Do you have a big class presentation or speech coming up? Learn how to make it memorable with these presentation tips from online tutor Carrie M…
Have you ever sold a product to an individual or large group? If you are thinking to yourself, “I don’t think so,” think again, because if you’ve ever been charged with the task of giving a presentation to a class of your peers and your teacher you have definitely sold a product! The real question is: how did you do, did you sell your classmates and your teacher on the topic you were presenting or the invention you spent hours creating? The only feedback you may have received was from your teacher with the grade you earned, and that only tells you how well you completed the to-do list of items typically required for a presentation. That being said, here are a handful of presentation tips to win over your audience and make your presentation unforgettable.
1. Tell a Story
People of all ages relate to personal stories. When you incorporate a story from your life that connects to your topic, your audience’s ability to engage and connect will increase immensely. This is one of the best presentations tips, because your audience will leave remembering the story you shared and, therefore, will remember what it was you taught or “sold” them.
2. Integrate Different Media
A medium is simply the way in which we communicate — for example, music, artwork, movies/videos, and PowerPoint. Often presenters get stuck in the rut of standing behind a podium or desk reading off a screen or notes as they present material to an audience, and this is often the reason their presentation is completely forgettable.
When you watch a movie it is rare to have the setting and tone remain the same, so why should your presentation be any different? Just as with your stories, the media you choose to incorporate should be appropriately used and should have a connection to the topic on which you are trying to present. If you are doing a PowerPoint presentation about the Southern Colonies, for example, have links within your PowerPoint to videos or photographs about the Southern Colonies (this could be how it looks now compared to then or a map showing what the landscape looked like during that time, etc.).
3. Tickle Their Funny Bone
They say laughter is the best medicine, so why not include some humor in your presentation? Your audience is sure to rank your presentation as unforgettable when you lighten the mood with a bit of laughter. Of course, you want to make sure that your jokes are appropriate to your audience and the topic. This can also be achieved through the stories you share. For example, if you’re presenting information on the effects social media has on today’s high school and/or college students, you could add “hashtag” to everything you say, and then show a YouTube clip of the skit “#Hashtag” with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake.
Word of caution: Be sure to view clips prior to showing to ensure they are appropriate for your class.
4. Provide Tasty Treats
Food plays a significant role in our lives — we need it for nourishment and sustainability, but it is also used to mark events in our lives such as birthdays, graduations, baby showers, the loss of a loved one, etc., and we use it to connect to others. So, if food is so significant why not make your presentation unforgettable with some treats or candy? For the college crowd, baked goods are an excellent item to have sitting out for your audience to partake in as they congregate before your presentation and, also, as they are listening to you present. For the high school crowd, baked goods may be unrealistic, so candy would be a better option. You can use it to get audience participation by asking a question and the person with the correct answer earns a piece of candy. If you are able to bring in cooked/baked items, it will leave a huge impression on your audience if the food chosen relates to the topic being presented. For example, if your topic is on the 13 Colonies, make some food that would have been served during that time period.
Word of caution: You may need to check in with your teacher before bringing items. Also, be mindful of allergies. Avoid anything with nuts if you are unsure of your audience. Your teacher should be able to provide you with the types of allergies within your class.
5. Know and Be Passionate About Your Topic
If you are knowledgeable and passionate about what you are presenting, your audience will leave feeling the same. No matter what medium you use, you need to make sure you know everything there is to know about the topic you’ve chosen or have been given to present. If you know your topic forward and back then your passion will increase as well, and it will in turn make your presentation unforgettable. You need to be able to present the material like a story in itself and be able to answer any questions that might be thrown your way. Nothing makes a presentation more forgettable than a presenter who has to read directly from his/her notes or PowerPoint, and who is obvious about how much they dislike the topic. Be the breath of fresh air to an audience, and wow them with your depth of knowledge.
May these tips be your jumping off point to the most unforgettable presentation of your academic career! If you find yourself needing a visual aid, check out this website for some modern-day presenters who leave their audience with an unforgettable presentation.
Carrie M. tutors in a variety of subjects online. She earned her BA in Elementary Education as well as Exceptional Student Education (special ed.) from Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. Learn more about Carrie here!
Photo by University of the Fraser Valley