- Firstly, consider your audience: Who are they? What do they expect?
- Secondly, think about your intentions: What do you want to say?
- Lastly, decide upon your methods: How will you communicate your message?
- Use the checklist below as a guide to effective presentations.
- Start with a greeting and introduce yourself.
- Next, give an overview of what you will discuss.
- Think about dividing the topic into sections.
- Common structures include steps within a creative process, chronological order, problems followed by solutions or thematic.
- You may be asked to follow a set structure such as Pecha-Kucha; this features 20 slides each showing for 20 seconds.
- Summarise the main points covered.
- You can also invite questions.
- Prepare by thinking about what your audience may ask.
- The visual appearance of your presentation is important.
- We learn 90% of information visually and only 7-11% through hearing (Bradbury, 1995, p. 64).
- Look at the table below to avoid common design mistakes.
- Complete this interactive tutorial about visual design from Manchester University.
|Font||Use sans serif fonts such as Arial, Calibri and Veranda.|
Aim for around 24 point font.
Pick a colour that contrasts with the background.
|Text||Use clear headings.|
Bullet point information.
Avoid having too much text on each slide.
Aim for around 25 words per slide (Van Emden and Becker, 2016, p. 40).
|Graphics||Use graphics that are relevant to your content.|
Avoid mixing styles or using too many.
Choose a colour palette to use throughout.
|Animation||Use animation sparingly to avoid distraction.|
- You should always rehearse. Consider asking your peers to watch or recording yourself.
- What worked well? What areas do you need to improve?
- Create prompts such as a script, PowerPoint notes or A5 index cards.
- Avoid speaking too quietly or quickly. Remember to pause between points.
- Keep your body language open rather than closed. Closed body language can include folded arms, crossed legs and hands in pockets.
- Instead, aim to engage your audience with eye contact.
The following sources were consulted:
- Bradbury, A. (1995) Successful presentation skills. London: Kogan Page Limited.
- Levin, P. and Topping, G. (2006) Perfect presentations. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
- Van Emden, J. and Becker, L. (2016) Presentation skills for students. 3rd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Read more about presentations here: https://tinyurl.com/ybhfp48d
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