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Present Like a Pro

Presenting online

Planning your presentation

  • Presenting online requires preparation of slides, interactive components and talking points.
  • Be intentional! Ensure you and your audience know the purpose of the presentation.
  • Don’t forgot the anecdotes. Include examples, stories and details just like you would in an in-person presentation.
  • Try not to overwhelm your audience; keep slides simple and present information visually when possible.
  • See Present like a Pro for general information on preparing and presenting.

Recording your presentation

  • If you are submitting a presentation with your audio recorded, consider how you will do this. You can record it separately and then add the audio to your presentation or record directly in PowerPoint.
  • Learn how to add and delete audio in PowerPoint.

Presenting online

  • Practice your presentation! Try recording or simulating your presentation as if you were delivering it. Ensure that your equipment works, that your audience has access, and that all links and slides connect. 
  • Prepare your technology in advance and give yourself extra time to troubleshoot. 
  • Inform anyone who might interrupt your presentation that you are recording; this includes turning off your phone or computer notifications. 
  • Know your audience and keep them engaged: consider what activities or discussions can take place in an online forum (polls, quizzes, etc).
  • Find out if you can send out information or handouts to your audience to have while you present. A handout can reduce the amount of text needed on slides or offer a way to complete an activity, but keep in mind that it may distract your audience from your presentation.
  • Consider how you will look on camera: look directly into the camera, stand up to improve breathing and focus, determine what your audience can see and ensure it’s appropriate and not distracting.
  • Consider the following for audio-only presentations: ensure what you are saying matches your audience’s view, and limit cursor motion to prevent distracting your audience. You could include a picture of the presenter so your audience can visualize you.

Group presentations

  • Presenting in a group presents unique challenges for many students.
  • Consider each group member's role in creating and delivering the presentation. Does everyone need to talk, or can some group members spend their time creating slides or completing other relevant tasks?
  • Pay special attention to transitions between people. This is especially important when group members have different presentation styles (i.e. one is very quiet and calm, and the next group member is loud and outgoing).
  • It’s also helpful to consider in advance who will answer which questions. This makes you seem more prepared on the day of the presentation.
  • Be sure to practice as a group before you present.
  • Much of the advice about individual presentations applies to group presentations.  Check out our presentation guides, videos, and other resources.

Poster presentations

  • Presenting a poster uses many of the same skills that you’d need for a regular PowerPoint presentation. 
  • Use your poster to help structure your presentation; you can follow the same format as the information on your poster.
  • Your poster is a supporting document for your verbal information. You don’t need to repeat all of the information that is on your poster.
  • For more information, watch the video Dos and Don'ts of Designing an Academic Poster.
  • To learn more, review the Create an Academic Poster guide

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