Let’s be honest, presentations can be a bit nerve-wracking – for everyone. One of the class activities you are expected to take part in while studying in Sweden is class presentations. This could be done individually or in a group. By making presentations, you get a chance to practise your presentation skills for the future workplace. Given that presentations are necessary for almost every career, it is important that we master the art of communicating our ideas in well structured and visually pleasing summaries that highlight important information. Here’s how.
1. Add interesting content to your presentation.
The best way to ensure YOU are engaged as the presenter is to highlight the most important and most interesting things. Presentations may be made from book/article reviews or studies. By presenting facts that caught your interest, you will naturally be excited to share this information with your audience. A few questions that will help you know what you should add to your presentation include:
- What is the objective of the presentation? (To educate, inform, challenge, summarise, pitch, entertain)
- What major message do you want to share with your audience?
- What reaction do you want to get from your audience?
2. What does your audience want to hear?
Indeed, a disengaged and demotivated audience could suck the life out of your presentation. To ensure that your audience is engaged, ask yourself “What are some of the important things that my classmates and teachers want to hear about my presentation?”. This way, you keep your presentation short, sweet and relevant!
3. Relay information creatively.
It is confirmed that the average human processes visuals faster than text. Therefore your presentation can contain very little text because the honest truth is that your audience will not read a lump of text while listening to you at the same time! All attention should be on you and what you say, and not the presentation. We are naturally curious and social beings and would be more interested in the person who is giving the presentation rather than the content of the presentation. Otherwise, we would make presentations and exchange them via email. Using high-quality images that portray a strong story or data visualizations that drive your point home may have a better effect on your audience than having 3 large text paragraphs. Narrating examples in your presentation helps.
4. Awesome presentation tools.
- Google Slides (Best when collaborating)
- Prezi ↗️, Canva ↗️, Haiku Deck ↗️, Zoho Show ↗️, Slide Camp ↗️.
5. Tricks to build your confidence.
Roleplay. Dress the part and assume that you are the most fantastic person you know! Break the ice by introducing yourself (not all classmates will know you even though you have been in the same class for a couple of months). By introducing your presentation and letting your audience know what is covered in the presentation before you begin, you get an in-charge feeling which will give you the confidence you need. You should also anticipate the questions your classmates will ask you beforehand and have ready-to-go answers for such situations.
6. Assume you are having a natural conversation with a friend.
By putting yourself in this mindset, you will naturally refrain from reading word for word from your notebook or phone. You will look at your audience and talk coherently so that they hear everything you have to say. Then, you will use your hands more to explain what you are saying and you will smile. You will walk around the room a little bit more. Then you will be more interested in making sure your audience understands the points you are putting across. And by doing so, you will invite your audience to have a conversation with you and fully engage with you.
7. Analyze yourself and improve.
Did you notice that you repeat a certain word all the time when making presentations? Ensure that you refrain from it in future and expand your vocabulary. Did you notice that the people at the back are having a hard time hearing what you are saying? Speak louder next time. Did you realise that people had a difficult time following your arguments and examples? Try and simplify them next time. At the end of the day, you are your greatest cheerleader and critic and should take both roles equally and seriously!
Keen to hear about your presentation tips and stories!