How to give a great presentation

Like it or not, presenting your ideas in class in front of your classmates is a challenge that you will have to face during your studies at UNYP.  Although giving a presentation might be a step out of your comfort zone, we have compiled some useful tips for making presentation skills into a strength – not a weakness! These tips will not only help you at school, but in any career that you choose to pursue.

First, know your audience. What do we mean by this? Before you start preparing your presentation, you need to consider who you will be presenting it to. Your boss? Colleagues? Teacher? Or are you working on your final defense presentation? Bear in mind that each audience requires a tailored approach. You don’t want to make a bad joke about your major in front of the dean! 

Second, keep it simple. Other people may be hearing about your topic or idea for the first time, and might not be capable of understanding the full depth of your thoughts. Therefore, keep it brief with visuals which explain and introduce your ideas in a concise, elegant way. Graphs which are relevant to the topic can work well, but do not overload the slides with too much data. UNYP classes are all equipped with digital projectors, so you can use PowerPoint presentations in every class.

Third, know what you are talking about. The idea of going to your own presentation without knowing the subject matter might sound ridiculous – but it happens more often than you might think! It is vital to be aware of your topic. We strongly recommend preparing specific talking points for each slide. Repeat your presentation several times at home until you feel confident – perhaps in front of a friend or room-mate – because there could be unexpected interruptions to knock you off-track. However, if you have practiced enough, you will find it easy to get back to the main topic of your wonderful presentation.

Last but not least, finish up with a solid conclusion. Although we are sure that your presentation will be interesting and full of original ideas, audiences tend to forget things that are not repeated. Therefore, it is useful to end every presentation with a proper conclusion which quickly recapitulates what you have said, and what the audience should take away.

Presentation is an important skill, which you will need to use during your UNYP classes and in your future careers. Know your audience, keep it simple, be prepared and educated about your topic, and end with a recap, directing people towards the information they should take away from your speech. Finally, consider a great way to improve your presentation skills while having fun at the same time – join the Debating Society of UNYP!

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