Oral presentations are given at the venue of the event. The presenter is physically present to deliver a verbal presentation to the audience. Most of the presenters choose to supplement their speech with a series of slides.
How to effectively use slides
We strongly recommend that presenters strategically think through their slides presentation. Best practices include:
- Keeping the text on each slide to the minimum,
- Avoiding reading directly off the slides,
- Using the slides to provide the most basic information, while communicating your content verbally, engaging in eye contact with the audience,
- Using large fonts to make each slide easy to read,
- Employing visual help in the form of images, graphs, charts, and other graphics,
- Designing slides in a way that’s not distracting from the presentation (applies to fonts, colors, and slides’ organization)
How to prepare for your presentation
While the quality of the information you deliver matters greatly, the way you present it will decide whether the audience engages with the content the way you intend them to. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind as you prepare for your presentation:
- Prepare your presentation as a story that you would like to share with the audience. How much background information should you give in order to set up the context of the presentation? How do you naturally transition between different parts of the story? What is the main point of your story? The most interesting stories are the ones told with passion, the ones that give the audience the unexpected.
- Use visual aid strategically. You don’t want the audience to be distracted from what you are saying, so carefully evaluate every piece of visual aid – be it a slide or an image – based on the value it adds to the story you are telling.
- Practice makes perfect. Every great presenter knows that a truly impactful presentation requires rehearsals. It’s a form of art and, as such, should be honed. Practice your presentation at least 3-4 times before the day of the event.
- Manage your time effectively. Having spent a significant amount of time it makes sense that you would want to share as much information with the audience as possible. However, manage your time strategically. You most definitely will not be able to squeeze months (if not years) of research into 20-30 minutes of a presentation. So, instead, focus on the most crucial parts. Time yourself and make sure that your presentation adheres to the time requirements of the event.
- Get to your findings without delays. Yes, it is important to set up the context for your findings – a background, a quick explanation of the methodology, etc. However, do not wait too long to share the findings of your research or you will lose the attention of the audience.
- Don’t use jargon. Keep in mind that the audience comes from diverse educational backgrounds. Unless you absolutely have to use technical terms, avoid doing so to make your presentation as accessible as possible.
- Dress smart. The same way you don’t want the audience to be distracted from the content of your presentation by unnecessary visuals, make sure that your attire doesn’t act as a distraction.
Presentation preparation checklist
- Submit the final copy of the presentation by the deadline given to you by the organizers
- Be on-site and available at least 30 minutes before your presentation
- Have a copy of your presentation on a USB device
- Ensure your presentation is compatible with a Windows operating system. Should your presentation require any specific technical set-up (e.g.different operating system), contact the organizers with your needs and make sure you get a confirmation that the needs can be accommodated
- Label the presentation on your device with your name, presentation day, and time.
Please note that technical issues may arise on-site before, during, or after your presentation. While the organizing committee goes above and beyond to make sure this doesn’t happen, in the event that it does, the organizing committee can not be held responsible.
For your presentation you will be provided with the following equipment:
- A laptop
- A projector
- A smart pointer
- Technical assistants on-site