Everyone gets nervous – do not worry about that! To help you The Res Life team have compiled a list of tips and hints to help you make your presentations the best they can be.
Be Passionate (or at least fake it)
- Make sure you are passionate about the topic and show that enthusiasm to your audience. If you are bored, the chances are that your audience are bored too! It can be hard to be passionate about an assignment, but try to be creative; there will be an interesting way of presenting that information and showing off your enthusiasm.
Hate the spotlight?
- Most people do not like that feeling of being ‘in the spotlight.’ Although you may feel like everyone is watching you stammer and sweat, they are probably too busy worrying about their own presentations too much to even notice.
- However, to be on the safe side, you might want the backing of some props and supporting material. Bring a hand out, make a slide show or bring a prop. Make your presentation as engaging as possible and no one will notice the nerves!
If you are using PowerPoint – make sure you know what you are doing:
- Check the computer and the lighting: make sure no bright lights are shining on the screen.
- Stand to one side of the projector/flip chart, so the audience can see the material.
- Face and speak to your audience, not the screen.
- Do not use too many slides: three or four should be sufficient for a short presentation. Keep text to no more than about 40 words. The more simple the slide, the easier it will be for you to communicate what you need to communicate. Plan your presentation carefully and only use slides that will clarify points.
- Use large font.
- Use pictures, colour and effects to emphasise the main parts of your presentation.
- If using PowerPoint use the Format|Apply design template command. This will save you lots of time.
Make eye contact:
- If you can, try to make eye contact with an individual rather than scanning the whole room. If you are using a computer, try not to keeping looking back at the screen. Just take a glance now and then if you need prompting.
Relax, Breathe and Enjoy
Everyone gets nervous – do not worry about that! Remember that everyone is in the same boat and most of your audience are trying to battle the nerves too. Focus on your breathing, take it slow and smile. The calmer you appear the more at ease you put your audience.
Just enjoy it! This your chance to highlight what you can do, think of it as an opportunity rather than something scary. You can do this!
The Res Life Team