Skills are not inborn abilities infect they are learned through knowledge and practice. Communication is the key to convey an idea to another person. Good communication skills are important for people belonging to all fields of life including students.
In this digital media age, giving a presentation is a mandatory part of the student’s curriculum. Presentations are all about communicating with the audience in a clear cut confident tone.
Not every student can deliver an idea with ease; most of them feel nervous and even break out in a cold sweat at the mention of due course presentation. This presentation drill is very tough and nerve-racking for the ones who are used to cramming books.
The purpose of this article is to guide all those students who are not born with eloquence in nailing their presentations to perfection.
1. Embrace Your Audience
Your audience is just another group of normal students like you. Don’t see them as Aliens. They are not your enemies who would like to see you fail miserably. Consider them as passionate human beings who want to see you pinning your presentation successfully.
Keep in mind that they are present in the arena to learn from you. They are your supporters; your well-wishers. Each one of them will have the opportunity to demonstrate their presentation skills as well, therefore they can relate to your nerves and your position right now.
You will seem disrespectful towards your fellow students if while delivering your content you are constantly looking at your shoes, computer display or surroundings.
The best way to connect with the audience on a human level is to look polite and friendly. Make eye contact with them so that they know that you are aware of their presence and this all effort is meant for their learning experience.
2. Practice Practice and Practice!
It is said that “Practice makes a man perfect”. We declare that practice definitely makes a presentation perfect. It is not a bad idea for a student to stay up the late night before the presentation day and practice his piece of delivery multiple times.
The best tip would be to write down a script so that when it is time to present your work you have a certain clue about the words and terms that go well with your presentation.
If a student can have the opportunity to practice his presentation in the arena where actual presentation is going to happen then he should absolutely avail this opportunity and make the most of it.
The more he adjusts himself with the site environment and the technology used for display, the more comfortable he will be while showing his presentation skills on an actual day. He can ask his close friends to sit as an audience and give him constant feedback during the practice session.
Try to deliver your script in front of the mirror while making eye contact with yourself in a loud voice. It is important to state here that there is a huge difference in practicing and memorizing a presentation.
A student who has memorized it seems quite mechanical while communicating in front of an audience.
3. Speed Pacing Relevant Content
A good presentation contains all the vital information in concise bullet points. What to include and what to exclude from the relevant information is an important matter when it comes to demonstrating your presentation skills.
It is advisable for a student to read all the related material in great detail but only include those arguments in the presentation which he has understood completely. There is no harm in omitting some useful information if you are not feeling confident about it.
Learn the tactic of speed pacing. You would not like to give an impression of rambling the content neither would you like to see people showing a lack of interest because of your sluggish pace. Keep the time limit in mind and it is better to decide beforehand about time distribution of each portion.
It is recommended to communicate at the pace lesser than your normal talking pace. Take a moment or two to have pauses in between your delivery so that your audience will have enough time to absorb all the information.
4. Engage and Entertain the Audience
Presentations should not look like a one-way proposition. Engage the audience by asking questions in between the presentation and by giving them the opportunity to ask questions in return as well.
This will boost the audience interest and even you will appear as a confident speaker. You all will be part of one big conversation and both parties will feel relatable at a human level.
Entertain your audience by placing light-hearted relevant jokes within your presentation. This will make them more interested in your content and will relieve some of your pressure as well.
Keep a check on your humor level because the purpose of the presentation is to deliver information not to perform a standup routine. One can run down his presentation script to a friend to make sure that his speech proves the metal of his presentation skills does not do the opposite.
5. Calm Your Nerves
It is natural for a student to have an anxiety disorder right before his presentation turn. Don’t panic, take a deep breath and calm your nerves before stepping on to the presentation stage. The drill is only for a couple of minutes, not for the lifetime.
If you are going to fear the worst outcome of your presentation; then it surely will occur. Have faith in the power of optimism because good thinking brings good things towards you.
Be hopeful about your presentation act on the big day and you will see how things will go according to your wish on the very day. Give a confident calm look and your audience will feel your positive vibe through your words and demeanor.
The presentation skill of a student has no less importance than of a content that is being presented. Your posture, your smile and your neutral face can make a huge difference in making a connection with your audience.
Don’t wish for a fairy to improve your presentation skills with her magic wand. You can attain great presentation skills only by practicing content in a tone that does not seem flat or dull to the fellow audience. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you are consistent in taking out time for presentation practice from your busy schedule.