Presentation Tips

Capstone Website
By now, you should have created a template for your capstone website in Advanced Tech.  If you did not yet complete the capstone website template, click here for the assignment.

Don't be afraid of the front of the classroom.

Oral presentations provide you with an opportunity to gain a more in-depth understanding of your subject matter while building public speaking abilities that you will, more than likely, be using in the future. A good school presentation is one that focuses on both of these aspects of process, balancing the academic preparation (your research) with proper practice of the necessary presentation skills.

Practicing will help you build your confidence during your actual presentation and greatly improve your performance.  Before your presentation, practice doing the whole thing just as you plan to do it in your actual presentation.  Use your cue card and any visual aids during the practice run.  Also, time your practice run to figure out if you should add or remove time from your presentation (it should run around 20 minutes plus a 10 minute Q&A).

Use Visual Aids

A presentation that gives the audience something that they can see and/or touch is usually much more fascinating for them.   Visual aids could be photographs, short videos, tables, or graphs in your website or actual objects that are passed around the room.  Make sure your visual aid actually helps to explain your research.  

Take Notecards

During your presentation, you don't want to get "trapped in the text" or stuck reading most of your research paper.  Presentations seem more natural when you are explaining the different sections of your project to your audience without much reading.  Most of the sections of your research paper and website are short, so you probably won't need to take notecards on them.   However, I strongly recommend that you take notecards on your research section (4) and your Real Life Experience section (5).  These sections are very long and detailed, and notecards will help prevent you from losing your place.  You notes should simply be bullet points to remind your next topic or things that will be hard to remember.  The full text will also be behind you on the website.   But, you have anxiety about public speaking and are afraid of "freezing up", feel free to take more detailed notes about as many sections as you think necessary.

Speak Loudly, Clearly and Slowly
Be sure to practice speaking loudly and clearly.  If this is something that you think will be difficult for you, practice with a friend, or try practicing in a larger space like the auditorium, cafeteria, a hallway, or even outdoors.  Ask a friend to stand far away and give some feedback about how easy it is to hear and understand you. Also, don't speak so fast that the audience can't follow your presentation.  Pause when you need to take a breath!   

Other tips

  • Think positive.  "Whether You Believe You Can, or You Can't, You are Right" - Henry Ford
  • Do not agonize over mistakes-- don't say you're sorry.
  • Smile, laugh and joke, if appropriate. A little humor can go along way, but don't over do it.
  • To make sure everyone understands what you're talking about, ask if anyone has any questions at the end of every slide.
  • End strongly.

"What Smart Students Know: Maximum Grades. Optimum Learning. Minimum Time."; Adam Robinson; 1993