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Presentation Review

How to Give a Good Presentation

To give good presentations, you have to find a topic and be able to talk about it for a few minutes. Most teachers or instructors have guidelines that tell you how to present and what to present about, so be very careful and follow what your teacher says. The following tips and suggestions are general guidelines that can help you get a good mark for your presentation.

Presentation Objectives:

When you inform you are sharing knowledge. Talk only about the data that is relevant (necessary) to the audiences' needs. Too much information is boring.
Avoid jokes - personal anecdotes (stories) are the most sincere way to win an audience. Always relate your humour directly to your presentation topic. Focus on energizing the audience in the first couple of minutes then get to the "meat" (body).
Touch Emotions
Do not depress your listeners. Never criticize without offering constructive solutions. Offer ideas improve the situation.
Move to Action
What is the one thing you want the audience to do in reaction to your speech? Be specific and direct! You have to request a commitment.

-When introducing your topic, smile and look at the audience.  Do not look down in fear.
-Start slowly, with your shoulders back and chin up and then gradually speed up.
-Use a genuine opening like: "I am glad to be here today"; "I am happy to be talking to you about ..."; "I am delighted to share with you..."
-Recognize that you are the expert on the topic you are talking about.
-Always smile and tell yourself how good you feel.
-Dress nicely in professional looking clothes.

-Be heard.  Make sure your audience can hear you.  Practice projecting your voice as there is no excuse for not being loud enough.
-Air intake.  Effective air intake (breathe) and appropriate pauses during your talk will help you control the volume of your voice.
-Vary your voice.  Periodically change your speed, pitch and volume and do not mumble in a monotone (one tone). If you blank out, forget a word or choke, just smile!   The audience will assume you know what you are doing.
-How to improve your voice.  Learn to listen to yourself talk so you can control your voice more easily because you are conscious of how you sound before you speak.
-Fluency.   Avoid saying words when you stop, such as: "Um", "Er", "Like", and "Totally".

Body Language:
-Smile.   This is very important as your positive attitude rubs off on the audience.
-Eye contact.   This builds trust with the audience, so look at them and the instructor.
-Gestures.   This means speaking with your hands. Try to make sure gestures are smooth and natural and do not use too many.
-Keep your hands out of your pockets.  Keep them visible and feel comfortable using them.
-Shoulders can help convey confidence if straight, but if bent they can also make you appear tense and nervous. So, keep your shoulders straight!

Visual Aids:
-Not necessary in all presentations, but if they are, follow these rules:
-Keep them simple.  Put the main points on them only.
-Minimize words.  The audience wants to hear your presentation, not read the paper.
-Use large fonts.  Large fonts will let the back row of students see the presentation.
-List key points.  Makes them easier to remember.
-Use colour.  The audience pays attention when they have to watch colourful images.
-Prepare handouts.  This helps the audience remember your topic the next day, something they will thank you for if they have to write a test or an exam.

Examples of Presentation Software:  Prezi, Powerpoint, Powtoon, Google Drive

What to Avoid in a Presentation:
-Don't talk to your audience in a manner that creates unnecessary distance.
-Don't talk down to them by using sophisticated words, foreign expressions or obscure quotations, unless you are sure they will appreciate them. So no big, fancy words to sound smart! (You don't need them)
-Don't come across as arrogant (proud) in your knowledge of your subject and its terminology; communicate to listeners in words they can understand.

More Helpful Hints:
-Do not make excuses or comments about the fact that you have never presented before.
-Never speak if you do not know what to say. Remember that you are the expert!
-Learn how to control the use of "You know"
-Saying nothing is better than saying "Uh...uhhh....ummm"

Final Tips:
-Know your subject and your topic.  Do your research before beginning the presentation.
-Rehearse.  Usually the best place to do this in front of your mirror, because you can see your body language during the presentation.
-Maintain eye contact.  Do this not only with the instructor, but with everyone in the audience.
-Remain calm.  Try to get a good night's sleep before the presentation, and remember to breathe deeply if you feel upset during the presentation.
-Smile.  Smile at the audience until your cheeks hurt, this helps you feel confident and relaxed.
-Keep time for questions.  Try to think of sample questions about your topic and come up with answers for them.




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