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All students have to deliver a presentation at some point in their college career, and often in the professional world beyond. These tips can help improve presentation effectiveness and reduce the stress of public speaking.
Delivering effective presentations is a transferable skill.
- Prepare. Think about and plan what you are going to say ahead of time. This will keep you from rambling and losing your point along the way.
- Practice. A dry run (or several) of your presentation will make you more confident and better ensure that your content will flow smoothly and fill the allotted time. If you can, practice in front of a friend.
- Don’t read. Know your content. If you know your main ideas and don’t rely on reading notes, your presentation will feel more natural and allow you to better connect with your audience.
- Have energy. Move your hands. Walk around. Make eye contact. Making use of natural body language is more engaging for your audience than standing still at a podium.
- Look presentable. Not all presentations require you to dress to the nines, but being clean and presentable will improve your audience’s perception of you.
- Use visual aids. Whether a powerpoint, handout, demo, or combination of tools, visual aids can enhance and better engage your audience with your content. Be sure the aids are relevant to your content!
- Keep it simple. Stick to a key topic and don’t let your presentation aids outshine your words. Aim for one idea per slide and basic imagery over wordy or visually distracting slides.
- Keep in mind your audience. Meet your audience’s needs and keep them engaged and interested in what you have to say.
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