It happens within the first few minutes of sitting down in a new class. You realize you will have to give a presentation to pass. It is a must for many college classes and to get a good grade and pass you will have to do it. Better get used to it because it doesn’t end after college. Most professional careers in an office setting will require presentations. The skill of making and presenting a clear and informative presentation can be acquired with practice. It is also a very good idea to follow some guidelines when working on your presentation to make it really stand out.
Know your audience
Knowing who you are presenting to is a must if you want to do well. Make the presentation directed to them. This may not be too difficult to do when everyone in class is basically on the same page, but it still helps to focus on the interests of your audience and expound on those interests in your presentation.
Use a maximum of 3 – 4 points per slide
It is easy to jam too much information into a slide and not even realize it. You should have 3 – 4 points per slide, maximum. While you present the information on the slide you should talk about the slide and not read the slide. The 3 – 4 points per slide are just that, talking points. The meat of the information comes from your mouth not the text on the slide.
Incorporate images on your slides
The point of a presentation with slides is to provide a visual aid for what you are saying. This can be accomplished well with Images. Too many words can be overwhelming, but adding a few crisp and clean looking images which add to the point you’re making on each slide your message will be very good. Find images that are professional looking and give credit to the source if you are using someone else’s work.
Consider using video clips
Short video clips are another powerful way to convey your message. It adds variety to the potential monotony of what you are saying. There are a few ways to get the clips into the presentation. First you can make the clips yourself either from your own footage or from footage you have borrowed. Editing skills will be handy but it you can’t edit then just being able to crop some of the clip to your liking should be enough.
Select easy to read fonts
The golden rule for font is that it shouldn’t be smaller than 30pt. Stick with conservative color schemes that are easy to read with nice contrasting colors. Lighter backgrounds with a matching darker font is a simple rule that works for most cases. Simply share a few pieces of important information per slide with nice large font.
Create PDF version of your presentation
You might want to use a word to PDF converter or a PowerPoint to PDF conversion if you need to handout or email the presentation to the professor or classmates. PDF maintains the integrity of the document so it will look the same on the other end. This is very important because the professor or class may want to go back and revisit your ideas and if they look different from what you originally created the message will be lost. Make sure it doesn’t get changed when you send it, use PDF.
Making a great presentation in college takes preparation, planning, and some dos and don’ts to follow. Making simple, clean, and professional looking slides with great video or images will help self confidence to really make the grade.
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