Managing your props

Notes

You'll need to think about how you are going to deliver your presentation. Some people memorise the whole talk, others read from notes. A middle ground is probably the best way. Familiarise yourself with your material to the point that you will only need headings to guide you. This saves you from forgetting what you memorised, or losing your place long notes. You can use cards or notes to prompt yourself but write in big letters and leave lots of space between points. Write at the bottom of card or note 'Turn to new slide'.

Visual aids

These are helpful both to you as the speaker, and to your audience. They can help illustrate your points and avert the audience's gaze which helps if you're nervous. They also help to retain the audience's interest, giving them another way to understand your points. No matter the form of visual aid, ensure they are visible and legible, here are some hints:

  • present only a small amount of information on the slides. Each slide should have a title
  • do not read word-for-word or you might as well as give a handout
  • use short bulleted lists, charts, graphs, tables to break up the talk but make sure they are labelled
  • use large type, and a sans serif font like Arial, Helvetica or Verdana. Anything smaller than about 23 point may be hard to see in a large room - 12 point would be impossible. Lower case IS BETTER THAN ALL CAPITALS
  • remember to remove them when you've finished with them to avoid distraction
Handouts

Providing handouts is another good way of reinforcing your message and providing supplementary material that there may not be time to present.

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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.