Making a presentation in front of hundreds of spectators for the first time without a thorough preparation can be a nightmare. Want to assert your presence yet too afraid to raise your voice in public? Tired of a conventional monologue presentation but have few ideas of how to make a change and rock the room? Flooded with too many ‘tips’ and ‘tricks’ yet still don’t know where to start at? Get what you need here: step-by-step tips on preparing and hosting your first presentation as a college student.
Know the content
Being the researcher of the information and stats or not, you are the one synthesizing and conveying them to the audience. This means first and foremost, you should put a lot of effort into preparing your knowledge deeply and extensively.,The audience can obviously tell if you haven’t had a reasonable preparation for the session, and don’t forget you may later get asked tons of questions from other students and professors, so thorough knowledge of the topic would be a valuable asset to your performance.
Fill your slides with keywords and images
As a spectator, you probably won’t want to be flooded with hundreds-of-word text with no clearly stated point and no visualized information. On the contrary, the most powerful presentations are the ones from which the audience can take out the most knowledge and understanding, not confusion. Therefore, as a presenter you should deliver the information in 3-4 bullet points for each slide and insert as many topic-related images as possible. A helpful tool to create these simple and easy-to-follow slides is AhaSlides, which is available for free!
Put on an outfit that brings you confidence
A trick to boost your sense of security and confidence is to get yourself a neat and tidy outfit which suits the occasion. Creased clothes mostly drag you into an embarrassing situation by shifting the attention of the audience away from your speech. A shirt and a pair of pants or knee-long skirt instead of something too fancy would be a rational choice for your first presentation at college.
Make sure of technical check-up (and back-up)
A last-minute IT trouble will undoubtedly cost you a long time to fix and most importantly, may drag your spirits down and bring you much anxiety. There was a time when it took me 10 minutes to fix the incompatible HDMI hook up during my 20-minute presentation. Needless to say, I was in huge frustration and couldn’t deliver my speech properly. Double check if your presentation software, computer and projector hook up work efficiently prior to the speech and make sure things are ready for you to shine!
Let your personality shine
Many people are commonly worried they are either over the top of energy, or not interesting enough during the speech to capture the attention and excitement of the audience. However, don’t overdo yourself by trying to impersonate any other figures. This is more visible to the audience than you think and may create a negative impression of you being affected. On the other hand, overwhelming yourself may strain your ability to deliver, your body language and the atmosphere as well. Everyone has got their own unique character and style, so relax and be you!
Be ready for improvisation
Excellent rehearsal doesn’t mean the game is over, and barely anyone follows 100% of their script in their actual speech. You may encounter awkward moments when the audience is low-spirited, or when a wrong slide has shown up on the screen etc. These are when you need to handle the situation and make some adjustments in your presentation. Intuition is the key principle to this concept, and presenting is not a monologue where things flow in one direction.
Deliver a natural body language
Wanna discover how your body language can reveal your true feelings, intentions and even your confidence? In short, you should gesture just like your typical body language in a regular conversation and foster an inclusive environment. Body language is a significant part of presentation skill set, and luckily it can easily be learned. Use it to support you in making a name for yourself at college through your upcoming presentation!
Interact with your audience
People love attention, and if they feel they are cared about and their opinions are valued, they get more engaged in the game and are willing to listen to you more. A good choice is to integrate some interactive sessions such as questions or minigames into your presentation. However, it can be challenging sometimes to get shy spectators or those far in the corner involved in the discussion. The good news is that you can now tackle this problem by using AhaSlides, a free software that makes presentation a fun and impactful dialogue between the speaker and the audience with live interactions. Definitely worth trying!
No more worries about how to shine bright and assert yourself in your first (and ever after) presentation at college now with AhaSlides. Wanna check it out?