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Historical Methods

Tips for Oral Presentations

An oral presentation includes more than just reading your notes off of note cards or slides to your peers.  The delivery of your presentation is important as you try to communicate your message to others.  Listed below are some tips for you to consider as you prepare for a presentation.

A Good Presentation is Planned:

  • Organize your thoughts and ideas, including transitions between sections of your research.
  • Create an opening that gains your audience's attention.  Consider starting with a question.
  • Provide definitions for unfamiliar terms.
  • Finish big!  Craft a few sentences that explain the importance of your research and its relevance.
  • Design visuals that introduce and explain important points.
  • PRACTICE!  Be sure and practice giving your presentation.  Getting used to talking through your research will lead to a smoother and more confident final presentation.

A Good Presentation is Presented Effectively:

  • Be enthusiastic!  If you are excited about your topic, your audience will be too.
  • Make eye contact.  Purpose to meet everyone's eye in the room at some time during your presentation.
  • Avoid reading straight from notes or slides.  You've practiced, now present!
  • Breathe!  Speaking in front of others is nerve-wracking.  Just remember, you've put in the time practicing, be confident in your knowledge of the material.

You've got this!

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