Content is king
The structure of a presentation is very much similar to that of essays and reports. You will need an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction includes a statement of the topic, a definition of terms and/or jargons, and an outline of the talk. In the body you can then develop the topic, put forward your arguments, and support your arguments with evidence. Finally, don’t forget to sum up in a conclusion and leave a good impression at the end of your presentation.
Visual aids are also useful in oral presentations. Take time to think about key factors in deciding on visual aids as they play a key role in grabbing the audience’s attention. These key factors include the number of slides (not too many, please! We have all heard about death by Powerpoint.), highlights of key words, colours used in the slides, size and type of fonts and bullet points in use, and other illustrations such as graphs, charts, figures, and diagrams.
Practise, practise, practise
Finally, if you still feel nervous on the day of your presentation, there are some tips that have proved useful for many people:
1. Take at least three deep breaths.
2. Pretend that you are confident (even if you’re really not feeling so!).
3. Speak slowly.
4. Focus on your arguments and the content of your presentation.
As they say when one goes on stage, break a leg!