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GEN / Skills for Student Success: Presentation Skills

Before the presentation

flash cards Write only the main points of your presentation on small cards that are easy to read and hold, or on a phone app like SuperNote. The point is NOT to read the whole speech, but to have notes to remind you what to say. 
If you are using paper cards, make sure the cards are numbered and tied together so if you do drop them it won't be the end of the world.
loud music Know and understand your topic. Practice, over and over and over again.
Play your favorite music really loudly just beforehand (with earphones, of course). This will help you relax. Stretch, wiggle your jaw around to loosen up.
thumb drive Have a back-up plan in case the network fails, the projector dies, etc. Save your slides in more than one place, e.g. thumb drive and Google Drive.
film yourself

Film yourself so you can see if you unconsciously do distracting things like twiddling your tie, or flipping your hair back.

Go to the washroom right before you start.

During the presentation

Have water in case your mouth goes dry.

Have tissues in case your nose starts to run.

Dress like a professional but are still comfortable (you don't want to be tugging your skirt down the whole time, or wear shoes that hurt your feet).

Pretend that you have all the confidence in the world, and know that everyone else is also nervous about their own presentations.

Use an attention grabber. Start with something unexpected like statistics, a story, a joke, a weird fact that is somehow related to your topic.

Body language is really quite important. The last thing you want is to show everyone how nervous you really are by slouching around and looking at your feet the whole time. If you stand up straight, it also makes it easier to breathe!

Above all ... just BREATHE!


harry casual

Coming together

K.I.S.S.: Keep it Short & Sweet (or just Simple).
Use fewer words, & more images. Don't try to impress by using lots of words or jargon, for example. 
Imagine what would happen if, in the stress of the moment, you forgot how to pronounce floccinaucinihilipilification!

‚ÄčAudience: Greet your audience with a smile.
Know who your audience will be, and remember to focus on them while you talk. 
Try and put yourself in their place & ask yourself what you would find interesting about your topic.

Equipment: Check, Test, Check, & Test again! 
Always check & test the equipment you will be using.
If you are using slides, save them in more than one place, e.g. thumbdrive & online.
Have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.

Death by Powerpoint


Some presenters cram their slides with information and risk sending their audience to sleep (or even death from boredom). You can use the Scissor Technique to improve your slides:

Step 1: Identify one key message
Each slide should contain only one key message that you want to bring across to your audience.

Step 2: Highlight the key points
Re-read the text and select only the key points.


Step 3: Enhance with visual
Use photos or icons to supplement your text.


Find out more about this technique.

Presentation tips for students

9 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Students

Making effective classroom presentations takes practice, but by following a few tips, you'll be up to the challenge. These presentation tips refer to PowerPoint slides (all versions), but all of these tips can be applied to any type of slide presentation.

Public speaking foundations

TP Students: Login to LinkedIn Learning using this link before clicking on the link below.

Deliver a great presentation | LinkedIn Learning

Get practical insights that can help you prepare, open, deliver, and close your talks. Discover how to manage anxiety, project confidence, take questions, and evaluate feedback.