Oral presentations can be daunting, but they are great ways for students to gain confidence and to learn to speak in front of a group of people. Giving presentations is a valuable life skill that can help to further your career, so it’s important for you to acquire the skills you need to deliver your message with confidence. Here are some tips to help you prepare and to ensure that you get the best possible mar for your presentation.
Write It Yourself
Writing your own presentation will mean that you are being sincere and you’re more likely to remember it. Being yourself is the key to a successful presentation. Write your presentation in the same way that you talk; trying to be too professional will make you sound stiff and unnatural. Put some of your personality into your presentation too. Presentations that are peppered with personality will be warmly received.
Practice Makes Perfect
Place keywords on a series of cards to help you to remember where you are in your speech and then practice, practice, practice! If you know your presentation by heart, you will feel more confident and will sound more natural. Practice first in front of the mirror until you have the presentation memorized. Then ask friends or family members to listen to your speech so that you become accustomed to speaking in front of others. They can help with pointers that will make your presentation better. You can also make a video of yourself to see which parts of your presentation need work.
It’s always a good idea to have something that helps to illustrate your points. If you are shy, visual aids will divert attention from you and this will help you to feel more comfortable. Make sure your visual aids are appropriate and not too distracting.
Take it Easy
Talk slowly, like you would if you were having a conversation. Talking too quickly makes you sound nervous and makes it difficult for people to follow you. If you have trouble speaking in front of a crowd, try focusing on someone with whom you feel comfortable talking like a teacher or a friend. If you can, make eye contact with as many people in the audience as you can – this helps to include them in your presentation.
Good Start, Great Finish
Make your introductions and conclusions pop! That way you will get people’s attention and leave a memorable impression. Summarize your most important points here so that people really understand what you are saying.
Dress for success
Dress professionally, but not in a way that distracts your audience. Being yourself is the most important part of your presentation. So relax… you’ve got this!
Remember no-one was born a natural orator or speaker. The skills and talents they have come from years of hard work, study and practice. So keep practicing and honing your skills. Break a leg!