You know there is that one professor on your course in which you don’t mind attending their lectures. If you see them on your timetable you aren’t instantly filled with dread, unlike some of those other ones that seem to drone on for half a day when in reality it’s only been an hour. And you sit and wonder why? Why does a two-hour lecture with your favourite professor feel like ten minutes and the others seem to last for days? Well, that’s because one has mastered the art of presenting and being able to stand out while the others just print off the presentation slides droning on and on.
Not to worry though, if you feel that you want to be able to mimic the same presenting skills or believe that your other professors should really improve on theirs, this article is here to help.
I have included six useful tips in order to make you stand out when presenting and to make the whole process that little bit less stressful.
Tip No. 1 – Let your personality shine through
Everyone has a personality and everyone’s personality changes depending on whom they are around. Don’t downplay yours when presenting in order to try and come across more professional or to be taken more seriously because I guarantee that if you have fun with your presentation and look like you’re enjoying being up there then your audience is going to be much more captivated and involved. Don’t make the same mistake most presenters do in thinking that professionalism must go hand in hand with being monotonous and boring. You can most definitely still be professional and have fun with being yourself.
Tip No. 2 – Have a good subject matter
If you aren’t going to be interested in what you’re talking about what makes you think anyone else will? You must have a stimulating and thought-provoking topic that grabs your audience’s attention. If you have that, then your presentation basically writes itself, giving you less work to stress out over and ensuring that what you’re saying matters. If you have a good subject matter it makes a big difference when presenting as your passion and intrigue shine through without you even having to try. It’s crucial that you aren’t speaking about something you don’t care about.
Tip No. 3 – Have good visuals
Make sure that your presentation includes good visuals whether that is colourful graphics placed throughout the PowerPoint or having a prop in which you can show the audience and engage their reaction. There is nothing more boring than a slide with nothing but writing in which the speaker just recites back what is on the screen. Even if you aren’t the most confident presenter any interesting visuals are going to help.
Tip No. 4 – Slow down when speaking
Nobody wants to sit through a presentation and at the end of it not know a single word of what you just said due to how fast you flew through everything. When under pressure, especially in front of an audience, it’s much easier to find yourself speeding through what you’ve rehearsed in order to get off the stage quicker but this is a big no-no. Breathe, calm down and take one sentence at a time ensuring that your audience is engrossed and able to follow what you are saying clearly.
Tip No. 5 – Get the audience involved
This tip is always good as it makes sure you and your audience are on the same page and makes your presentation that bit more stimulating instead of just speaking straight for an allotted amount of time. It’s also a great way of splitting it up and ensuring that what you’re saying is being acknowledged and understood. It will also make it much easier for your audience to understand your subject matter if they have the chance to get involved themselves and allow time for questions at the end so nobody is left feeling confused.
Tip No. 6 – Don’t be afraid to get personal
Keeping things professional is always a must but don’t be afraid to get a little personal. Allowing the audience an insight into your own life gives them a stronger sense of connection to you and so makes them more open to what you’re saying as some of your audience might even be able to relate to some confessions or statements that you make As long as you don’t go off in a ten-minute tangent about your cat you should be good to go and include the odd personal statement when you can.
So there you have it! I hope these tips helped you in your progression towards succeeding at giving presentations and help you stand out in a crowd of monotonous presenters whom all sound like those other boring lecturers.
Shelby Walsh is a StudentJob blogger, and is a recent English graduate from the University of Ulster. Check out her Youtube Channel to see her amazing advice and tips on beauty.