminding yourself of this ahead of taking center stage can help take you out of your head, allowing you to connect effectively with your audience. The following are some of the many actions you can take on the day of your presentation.
Since you may have a bit of presentation-related anxiety, it’s important to avoid adding travel stress. Give yourself an abundance of time to arrive at your destination, and take into account heavy traffic and other unforeseen events. By arriving early, you also give yourself time to meet with any on-site technicians, test your equipment, and connect with people ahead of the presentation.
Become familiar with the layout of the room.
Arriving early also gives you time to assess the room and figure out where you want to stand. Experiment with the acoustics to determine how loudly you need to project your voice, and test your equipment to make sure everything connects and appears properly with the available setup. This is an excellent opportunity to work out any last-minute concerns and move around to familiarize yourself with the setting for improved stage presence.
Listen to presenters ahead of you.
When you watch others present, you'll get a feel for the room's acoustics and lighting. You can also listen for any data that’s relevant to your presentation and revisit it during your presentation—this can make the presentation more interactive and engaging.
Use note cards.
Writing yourself a script could provide you with more comfort. To prevent sounding too robotic or disengaged, only include talking points in your note cards in case you get off track. Using note cards can help keep your presentation organized while sounding more authentic to your audience.
Learn to deliver clear and confident presentations with Dynamic Public Speaking from the University of Washington. Build confidence, develop new delivery techniques, and practice strategies for crafting compelling presentations for different purposes, occasions, and audiences.
Forbes. “ New Survey: 70% Say Presentation Skills are Critical for Career Success , https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/09/25/new-survey-70-percent-say-presentation-skills-critical-for-career-success/?sh=619f3ff78890.” Accessed December 7, 2022.
Beautiful.ai. “ 15 Presentation and Public Speaking Stats You Need to Know , https://www.beautiful.ai/blog/15-presentation-and-public-speaking-stats-you-need-to-know. Accessed December 7, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
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Five tips to set yourself apart.
Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).
I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.
- Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman (St. Martin’s Press).
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AQRiE Nov 2023 webinar: Social inequality in political interest: What can schools do to remedy the gap?
Research consistently shows that parental education is strongly associated with children's political interest. The life stage when this relationship emerges is between ages 10 and 16. In this presentation I explore the social class-based practices that drive the influence of parental education on the development of political interest among early adolescents and explain why the social gap grows at this point. I draw on two panel surveys, the Citizenship Education Longitudinal study and Understanding Society Youth Survey, and apply latent growth curve modelling and path analysis to investigate the mechanisms of parental influence. The findings show that university educated parents influence the change in political interest of their children by enabling their access to political activities in school and by choosing the school for their children. Schools thus play a critical role in facilitating social inequalities in political engagement. Highly educated parents further influence this change by raising their children's educational aspirations, by involving them in cultural activities and by influencing their friendship groups.
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Jan Germen Janmaat is a professor of political socialization at UCL Institute of Education. He is interested in whether and how education, defined in the broadest sense, influences political values and identities and has published widely in this area of research. His latest book is School Councils across Europe: Democratic Forums or Exclusive Clubs, co-authored with Isabel Kempner. The current presentation derives from a Nuffield funded project on educational pathways and social inequalities in political engagement. In January 2024 he will start a four-year Leverhulme Trust funded project which aims to develop an index that measures how well a country's educational policies and practices promote democratic values.
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Beyond Restoration conference 2023: poster presentations
There was also an exhibit from the National Institute of Agricultural Botany showcasing paludiculture which offers a potential solution for maintaining the profitable use of lowland peatland whilst significantly reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their current (dryland) agricultural use. The exhibit also provided information about the Paludiculture Exploration Fund.
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