What is a presentation
Before important presentations, many students experience nervousness and fear of failure. Good preparation can remove most of the uncertainties. With a few tips on how to present yourself correctly, you will appear confident in your next presentation and convince your audience.
Media for presentation
Lectures and presentations are part of every university course. The use of different media makes a lecture lively and interesting. Lecturers often expect students to create a PowerPoint presentation and hand out a handout to fellow students.
When making a PowerPoint presentation, you should consider the following:
- Don't over-write the slides: no more than seven lines per slide.
- The minimum font size is 24 pt so that everyone can read the slides without any problems.
- Use an easy-to-read font like Arial, Verdana, or Times New Roman.
- Make sure that the font color stands out clearly from the background color.
If you are creating a PowerPoint presentation, you should find out beforehand whether the necessary devices - laptop and projector as well as connection cables - are available and work properly.
In addition to the PowerPoint presentation, you can use other media such as posters or overhead projections in your presentation. Do not overdo it, otherwise it will distract the audience from your presentation.
Preparation of the presentation
When preparing your presentation, you have to pay attention to both content and presentation aspects. Because the content of a lecture only determines about 60% how a presentation is received by the audience. The rest is the way you present the content.
You should consider the following when preparing your presentation:
- When you present a topic, you are the specialist for that topic at that moment. So you should be very familiar with the content of your presentation.
- The structure of a presentation is usually: introduction, main part, conclusion.
- A common thread when presenting is important, otherwise the audience will quickly lose interest. If you give the presentation together with fellow students, make sure that there is a connection between the different parts of the presentation. 2-3 days before you present your topic, you should meet and go through your presentation together.
- Write notes on index cards. Make sure that you don't write down entire sentences. This tempts you to read them completely.
- Try to put yourself in the shoes of your audience: If you find something particularly complicated during preparation, they will likely feel the same way during the presentation. Choose interesting and everyday examples to explain difficult issues.
- You should present monotonous or abstract topics as appealingly as possible. Use animations to add variety to your PowerPoint presentation. Questions to the audience or short individual or group work arouse interest and attention.
- Your presentation should be tailored to the appropriate target group. For example, do not use complicated technical terms when speaking to fellow students.
- Prepare handouts that youto Distribute your presentation to the audience. In terms of content, these should be more extensive than the slides of your PowerPoint presentation.
- Go over your lecture at home several times. If possible, present it in front of friends, roommates, parents, or siblings.
- Make sure you stick to the given time limit. Also allow time for any questions or comments.
When making a presentation, the first impression is very important. In the first few moments it is often already decided whether the audience will follow the lecture with interest or not. The following tips can help you to get and keep your audience's attention when presenting:
- Think about how you can get the audience's attention at the beginning of the presentation. This can take the form of a question, a quote or a video, for example. The end of the lecture should also be impressive so that your presentation is remembered.
- At the beginning of the presentation, present your outline. In between, you can then put individual topics into context.
- Give your audience enough time to read and understand the contents of your PowerPoint slides. The content must match what you are currently presenting. The PowerPoint slides reinforce your presentation and do not replace it.
- Don't avoid listening to questions. If you can't answer a question, admit it openly. Nobody can know everything.
When you perform, you should pay attention to the following in order to present successfully:
- Nervousness is completely normal. Try to think positively: You have prepared yourself sufficiently for the topic you are presenting and are now sharing your knowledge with the audience.
- Speak as freely, slowly, and clearly as possible. Make targeted use of breaks to emphasize what is being said. If you speak quickly and in a rushed manner, it will be difficult for others to follow your presentation.
- Avoid filler words like “um”, “halt”, “also” etc.
- Maintain eye contact with your audience. You should make everyone feel important and addressed directly. Also try to smile at your audience. This is how you appear confident.
- Use your gestures to underline content. It has a rather negative effect if your hands are in your trouser pockets or crossed in front of your chest during the entire lecture. Your posture should be upright but not tense.
- Souvenirs can make your presentation more interesting. If you talk about chocolate, offer some. If you present your hobby mountaineering, then show some of your equipment.
- If you have any doubts about your presentation, talk to the responsible lecturer. As a rule, he offers you to talk roughly through the lecture with you.
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