How to do presentations!

♥ By someone who sucks at them, to people who suck at them. Hope this was somewhat helpful! ♥

Story time, last year I had a huge oral presentation coming up, it was going to be graded really strictly, and I was to do it all by myself, so I was really nervous. A few days before I was to present mine, our class went to visit an upper secondary school, and the English class at the school did some presentations that day and we were part of the audience. So they were upper secondary students, 2-3 years older me, and thing is, their presentations weren’t flawless. They were kind of like the presentations my class did. And I thought, why am I trying so hard to make mine perfect, when these people are older than me and theirs isn’t? So I did my best, but didn’t try to make it perfect because nothing it. And it went well. You just gotta relax.


At university I learnt how proper preparation and rehearsal can make doing presentations a lot easier, they don’t need to be a big deal! I just wish my teenage self knew this…I can’t tell you how many projects I did last minute because I was nervous and didn’t want to think about presenting. 

I’m back with another masterpost! This one was a request, so I’m really happy I had the time to do it! As with other tips, use common sense when applying these. This list is just what I’ve learned from giving and doing presentations. As another note, this is not a post of advice about speeches. Speeches are typically focused (in classes) on your writing of the speech itself, and it’s delivery; it’s much more about the spoken content and organization than a presentation, so keep that in mind. (Also, I apologize for any typos. My computer is really giving me issues right now.)

Know the Goal

  • Are you presenting the information you have to your audience in order to inform them about something, or persuade them to do/think something?
  • If it’s not in the assignment, don’t persuade. This happens a lot; people all of a sudden start lecturing the audience on why something is bad for you in an informative presentation.
  • It’s definitely okay to show the pros of something, but unless you’re attempting to persuade, you should typically show the bad side, too…
  • …unless your purpose is to inform people about the good in something. There can be a fine line between informing and persuading in that case, so it may be best to talk to your instructor about what the assignment calls for. 

Be Formal and Prepared

  • Don’t slouch up to the front of the room and start speaking somewhere random.
  • Have a good introduction. It should include something to get the audience’s attention. Make them want to hear more. This attention-getter can be a quote, story, statistic, etc.
  • Following your attention-getter, introduce yourself and your topic, then carry on with your presentation.
  • Use notecards to guide you, but don’t have things planned out word for word; write key words only on your notecards. Only use full sentences on the cards if you’re quoting a source and you need to say something word for word.
  • Practice the presentation multiple times before you give it!
  • When presenting, take it seriously. After sitting through a ton of other presentations, it can be tough, but appearing prepared and ready to speak knowledgeably will really make a difference.
  • Be sure you have met all the requirements for the assignment! Turn in everything you need to turn in with the presentation on time.
  • If you’re using a powerpoint, save it on a USB flash drive, unless you’re told to do something else. It can be a waste of time when every student has to log onto their email and search through a hundred files to find the correct powerpoint. It happens, but it may help you appear extra prepared if you have minimal set-up time.

Power Points

  • Stick with simple, readable fonts. Use a minimum font size of 24px. I usually use 30px or larger in case people have trouble seeing from the back of the room.
  • Use colors that contrast clearly with the background. White on dark blue or black words well, as does black on white.
  • If you insert photos, make sure they’re sized appropriately. If it’s a small image, it won’t look good stretched out to fit on the screen, and grainy images don’t always have much value to them (because you audience can barely tell what they’re supposed to be looking at)!
  • Don’t worry about using fancy animations!
  • Think about what you would like a simple powerpoint to look if you were in the audience. What would make it easiest for you to follow along and understand the information?
  • Don’t use full sentences. Use bullet points to point out key phrases. Instead of saying on a slide: Disney World is lots of fun because it’s warm there, and it had good food, you can meet tons of characters an the rides are amazing…
  • Say: Disney World  -warm weather  -good food  -character greetings
  • (with Disney World being the title at top, and the points beside pullets or arrows)
  • Your powerpoint should summarize the content you’ll be speaking about. Since you’re talking at the same time, extra words in the powerpoint can distract a reader instead of directing their attention to the important bits of your speaking.


  • Almost everyone gets nervous, you aren’t alone!
  • Remember everyone in your class has to give a presentation, too. You’re all in the situation together, and it’s probably just as awful for them as it may be for you.
  • Being well-prepared really helps; most of nerves comes from self doubt!
  • Remind yourself that your presentation will be over in a few minutes, and you’ll be glad you did it.
  • If it doesn’t go well, use it to learn for the next time you have to give a presentation.
  • Don’t let the people that go before you get to you. You will be just as good as them! Most people in the audience don’t compare presentations as much as you may think, either, especially since every student’s topic is so unique from another’s.
  • If you’re worried about other students, know that the instructor wants you to do well. If you make an error, just keep going, and do your best. It’s most likely not a big deal, it just feels like it when you’re up there alone. Your instructor has probably gone through this assignment dozens of times with groups of students, and if you’re prepared, they can tell! Being prepared is half the battle!

Good luck on your presentations!

My other masterposts:
How to Earn Higher Grades
Setting Study Goals
Top 10 Study Tips
Math Help (part one)
Tips for Finals

Surviving Big Presentations
  • Breathe slowly and deeply – steady breathing helps your body to relax and calms your mind
  • Have some water with you to sip in case your throat gets dry
  • Visualize holding hands with someone you trust
  • Try to enjoy what you are doing: stay relaxed and calm
  • Build your confidence by taking opportunities for smaller mini-presentations during the course
  • Perform it to a friend the day before - ask what you could improve on - plus it counts as practice!

anonymous asked:

I really need some advice right now. I have to talk in front of my class tomorrow and I get really nervous when doing things like that. Please tell me of some ways that I can not be so nervous or maybe calm myself down before I do it.

kk so I actually love presentations, because I am very good at bullshitting my way through them. I was not always this way! I used to hate them because I would get very self conscious. I went from getting 70s on presentations to 95+ hehe… and this doesn’t happen magically, it takes time (at least for me it did).

  • If you have an interesting slideshow, it is almost guaranteed that no one will actually look at you
  • If you fake confidence, you slowly excel at it.
    • My hands used to sweat and get cold during presentations because I would be so nervous… so I started using them! When I speak, I use gestures (don’t overdo it tho).
    • Also for a shaky voice, speak louder. I know it sounds like… “but my voice is shaky because I don’t speak loudly??” honestly if you try to progressively get louder you will become more confident with what you’re saying
  • Try to understand what you’re saying… don’t just memorize it!
    • You will speak rather than present, and listeners like that
    • You will also have less “uh” and “um” if you’re not struggling as hard to remember what you’re trying to say
  • Remember that others are presenting too… so they have no right to judge you because you’re all in this together!
    • I was always afraid that I’d fuck up and people would laugh at me but they usually only laugh when you make a joke or something
    • some people can be bitchy but just ignore them because in the grand scheme of things who cares about them?
  • You’re presenting for a grade… 
    • but you’ll do better if you present by imagining your teacher is trying to learn something from you as opposed to simply wanting to fail you
    • Have fun with it!! The more creative you are, the more you enjoy doing it… and the higher the grade, generally.
  • Use this as a way of improving! Don’t think that this presentation is like… the end of the world. Rather, use it as a small step where you can make mistakes so you can later improve 
  • Have fun!! 
    • Imagine your audience is filled with your fav characters…
    • or that your presentation holds the key to some huge plot twist…
    • Make videos if you can!!! Videos usually get you a higher grade and get the eyes away from you during the presentation… so make your presentation like, intro, video, explain and it will make it connect so well
    • Make your videos fun (if you’re in hs… I’m not sure about college)! like, we always played characters in ours, or made them trailers, or cheesy commercials

You got this babe

tip for all you kids giving presentations

resist the urge to end it with “so….yeah”

ideally you wanna have a nice, tight, closing line in there that’ll scream “presentation over!!” for you, but if you don’t have one/forget it, just nod and say “thank you” before leaving the front of the room. it’s way more clean and you level up in professionalism like ten times, plus it’ll make you stand out from the whole classroom full of kids who are inevitably gonna go with “so…yeah” 

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I never give clinical advice from the podium.

Dave Hingsburger, a public speaker on developmental disability issues primarily from the caregiver’s point of view (although he also uses a wheelchair from a non-developmental disability)

But seriously.

If you do any public speaking on disability of any kind, including developmental disabilities, including autism?

Memorize this.  Or memorize something that means the same thing, a phrase you’ve made your own, to suit your own needs.  I’d feel awkward saying “clinical” because I’m not a professional, so I’d say something like “I don’t give that kind of advice from the podium”, then I would be prepared to explain exactly why.

Because if you do this kind of public speaking long enough, someone will ask you to explain ”what to do about” something pertaining to their child, their coworker, their friend, their sibling, their student, whatever.

And it would not be remotely ethical for you to even try to answer such a question.  Even if you really thought you had an answer.  I’ve made this mistake more than once, but when i heard Dave say “I never give clinical advice from the podium,” everything clicked into place – this was not only something that I had trouble doing, it was also something I should not be doing or trying to do in the first place.

Why is it unethical to try and give such advice?   Well, you don’t even know the person.  Or if you do, it’s not your business to spread their business in front of an audience, no matter how large or small.  But generally you don’t know the person.  Even when you do know the person, advice can go drastically wrong.  Imagine how much more disastrously wrong it could go if all you know about this person is essentially a sound bite from someone who knows the person.  

And no matter how well they know or think they know the person, they could be giving  you inaccurate information or leaving the most important parts of the information out.  

This is not to mention whether the person themselves would want to be discussed among strangers, even anonymously.  I had a lot of respect for a mother who said that for the first time in years, she would be able to show pictures of her daughter in her presentations.  She’d done it for years without even thinking ofher daughter’s opinion.  Then she started asking her daughter every time, and making sure she knew it was always okay to say no.  Year after year, her daughter said no.  This year, her daughter said yes, and then, and only then, would she show her daughter’s photos again.

It’s a matter of safety, it’s a matter of dignity, it’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of knowing your limitations as a speaker.

And if you do like this idea, and you do have to use it during a presentation, give credit to Dave Hingsburger, the video it’s on is called “The Ethics of Touch”.  The video is too expensive for most people to afford (I received it as a gift), so you may never see the video unless you know a person or agency that has a copy.  But this quote is from that video, so if you’re going to give him credit, mention the name of the video the quote is from.

But seriously.  Hearing this made me a lot more comfortable in telling people ‘I can’t do this.”  Because I never felt right doing it.  I never even felt I could do it, which really nobody can.  But I had this weird idea that because  the question was asked, I was doing something wrong  by not answering.  Dave’s quote gave me permission not to do that.

Rejina Pyo AW15 (image from the website of Rejina Pyo’s PR - The Wolves). Grit’s Contributing Editor Adjoa Gharban writes about shows vs presentations  on Grit bloggg:  “The power of the presentation lies in its simplicity. The long queues and waits are over. The scramble to get a good seat, also over, but the best thing about this year’s presentations was the detail that you can see in the looks: accessories, beauty and designs. You don’t miss a thing.”