How to Give Your Best Presentation Ever

Most of us are terrified of public speaking; studies have found that it tops the list of people's fears, even before death!  Nevertheless, we all are forced to do multiple presentations throughout our academic career.  Do you want to figure out how to give your best presentation ever?  Follow these tips: Keep it simple

You have been preparing your topic for a while, so you probably know a lot of information.  There is no need to prove that you know everything there is to know about your topic - simplicity sells.  Focus on the most important points of your research.

Do not forget about nonverbal communication

There are three elements to communication: what is said (the actual words), how it is said (the tone of voice), and body language.  Students often focus so much on perfecting the words that they neglect the other two factors.  To practice tone of voice, try recording your speech and listening to your delivery.  And study your body language by practicing in a mirror or by taping yourself.  Fidgeting is a clear sign of nervousness, learn how to relax and become aware of your body. You want to project confidence through your posture, movements, and eye contact.

Remember that everyone goes through this

When you stare out at the sea of people, it may feel like they are all judging you.  In reality, most of them are dreading when it is their turn to speak.  Remember that you are all in the same boat.

Pretend you are only talking to one person

Speaking to a crowd is intimidating.  Think of the individual you are most comfortable around, like your mom or best friend.  Now pretend that you are only speaking to them.  Every time you make eye contact with a new person, picture them.

Prepare

If there is time for questions at the end of your presentation, then anticipate what you might be asked and prepare your answers.  And if you are using any media or electronics, prepare for what you will do in case of technical difficulties.

Practice

This may seem obvious, but so many people forget it.  You need to practice your presentation out loud several times.  Going over it in your head is not enough.