Delivering the Presentation

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Once you have rehearsed the presentation well, here are some simple suggestions to consider in delivering the presentation effectively:

Dress appropriately

Dress appropriately for the presentation, based on the context, disciplinary protocols, formality of the occasion and the type of audience (faculty, students, clients, etc.). Do not wear inappropriate clothing, jewelry, hats or footwear that distract.

Arrive early

Arrive early for the presentation, and do not arrive just in time or late.

Meet the moderator

If there is a presentation moderator who will introduce you, meet that person well in advance of the presentation so he or she knows you are in the room on time and that you will be ready.

Decide how to handle audience questions

Decide how you will handle questions during the presentation, and either request the audience to wait until you are finished with your presentation or make sure you will have time to answer the question in the middle of your presentation.

Have a plan if the technology fails

Similarly, decide how you will continue your presentation if the presentation technology fails or freezes in the middle of your presentation.

Smoothly Handling Difficulty with Technology

This video clip is an example of a presenter encountering difficulty with technology but handling it smoothly with a backup plan.

Poorly Handling Difficulty with Technology

This video clip is an example of a presenter encountering difficulty with technology but handling it poorly without a backup plan.


Greet the audience

If you have some free time before the presentation starts, walk up to some members of the audience, introduce yourself, and thank them for being there. This may put you at ease during the presentation.

Load your visuals before your allotted presentation time

If you plan to use presentation tools, load your presentation or connect your presentation device to the projector before you are asked to present so you do not use up your presentation time to load your files and make the audience wait.

Smile

Be pleasant and smile when you stand in front of an audience so it makes the audience feel comfortable listening to you.

Don't eat or chew gum

Do not chew gum or eat during your presentation. You may drink water or other allowed beverages during the presentation.

Take a deep breath

Before you begin to speak, take a few deep breaths and calm yourself.

Speak clearly

Speak slowly and clearly, and do not rush through sentences, as some do when they get nervous.

Speak at an even pace

Pay attention to the pace in which you speak, to avoid your pace of delivery being either too fast or too slow for the audience to follow.

Pace Too Slow

This video clip is an example of a presentation pace that is too slow.

Pace Too Fast

This video clip is an example of a presentation pace that is too fast.

Appropriate Pace

This video clip is an example of the presenter's pace of delivery being appropriate for the audience to follow.


Change the inflection of your voice to gain audience attention or to emphasize content

If you are trying to make a point about a particular idea, enunciate or pronounce the words clearly and distinctly. At this point, you can slow down and raise the volume of your voice to clearly express what you have to say. Speak with authority, confidence and enthusiasm.

Effective Voice Quality & Emphasis

This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating effective voice quality and emphasis on significant words.

Ineffective Voice Quality & Emphasis

This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating ineffective voice quality and emphasis on significant words.


Use appropriate gestures

Use appropriate gestures to emphasize appropriate points, and do not make wild gestures or pace back and forth in front of the screen in a distracting manner.

Effective Gestures

This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating effective hand gestures and body language.

Ineffective Gestures

This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating ineffective hand gestures and body language.


Make proper eye contact

Make proper eye contact: that is, look at the audience from one side of the room to the other side, and from the front row to the last row. Do not look down the whole time, and do not focus on just one side of the room or just the front row of the audience.

Effective Eye Contact

This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating effective eye contact.

Ineffective Eye Contact

This video clip is an example of a presenter demonstrating ineffective eye contact.


Stand beside the screen

If you plan to use projected visuals on a screen, stand to one side of the screen. Ideally, you should be facing your audience at all times and just glance at the screen to look at cues from the slides.

Effective Position Near Screen

This video clip is an example of a presenter standing by the side of the screen during a PowerPoint presentation so the audience view of the screen is unobstructed, and glances at the screen only occasionally.

Ineffective Position Near Screen

This video clip is an example of a presenter standing in front of the screen during PowerPoint presentation, obstructing the audience view of the screen.


Do not talk to the screen or board

Do not talk to the screen or the presentation device; look at the audience and talk. It is alright to look at the screen occasionally and point to something important on the screen as you present.

Looking at Screen

This video clip is an example of a presenter looking mostly at the screen (instead of the audience).

Writing on the Board

This video clip is an example of a presenter writing on the board while talking and the writing is difficult to read.


Do not read line-by-line

Do not read presentation materials line-by-line unless there is someone in the audience who is visually-impaired and cannot see the slide, or if it is a quote that you have to read verbatim to emphasize.

Reading Each Word

This video clip is an example of a presenter reading word by word from an overly dense slide that is difficult to read.

Talking from a Slide

This video clip is an example of a presenter talking from a slide with easily readable bullet points, using them as cues.


If you get stuck, look at your notes

If you get stuck on a point and do not know what to say, feel free to look at your notes to continue.

Use the microphone effectively

If you are presenting in a large room where a handheld microphone is needed, hold the microphone near your mouth and speak directly into it.

Using Microphone Effectively

This video clip is an example of a presenter using the microphone effectively.

Using Microphone Ineffectively

This video clip is an example of a presenter using the microphone ineffectively.


Do not curse or use inappropriate language

Do not curse or use inappropriate language if you forget a point during the presentation or if the presentation technology fails.

Be considerate of your team

If you are part of a team and giving a group presentation, be considerate to other team members by not using up their time or dominating the presentation. Smoothly transition from one presenter to another.

Smooth Transitions

This video clip is an example of transitioning from one presenter to another in a polished manner.

Awkward Transitions

This video clip is an example of awkward or unpolished transitions from one presenter to another.


Do not conclude abruptly

Do not conclude the presentation abruptly by saying "This is it" or "I'm done." Conclude properly by summarizing the topic and thanking the audience for listening.

Effective Conclusion

This video clip is an example of the presenter concluding a presentation properly by summarizing the important points and thanking the audience.

Abrupt Conclusion

This video clip is an example of the presenter abruptly concluding a presentation.


Be considerate of the next presenter

After your presentation and the question and answer part are over, remove your presentation materials from the desk or the podium, and close any open presentation software so the next presenter can get ready quickly.

Thank your moderator

Remember to thank your moderator (if there is one) and the audience, and if you were part of a panel presentation, make sure to thank the panel members.

Participate in the audience

If there are other presentations scheduled after yours, do not leave the room, but stay and listen to their presentations.