Some Tips For Preparing a Presentation
Every student sooner or later needs to prepare a presentation. The most exciting performance, of course, relates to graduate work. In addition to the final diploma, students need to prepare a short report for the examination committee, as well as make a presentation.
And often for a student to prepare a normal report is a more difficult task than writing the diploma itself. At the same time, it often happens that the more meaningful and interesting the work, the more difficult it is to make a quality presentation on it. In this article, we offer our view on how to solve this problem.
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Some Tips For Preparing a Presentation
First of all, the format of a 7-10 minute speech severely limits the number of slides in a presentation. Experience suggests that it should not contain more than 12-15 slides. Why? If we take a 7-minute presentation and divide 7 by the number of slides, then on average we will have about 30 seconds per slide. 30 seconds is a fairly short period, it’s hard to say anything meaningful during this time. If the number of slides increases, then no one has time to understand anything or the speaker is guaranteed not to fit in the time allotted for him. Based on this, let’s fix the number of slides (12–15) and understand what should be on them.
With the first slide, everything is more or less clear: it indicates the title of the report, the author, the supervisor, and the organization. It is also desirable to note the city and year. The information placed on the first slide must be properly formatted. This slide sets the style for the entire presentation.
The style of the entire presentation must be consistent. You can’t make one slide colourful, the next concise, and use a different font in the third. You need to define the whole concept of the performance. It should be suitable for you as a speaker and correspond to the topic of the thesis.
The structure of the report is important too. The entire report can be divided into two main parts: an introductory part (before the formulation of the purpose and objectives of the work) and a substantive part (after the purpose and objectives). If the speaker does not make a high-quality introduction and does not ensure that the topic of the work and the statement of the problem become clear to all those present, then no one will listen to the content. The audience will not understand what the report is about. Therefore, 50% of success is a well-constructed introductory part.
From our point of view, the introductory part should consist of three blocks. The first block is the statement of the problem, in which the speaker tells what the task is. The student introduces the basic concepts and definitions and indicates why the solution to this problem is important. A typical speaker misconception is that listeners know almost everything about this task, except for small details. And instead of explaining on the fingers what his task is, the speaker begins to freely use terms, definitions and facts known, as a rule, only to him and a narrow group of his colleagues, without explaining them in any way.
I can say a fairly simple thing, but the problem statement should be similar to the answer to parents/friends/acquaintances in a bar to the question “What do you do at your university / at work?” And it is unlikely that sitting in a bar or the kitchen with your parents, you will pour out unfamiliar terms and build yourself into a cool specialist. Most likely, you will try to explain on your fingers at least the subject area in which you are conducting research. And as a rule, sitting in a bar / in the kitchen, you manage to do this, but for some reason, during a report, you don’t. You must understand: the simpler, clearer and more understandable you tell about your subject area, the more people will listen to your report to the end
I think it is not worth reminding that the content of the graduate work also affects performance. This event should be taken very seriously. You need to do a great job. You have to visit libraries, analyze current research in the right area, and much more. You can help in writing a high-quality diploma here. Without a review of the results of other researchers, all your work makes absolutely no sense. In it, you must convince the audience that you are aware of all the latest research in this area, fully own the material, and know who, what and when has been done over the past 4-5 years.
The goal of any work should be one. Multiple targets are not allowed. If there are several of them, it is rather that the research tasks are formulated in the wrong place and the wrong form. The goal is what you want to achieve with your work: create a software product, collect a dataset, build a model, conduct an analysis, etc. Think about what you want to achieve with your work. Typically, this will be your goal.
As a rule, among the listeners, there are only 2-3 people who understand what your report is about. Most likely, they would be interested in learning about the details of the study. The rest of the details are not important, they need a general idea. Explain it on your fingers, and for narrow professionals, prepare several additional slides from each block outside the presentation. If suddenly, after your report, one of the listeners decides to ask you a specific question, you will open these slides and answer this question in detail.
On the last slide, you formulate the conclusions or results of your research. Here you just have to duplicate the tasks that were formulated in the middle of your report. That’s all, it remains only to tune in to a positive result and not be nervous in front of the audience.