Showing posts with label oral presentations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oral presentations. Show all posts

15 May 2017

Presentation skills: You need them, and the Library can help!

Whether you're an international or domestic student, speaking in front of your class can be daunting! If you need a bit of help, the Library is here for you, says subject librarian Romany Manuell.

Presentation skills: useful for work and life

Some people just love performing in front of a group! For others, delivering an oral presentation can be anxiety-provoking. Firstly, it can help to remember why you're being asked to deliver an oral presentation. Your lecturers and tutors are not trying to make you feel stressed out. It's all about helping you prepare for life outside the university. You'll probably be asked to give presentations to colleagues and peers in the workforce (if you haven’t already done so!). Why not start developing your employability skills now?

Watch and learn (and read)

The Library has plenty of self-help resources to help you improve your public speaking skills. A big favourite is the video tutorial platform (search for “presentation skills”). Set a time limit for yourself when venturing onto Lynda, or you might find it becomes an easy way to procrastinate.

 If you have more time (and you’re absolutely sure you’re not procrastinating… be honest, now!) why not peruse the Library’s extensive collection of books on the topic. In Search, try “public speaking” or “presentation skills” as keywords.

Plan, prepare, practise and present

If you’re just beginning to research for your oral presentation, this downloadable guide developed by the Library will point you in the right direction. It’s all about The Four Ps! If you’ve already finished your plan, why not use the dot points on this previous library blog post as a checklist to make sure you’re ready to go.

If you are still feeling anxious, you’re not alone! Monash University’s mindfulness programs and resources can really help. Or, perhaps it’s your English that’s giving you nerves? Check out what English Connect has to offer. Finally, don’t forget that Learning Skills Advisers are available at the Library’s drop-in sessions, whether you want tips and tricks, or just a quick run-through of your presentation. Good luck!

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19 September 2016

Tips and tricks for a better presentation

Oral presentations come in all shapes and sizes, but the basic skills to make a good one are all the same. Librarian Clinton Bell has all the strategies you need to overcome the public speaking nerves and make your presentation stand out from the rest...

Photo: nathan Rupert, 2010 - Flickr *
Most university courses include at least one oral presentation as part of the assessment, and public speaking is also an important career skill. Whether it’s making a pitch at a meeting, educating clients, or presenting your paper at a conference, a lot of jobs involve public speaking.

So how can you make better presentations? There are two elements to a good presentation: what you say and how you say it. People sometimes assume that it’s the content of a presentation that matters the most, but if you really want to deliver a good presentation, both aspects are equally important.

What you say

  • Do your research. If you’re going to mention facts or statistics, make sure to get them right, and make a note of the source you got them from.
  • Use appropriate content for your presentation’s purpose. For example, if you’re pitching a project to management, they probably care more about cost and outcomes than technical details.
  • Adjust your language to your audience. People from outside your field may not understand technical terms and jargon, while those from different backgrounds might not understand slang, colloquialisms, references to books or movies, etc.
  • Be concise. If you take too long to get to the point, you’ll lose the audience’s attention.
  • Keep presentation slides clear and simple. Use normal fonts and colours, and make sure all the text is large enough to be read from the back row.

How you say it

  • Speak clearly and loudly enough for everyone to hear. Take the size of the room into account and use a microphone if one is available. Think about pace as well as enunciation - if you’re nervous you may speak faster than normal, which can make it hard for the audience to understand.
  • Look and sound engaged. If you don’t seem interested in what you’re saying, your audience won’t be either. Be particularly careful if you’re reading from your notes - it’s very easy to fall into a monotone.
  • Pause for emphasis after making an important point. This gives your audience a moment to think about what you just said.
  • Act confident, even if you don’t feel confident. Try to avoid nervous body language like wringing your hands or constantly shifting side-to-side.
  • Look at your audience and make eye contact. Don’t turn your back on the audience to read your own PowerPoint slides.

For more tips on how to make a great presentation, check out our quick guide to oral presentations or try the video guides, a video training service which Monash students can access for free through the library. Search for “public speaking” or “presentations” and you should find several useful courses.

* Image credit:Nathan Rupert 2010
Creative Commons licence 2.0

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2 May 2016

Surviving your oral presentation

Public speaking is an important skill, but for some people it can be nerve-racking.  Fortunately there are resources and programs to help you, says Clinton Bell.

At least one of your courses will likely include oral presentations as part of the assessment, and for good reason. Whether it’s presenting at a meeting, making a pitch to a grant committee, or educating clients, a lot of careers involve public speaking. Getting some practice in while you’re at uni can really help your job prospects!

Unfortunately, oral presentations can also be pretty stressful. It’s normal to feel a little nervous when giving a presentation - even people who perform for a living sometimes feel nervous before getting on stage. However, if you find yourself getting so anxious it becomes a problem, or you just want to feel less nervous, there are ways to help yourself cope.

One of the best things you can do is practise your presentation before you have to deliver it. This helps you get the wording down, but it also makes giving the presentation feel more familiar, so you’re less likely to get the jitters on the day. Try practising in front of your friends or family to get used to having an audience. If you need a place to do it, you can book one of the group discussion rooms in the library.

When you’re getting ready to present, focus on breathing deeply and evenly, and try to act confident, even if you’re not. Starting the presentation is often the most nerve-racking part, so if you can put on a brave face long enough to get through that you should be fine.

There are also programs and resources that can help you. You can find several video guides to how make a great presentation on, a video training service which Monash students can access for free through the Library. Search for “public speaking” or “presentations” and you should find several useful courses.

If you’re in a hurry the Library has prepared a quick study guide to oral presentations. If you have a bit more time, we have quite a few books about public speaking and presentations. You can also come see one of our learning skills advisers at a drop-in session - they give advice on presentations as well, not just essays, and no appointment is needed.

If you don’t feel confident about your spoken English, try one of the English Connect programs. English Connect is free and run by specially trained students, and there are several options available from short one-to-one sessions (no booking required) to weekly workshops.

With a bit of preparation and the right advice, you don’t have to be afraid of oral presentations - so take advantage of the resources on offer, then get up there and give it a go!

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4 May 2015

Tips and tricks for oral presentations

Are you about to give your first presentation at uni or did you just finish giving one? Feeling a bit nervous is perfectly normal. Some tips in this article may help you... by Anita Dewi 

Image: Pixabay
Oral presentations can be successful if you have a good plan, structure, preparation and, obviously, content. Experts say that an oral presentation is a multi-modal approach to communicating ideas. This means that, in addition to using words, you also need to make the best use of eye contact, gestures, pauses, and voice tones.

Content is king
If not determined by your lecturer or tutor, you will first need to choose a topic. If this is the case, choose a topic that interests you. You should then do some research into the topic, so that you have a good general idea about it. Once you’ve done this research, narrow down your topic so that the presentation is more focused.

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
Making sure that you know your content and giving yourself plenty of practice enable you to be more confident and not resort to reading from your slides. To avoid reading, focus on key words and ideas, and place them in short bullet points or outline format. 

When you practise your presentation, don’t forget to time it so that you get a sense of how long you can go for ‘the real show’ in class. If in any case you run out of time, quickly summarise the points that you haven’t covered and focus only on the main points.

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!

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