Written by Alaa (aka Lols)
Hello dearest of Cairenes! Today, I’ll be talking to you about how to give a stunning and almost perfect presentation. This semester, all my courses involved working on a paper and presenting it to the class, so I picked up more than a few important pointers on how to deliver a presentation that will surely let your professor give you that A+.
Here are a few pointers that I think can help you on how to prepare for your presentation:
• Read the material very carefully. You have to study & know it like the back of your hands. Take notes, try and understand the juice of the subject and clarify what needs to be clarified.
• The Internet is not just for cat videos (although they’re pretty funny). Always check the web for extra information that could definitely help you along with your subject. Definitions, terminologies, mathematical clarifications…etc.; it’s all out there.
• Seek out your professor’s help if things get tough. The more you ask, the more they’ll see that you’re focusing on your work and doing your best.
• The PowerPoint slides are not meant to be text books. Common misconception; EVERYTHING one reads or knows is put on the slides. WRONG! Your slides should only contain brief points that you’ll clarify with your own words (by brief, I don’t mean three to four sentences a point!)
• Animations are misunderstood. They’re tricky in terms of when and how to use. I tend to use the simple ones, to keep the audience focused however, using animations tends to differ according to the subject you’re presenting and what you need to emphasize while presenting.
• The design of your slides is as important as the content. While using a plain white design can make things clearer, it can also give a sense of plainness & boredom. The font used, the font color (discussed in the next point), the background patterns; they’re all elements that will make or break your presentation.
• The colors of the font used can be your new best friends or your worst enemies. There are a few colors that are a “must-avoid-by-all-costs” in your slides: red (and its derivatives), yellow, phosphoric colors (green, blue…etc.) and orange. They hurt the eyes of the audience and will distract them in a hurtful way from your presentation. If you want to add color to your slides, I suggest going for the deeper shades of color such as violet and dark blue.
• Tend to always have the outline of your presentation presented in between topics. Not a must but highly recommended. With every topic you pass, remind your audience what you discussed and what’s next that way, you’ll ensure maximum attention and they won’t get lost.
• Graphs and tables SHOULD NOT be squeezed in the slides. I suggest putting the related text in one slide and the graph and table in a separate slide, so that they become clear and obvious to the audience.
• Go through your slides over and over several times; make sure everything is in order and in sync.
I hope you found these few pointers helpful. Stay tuned for next month’s “College Life” on how to properly present and talk (because that’s basically the whole point of presentations).
Let us know in the comment section below if you have other approaches to preparing for your presentation or send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.