7 Steps to the perfect presentation

Most lectures at university are either badly prepared or boring or both. According to statistics whole 97% of the lectures are considered as improvement-worthy. But this does not have to be the case. You want your presentation to be an exciting experience? Then you should pay attention to these seven points when giving a presentation:

1. Allow sufficient time for the preparation of the unit

Sounds like the parental tenor from school days, but really makes sense. If you deal with your topic in time and prepare yourself, you can let the presentation come to you.

Presentations based on Wikipedia usually have the same effect on the audience and will not put you in the best light. In the end, only one thing helps: reading books in the library. Here are some useful hints for literature research.

Study your topic intensively and form your own opinion. You can then incorporate this into your presentation with sensible arguments. It is best to read through the finished paper aloud once or twice at home, so you get a routine with the articulation and don’t get confused so often when it gets serious.

2. Structure of a presentation in the study

As learned in German class, the typical presentation consists of Introduction, Main part and conclusion.

The introduction should arouse the interest of your audience for the topic. It is always a good idea to cite a quote, an anecdote or to point out a current event that is related to the topic being discussed. Then you briefly introduce your topic and your outline. During the presentation, you should always be able to recognize a common thread. Then you explain the methods used and point out the literature used.

In Main part you then lay out the research on your topic and present different positions. Here you should pay attention to a precise and non-judgmental form. Concentrate on important points and do not bore your audience with too much material.

For longer presentations, it is important to regularly give your fellow students "signposts". So it is best to refer to the outline every now and then and to announce each new point. Your own research results and your personal evaluation of the topic form the end of the main part. What results have you come up with yourself and how do you evaluate them with regard to the research theories already presented??

At Conclusion you briefly summarize the core ideas of your topic and point out the importance for the listener. Then you lead into the discussion. Formulate your question based on the objective of the topic. A simple: "Are there any questions??"This often happens, but does not really encourage lively participation in the discussion.

The interaction with your audience is important. Nothing makes a presentation more lively than involving your fellow students. You can introduce a new topic with a general question of opinion, or conclude an aspect that has just been discussed.

You can introduce a topic with a question, a picture or a thesis and ask your audience for their opinion or opinion. Ask for interpretation. Then you tie in with the statements and introduce the next topic.

Important when giving a presentation: It is not always true that "the more the merrier".
If you know your topic in detail, this is very good in itself. During your presentation, however, you should limit yourself to the essentials and not ramble on too much. Always keep your thread in mind and cover the topics that are really relevant. The average attention span of an adult is only about 20 minutes. A good presentation should therefore summarize all the important aspects briefly and understandably.

3. Handout for a presentation

You are ready with the preparation and want to make the handouts? Then make sure that you only list important core ideas and theses on the topic and leave enough space for your fellow students to make their own notes. A long text quickly leads to disinterest. In addition to the details of the seminar, lecturer, topic and speaker, a handout should also contain a list of the literature and sources used.

4. Visualization of the presentation

Whether PowerPoint presentations or classic slides: they help your audience to visualize your information and should therefore be included in every presentation. Because we generally forget pictures less often than words.

In general, however, the following applies to slides and presentations: brevity is the key, d.h. The more information you put into your slides, the less meaningful they become. So: short texts and let the pictures speak instead of the words.

How to create charts, when to use them and how to best combine presentation, gestures and images is explained in detail in our article with tips for PowerPoint presentations.

Examples also illustrate and support your presentation. They also show that you really understand what you are talking about. Try to integrate an example into the presentation every now and then and you will notice how the attention of your audience increases again.

5. The personality decides on the success of the presentation

The speaker should stimulate the senses of the audience, d.h. You must try to make your fellow students empathize with your topic. However, this only works if you show enthusiasm for your topic. No one remembers dull mountains of facts.

But if you cleverly combine them with a story that illustrates the figures, you will increase the interest of your audience. You should also make sure to keep your own notes as short as possible, because ready-written sentences on your own note encourage you to read them off. In general: speak as freely, slowly and clearly as possible and look directly at the audience instead of constantly hanging your nose on the cue sheet.

6. The right body language when giving presentations

Standing up straight not only ensures a healthy posture, but also makes you look more confident. In addition you should avoid hectic laughter and gesticulating.

You have stage fright? Don’t worry, it’s okay and most people feel that way. But try not to appear too nervous, because that will also make your listeners feel insecure. Tips against nervousness: It is best to drink some cold water (non-carbonated) before your presentation!) and take a few deep breaths.

7. Use humor to gain the interest of the audience for your presentation topic

Laughter is healthy and gives you the opportunity to ease the tense mood in the seminar room. Humor creates a more pleasant atmosphere and your fellow students will be much more willing to listen to you. Of course, it should also not degenerate into hysterical fits of giggles. The most sympathetic humor is still spontaneous. But it’s also not bad if you already think at home about which gag might go down well.

Conclusion: Presentations are always a challenge, but once you know how things work, there’s not much that can go wrong.

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