Many students feel a true sense of dread go through them when they hear the words ‘class presentation’. There are a multitude of reasons why people try to avoid presentations, from social anxiety to a fear of public speaking, it can be a terrifying prospect. But most of us have to attempt to tackle the class presentation at some point and here are some tips you can use in order to make your presentation the best it can be.
First thing’s first, you need to make sure that the actual content of your presentation is correct, engaging and well presented.
If your presentation is going to be accompanied by a PowerPoint, you need to make sure everything is correct on there from spellings to fonts, relevant imagery and clear slides.
If you are just going to be using cue cards or such, you need to be sure that everything you say can be backed up by references if asked. A presentation is a fancier essay, so you can’t just get up there and talk about whatever you want, there needs to be substance to your content.
Confidence and Posture
Coming out of the gate with confidence will put your audience at ease and make them believe that you know what you are doing and allows them to listen to what you are saying more. You don’t have to actually be confident, just pretend! Faking confidence for a period may even actually trick your brain into becoming more confident. This is key to ensure you do the best class presentation. If you convey confidence, half the battle is already won.
In addition to confidence, your body posture is a tell-tale sign of a good stage presence. Be wary of how to are facing your audience. For example, do you have your arms crossed? Are you avoiding eye contact? There are easy ways to open yourself up, such as looking at the back of the room, or using your hands expressively.
Being open to the audience will make your presentation much more enjoyable for those watching. These could be those extra few marks that push you into a higher overall mark for your presentation.
Engage The Audience
The last thing you want is for your audience to become bored and stop listening. So, one of the best ways to combat this is by talking to them. You can take polls to prove your point, where the audience shows their opinion by raising their hands.
Another way to engage with them is by asking general questions. Depending on how close you know the people the audience, you could ask individual people short and easy questions to help continue the point you are making.
We all know the saying ‘practise makes perfect’ and it is popular for a reason; it works! Once you have finished your slides and/or cards and have everything prepared, now you need to start practising your actual presentation.
If you are worried about doing it in front of people, ask a friend or family member to sit and watch you, which should make you more relaxed and allow you to practise with ease.
Practicing will also make you more confident in what you are actually saying, as well as your stage presence. The best presenters try not to use cue cards, so if you can practise enough to get off-book, then you will be head and shoulders above your peers.
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