Delivering a presentation as a student brings a special kind of anxiety. More than likely, you’re not yet a seasoned presenter so you haven’t had the opportunity to find your footing and confidence when speaking to large groups. This can be immensely intimidating. But rest assured that you’re not alone. Nearly everyone, no matter what they tell you, has some anxiety before presenting—especially students who are brand new to the game.
Fortunately, there are a ton of tricks you can use to diminish your fears around presenting while maximizing your delivery. Not only will the following techniques make you a better presenter, but they’ll also make you feel a whole lot more confident when you stop in front of a group of people. These presentation tips are geared to help students succeed.
Mind mapping is a process whereby you’ll literally map out the content you’re planning to present using a visual outline. This simple step elevates your presentation by allowing you to more easily structure your information into a thoughtful and compelling flow. There are endless resources and mind mapping software you can find on online. A 2002 study found mind mapping to improve long-term retention of information by 10%. It’s definitely a step you don’t want to miss if you’re concerned about remembering what to say.
Just as you don’t want to sit through a long presentation that solely consists of one person talking at you, your audience doesn’t either. Save them (and yourself) from boredom by including beautiful visual aids. Use presentation tips for creating infographics, charts and videos for your deck. Your presentation will be more entertaining for the audience. Visual aids can serve as visual cues to help keep you on track.
A lot of student presenters make the mistake of saying too much about their topic. Overloading your slides with content results in a convoluted presentation. All of our presentation tips involve simplifying. Edit down your content to the main points that support your topic. Less is more in the presentation world. Let the visuals do more of the taking than the text.
You need to be the expert in the subject you are speaking on. Write out long speaking script notes to remind you of the details. This will prepare you for any questions you might get from the audience. If you receive a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t panic! Simply say you’ll look into it and follow-up after the presentation.
One of the biggest traps newbie presenters fall into is speaking too fast. Nerves can make it difficult to take your time. Our presentation tips suggest using breathing exercises to keep you calm. Rushing through the slides may give off the wrong impression. Effectively using pauses and silence will add impact to your speech. Take time to rehearse your pace to exude a ton of confidence and command over your topic.
Students may fall into a formal and stiff style of speech during a presentation. This will result in a boring presentation. Make sure to show your personality. Conversation speech will make you appear relatable and professional. Study your audience’s demographics to understand the most effective communications methods.
It’s not enough to know what you’re going to say. You have to know how you’re going to say it. Set aside some time to rehearse your delivery. It’s best to do this in front of your peers and ask for feedback. Remember to practice body movement, use vocal inflections and ask for questions.
Want to get to know more about who you are as presenter? Take our Badge Assessment to discover your unique presentation persona. For more presentation tips, check out these blogs:
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