Presentation skills

Getting started

Most of us have to make a presentation at some point in our lives. These pages will help you to deliver one with confidence. You will learn what should be considered before, during and after a talk. Remember that the success of a good presentation lies in the preparation. Before you start anything, take the time to consider:

  • What is the purpose of the presentation?
    • to inform, to persuade, to educate, to entertain?
    • is it a lecture, a debate, or a speech?
    • is it formal or informal?
  • The audience:
    • who are they?
    • how many?
    • what do they already know?
    • are they receptive or interested?
    • are you going to challenge them?
    • what do you want them to learn or know?
  • The environment - what is the size and layout of the room, and what facilities will be available (data projector, smartboard)?
  • What could be a problem for you?
    • not getting your points over?
    • feeling exposed?
  • How can this happen?
    • stage fright - perfectly normal but can affect your ability to communicate.
    • reading word-for-word and making little eye contact with audience.
    • being too relaxed - you may seem bored and, if so, the audience will switch off.
    • not knowing the material - try to know more (or appear to know more) than your audience.
  • How to avoid it? Prepare, prepare, prepare

Top tip - Don't forget that everyone in your class feels the same as you do.

Creative Commons Licence
SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University, GCU SCEBE Learning Development Centre and the University of Worcester, modified by Marion Kelt Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.