Grace's Blog: Tips for presentations
At some point in our university careers we’re all going to have to do a presentation, it’s the unfortunate way of life. And while some of you may love getting up and sharing your ideas, I’m in the category who dreads seeing that a presentation is making up some of my assessment for a module.
Here are some tips that I find helpful:
- Be Clear. This is going to sound obvious but whenever you meet your group – whether they’re your best friends or people you’ve been grouped together with – be clear in what you expect from them, there’s no use having 3 people working hard and two barely pulling their weight. You’re usually graded as a group, so make sure everyone has worked to earn it.
- Be understanding. Sometimes when bigger groups are presenting lecturers will only expect a couple of group members to actually talk on the day, so be understanding to those people who do get incredibly shy when speaking, it might be more beneficial to let them take a behind the scenes role which could play to their strengths. However, if you do get nervous remember that some nerves are good, public speaking isn’t everyone’s strong suit but it is true that the more you do it, the better you get. Being able to do a presentation is a good skill for after you’ve graduated.
- Compromise. Everybody has different ideas of what makes a presentation good, so when you’re working as a group make sure that everyone has a chance to voice their opinions and are listened to. Again, you’ll be marked as a group, so your presentation should be something everyone is proud of.
- Create a group contract. This is just a word document created by the group which states what is expected of each other as members of the group. It could be things such as, ‘our group will meet once a week’ or ‘group members will each bring research and work to the meetings’. Simple things that can be referred to later on if there’s a conflict or if someone isn’t playing by the rules. Group contracts are especially good if you’re not friendly with who you’re working with, as you may not feel comfortable confronting someone over lack of effort.
Whether you thrive when public speaking or try to hide away in the corner, doing a presentation is something most of us will have to do at some point while at uni. If you’re nervous on the day just take a deep breath and remember how good it’ll feel once you’ve done it, practice does make perfect after all.
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