Making an effective presentationJump to resources
How to structure your presentation and deliver it with confidence.
Presentations are effective if:
- The presenter is confident, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and well prepared.
- The presentation is memorable, interesting and achieves its objectives
Designing the presentation
You need to consider the objectives and setting the scene:
- What are your objectives - ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Are you persuading, informing or teaching?
- How do you get the students (the audience) to 'buy in' to your message - what's in it for them?
- The students - what is their level of knowledge and do their objectives meet yours?
- How much time do you need for the presentation - what will the school allow?
Structure and content of the presentation
- Greet the students and introduce yourself.
- State the title and objectives. This will usually include the benefit to the audience.
- State the length of time, the format, headings and how you will deal with questions.
- Refer to any handouts that you will be distributing.
- The introduction needs to command interest and attention.
- Information needs to be delivered in a logical or chronological order, so as not to confuse
- Do not include too much information, only that which is relevant
- The content of the delivery should be prepared maybe as a script. Reduce this to
key headings and phrases noting on prompt cards, using bullets and pointers for
use of a visual aid.
- Figures are helpful to illustrate a point but too many can be boring. Graphics add
interest and dimension.
- Human touches that students can relate to and case studies are always interesting.
- Support the presentation with effective visual aids.
- To include the students ask questions to involve them and check understanding. Use
open questions — what, why, how, when, who, which and where.
Concluding the presentation
- Summarise the presentation bringing it back to your objectives
- The ending needs to review and consolidate the information.
- Allow time for questions and answers, if they have not been covered during the
- Manage the question and answer session to ensure that it does not run over time.
- Are there sufficient recaps?
- Does the presentation achieve its purpose?
- What is important in projecting yourself - consider physical skills, body language.
- What do you need to do if you are nervous?
Self preparation and handling nerves
- Everyone suffers from them!
- Always prepare thoroughly.
- Rehearse your presentation - preferably out loud at the correct pace as this ensures
that you have got the timing right.
- Wear clothing that is appropriate and comfortable.
- Arrive early to ensure that the room is ready and that you can organise your materials.
- Relax. Take some deep breaths and get your heartbeat to slow down.
- Think about talking slowly and positively. Nerves make us speed up.
- Once started, nerves usually go.
- If you lose your way, just stop and gather yourself — - do not apologise. Most of the audience will not realise and a pause gives them time to reflect.
- Organise the seating to suit your presentation and your audience.
- Do not block emergency exits and ensure that health and safety information is given.
- Ensure that any visual aids or props can be seen clearly by the entire audience.
- Consider where you are standing in relationship to your audience and your visual aids.
- Give yourself a prop like a table to help combat nerves.
- Ensure that the heating is suitable for the audience.
What is important when projecting yourself?
- Radiate confidence and enthusiasm.
- Relax the facial muscles and remember to smile from time to time.
- Ensure that body language is open and positive and stand comfortably.
- Engage confident eye contact all round the audience.
- Speak at a comfortable pace.
- Vary your pace and tone as in a normal conversation.
- Avoid distractions.
- Take care with humour.
- Your style is important. Think about the language. Is it appropriate for the audience?
Have a run through
- Is the sequence right?
- Isthe balance right?
- Are the visuals supportive and adequate?
- Does it hang together?
- Are the links between sections clear?
- Use evaluation form to get an idea of what the students think of your presentation
- Continue with the positive aspects and develop the points that the students feel could be improved.
- Keep visual images professional.
- Keep points to a maximum of 6 or 7 per slide and do not clutter the slides.
- Never use a font smaller than 18 and avoid using all upper case.
- Use a s pell check and ensure that you read through your visual aids.
- Use visuals as well as text eg graphs, charts, diagrams etc
- Do not give out handouts during a presentation as they distract the audience,
unless it is actively required. Remember YOU are giving the message.
- A handout is for the audience to take away your message. It is best limited to
the most important points of the presentation.
- Or a handout is to give the audience some extra information.
- If the handout is a summary, tell the audience it will save them making