At some point in their academic career, students will likely need to make an academic presentation as part of various class projects. When you are given this task, your ultimate goal is to convey certain information to your audience in an engaging way in order to capture their attention. You need to do everything in your power to make a big impact on your audience and make sure they remember all the information you’ve provided. It’s not easy, and it goes without saying that a good PowerPoint presentation is not made in a few minutes. Need tips to make your presentation unique and amaze your audience?
Read on to discover effective techniques for preparing and delivering classroom presentations in college or university. Here you will also find interesting presentation ideas arranged by theme for your inspiration.
What is an academic presentation?
A presentation is basically any situation where you need to give an informative or persuasive speech to provide information or educate people. In order to present information in a more meaningful way, presentations are usually supplemented by various audio-visual aids, such as flip charts, slides, short videos, music, sound recordings, etc.
Since a presentation is essentially a form of communication, it can only be successful if the audience understands the message exactly as the speaker intended. Presentations can be on a wide variety of topics, but all have two objectives:
Inform, that is, present information that your audience didn’t already know;
☑ to get your audience to act the way you want them to (in this case, you need to make a logical appeal to your audience’s emotions).
When preparing an academic or business presentation, remember that it is not a report or lecture on a specific topic. If you don’t want your audience to be bored to death, you need to make your presentations interactive. I wonder how you can do that? You must be willing to talk to participants and have a flexible approach. You should use a variety of materials that can appeal to the different senses of your audience. For example, you might consider adding videos or using music that your audience can enjoy.
There are different types of presentations that can be used in college:
- Presentation of the research report with a detailed discussion of your project;
- Poster presentations are common in academia;
- A round table discussion in which several short presentations are given on a specific subject.
Unique presentation ideas to captivate your audience
Before we talk about how to make an effective presentation, check out this list of great presentation ideas to get you started.
Express your feelings
Don’t be afraid to express your feelings, even when speaking in front of a crowd. You can watch a TED Talk by Tom Stranger and Thordis Elva, who talk about their personal experiences with teen romance. We hear their voices cracking and breaking. We can understand their pain because they are so sincere and elicit compassion from the audience.
Follow the example of former US President Bill Clinton, who could win an Oscar for improvisation. In his first State of the Union, he improvised 20% of a prepared speech and ignored the teleprompter. He trusted his common sense and gave a victory speech. Repeated presentations may go smoothly, but they will never make history. Don’t be afraid to improvise!
Movement and gestures
I wonder how you keep the audience’s attention? Keep moving and gesturing, as people generally pay more attention to moving objects. Steve Jobs used this technique when he announced the first iPhone in 2007. When you do your presentation, don’t stand still. Walk into and through your audience, use gestures to emphasize your points. Non-verbal communication is indeed very fascinating.
Telling the story
Stories always have an impact on the audience. This is a great way to build relationships, as sharing personal stories is the fastest way to build trust. Jacob Barnett, a child prodigy diagnosed with autism, tells the story of his journey from outcast to prodigy, showing that he is human and has an exciting sensibility.
15 Interesting presentation topics to keep audience attention
When it comes to a powerful presentation that will get you noticed and get you a ten, choosing an interesting topic can be the key to success. Here is a short list of interesting presentation ideas you can use. Pick the perfect topic if you don’t know what to talk about.
- The most effective research strategies, supported by science
- The best time management techniques to master your work
- The main environmental problems and the most appropriate solutions
- The 10 greatest artists of all time
- 30 useful things you can do in a minute.
- 10 Most famous women in world history
- 4th industrial revolution
- A land without people: How will it look?
- Pros and cons of artificial intelligence
- The greatest discoveries of the 21st century
- Can humans live on Mars?
- Does social media make people stupid?
- Myths and facts about fast food
- Differences in communication between men and women
- 20 strange animals you’ve never seen before.
Creative presentation tools to try out
In fact, modern technology can make any presentation emotional, fun, exciting and memorable. Every modern computer is already equipped with video and audio editing software. Moreover, you will find many cheap or even free options to download online. You need to be creative and use sophisticated tools to get your message across through images, sounds and body language. Make your presentations interactive.
Here are some creative tools you can use
★ With Animoto.com you can create videos with images, text and music.
★★★★ Easel.ly and Visual.ly are great tools for creating infographics.
★ Wordle.net is a tool to create word clouds from text you paste or type.
★ Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut are video editing programs that allow you to give your videos a professional look.
★ Audacity is an open-source audio editor that allows you to present great audio clips to your audience.
It is important that the audio and video editing software has export options so that you can upload the edited files to a file sharing site such as SoundCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube, etc. You can easily open your files during your presentation.
You can use the embed feature in Keynote, PowerPoint, Prezi and Google Slides to embed audio-visual files directly into your presentation and integrate them into the conversation. Audiovisual elements can serve as an example, proof, attention grabber or memorable moment for your audience and keep them engaged.
3 Key points of a good scientific presentation
According to the Developing Student and Learning Skills report, academic presentations take the same form as all other presentations, but have a different purpose. Very often academic presentations are treated like oral exams. Your work will be assessed by the instructors, and they will look especially at :
- Understand the audience and the topic;
- Solid arguments and good logic in the content;
- a clear structure with a clear introduction, main body and conclusion;
- the right time and duration;
- the visual evidence you’re talking about;
- perfect English;
- appropriate audio and visual presentation tools.
Do you find these requirements too complicated? Making a good presentation is one of the many academic skills you need to learn in college. You know very well that you can learn any skill if you work hard and practice a lot. For example, if you cannot boast of being a good writer, you will eventually learn to write any kind of essay if you practice writing regularly. The same applies to academic presentations. You can learn to make them and continuously improve your skills through practice. Remember that good presentation skills can help you succeed in your professional life.
What are the key elements of a good presentation? There are three:
✏ Contents. You need to research and structure your ideas before you share them with your audience. So you need to be clear about what message you want to convey and why you are going to do it. Careful planning of your presentation is essential for tutoring.
✍ Execution. Nowadays, almost all presentations are accompanied by infographics or PowerPoint slides. So you need to learn how to design slides, create charts, diagrams, infographics, etc. Try to create strong visuals that are simple, straightforward and easy to understand. You need to present all the information in bite-sized chunks.
Delivery. You need to learn how to convey your message to your audience in a convincing way. To make sure your presentation goes smoothly, you need to practice. It’s a good idea to learn some great public speaking techniques to bring you closer to your audience. You should speak loudly and slowly so that the audience can follow your presentation.
How to make an effective presentation Simple tips and tricks
Creating and giving presentations can be a daunting task. Therefore, here are some general tips that can be very helpful:
- Keep your presentations short. 20 minutes is enough, as it is difficult to keep people focused for longer. If your presentation is lengthy, encourage the audience to participate by asking questions, offering quizzes, etc.
- Keep the presentation simple. You should resist the temptation to use all the animation features available in most presentation software. These features can distract your audience. It is better to add one or two simple features.
- Limit the text in the slides and use short titles. In some cases, you may not need a text message at all. Use pictures, big charts and professional diagrams, because pictures say more than a thousand words. Do not use more than three bullet points per slide. If you include a lot of text, your audience may feel overwhelmed. The audience will try to read every little word on your slide instead of listening to you.
- Don’t read the slides you made. They can cover important key facts. Expand the information on your slides with examples and additional details that your audience may not already know.
- Look at your audience during the presentation and don’t forget to smile.
- Engage your audience. Prepare various contests and quizzes on your topic or ask them relevant questions. You can also ask the audience to share their personal experiences about your topic.
- Use documents with key evidence and definitions of key terms. You don’t have to waste valuable time describing the evidence. You can focus on data analysis.
- Always respect the deadline. Practice your speech enough to see how much material you can cover in a given time.
You now have a better chance of preparing your presentation to the university. Just follow everything in our article.
Author : Patricia Jenkins
Patricia Jenkins is a senior writing consultant for international students who need quick writing help. On her blog, Patricia shares helpful tips on productivity, writing, research and SEO. Sometimes hesitant to discuss the subject, Patricia shares her personal experiences with a keen sense of humor and healthy irony.
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