How a student can make a great presentation

PowerPoint presentation for college is not just a set of slides. A presentation is the process of presenting your ideas to others. In essence, it is a presentation that is meant to persuade. In what exactly - whether you did your internship, whether your diploma is worthy of an excellent grade, how you handled your essay - is not that important. What matters is that presentation skill is not an innate talent, but a skill that anyone can develop.

In this article, we'll tell you how to make a presentation really cool: what rules will help when preparing a presentation, what it has to do with Storytelling and, so and so, how to create cool slides (but no hotkeys or function descriptions).

Looking for meaning

The first thing you need to decide is what you are making your presentation for. A lot depends on the answer to this question. We understand that the most common answer would be something like this: "I just need to turn in this work quickly so they can get off my back!" But even in such a situation, you are at an advantage: you have the opportunity to practice the skill of presenting your (or someone else's) ideas.

So, why are you giving your presentation? And what type of presentation are you preparing? Is it a small talk at a seminar or a presentation in front of a hundred students at a lecture? Maybe you are already preparing to defend your thesis or dissertation? Or you need to report on the results of the internship? Take these questions seriously, do not skip this stage. A lot depends on the answer to them: the time of your speech, types of slides, and the tone of your speech. We can't answer these questions for you, so don't skip this preliminary step.

The main principles of a great presentation

You don't need to make up complicated theories to create a good presentation. Just keep these three elements in mind:

  • Idea
  • Conflict
  • Unity

What is your main idea?

It's a good idea to start your presentation by answering this question. If you don't have an idea, you have nothing to say. We assume that you are not just interested in how to make a great presentation. You don't want to just mutter some text for a tick and run away from the stage. People tend to be energized by the speaker, so you need to show them your passion. This doesn't sound very convincing, especially if your talk involves complex mathematical equations. But you came to some conclusion while you were working on it, and you want to communicate that conclusion to the audience. Why is it so important? Does it change the accepted system of concepts in science? Or does it create a connection between previously unrelated phenomena and processes? Answer yourself these questions, and you'll see what your message is.

Conflict in Presentation

People love drama, and so do your audience (especially educators who have watched hundreds of tedious and boring presentations). The best way to demonstrate your idea is to compare it to others. That's what conflict is for. Talk about thoughts and concepts that contradict yours. Don't be afraid to consider polar opinions. If there are theories in your field that contradict yours, professors or students probably know about them and will ask about them at the end of the presentation anyway. Play ahead of the curve!

Unity

Your slides and your story should form a cohesive whole. The main idea and the conflict should be connected so that no one can reproduce your presentation by removing any part of it. To do this, your presentation must have structure and there must be no unnecessary parts. Remember: any information you give the audience serves the purpose of the presentation, otherwise it is not needed.

Storytelling in Presentation

Now let's talk about how storytelling can improve your presentation. You've definitely heard that buzzword. Only a lazy blogger doesn't use this method to get subscribers interested in their Instagram and Facebook posts. But the skill of storytelling also comes in handy when presenting your educational project.

A presentation needs a story to bring all the parts of your presentation together in harmony and to adhere to the principle of unity. This does not mean that instead of statistical data, you should tell your teachers stories. Just find a unifying theme and build your presentation around it.

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