to develop your skills to communicate clearly,
effectively and confidently with a range of
audiences in a range of different contexts;
to improve your research and design skills,
and strengthen your delivery techniques;
to enhance your use of different support
electronic and other visual tools;
to reinforce your performance skills (verbal
to increase your confidence level in interacting
with audience and control your nervousness;
to promote critical and reflective thinking by
dealing with feedback on your presentation
Decide what you want to achieve.
Decide whether a formal presentation is
the best way to achieve this objective.
If you decide to go ahead with the
presentation, decide what form it should
Prepare a script (in whatever form suits
Design and prepare your visual aids and
Lack of organization is one of the major
causes of anxiety.
Imagine walking into a room, being
introduced, delivering your presentation with
enthusiasm, fielding questions with
confidence, and leaving the room knowing
you did a great job.
Many speakers rehearse a presentation
mentally or with just their lips. Instead, you
should practice standing up, as if an
audience were in front of you, and use your
visual aids (if you have them.)
When your muscles tighten and you feel
nervous, you may not be breathing deeply
enough. The first thing to do is to sit up, erect but
relaxed, and inhale deeply a number of times.
Focus on relaxing
Instead of thinking about the tension—focus on
relaxing. As you
breathe, tell yourself on the inhale, "I am" and on
the exhale, "relaxed."
As tension increases and your muscles tighten,
nervous energy can get locked into the limbs.
This unreleased energy may cause your hands
and legs to shake.
Speakers who stand in one spot and never
gesture experience tension. In order to relax,
you need to release tension by allowing your
muscles to flex.
Make eye contact with the audience
Give your presentation to one person at a
time. Relate with your audience as individuals
Look in peoples' eyes as you speak. Connect
with them. Make it personal and personable.
The eye contact should help you relax
because you become less isolated from the
audience, and learn to react to their interest
Anxiety is a natural state that exists
any time we are placed under stress.
Giving a presentation will normally
cause some stress. Don't worry! If you
have any of these symptoms before or
during a presentation, you are normal.
Plan the exact words you will use for
the opening, the transition points, and
the conclusion. Practice them again
and again. If you are anxious, write on
cards the introductory and concluding
sentences. Make more notes if you
Context of the presentation
who are the audience, and what are
how big will the audience be?
how long is the presentation to be?
what equipment is available for visual
what about time for questions?
Decide on your topic.
Think carefully about the main point or
points that you want to communicate.
You should be able to write these
clearly in one or two sentences.
This will be influenced by the general context and
aim of your presentation and the expected
audience. You may need to decide between a big
picture approach and one that selects a smaller
area with more detail. As you develop your
knowledge of the topic, you will feel more
confident about what to include and what to
exclude. Identify the key messages. Three or
four main points are normally sufficient for a
presentation of up to a half-hour. You should
choose carefully examples to provide interest
and improve understanding and think where to
place them in the structure of the content. Use
such things as examples, stories, statistics,
quotes from expert sources, or research findings.
(Cameron S., 2010)
Organize the content
Structure the content. Most people
begin with an unordered collection of
ideas, and then put them into
sequence. Then decide on the relative
weight of each section of the talk
Think of ways of catching the listeners’
interest by providing:
Impressive statistics, and
Apart from introducing yourself and
subject of your presentation, you should
plan carefully about what point of entry
will stimulate your audience and at the
same time, form a springboard into the
main topics of your delivery. When
thinking about your openings, keep your
audience and their ‘needs’ very firmly in
mind. A good beginning can make the
presentation; a poor, inappropriate one
can seriously undermine it. Many people
tend to fail to have a proper introduction
that contextualises the topic.
FORM OF LANGUAGE
Use correct language and proofread
(words used appropriately; correct
spelling and punctuation). It is
essential to check your work for
errors. Also follow general principles:
avoid gender stereotyping; avoid racist
and racism stereotyping; avoid being
aggressive, swearing or obscenities;
use the language that can include
everybody (Pritchard, A., 2008),
Professor Albert [Mehrabian]... studied
social communication and discovered
that communication happens on three
Visual – 55% (body language)
Vocal – 38% (tone of voice)
Verbal – 7% (words)
By far, visual communication is the
most powerful of the three types.
Preparation of rough draft
It is useful to ‘rough-draft’ visual aids
at the initial stage, because they can
help making the sequence of points
more clear and logical. Think about
whether some information should be
put into handouts
Check overall length, and the relative
weight of sections. A little too short is
better than even a little too long. As a
rough guide, allow about one minute
for every 100 words, plus time if
necessary for changing
transparencies. One A4 page, double-
spaced, takes about 3 minutes of
Finish preparation of visual aids. If you
are using PowerPoint data projection,
slides on transparency are a useful
back-up in case of last-minute
Prepare handouts, if you want them.
REHEARSE your presentation, as often as
Do not omit this step!
You can practice alone, or ask a friend or
colleagues to listen to you.
With practice, you will become more fluent
and at ease.
Make sure you speak simply, but in academic
not conversational style.
Project your voice across the room.
You will find this slows your speech.
Check the timing carefully and make
adjustments if necessary.
Mark a time reference at one or two points in
Think about the questions the
audience may want to ask you. Plan
how you will answer them.
On the day of your presentation, be
calm and organized. If you are
unfamiliar with the location, go
beforehand to plan where you will
stand and where you will put your
papers, and to see how the projection
works. Arrive in good time for your
presentation. Remember to take all
your visual aids, notes and papers!
1 Stand straight but not stiff.
2 Balance your weight evenly on both
3 Standing well allows your diaphragm
to move more easily to control your
breathing and voice production. So
you feel better, sound better, and look
MOVEMENT AND GESTURES
1. Too much movement is distracting; no
movement at all is boring and
2. Use movements and gestures to
signal transition points or to stress points
3. Avoid meaningless gestures and
repetitive movements. Don't wave your
left hand about in circles or wave the
pointer about. Use the pointer only when
necessary, and with a firm movement. If
you have a laser pointer, keep your hand
close to your body when using it; don't
hold it at arm's length like a gun.
1. Your facial expression must match
your message. If you claim something is
interesting, look as if you find it so.
2 Relax your facial muscles. If you look
nervous, the audience will not be
3 In the ten minutes before you start,
make sure your tongue is relaxed and
not raised tensely against the roof of
your mouth. If you can discreetly yawn
widely once or twice, this will help to
relax your facial and throat muscles and
to feel less tense.
1. Speak a little louder than you think is
necessary. Project your voice to the back of the
room. Use your diaphragm to do this, not the
muscles of your throat. Keep the muscles of your
throat and mouth relaxed. Otherwise your voice
loses resonance and power, and is less pleasant
to listen to.
2 Speak a little more slowly than you normally
do, especially if you feel nervous. This will help
you sound and feel more confident. A useful rule-
of-thumb is: the larger the audience, the more
slowly you should speak.
3 Use your voice as a communication tool. Vary
the speed -speak more slowly in the introduction
and the conclusion. Use stress for important
points and contrasts. A short silence can also
serve to emphasize a point or a transition. All
these techniques contribute greatly to making a
presentation interesting to listen to.
1. Eye contact creates a relationship between
the speaker and the audience. It encourages
the audience to listen. It helps to relax the
speaker. So look at people.
2. Start and end with direct eye contact,
looking round the whole audience. During the
talk, don’t gaze over people’s heads or out of
the window. Look at your visual aids (and
notes if you have them) as much as is
necessary, but don’t stare at them and talk to
them. Look at the audience as much as you
3. Don’t look always at the same section of
the audience or, even worse, at one ‘victim’.
Don’t dart your eyes about quickly, or sweep
your gaze round like a searchlight. Focus on
one person or group for 1-2 seconds; then
look at another person or group, then
Group and individual presentations for a given
topic as part of a module assessment.
Seminar presentations giving a paper to an
academic or your peers for the purpose of
teaching or showing evidence of your
understanding of the topic.
Providing an overview of some research carried
out by you or your group.
Demonstrating the use of a piece of equipment
or software such as PowerPoint to show that you
have developed the essential skills to use it
Dissertation-related presentations and Vivas to
demonstrate your ability to manage a research
A job interview where you have been asked to
present for several minutes on a given topic.
(Chivers B., Shoolbred M., 2007)
What is the main aim of the
presentation and what message you
want to deliver to the audience in the
time limit set?
What is the current knowledge level of
the audience and what new
knowledge or awareness do you want
the audience to have gained from your
What is the most effective way to
You need to summarize your points,
again using visual aids to reinforce them
if possible. Always leave your audience
with something memorable, say a
powerful visual or a convincing
conclusion, with a key idea, a central
theme to take away and want to reflect
on later. It is also good practice to thank
the audience for their patience and to
invite questions or discussion. (Cameron
S., 2010), (Ellis, R., 2010).
In most presentations, it is usually
better to deliver less content at a
reasonable pace, than too much
content at a faster pace that may
leave the audience feeling
overwhelmed and confused. You
should fit the topic into the allotted
time and plan time for breaks, asides,
questions. This means you should
think clearly about what to include and
exclude from the final version of your
Avoid clutter slides at all costs
Select a clear font such as Arial or Helvetica.
Use bold rather than underline and avoid italics;
A dark background (deep blue or black) and light coloured
text (white or yellow) for contrast will make your words stand
out (Use of colour that detracts from the main content of the
slide, or that makes reading the text difficult.)
Use a font size of 20 or over: use a 36 point for titles and a 28
point for body text
Spelling and /or grammar mistakes
Use pictures and icons and beware of the special effects, e.g.
spinning words or sound effects
Keep the presentation consistent, e.g. background and style.
Do not suddenly switch fonts half way through. You may not
notice but your audience will
Less than 30 words per slide, 5–6 words for headings a
maximum of five bullet points per slide
Keep the number of slides down to one per minute or even
one per 40 seconds (Malthouse, R., Roffey-Barentsen, J.,
2010), (Craig, C., 2009)
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