How to Do a Great Presentation – A Student’s 15+ Tips

In Career, General, University by Think Student EditorLeave a Comment

The aim of a presentation is primarily to inform, teach, and present an idea to an audience. Presentations typically last fewer than fifteen minutes, however, the work and effort that goes into creating them is what makes a presentation great. Working hard on your presentation will allow you to develop common, essential skills that you will require in your future career. 

Read on to understand how you can create and deliver your presentation not just as average or good, but as an extraordinary presentation by using just a few simple tips. Let’s jump into it! 

1. Make Your Resources Engaging

There are many ways in which you may decide to present your intended theme or topic. These may include a PowerPoint, a speech, a poster, or another entirely unique method. It is important that whichever way you chose to present you need to ensure you get the information across in an efficient way in order to engross your listeners. 

One suggestion to make your presentation more engaging is not including too much text in your PowerPoint. Instead, you could use pictures or speak animatedly to explain the topic in a more interesting way. The audience will much prefer this to a monotonous recital of the small-texted unnecessarily long block of paragraph. 

The process of creating an engaging presentation also includes thorough practice and preparation of what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. So, when the time comes for you to present, you can focus on making your presentation humorous and interactive rather than focusing on trying to remember the content. 

A keyway to ensure your presentation is engaging is to maintain a high level of creativity- in the way you present and improvise during the final presentation.

2. Use More Than One Method of Presenting

Don’t use just one single method of presentation (just a PowerPoint). Along with the PowerPoint prepare a speech plan so that you are not just reading off the slides.  

Make your presentation a way to deliver your research that involves you personally and not something that the class could just have read themselves. Perhaps in addition to the primary way of presenting you may create a 3D model and depiction, you may act out a certain part of a story, you may create a quiz at the end with prizes and so on.  

It is important to have a solid foundation which could come in the form of your presentation or poster, but in order to further engage and educate your listeners, consider the previously mentioned small additions. Try to be as creative as possible!

3. Make Your Presentation Unique

If everyone who was presenting a theme or idea were doing so in the same or a similar way, including the content taught by the presentation, it would be very dull.  

By creating your presentation to be unique and different to others presenting, you have a much higher chance of engaging the listeners. It will also make you more confident about your presentation and result in much higher final marks. 

You can make your presentation unique by thinking about out-of-the-box additions to your presentation that fit your given topic. For example, if your topic is a historical, time based one then perhaps include a timeline somewhere during the presentation.  

The main thing you want to do is try to include different ways of getting your content across that will make sense to the audience.

4. Body Language

Keep a checklist running through your mind whilst carrying out your presentation: Eye contact, appropriate tone of voice and facial expression, hand gestures, upright and powerful posture are all very important.

Body language is essential to engage the listeners, especially if you have included an interactive section in your presentation.  

During your presentation, building credibility is important to ensure your listeners are paying attention and strong, positive body language is an essential tool in doing so. Body language also allows you, as the presenter, to connect with your audience. It also helps your listeners focus more intently on you and what you’re presenting. 

Find out more about the importance of body language and how to use it on this website.

5. Find a Suitable Topic

This may not apply completely if you have been given a topic and have no choice in the matter. However, if you are not allowed to pick, explore one specific part of your given theme in detail that you find most intriguing. The more interested and excited you are by your presentation topic and objective, the more your audience will be. 

If you can pick your topic, make sure it is one you enjoy and that it is not a typical theme. It would be slightly embarrassing and rather problematic if you found out someone else was doing their presentation on the same topic you had chosen. 

Make sure your topic is appropriate for the time allocated to your presentation. It shouldn’t be too vague, as this will result in your presentation being unstructured and too complex due to the need to cram in too much information. This could result in the presentation being tedious and boring and the audience will not be engaged.  

If you choose a topic that is too specific, you may also be negatively impacted. This is because your presentation will turn out too short due to a lack of sufficient subtopics and content to present and teach. It will also be close to impossible to find enough information and data on this topic, which must be included. 

You must also make sure that you choose an easily understandable topic. If you pick a topic too complex and incomprehensible, the audience will not learn what you are presenting, and they will become bored and unengaged. However, if you pick a rather easy topic that has already been taught, your listeners will learn nothing new. 

6. Ensure You Rehearse Your Presentation

Practicing is a fool proof precaution against tripping up and making mistakes during your presentation. It will also allow your presentation to flow much better meaning your audience will have a better chance of understanding your presentation and being interested. 

Rehearsing your presentation will help you to be more confident during your presentation and therefore make it more engaging as you can be more interactive. 

7. Do Thorough Research on Your Topic

Make sure you to ensure you fully understand your topic, so you are able to teach others about it. It is also important to have enough data to backup all the important points you wish to make in your presentation.  

In order to so this you can conduct thorough research to make well justified and understandable points. The solid understanding that background research will provide you with will do wonders during your presentation as it will allow you to feel much more relaxed and confident.

At the end, during question time, you may be able to impress you listeners with some additional information you have learnt.

8. Include References

In order to build credibility and make well justified points, try to find some data and statistics, from relating studies that have been conducted. This will help your audience to put the information in context and to better remember and understand your presentation. 

You can backup your points with fun-looking graphs and interesting statistics to make your presentation more interesting and engaging.  

Furthermore, a lot of information can be found on graphs, which you can talk about for an extended amount of time during your presentation. This means that in addition to strengthening your points and engaging the listeners, graphs can also be useful to fill time when you find your presentation to be too short.

9. Check Your Presentation Meets the Criteria That Has Been Set

Find out and study the important guidelines and rules set by your teacher or professor. Some of these compulsory elements may be crucial to the structure and content of your presentation. If you do not understand these guidelines before you begin creating and presenting, you may have to change a majority of your work leaving you devastated and unprepared.  

A common guideline that matters hugely is the maximum and minimum suggested time that your presentation should be.  

There may also be more specific sections that must be included such as a compulsory conclusion. It is important to know these to ensure you do not lose easy marks or lose your pride, in the case of it being an unmarked presentation.

10. Make Sure Your Presentation Has a Clear Structure

Organisation of your content is highly necessary to allow your audience to understand the content they are being taught. By splitting your presentation into key parts, the objective of your presentation is made much clearer and you will have a more engaged audience. It will also allow you to keep a steady pace and keep time, using each section, more clearly.

11. Make the Introduction as Intriguing as Possible

Make sure you have a strong start to immediately intrigue your audience. If you start of your presentation with a long droning narration of data, your listeners will be immediately uninterested. 

A hard-hitting, possible comedic beginning with the purpose of briefing your audience with the objective of your presentation is a captivating idea. This will immediately build your credibility and excite your listeners for the rest of your presentation. You may consider including a strange fact or joke linking to your topic in your introduction.

12. Maintain a Steady Pace Throughout Your Presentation

When student presenters are nervous, they tend to speed up their speech. Try to maintain a steady pace because once you begin going through too fast, your presentation will become harder to understand and concentrate. This will in turn cause the audience to not be engaged. You may also end up running under your minimum time limit.

13. Create a Strong Conclusion 

Make sure you have a memorable conclusion to leave your audience feeling like they have learnt a lot and enjoyed doing it. You may choose to do a quiz, an acting out of everything you have taught, or any other creative activities to leave your listeners amazed. Don’t forget to ask for questions at the end!

14. Connect With the Listeners

It is important to connect with the audience in order to keep them engaged and build credibility. You can connect with your listeners through positive body language, a personal anecdote or perhaps even a humorous element – by including a joke or comedic tone of voice. 

However, there may also be a point when the presentation becomes ‘too’ humorous. This may be when the audience becomes slightly too excited, and the focus is no longer the information being taught. So, as well as connecting with your listeners, it is still important to make sure you get all the important information across.

15. Equally Divide Up the Work When Presenting in a Group

There are many processes involved in doing a great presentation. The main tasks in involved are research, organisation of ideas, writing up of information, production of presentation, oral delivery of presentation. When you are in a group, it is important to divide up these tasks by allowing everyone in the group to try to do a bit of each task in order to be efficient, involving, and cooperative. 

16. Arrive Early

When doing a presentation – early is on time, on time is late. You will need time to set up, do a final rehearsal as well as work out any last-minute issues. Giving yourself enough time to be prepared will also help reduce your stress levels and increase your confidence.

17. Enjoy Yourself

Do not be nervous. If you follow the tips above and have enjoyed creating your presentation you have nothing left to worry about! With the correct preparations you will be able to stay calm and enjoy educating and interacting with your listeners using your unique and engaging presentation methods. 

Check out these articles below which may also help you with your presentation: 


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