Preparing for a Presentation

Each person must find his or her own techniques and tricks because there is no right way to prepare for a presentation. I discovered my “right way” winter term of my junior year at the UO. On May 28, 2014 I put together a mock presentation for The League to Save Lake Tahoe for my Journalism 452 class. My process followed the guidelines below.

I had the pleasure of taking a presentations class taught by Mark Lewis. Mark, single-handedly, changed the way that I present.

Content

To start any great presentation you must first focus on content. The information and context must be relevant and perfected.

Include:

  • Numbers
  • Comparisons
  • Examples

Cut out:

  • Fluff
  • Repetitive context
  • Irrelevant/unnecessary information

Visual Aid

The visual aid is an important element of any presentation. For my presentation I created a Prezi. When using a slideshow for poster board format less is more. Graphics should be simple, clean and words should be kept to a minimum. This allows for elaboration on each slide or image.

Practicing

As the famous saying goes, “practice makes perfect!” Practicing out loud is the bare minimum way to prepare for a good presentation. To go above and beyond, practice your presentation in front of a mirror or a group of friends. To take this a step further, record yourself on camera and play it back to find your distracting gestures or filler words.

Presenting

Always make sure that your materials interface with your presenting space. While you are doing this, familiarize yourself with the space and what the room looks like. When it is your turn to presentation remember the presentation starts when you stand up not when your slides turn on. Stay composed and confident while walking to the stage.

  1. Ground yourself. Take a strong shoulder with stance.”Feel the force from the center of the earth!” -Mark Lewis
  2. Smile and thank. Lookout at your audience and reward them with a smile and thank them for their time.
  3. Introduce yourself without “up-speaking.” Use a lower tone at the end of your name. Believe it or not, this make you sound confident.
  4. Look for an “audience angel.” This is someone in the audience that is nodding along with you. By locking eye contact with this person it draws in other attention to the connection you have made. Therefore their attention focuses back to what you are saying. Not only does this trick aid to audience engagement, but it also make you, the speaker, feel more comfortable.
  5. End your presentation with “thank you.” Everyone’s time and attention is valuable.

“Learn the rules so you know how to break them!” -Mark Lewis. Now that you know how it should be done, change what you like. There is NO right way to present.

 

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