Egad, it’s presentation day. Uptight ties, flashcards, sweat, nerves, anxiety…and then there’s you.
You are laid back like a recliner chair. You are as cool as a cucumber.
Why? Because you came here!
Oh, but what does Blossom the Creativist know about giving the best presentation, you might ask? Not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty good at holding people’s attention (and not speaking like a stultifying, boring old hag). You could write a dissertation and present your hypothesis on the cure to cancer. No one’s going to care if you’re lulling everyone to sleep because you suck at talking in front of people.
So how do you make sure your project is A1 in the sense that you get an A, and you ARE number one?
How to Give the Best Presentation in Class
1.Do you research.
I credit much of my presentation skills to acting. I know theatre is looked down upon in many educational institutions–and in the minds of many African parents–but it helped link me to the importance of research. Before I transform myself into someone else, I research that person’s history, family, emotional patterns, etc.–and you should do just the same with presentations. With whatever topic you are presenting, you need to make sure you know your information like the back of your hand. Get out the directions sheet, blast some inspirational, motivational music, set the timer for 45 minutes (take a 15 minute break afterwards and resume), and find all the information asked upon in the direction sheet and rubric. Once you’ve completed a direction, cross it out.
TIP: I wouldn’t open Powerpoint/Prezi/whatever multi-media just yet. Take this time to open up a word document and a reliable web browser like Google Chrome and search for info. Use CTRL + LEFT/RIGHT to make these two windows side-by-side.
2.Create your presentation.
Now it’s time for the fun stuff. Establish a logical order and group the information accordingly on your powerpoint. You should have at MOST 5 bullets on a slide. This means:
- No full sentences
- No filler words (like You or I)
- No reading off the slides
btw, this is a perfect example of what your info on a slide should look like ^
Your teacher will not take you seriously (making it easier for him/her to grade) if you break these rules frequently!
TIP: No one said you can’t use pictures. Please DO! They can even act as memory devices later on.
TIP 2: Chill out with animations and fancy coloring for now. Just focus on getting the necessary information in.
3.Study your presentation.
Ever made a study guide? Creating a Powerpoint is like creating a study guide in the case that you create it, study it, and excel on the test ( i.e the best presentation). You should know your powerpoint like, once again, the back of your hand! Don’t rely on crutches like flashcards, because they withhold you from your full potential. How often do you see actors carrying scripts on stage? Try your best not to look at the powerpoint at all, since that would be the same as looking at the answers to the study guide.
4.Perform your presentation.
Whether it’s in front of a mirror, family, or your favorite teddy bears, you’re going to need to present your presentation to someone/something.
But I don’t want you to think of it as presenting, but rather PERFORMING.
Performing means you’re in a different world. It’s okay to project, it’s okay to be someone else, it’s okay to have all the attention on you. Heck, it’s okay to feel silly.
When you practice your presentation, you need to perform it. You need to do it the same way you plan to do so when it’s actually time. My teacher once told me that you need to practice at 110% because come showtime, 10% is lost to nerves. And being nervous is totally human. In fact, being nervous means that you have put much effort into being the best you can be.
TIP: Watch your favorite vine or youtuber before you practice to get you laughing and your heart pumping. (A few suggestions: , SamTakesOff, LuanLegacy, AphricanApe, Timothydelaghetto<–he’s a little raunchy for me, but I support his hustle)
Tip 2: Stop being afraid of what people think of you.
Tip 3: Perform your project as if you are getting paid to do it.
Tip 4: If you have a time limit…REACH THAT TIME LIMIT. If you don’t, that’s an automatic 0 in that category. No if’s, and’s or’s, or but’s about it. One time my project was just a taaaadd bit short, barely reaching the time limit but everything else was phenomenal. I worked so hard on that project only to walk home with a mediocre 85. Poo.
5.Develop a Spongebob mindset.
One thing you can take away from Spongebob is his preparedness. Spongebob would corner the screen chanting, “I’m ready!”
But you know what, so are you! You’ll always be ready to give the best presentation if you’ve adhered to these suggestions. You know your stuff, you’ve practiced it, you don’t need flashcards, you barely looked at the powerpoint behind you during practice time. You gave your all each time you practiced.
TIP: For every “Um/so/like” you say, a bird dies. Do you really want to kill all the birds?
Tip 2: Make eye contact with everyone in the room AT LEAST once (don’t just present to your professor). Confidence is sexy, and no one will know if you ever mess up if you look good doing it.
You’re not freaking out in the beginning of class asking people to help you practice because you’ve done this countless times before. You know what it takes to give the best presentation in your class and have done what it takes to do it. You are Spongebob. You are ready.
What else would you add to perfect a presentation?
Thanks for reading!
PS. My favorite presentation