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Presenting five tips to giving effective presentations

November 11, 2020

Whether I am presenting in a classroom of 30 of my most trusted peers or a gymnasium full of 300 strangers, presentations can be nerve wracking. Here I will be presenting you with five tips to giving effective presentations.


 This may seem like a no brainer but seriously practice! As the saying goes, practice makes perfect! Reciting the presentation until I’m familiar and comfortable with all of the content is something I do often. A lot of the time when I am working on a presentation, I tend to come up with different subtopics or categories that fall under the umbrella of the main idea behind my project. It is important to ensure that I take a second to zoom out to consider my project in its entirety and familiarize myself with the big picture. This helps me connect my ideas better and enrich my understanding of the topic, which I am then able to communicate effectively to my audience. 



 Use a loud voice

 This might be an obvious requirement for a good presentation, but sometimes my nerves get the best of me and my voice will trail off to be quieter. So, I try to make a conscious effort to maintain a loud voice throughout my presentation. I like to take cues from the audience. For example, a lack of eye contact from the audience shows that they are disengaged. Chances are if they hear a loud and enthusiastic voice they will be attentive.

via GIPHY 

Enunciating my words 

 In conjunction with a loud voice, I’ve found that enunciating my words helps with the delivery of my presentations. Try saying deoxyribonucleic acid three times fast. It’s definitely a mouthful and can be hard to understand when jumbled in amongst other words!  Enunciating ensures that the audience is not only hearing my words, but understanding and making sense of them as well. I try my best to look up the pronunciations of any terms I might be having a hard time with - and if the term is complex/not commonly known, I make sure to define it for my audience.


 Body language

 This one you can kind of “fake it till you make it”. Eye contact is such a powerful presentation tool. It shows the audience that you are talking to them, not just at them, and allows for a bit of silent interaction. If making direct eye contact is too intimidating, I find that fixing my gaze on an object behind the crowd like a wall or window to be helpful. That way I’m still looking towards the audience, but in a more comfortable way. In addition, I like to stand tall and keep my shoulders back. This helps reinforce the tendency to give eye contact as opposed to slouching and looking down. Pacing the room and making subtle gestures are also great strategies I try to use to keep my audience engaged.



 Cue cards

 Their beneficial purpose is directly stated in the name, these note cards can be helpful for giving cues. Cue cards give a professional and prepared appearance while providing you, the speaker, with key information and essential cues to help you get through your presentation. The amount of information you put on them is essentially up to you, they can be as concise or as detailed as you are comfortable with. For me, this depends on how much information I have on an accompanying slideshow or presentation. If my slideshow is full of words, then I won’t load up my cue cards with info. But if my slideshow is lacking words, I like to make very detailed cue cards. I also like to ensure that they are legible and that I number them so I don’t mix up the order they go in during my presentations.



 All the best with your future presentations!