Ace Your School Presentation With These Five Tips

School presentations can be incredibly nerve-racking, but pretty much every student will have to do a presentation about once every year. Sometimes students work in groups, and they can break up the various responsibilities of the project, while other assignments require each student to stand up and speak in public no matter what. Giving a presentation is one of the most important things students will learn because it’s a skill they can apply practically to college and career. Nearly every career field requires students to give a presentation of some kind or another. Regardless of the type of performance, there are some tips and tricks to help every student face the assignment and get an excellent grade on the presentation.

1.  Practice at home

One of the best ways to ensure an excellent presentation is to practice at home in advance of the big day. Students can practice using their parents as an audience or in front of their study group or friends. The point is to practice standing up and engaging an audience and getting comfortable with this type of situation. Advanced preparation also ensures that students will be able to fix any issues that arise whether it’s technical difficulties with the PowerPoint presentation or fear of public speaking.

2. Create flashcards

One of the best things students can do is create flashcards with reminders of various topics they need to cover. Speaking from a card word for word can make a presentation seem overly prepped or bland, but students should have something to jog their memory in case they blank during their presentation. Students should also practice looking down briefly at their flashcards and then be connecting more with their audience, so their presentation flows easily (READ: Irvine SAT Tutoring Tips: 5 Ways to Prepare For the SAT This Winter).

2.  Use audio-visual materials

Most presentations are better with some audio-visual element to fully engage the audience. Students, my cast information or images from their tablet on to the school’s presentation screen or they might have web links that the audience can refer to during the presentation. Basically, the more the speaker can hit all five senses, the more interested the audience will be to pay attention and ask pertinent questions as a follow-up.

4. Ask for advice from your study group or tutor

Although parents and friends make great audience members during practice sessions, they can sometimes be biased for the student. In many cases, study groups and tutors can give a more objective view and suggest any improvements that need to be made. They can also help the student organize the various elements of the presentation so that it checks all the boxes and meets all aspects of the assignment requirements.

5. Become well versed in the material

Lastly, but certainly, not least students need to become an expert in the material they are presenting. In the lower grades, students are often given a topic to research and then talk about in front of the class. The task is simple, but the execution may take a lot of practice. In higher grades, students will often have a more complicated assignment that requires multiple steps and complex research. In this case, students will need to explain unfamiliar topics and answer subject-specific questions. Students become experts in their presentation topic by learning the material ahead of time, doing advanced research if necessary, and asking important questions about anything that seems confusing. If a student really knows their stuff, it will show during the presentation and will make it more interesting for the audience and likely result in a higher grade.

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