Improve Your Presentation Skills to Gain Better Marks
Jun 11, 2011 Other 2916 Views
For a college student, making a class presentation can be daunting. Most students experience the fear of public speaking, pressure of being graded, and decisions about technology use. The visual aid of choice for most students is PowerPoint, a package part of Microsoft Office 2010 Professional edition due to its ease of use and customisability.
Make it Easy to Follow
The organisation of your presentation is its foundation, and you should develop a clear organisation for both your speech and presentation. Any good speech has a series of points or messages to get across. Clearly outline these points in your presentation by using one or more of the following presentation techniques
• Include an introductory slide that briefly outlines your main points
•Use numbers, letters, or icons for each point
• Place intermediary slides to introduce each new topic
• Conclude your presentation with a slide that includes all of your points
Remember that the purpose of a presentation is not to include all of the information that you are speaking about. Instead, a presentation should serve as a visual aid to help support your speech. Avoid using sentences in your presentation; instead convey your message using phrases or short statements. Bulleted lists are frequently used in presentations and can be an appealing way to present information on your slides. In addition, you will want to limit the amount of text on any one slide. As a general rule keep the information on slides to less than 50 words. Remember, you do not want your audience to read your presentation instead of listening to your speech.
Make it Visual
A visually appealing presentation is more likely to convey your message and keep the attention of your audience. The PowerPoint software in Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus, has a lot of capabilities for introducing effective visual elements into your presentation. Charts and graphs are effective ways to visually convey statistical, factual, or financial information. Carefully chosen images can emphasise or demonstrate a point. Even the visual theme of the presentation can make a difference. PowerPoint has dozens of presentation themes, and many others can be downloaded for free online. Choose a theme that is relevant to your presentation topic or audience, but avoid themes that are distracting.
Make it Interactive
Most people learn better when they are actively engaged in or involved in an activity. If you are able to engage your audience in your presentation, your audience will appreciate it, and your professor will likely take notice. PowerPoint offers a number of options for interaction such as:
• Use your presentation and custom animation to include quiz questions in your presentation
• Include a video or movie clip that is relevant to your topic
• Get everyone involved with group discussions and ask questions in your presentation
It's your presentation and your grade, so make it your own. PowerPoint allows you to use your creativity to design your presentation exactly the way that you want it. By incorporating some of these tips, you will have a presentation that you will likely enjoy delivering more that your audience and classmates will appreciate and that your professor will notice and reward you for.