Study Skills

Study Skills

Posted by Safe In4 Hub

Practical hints for giving a presentation

General points

1. Timekeeping is vital and is the responsibility of the presenters.

2. Rehearse your seminar; it is very easy to misjudge timing unless you have had a full scale rehearsal.

3. Think about the most appropriate format for your presentation.For example: a debate, a conversation, a shared 'lecture'.

Maintaining interest

1. Avoid simply reading out an essay. You may well rely on a script but remember one task is to maintain the interest of the audience. Your own experience will tell you that listening to someone reading for eight minutes is not very exciting.

2. Vary the tone of your voice.

3. Avoid speaking too quickly.

4. Maintain eye contact with people in all parts of the room.

5. Smile.

6. Be mobile if not too nervous; if stationary do not slouch or lean on the wall or table.

7. Avoid doing things which distract the audience, e.g. chewing gum.

Use of audio-visual aids

1. Visual aids must be clear to all of the room. Check that the font size of any OHP is visible to all parts of the room. If using Word a font size of 16 pt or above is recommended.

2. OHPs are best used to display a few headings rather than the whole text of what you are going to say. Think of them as key points which you can use as prompts. Do not simply read the material off the OHP: supplement or explain what is written.

3. Sketches, cartoons, maps, diagrams are all good uses of the OHP; they also tend to hold interest better than text.

4. OHPs are best written in dark or black ink; only show the relevant section, gradually uncover as talk progresses; switch off projector when not in use.

5. Give plenty of notice if projector or cassette player etc. is required.


It is inevitable that you will be nervous but remember that everyone will be involved. Try to approach presentations as a team. You will obviously support your partner but also support others whilst they are giving their presentations: listen and signal that you are listening; do some preparatory reading so that you know what is going on and can join in the discussion.

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