Hey girl hey. And boy.
Have you ever stood in front of the class for a presentation and just wanted the floor to swallow you whole? Well, gurl I gotchu in today’s post because I’m going to be sharing my tips and tricks to making AND presenting awesome presentations. I’m sure my friends reading this are probably like bruh you have no problem presenting and you don’t get nervous at all. But I actually do. I’m kind of known for aMaZiNg presentations (ugh I hate sounding conceited) in my classes and sometimes, I don’t even know how my class even tolerates my presentations without like cringing at every word. 😂 But I’ve gathered a few tips to collect your confidence and make it appear as IF you’re not dying on the inside (jk jk it’s not that bad – or is it? 😂) and I’ll be sharing those with you today.
Also, you’ve read the title right. Today I’m going to be collabing with TWO amazing bloggers, Nicculent and Lorelie. Over at Nicculent’s blog, you’ll learn her top tips on How To Manage Blogging As A Full-Time Student and over at Lorelie’s, you’ll find out her tip tips on How To Beat Late School Mornings. So without further ado, let’s get started.
- Write Down a Script & Memorize It
If you’re presenting something about a certain topic in a group or individually make sure you write a separate script that you’re going to present when speaking. Try to keep your information packed into simple bullet points instead of paragraphs. We once had a guy in our group who was literally the most professional and made his presentations so long and packed with gibberish PARAGRAPHS. 😂 He was smart but like do we really need you to read all that? 😖
You’ll save everyone a bunch of time if you just get the main ideas across or if you have more ideas to add, keep your slides simple and expand on them when speaking. Now the reason I say “script” is because when you try to expand on it by improvising, it’ll end up really awkward and long and you’ll end up forgetting your points and rambling on. 😂 Plus, sentences go by much smoother than reading bullet points. So just have an idea of what exactly you’re going to say and memorize it. Or write it down in cue cards just in case but make sure you make eye contact.
Now I’m not only talking about faking crazy enthusiasm when you’re speaking. 😂 But also enthusiasm in what you’re learning. The main reason teachers make their students make presentations on a unit is not only to improve their public speaking skills but to make sure they fully understand what they’re learning. And we all know the life hack that goes:
So when presented with a topic, just try to find some interesting websites and questions that you want answered. Who were the key people involved? Are there some stats involved? I really like reading other people’s presentations on Prezi to help inspire me. (it’s not copying, okay? 😂) One of the hardest topics I’ve researched was the conflict between Palestine & Israel. Our teacher gave us a free choice for global crises but I wanted to challenge myself and also learn more about what happened to my country. If your teacher gives you options or a free choice, find something that you’re actually interested in and collect as much important information as you can.
As for presenting, no one wants to listen to a monotone robot for 10 minutes. Changing your tone to enthusiastic (try to sound genuine 😂) like adding emphasis on certain words and speaking with a clear voice will make the audience and teacher more alert which leads to overall better performance.
3. In Your Own Words
You guys, I cannot stress this enough. Use. Your. Own. Words. Understand that topic and own ittt. Don’t talk all professional just to impress the teacher. Teachers are human as well and although they’re forced to pay attention, at least make it a little tolerable. No one’s trying to listen to Shakespear here.😂 If you’re in senior year or university, then go all out with your dictionary but if you’re in high school and middle school – please try to make something that people your age will understand. Once you start using your own words and not copying facts from Wikipedia (*cough*plagiarism*cough*😂), you’ll realize that not only will presentations be more fun to prepare but the people around you will enjoy and look forward to them. If you like Hunger Games, stick some references in there. I’ve fit in Takis in like every presentation this year – even the serious ones. 😂 You can fit in jokes and references through almost anything like comparisons and visuals (if that’s what you like of course).
4. Eye Contact
You can’t expect anyone to pay attention if you’re not paying attention to them. I usually memorize what I have to say so I make eye contact most of the time. I don’t really pay attention to certain people but more so everyone as a whole. I don’t even have any other thoughts – my voice just goes on and on as planned. It’s so weird and cool and I literally don’t get how I don’t panic or just leave the classroom altogether. 😂 If you’re a bit intimidated (I mean, a full classroom just staring at you, what 😂), you don’t have to make eye contact all the time, but make sure you get a few glances in. You can also look between people or just behind them if that helps.
5. Hand Gestures
Hand gestures aren’t thaaat important but it’s still nice to not just stand there like an awkward potato. 😂 Use your fingers to count numbers and just move your hands like you would when talking to a friend. Funny story – in 7th grade, I would move my hands a lot in presentations so like literally before I present all the boys would tease me and move their hands very dramatically like ugh give me a break. 😂 But they were joking and that kind of became my thing so whatever.
6. Visual Aids & Creativity
This is also super important. Your teacher isn’t going to give you a great mark if you have a white background with black text covering the whole page. Add relevant pictures, animations and & visually-pleasing backgrounds. I recommend plain backgrounds that are either really dark or really light because neon and flashy colours can hurt the eyes. And pleaseee don’t use font and text colour that is flashy yellow and is the literal English version of Russian. 😂 Include games and questions to engage with the audience if you have time.
As for creativity, if your teacher gives you many options for presentation types, try something new and fun. Whether that’s a Prezi or a poster or even your own video (I’ve done videos many times before and the teachers love it even though it’s cringe 😂), go all out. Plus, with videos, you don’t have the pressure of presenting so maybe that’s something you might consider.
7. Stay Hydrated
There are so many times in presentations where I’d be talking so fast and my throat would dry up and I’d cough and swallow and faint on the spot – well it’s not that extreme but just have some water by your side so you can just chill. 😂 Plus, it can spare you more time if you forgot something.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
Practice. Practice. Practice. Whenever I present speeches, I rehearse so many times. When it comes to presentations, I usually just memorize the introduction because I can look at cue cards throughout it but it still doesn’t hurt to be prepared for what you’re going to be presenting. You can peer edit with friends to watch out for any spelling mistakes or mispronunciations. It’s not that big of a deal but just make sure you have an idea of what you’re going to be saying.
9. Forget What People Think
If I thought about what people were thinking while I’m presenting, I’d be screwed.😂 Just forget about everything when you’re presenting because it’s just going to distract you. If you’ve worked hard and you’re happy with your presentation, that’s all that matters. Plus, no one really cares. 😂 If your presentation was boring or you messed up a word, no one’s going to remember it within a few seconds, let alone a full day like you’re beating yourself about it. We’re all grandmas and if you mess up, the show must go on because people just get caught up in their own presentations that they don’t really pay attention to minor mistakes in yours. So if you mess up or get nervous, brush it off and keep going.
10. It’s Gonna Be Okay
Kind of connecting to my last point, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll be fine and it’ll finish eventually. Public speaking is something that we all have to deal with and even though you feel like the only one that’s nervous in the room, trust me, you’re not. Classroom presentations aren’t even that bad. These are people that you’ve talked to throughout the school year – you’ll survive talking to them about Louis Riel for a few minutes. 😂 It’s really not that bad and hopefully with all my tips above, you’re going to be awesome. So take a deep breath and start speaking because gurl you da queen and you’re going to slay it.
Anddd that’s all for today. I hope you all enjoyed my tips for presenting and made you feel just a teeny bit better about presenting in the future.
What are your top presentation tips?
What’s a struggle you have while presenting? (mine is talking turbo fast without realizing – I pronounce every syllable so it’s not complete gibberish but this guy once told me that I sounded like Eminem up there, iN a GoOd wAy 😂)
What’s something you find annoying when others are presenting? (mine are eye-straining visuals and looong gibberish paragraphs)