To be successful in your studies, you not only have to be able to write academically, but also to present complex content orally in front of others. In many seminars, presentations are part of the normal course of events and often form the basis for the topic the following term paper. How to be in front of the lecturer or Caregiver and also to the other seminar participants sovereign appears, explains this text.
How to prepare a presentation?
Usually, the topics for presentations are already assigned at the beginning of the course. Until the actual date of the presentation, you will have time to read and prepare yourself extensively. You should use this time and not rush to the last minute for the Literature review still order books via interlibrary loan or Presentation tinker together (cf. Echterhoff/Neumann 2009: 83).
The University of Tubingen has published a helpful checklist for presentations, which includes all steps of preparation.
Fig. 1: Checklist of Bielefeld University
In advance, it is essential to go over the most important key data in a discussion with the course instructor. This includes not only the content and Outline also what the formal requirements are (cf. Rost 2018: 133): What is the time frame for the presentation? Do you have to write a handout, a thesis paper or a Create a Power Point presentation ? What technology is the seminar room equipped with?
How best to structure a presentation?
Once you have obtained the necessary literature and read into the topic, you begin to work out and structure the central points. In order to present a good overview of the topic in the paper, a logical structure with red thread important. In order to convey complex content in an understandable way and to show connections, one should also give examples in each case or work with comparisons (cf. Franck 2017: 185 and Rost 2018: 133).
Right at the beginning of the presentation, it is important to think about how to start with an interesting Introduction win over the audience. For example, you can use a meaningful quote as an introduction or pose a rhetorical question to the audience. In addition, all unfamiliar technical terms must be explained briefly in the introduction (as in a Glossary ), so that the rest of the presentation is understandable (cf. Echterhoff/Neumann 2009: 89).
At the end, in the Conclusion , you should end the presentation with a short summary or an outlook (cf. Bensberg 2014: 48). At this point, the speaker also gives the lecturer or the other seminar participants the opportunity to ask questions. Preparation is also necessary for this situation. This way, you can think about possible answers in advance (cf. ibid. 52).
This is what a suitable handout for the presentation looks like
Most lecturers expect you to prepare a handout in addition to the paper. On this handout all central statements of the lecture are summarized in key points. On the one hand, this serves to make it easier for the audience to follow the paper, and on the other hand, it gives them a written reminder – for example, when the content is tested in an exam at the end of the semester (cf. Bensberg 2014: 50 as well as Rost 2018: 134).
For the Formatting many colleges and universities have precise guidelines that you should follow (cf. Bensberg 2014: 50). From the University of Duisburg-Essen there is a sample online.
Fig. 2: Sample of the University of Duisburg-Essen
How a handout should look like should therefore be clarified beforehand – either by a short internet search or by asking the chair or lecturer directly. It is always important that the presentation is clearly laid out and easy to read.
The central component of a handout is the header, which contains the title of the course, the name of the seminar leader and the speaker, as well as the date. In total, the handout should not exceed two pages (cf. Bensberg 2014: 50). The content of the handout is similar to that of the presentation and summarizes the most important facts and statements in bullet points. Also indispensable is an index of sources and a Bibliography at the end (cf. Rost 2018: 134) as well as a counter-reading, which is needed here just as much as a Editing the bachelor thesis For a written paper.
At the time of the lecture, print out a sufficient number of handouts and bring them with you so that all seminar participants have one at hand. The copies should also be handed out shortly before the presentation and not only when you have already started. In this way, one avoids unnecessary rustling and distraction (cf. Franck 2017: 188).
What to watch out for when speaking in front of others?
If you are preparing a presentation, you should always put yourself in the position of the audience beforehand and ask yourself the questions: When do I follow attentively? When do I find it difficult? In order for people to enjoy listening, it is not only important what is said in the presentation, but above all how it is said. One should therefore always keep one’s audience in mind when speaking (cf. Bensberg 2014: 46).
In order to secure the attention and concentration of the others, it is important to speak loudly and clearly. On the other hand, the sentence structure is important, it should be short and understandable. With longer nested sentences, there is a high risk of getting lost and the audience will find it difficult to follow (cf. Bensberg 2014: 47).
In addition, one should always speak freely when presenting a paper. If you learn your formulations strictly by heart or even read them off, you look insecure. For the others, it is then also more difficult to concentrate on the content (cf. Echterhoff/Neumann 2009: 91). However, you should not leave everything to chance, but rehearse your presentation several times beforehand.
For this, it is recommended to read the paper aloud at least three to four times, preferably in front of a rehearsal audience of friends, family members, or roommates. This helps to recognize linguistic stumbling blocks and bumpy transitions. In addition, you can find out whether you actually keep to the given time limit and adjust your presentation if necessary (cf. Rost 2018: 135 as well as Franck 2017: 187).
Even if you don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of others, you can’t avoid presentations in your studies. But if you take enough time for preparation and familiarize yourself well with the topic, you can also convey this to your audience in a comprehensible way using the tips mentioned above. This is how you lose your insecurity and leave a confident impression. At the latest defense of the work one is then already a professional in free speech.
Bensberg, Gabriele (2014): Your way to exam success. Fearless through studies: selection procedures, papers, exams, applications, Heidelberg.
Echterhoff, Gerald/Neumann, Birgit (2009): Project and time management. Strategies for a successful study, 4. Aufl. Stuttgart.
Franck, Norbert (2017)Handbook of scientific work. What you need to know and be able to do for successful studies. 3. Aufl. Paderborn.
Rost, Friedrich (2018): study and work techniques for the study, 8. Aufl. Wiesbaden.