Whilst at university you may be expected to give an oral or poster presentation. It can sometimes seem like a daunting or nerve wracking task, but by following a few guidelines, it can be a very rewarding experience. Through developing your presentation skills you also develop your levels of confidence, preparation and communication skills which are all valuable life long skill
Consider the audience
Always consider what your audience is wanting to know and how you can make it interesting to them. You might like to consider the following questions:
Who are the members of the audience and what do they do? (e.g. assessors, peers, employers)
Find out what the goal of giving the presentation is; what technology will be available; who and how large is the audience, and how long you have to speak for
Prepare prompt cards for you to use as reminders and help you talk more naturally instead of reading from a script
Practice giving the presentation to friends under timed conditions and be open to their feedback!
Visual aids – consider whether you will be using visual aids and if so, when you are going to give them out to your audience.
Familiarise yourself with the room you will be presenting in and arrive early to get the technology set up
Structure and timing
Title – make sure it’s clear and relevant
Introduction – Introduce yourself; state the topic, aims or purpose of the presentation and provide an outline of the discussion
Main body – Support your views with reasons and evidence; keep it clear, concise and direct. Do not put too much words per slide, just the key points. Then talk about each point when addressing the audience, they actually listen to you by doing that
Conclusion – Restate the main points, develop some concusions and review the implications, then bring it to a clear end
Questions – Leave enough time at the end of your session for the audience to ask you questions
Top tips on delivering a presentation
How did your presentation go? It’s important to evaluate your presentation in order to build your confidence and continually improve each time. Consider some these points:
Posters are one of the most effective ways to visually present results and information, and are widely used in many disciplines to display work at conferences and to the general public.
It is unlikely that you will be specifically asked to make a poster until your dissertaion but tutors ask you to put together poster displays to demonstrate your skills of visual communication and to assess your ability to get ideas across clearly and concisely.
Presenting a poster
When presenting a poster, particularly bear in mind the following:
Tips on designing a poster
In the video below, Learning Technologies Adviser Fiona Macneill offers a step-by-step guide to creating a great poster presentation. The additional resources that she mentions can be found under module SS430 on StudentCentral.