Holding Presentations:Your personal Tips and Tricks Please

  1. I have always had a problem holding presentations- I don't quite know why. I have good grades, am usually confident and speak up in class etc. but as soon as it comes to holding a presentation, I become extremely insecure and forget nearly everything I prepared. Now that I am a postgraduate student and have to hold presentations in every single class I feel like I should really overcome this problem.:shame:

    I think this will make a very interesting threat as a lot of my friends stuggle with this, too.

    So could you please be so kind to share your personal tips and tricks for holding presentations with us since a lot of you probably have to hold them quite often and I always admire people that hold great presentations!:yes:

    Thanks in advance- I really appreciate it!:flowers:
  2. Sometimes, the only way to overcome a fear is to do it, and do it, and do it. I used to train and trust me, the first few times I was stuttering, and clammy, and awkward, but after a week it was cake. Of course, now, I don't train so I'm not in the spotlight much more and presentations still make me nervous, but I try to take a proactive approach and tell myself that this is my time to shine, and that all these people will be left impressed with me. Don't wait til the end to present. Ask to go first, that way in your head you've taken that step to show you're not scared. It's kind of tricking yourself in a way, but it works for me. Plus, I don't rack myself with nerves waiting for my turn. Aside from that, be prepared. Know your stuff and practice in the mirror or in front of friends. That way you can find spots that are worded a bit funny and smooth them out prior to your presentation day.
    Good luck!
  3. i do a lot of presentations, i love them...i love giving speeches, presenting my research, etc.

    first of all, outline what you are going to talk about. everything has to flow well and relate back to a central argument. this argument (think thesis statement) must be reiterated throughout your presentation so the audience can say "her point was X"

    next, memories ALL of your information. do NOT read off your ppt. slide. NEVER. EVER. the only time you should look at your ppt is to point out a specific thing (like a specific bond in a chemical structure, a specific phrase, a term) and use a laser pointer.

    speak SLOWLY and annunciate...omg please annunciate if you have an accent so the audience doesnt ever take the time to think 'was that this word or that'.

    practice practice practice. if you can practice in front of a group of people that is better because then you wont rush through your material.
  4. My dad always taught me to practice in front of a mirror. A full length is best. It really helped me, maybe you can try it!
  5. speaking in front of a mirror doesnt help with the shock of presenting in front of real people...it does however, help you watch your facial expressions as you speak and hand gestures.
  6. I could use this thread too as I have to do a few huge presentations before I graduate.. I went to a few and was always told that I dont speak loud enuf or whatever.. but I always feel like im struggling to keep talking louder.

    Also, I feel pretty self confident in class and in other social experiences, but just for some reason presenting in front of people make me nuts.... and in terms of presenting my research, I know more than everyone else in the room, (other than my know it all teachers), but I still cant get over that fear.
  7. I think I should say

    1. Really know your stuff. If you are comfortable and familiar with the material, it shows.

    2. No long equations or sentences in slides. Lots of pictures, animations.

    3. Don't present all the information in your slide at once. Powerpoint etc let you build up your slide layer by layer, so use that to yor advantage. Else if all your information is thrown at your audience at once it overwhelms them.

    4. Don't use lots and lots of colors. Have a title for each slide, and underline it in a color like maroon or dark blue if you are not using a pre-formatted slide.

    5. Go slow. Try to really say what you know with words, not try to get in how much you read, or what long equations you know.

    I go for lots of conferences (and give talks) so these are the points I try to follow - and some of which were told me by my graduate advisor!
  8. Thank you so much for your responses!:yes: You guys are fabulous!:heart:

    I will try to practice in front of the mirror before my next presentation, speak slowly (one thing I often forget ;)) and learn the whole presentation by heart perfectly.I guess its also important to keep in mind that a lot of people in my audience feel the same way about presentations and are just 'normal' people, too:yes:
  9. I'd say the best thing is to know your material in and out, like you could just talk about it in conversation.
    Good luck!!
  10. Try to speak in a conversational tone, not a "speechy" tone. You will lose people as soon as you start to drone.

    Use "you-oriented" speech. I.e., "I know that many of you here have experience with this blah-de-blah. In your own projects, you may have found that blah blah blah." It will engage your audience more.

    Don't expect yourself to be a stellar presenter right off the bat. Be realistic and don't add to your own anxiety by expecting perfection. Public speakers become better with age and experience.

    Practice, practice, practice! Practice on your SO, your friends, anyone!

    ETA: Personally, I feel that trying to memorize an entire presentation makes things harder on you and the delivery comes out less naturally than if you were simply speaking conversationally while using note cards (or PP slides) as cues. Don't read directly off note cards, but you may want to jot down a few bulleted key points that you don't want to forget.
  11. the problem with the 'you-orientated' speech is its not only highly unprofessional, but it also poses a problem: assumption. but, this really depends on your audience and the type of presentation you are giving. if its your own research, then a you-orientated speech is a BIG NO NO, but if its just a college type presentation then its more acceptable (well not IMO but professors dont dock you down too much at my univ)
  12. Yeah, I would not recommend a you-oriented speech. I usually assume that my audience is a bunch of people who know nothing about my work. How do I make them interested in it, and how do I keep their interest are always in my head when I write up presentations.
  13. Yes, great tips! A few more to think about...

    1. SLOW DOWN. You will have adrenaline and may be inclined to rush.

    2. Avoid 'death by powerpoint,' meaning too many slides. Some say any more than 10 and people start to lose focus. Keep it simple.

    3. Know your audience. Are you speaking to students, professors, executives, experts in the field you are speaking about or novices? Make sure you cater to everyone as best you can.

    4. Remember the WIIFM factor: everyone who is listening wants to know "what's in it for me?"

    5. Practice, especially if you have a Q&A at the end. Have a friend or colleague give you critique ahead of time and try to anticipate questions so you are better prepared to answer them.
  14. If you feel nervous, just pretend that there was a terrible fire, and everyone in your audience was trapped, but you single-handedly and courageously saved every one of them...

    It really works, try it!
  15. Anticipate questions and practice saying "I don't know" or at least deflecting the questions in a professional manner to those that do. Sometimes you are not required to have all the answers (this is typical with my type of presentations).

    video tape yourself speaking. I took a class last month where it was discovered that I LOVE the ERM and Uhhh phrases. lol. Other than that they loved me.. (I tell myself this all the time. :p )