It is important that you plan your presentation properly. If you take time to prepare your speech, your changes of success are greatly increased. There is no need to be nervous if you are familiar with your topic. Remember, the quality of what comes out is direct proportional to the effort you put in. Nobody is perfect; your audience are your class mates and you shouldn’t be afraid of them.

Planning your presentation:

Formal presentations are structured - they have a beginning (introduction), a middle (body) and an end (conclusion/recommendation).

The beginning introduces the topic by:

  • telling the class what you’re talking about

The middle develops the topic by:

  • keeping to the topic
  • expanding your plan in a point-by-point sequence that is logical
  • using visual aids to help present more detailed information

    The end concludes the topic by:

  • stating the main points again
  • evaluating the importance of the information presented
  • formulating some conclusions/recommedation

You can talk about any seminar topic using this basic plan. However you can vary the components in each section depending on the nature of the topic to be presented. Seek advice from your lecturer if you are having difficulty in developing a plan.

Keep your presentation within the stipulated time limit. Make sure you do not exceed the predetermined minutes. A practice speech will help you to check the time for your presentation. It's often better to finish earlier; your audience will appreciate it.

Some hints:

·        Do not read your notes.
·        Have cue cards or overheads with summary points.
·        Overheads need to be well prepared and clearly laid out.
·        You should know the material you are discussing.
·        Plan your introduction and begin confidently.
·        Prepare the transition from one point to the next.
      (By introducing controversial statements you will get attention of the class.)
·        Make eye contact with individuals in the class.
·        Be sure you speak to the whole class, not just to one specific person.
·        If you use power point make sure that you are familiar with the program.
·        Time-manage your presentation.
·        Keep to your time schedule (remember 10 minutes are quickly passed).
·        If you are running out of time conclude on a strong positive note.

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