Preparing Presentations

Getting started

Identify the following: 

  • Who is your audience?
  • What is the purpose of your assignment?
  • What is the main message your presentation?

Prep work

  • Complete your research.
  • Brainstorm key ideas.
  • Create an outline.

The outline

  • Introduction
    • Aim for 2-3 minutes.
    • Use an opener/attention getter/hook.
    • Identify significance of topic.
    • Illustrate relevance to audience.
    • Set an agenda.
  • Body 
    • Make your first point.
      • Offer supporting material.
    • Provide a transition from Point One to Point Two.
    • Make your second point. 
      • Offer supporting material.
    • Repeat for remaining points.
  • Conclusion 
    • Summarize/review main points.

Creating your slides

  • Keep text to a minimum (only a few points per slide).
  • Cite your sources.
  • Use visuals and videos.
  • Use high contrast colours.
  • Use visual representations of data or information.
  • Ensure font is large enough.

Making your points

  • Cite sources - use stats or quotes.
  • Use examples.
  • Tell a story.
  • Engage the audience in a poll or interactive activity.
  • Note all the points you would like to make with each slide in the speakers notes.

Practice, practice, practice

  • Using your speaker's notes, practice your presentation.
  • Time your presentation to ensure you’re on track.
  • Anticipate questions from the audience.
  • Record yourself.
  • Make simplified notes that you can refer to at a glance.

Delivering your presentation

  • Dress in a way that gives you confidence.
  • Breathe through your nose.
  • Make eye contact around the room (pick 1-3 people in different areas).
  • Remove anything that might make you fidget.
  • Pause before and after important ideas.
  • Use language your audience will understand.
  • Watch for audience feedback and adjust things like pace, volume, and detail level accordingly.