Time your presentation to make sure it fits the requirements of the assignment.
If possible, practice in the room where you will present and check audiovisual equipment ahead of time.
Practice in front of a mirror or make a video of yourself so you can critique yourself.
Better yet, have a classmate give you feedback.
Even better yet, book a free consultation with one of the staff members in Learning Services in the Library for a critique that’s both constructive and compassionate. This service is free and confidential. Details are on the Library’s home page.
How do I prepare to deliver a presentation?
Become familiar enough with your content so you don’t have to read from the PowerPoint slides. Use slides as an outline to stay on track, but talking to your audience, not reading, is essential.
Make notes or flashcards for any parts that you have trouble remembering.
Ensure you have everything you need on presentation day (USB, handouts, etc.) and always have two or three copies of your presentation file available in case there are technical problems.
How do I manage nervousness?
Start working on your presentation early: the sooner you begin, the more time you have to learn the content and practice. Procrastinating increases stress, pressure and nervousness.
Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse. The more you practice, the more confident you will become.
Expect and accept nerves; don’t focus on hiding your nervousness. Instead, focus on getting the content across and engaging the audience.
Find ways to minimize any nervous habits. For example, if you play with your hair, put it in a ponytail. If you fidget with jewelry, buttons, or pockets, avoid them on presentation day.
Wear clothes that are professional and comfortable. Looking polished can help improve your confidence.
During your presentation, take time to process the question and formulate a response. Repeat or paraphrase the question to be sure you understand it.
Don’t panic if you don’t immediately know the answer. Ask for clarification if necessary. Take a moment to think, and behave calmly while you’re thinking, even if you don’t feel calm.
If you don’t know the answer, be honest but say something like “My research didn’t address that…” or “I see that as a next step” or discuss something related that you do know. For more information, see The ABCs of Answering Difficult Questions.
My presentation is over, now what?
Every presentation, no matter how good, can be a learning experience.
Get feedback from audience members and/or the instructor and reflect on it. Set goals to improve your next presentation.
Do a self-evaluation:
name three things that went well and you would try again
name two things you would improve
name two things you would like to stop
Consider attending Presentation Boot Camp to build on your skills for the next presentation. Details are available on the library's website.