Are you prepping a presentation for your college class but a little anxious? Putting the production together is only half the battle. Sure, researching the content is critical to the grade you’ll receive from your professor. However, the way you present the information also matters a great deal, and it’s a significant portion of your grade.
The best presentation material is worthless if you don’t know how to present it properly which is why learning how to speak in public is such an essential skill you learn. This post unpacks everything you need to know about bringing your research to life with an engaging presentation that captivates the attention of your professor and the class, earning you that A-grade.
Introduce Yourself and Your Presentation Topic
Sure, we understand the class knows who you are. However, introduce yourself and the topic on hand as a formal start to your presentation. This strategy shows professionalism, setting the tone.
After introducing yourself, introduce your topic before moving on to the next step. This section only takes a few seconds. For example, use something like, “Hi, I’m Shireen, and I’m here today to talk to you about the damage ocean plastics do to the aquatic environment.”
According to KeynoteSpeakers.info, introducing your topic is going to be the most critical factor in the success of your speech because your audience will decide within a few seconds whether they want to listen to you or not.
Open By Sharing the Highlights of Your Presentation
After introducing yourself and your topic, give the class a short breakdown of the sub-topics included in your presentation. This strategy helps to give your presentation structure in the audience’s eyes, letting them know what to expect as you move through the topic.
For example, “Today, we’ll be discussing where the plastic pollution comes from, the nations responsible for releasing the most plastic pollution, where we’re headed as a planet if we don’t tackle this problem, and pragmatic solutions for tackling the problem before it’s too late.”
According to MotivationalSpeakerz.com, it is important that you be succinct and brief as to not lose your audiences attention. As they work with many professional speakers, they have a vast amount of experience in giving professional presentations.
Convey the Relevance of Your Presentation
The first step of your presentation is to present hard data relating to your topic. The data gives context and importance to your material, setting the tone for the delivery of the material. Statistics help you quantify the problem using scientific studies to bring you credibility and authority when speaking on the subject.
For example, “Did you know that scientists state there are more than 14.4-million tons of plastics laying on the seafloor across the ocean?”
Use a Storytelling Style
No one wants to hear your rattle off data and statistics for the length of your speech. Many presenters make the mistake of presenting their information in a dry and organized style. Instead, focus on telling a story about the topic.
“Storytelling is the oldest form of selling, and it sells your audience why they need to pay attention to your topic” suggests Sean Adams of MotivationPing.com. For instance, you could say something like, “I went to California for spring break, and I came across loads of plastic waste on the beach after my swim.”
Pro tip: People want you to talk to them, not talk at them.
Ask the Audience for Their Participation
During your presentation, look for ways to ask the audience for their participation along the way. For example, you could say, “Have any of you ever been to the beach and noticed the same level of plastic waste as me? Or am I the only one here that sees it?
Audience participation engages the people in the class and your professor. Part of your grade will rely on engagement through class participation and their responses to delivering your material during the presentation. Good luck and get that A!