How To Ace Your University Presentation
Are you one of those people who loves presentations or one of those who hate them? At university, you’ll definitely find yourself having to do one at some point and that’s why it’s important you understand how to perform your best. Especially if your presentations are assessed, which they sometimes are, your presentation’s quality could be the difference between a good and bad grade for that unit. If you really want to ace your presentations while at university, then this post is here to help, so keep reading!
Do lots of research
No matter what topic you decide to present, you want to prove you’ve put the time in. That’s why creating a developed presentation will secure you a lot of marks. You don’t want to turn up to university with something half done. Instead, you want to delve deep into your topic and highlight key points throughout. There also might come a time where you let the audience ask questions on the topic, this usually earns you extra marks for engaging with your classmates. If this is the case, you want to answer with good authority. You might not know everything, but if you’ve done the work, you should hopefully know enough not to get caught out!
Less text and more visuals
When you’re conducting a presentation, the most important thing is that the audience are entertained. Do they want to sit and read huge chunks of text for 20 minutes? Probably not. That’s why it’s good to make sure your slides aren’t too text-heavy. Realistically, it’s you who will be doing the hard work, not them, so don’t make them have to sit and read everything you write. Instead, you can use images or even bullet points with small bits of information, so it’s easier for them to take in whilst you expand on them further through speaking. Especially if your subject isn’t known to the audience, they might grasp a better understanding if you keep it short and sweet. Don’t over complicate things!
Run through your presentation
There are many reasons to run through your presentation before you officially present and all of them are worth it. You’ve heard the phrase practice makes perfect, and it’s true! If you take the time to practice your presentation even once, you’ll feel more confident on the big day. There are also things that this will help you figure out such as, whether you’ve done enough to comply with the time frame. For many presentations at university, you’ll be given an amount of time your presentation should last for so you must stick to the guidelines. It’s the best way to get an idea of how it will go!
So, when you run through your presentation, it’s even better if you can get friends and family to watch so you can pick their thoughts. Especially if they’re new to the subject, they can tell you how easy it is to understand.
Whilst friends and family are a good place to start, you should try getting feedback from as many different groups of people as you can. For example, your classmates are some of the best people to review your presentation as they’re most likely studying the same topic alongside you. You might even be working together. If so, you can help each other which is even better (as long as they’re not too competitive, of course!). People won’t always be available to give you feedback, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, and it’ll benefit you in the long run if they give you the go-ahead.
Make eye contact
Anyone ever told you not to read directly off your presentation? Yep, it’s the most given piece of advice for presentations and that’s because as much as people say it, many people still do it. Especially when you’re nervous, reading off the screen seems like the best thing to do. With all those eyes watching you, you might be urged to look away. We get it, but unfortunately, you might lose marks for that. Presentations are all about connecting with your audience and you can’t do that without looking at them. Making eye contact will make your presentation feel more personal whilst drawing your audience in too.
When it comes to reading text, you can always use flashcards to read from. That being said, don’t be looking down the entire time either. Take quick glances now and again before looking back at your audience. This is one of the key things your lecturer will be looking for, so make sure to brave it and do your best!
Talk to your audience
Another way to keep your audience interested is to speak to them. Sure, they might learn a thing or two by listening to you, but they also might zone out and get a bit bored, too (we’ve all done it!). Whatever your subject, you could ask your audience questions on the topic to make your presentation interactive. This could be through including a little quiz at the end to see how much info they’ve retained or asking for their opinion on certain sections. How you do it is up to you, but it’ll be sure to land you a good grade!
Hopefully, these tips will fill you with confidence when it comes to presenting. If you’re nervous, you won’t be alone, but these tips will be sure to help you out. If you need help with your presentation content, or just some further inspiration, then check out our academic PowerPoint presentation services. Have you got any presenting tips you want to share? Comment below and tell us all about them!