7 Ways to Give a Good School Presentation, as Told by Pups in Learning

Giving a presentation in front of a class? Young Scot is here to guide you through the process!

1 - Be prepared 

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The fear of giving a presentation is worse than the presentation itself, but the key is to be prepared!

  • Decide what the main message of the presentation is going to be and think about what your audience wants from your speech. Put yourself in their shoes and ask what will keep them interested.
  • Do some research into the topic from reliable sources and pinpoint the main arguments.  
  • Once you have identified the arguments, gather interesting facts to support it and think about how you can keep the audience engaged.

2 - Organise your information 

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When presenting don’t add too much background information on the topic. Instead, get to the point and don’t beat around the bush!

  • Start with your strongest points. Many speakers run out of time then have to rush through their most important arguments.
  • Keep the numbers down too. Including stats may support your argument but don't get carried away! 

3 - Practice makes perfect 

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Make a script or outline of what you want to say and practice it.  

  • Practice in front of your mirror, your friends and your parents.
  • Practice until you know the content inside out!
  • After practice, the information on the page will come as second nature meaning you can then focus on how to present it.

4 - Use note cards 

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Instead of reading a script from a sheet of paper, put your notes on 3x5 inch note cards.

  • On each card include one main point with a few supporting points.
  • Write your points in note form, with keywords and bullet points.
  • Avoid writing entire sentences on the cards as this will encourage you to read it out. 

5 - Visual aids add interest

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Visual aids, such as pictures and video, can add to the presentation by giving the audience something to look at and will keep them engaged.

  • Use PowerPoint or Prezi to support your presentation but don’t go overboard with it – provide a summary of the main points.
  • An audience will always appreciate a handout. It saves them having to write down everything down!
  • On a handout, include the outline of your presentation and any statistics you may have included in your speech.

6 - Keep your audience engaged 

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Speak slowly and clearly. Rushing through the text will only lose the audience and your arguments won’t be as clear.

  • In your speech try and mix up how you are presenting the information. Graphics and tables present information in a more engaging way, whilst quotations also add to the content.
  • A little bit of humour in the talk goes a long way to keeping the audience with you and will make it less dry. Knowing the audience are on your side will help relax you too!
  • One of the most important things when giving a presentation is to keep eye contact with the audience. This will help them feel included in what you have to say.

7 - Don’t speak like a robot 

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There is nothing worse than a speaker who reads out an essay in a robotic, monotone voice. Even if the information is fascinatingly interesting, the audience will lose interest if you drone on and don’t change the pitch or tone of your voice.

Never bury your head in your notes or laptop, that’s not where your audience are and you will lose their interest! 

And remember...

We all have that fear of standing in front of a group of people and being laughed at but believe it or not, your classmates want you to succeed and hope to learn from your presentation...so relax and enjoy your time to shine!