Giving Effective Presentations
Okay, so you've got to present to your classmatespublic-speaking2.jpg. Would you rather lick battery acid? Or does it excite you to stand in front of your peers and show off your knowledge? Either way, this page will give you tips to make your presentation all it can be, and hopefully give you some confidence as you get up from behind your desk and take over the classroom. If you are ready to get going, check out the Presentation Tools page for some new ideas.

Click on the PLAY button below to walk you through this presentation. You will need to hit the button after you read each slide.

7 General Tips For Preparing A Presentation

assignment.jpeg#1-- Know the WHAT of Your Assignment

Sounds obvious right? Too bad this isn't always true. Many students never even read through what is expected in an assignment and do their own thing based on a general understanding they THINK they have. Make sure to read the materials your teacher gives you, especially the RUBRIC. What are the components of the assignment? What should it include? What is going to be graded? If you don't get it, make sure to ASK QUESTIONS!

#2 -- Know the WHY of Your Assignment

What is the purpose of your assignment? Make sure to understand what your audience, your teacher and classmates, should gain from your presentation. Area you persuading them? Presenting a particular viewpoint? Teaching them? Entertaining them? If you don't get it, make sure to ASK QUESTIONS! As you design your project, continually ask yourself: what specific things am I including to help you achieve this purpose?

Whatever the assignment is, you can be sure it isn't: to put your audience to sleep reading word for word information copied directly from the first few hits of your Google searches. So make sure you read on to avoid this common pitfall!

#3 -- Get to Know Your TOPIC

This means prepare by researching, reading and thinking about your information both IN and OUT of class. The more thoroughly you know your topic, the more confidence you will have when you present. This includes focused research AND keeping your topic on your mind constantly and jotting down ideas as they come to you. You never know when ideas might the shower, on the bus, just after the alarm clock rings, in the locker room after a game, etc! Talk about your topic with your peers, teachers and parents. They might give some valuable direction.
Teachers usually give plenty of time, in and out of class, to prepare. How do you USE it?


#4 -- Make it VISUAL

Think about what your audience will SEE to help them understand your points. Use clear headings, bulleted points, and plenty of images to organize and support your information. Use your images and bullets to help you talk about your subject. How can they help add to and emphasize what you are saying? Try something OTHER than Powerpoint! Visit the presentation tools page for some fresh ideas.


#5 --Put Yourself IN the Audience's Shoes

You know you've been the victim of a painful presentation...subjected to DEATH BY POWERPOINT. Are you putting your audience through the same torture? How can you pull them in and keep them interested? Think about presentations you've liked. What did they have and how can you inject your presentation with it? The most important advice here is DO NOT READ TO YOUR AUDIENCE. Talk TO them, not AT them and ound like you are interested in your topic and they will be interested. This is much easier to do if you heed tip #3!


Whether presenting alone, or with a group, this is crucial to increasing both your comfort level and your overall grade. Many young presenters never even do a dry run through of their finished presentation and this is usually very obvious to the entire audience. If working with a group, it is important to work out who is doing what in a presentation so you can work together smoothly. It is best to rehearse in front of a live audience like a parent or a friend, but even your dog will work. Just be prepared because he might have quite a few questions since dogs tend to be rather slow. This will actually work in your favor because questions help you to test your ownership of a topic. Do a practice run through, then go back and review tips 1-5. How did you do? What can you improve?

Public Speaking 101 In Three Visuals (created with Bitstrips)