Anastasia’s Advice for Presenting
1. Announce who you are. You would be surprised how many people begin speaking and assume people know who they are and their professional affiliation.
2. Stay cool, calm, and collected and enjoy what you have worked hard to learn and now have the opportunity to share. Use a friendly and inviting tone. Be appreciative, and not defensive, about feedback.
3. Speak slowly and slower than you think. You know your research well, but it’s new to your listeners. Additionally, we tend to talk too quickly if we are nervous or if we are trying to tell everything we know.
4. Don’t read your paper. You may decide to read a quote or segment that helps you make your point. Establish eye contact.
5. Engage/involve your audience in some way. Prompt and inspire audience members to think about questions and be curious about your work. Be clear if you are inviting audience participation during and/or after your presentation. Be aware that some audience participants can talk for a very long time.
6. Offer an inclusive presentation. Adapt your presentation for individuals with disabilities. For example, if you decide to use a video clip or DVD, check if it has closed-captioning. Consider the many English as a Second Language learners sitting in audiences. If translators are available, leave pauses for them to catch up and continue to talk to your audience and not the translators.
7. Incorporate visuals that are readable and easily understood and appreciated by audiences as another form of communication. If you use PowerPoint, remember, the point of using PowerPoint is to highlight the points. Include simple points posted in large print. Do not include paragraphs that are too detailed for your audience to absorb and in a font too small to be read.
8. Offer a brief, usable handout that includes your name and contact information. You have accrued lots of information. Now simplify it for others and offer points that are useful for their work.
9. Watch your time. Everyone runs out of time. And please don’t waste your time telling your audience you don’t have much time. Respect your timekeepers. Nobody likes someone who abuses the time allotment, which ultimately causes problems for speakers who follow you.
10. Close your presentation with a synthesis of your main points and/or take-away points (Samaras, 2010).