Make Your Class Presentations First Class
“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death...This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy” - Jerry Seinfeld
You saw the course outline and had a minor freak out when you discovered the oral presentation component. Before finding out which chocolates your tutor prefers and stocking up on these tools of bribery, read these tips to make your class presentations first class.
Write a script outlining all of your main points. Make sure you have a logical sequence and structure to your presentation.
Use humour (but only if appropriate, it's probably not the best idea during a presentation about human rights abuses) or quotations to keep the audience interested.
If you're doing slides, short and punchy quotes are best. Make sure your slides are easy to read from a distance, simple and not too cluttered. Appropriate images can help keep the audience interested.
Prepare handouts and charts to keep the audience interested.
Make sure you've timed your presentation, you don't want the tutor checking their watch or cutting off your amazing conclusion!
Practice makes perfect. Do your presentation in front of your friends/family/pets and make sure that your voice is modulated and not monotonous.
Test all of your equipment beforehand if you can and have a backup plan in the case of technical failure.
Make sure you arrive to class a few minutes early to allow for some time to set-up and relax.
If it's possible, get the audience involved. Ask questions or do audience polls.
Palmcards are fine as a “security blanket” but don't rely on them. Make eye contact with the audience.
Make gestures where appropriate but don't fiddle. Keep your body language open and confident.
Don't race through your presentation, remember to breathe!
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