Its the start of the semester and I’ve already had to do two presentations. As a third year student and I can tell you when it comes to class presentations I’ve seen some of the best and some of the most cringe worthy. So here are some handy tips to stand you in good stead to kill those unavoidable class presentations.
1. Dress up – When you look good you feel good. Making sure you look good on the day of the presentation will boost your self confidence.
2. Know your presentation material inside and out – Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than sitting through a presentation that you can tell someone’s put together last minute. Chances are if you have put a lot of work into your slides and researched the topic thoroughly you’ll have everyone taking notes or at least looking engaged.
3. Be prepared – Arrive early and set up what you need to. If those slides are ready to go you will be too, fumbling about in front of the whole class trying to get things ready will only make you more nervous than you need to be, especially if you are already a shy person.
4. Make your presentation interactive – Engage with your audience! There are many ways to do this, whether it be giving out handouts so that the class can follow the presentation or a couple of questions at the end. Open ended questions are great for this but make sure you put some close ended questions in too so you keep on topic.
5. Have fun with it – Throw some jokes in there! Again, this will keep everyone engaged and possibly bring back a couple of lost souls from daydream land. Pictures, another way to pique interest, illustrate your point and a great way to add humour to your presentation.
6. Be aware of your bad habits – If “like” is your every second word, chances are by the time you finish that presentation half the class will want you to stop talking. It is important to know what your nervous bad habit is so you can replace it with a better more inconspicuous one or avoid it altogether.
7. Confidence is key – Work off your friends and the people in the room giving you good vibes, this is a sure fire way to get everyone else involved. Now if you are a shy person and looking at people directly is terrifying, try faking eye contact by looking slightly above the heads of the people in the room while you present. Be confident. Be bold. Be yourself.