10 Presentations Tips for Academic Projects

10 Commandments for Academic Presentations

Project presentation is not just about telling about what have you done or what are you going to do, it is about presenting your idea and you have to do present in the best way. Students being non-professional presenters make many mistakes while presenting their work so after a while audience retreat to their mobile phones. Before panicking about your project presentation or presenting a terrible one, keep following 10 Commandments for Academic Project Presentation in mind.

1. Timing is most important

Time is a very valuable thing because it is scarce. You have to be very careful about the time. Come at least 30 minutes earlier of your presentation. Be very careful about the time you take on each slide. It is a very good tactic to divide the time on the slides equally. Don’t take too much time on presentation only so you can spare some time for the question and answer session as well. Presentation Guru recommends 1 minute per slide but actually, it depends on the complexity of the idea you are presenting. So, all depends on you that how much time you need to present your idea efficiently without boring the audiences.

2. Double-check everything

The main purpose to come earlier is to check everything. The following checklist will be helpful for you,

  • Multimedia is working fine
  • Slides are aligned properly
  • Media in slides are appearing or not
  • Grammatical or Technical Errors in the slides
  • Proper title and Presenter details
  • Ratio of content in each slide
  • Time required for each slide

3. Use PowerPoint Efficiently

Any presentation software you are using either it is PowerPoint or something else, use it very efficiently. There are several best available templates for PowerPoint presentations, download them and use them. Following are the 5 mistakes that you make while designing your PowerPoint presentation

  1. Too much information on slides is not helpful so don’t vomit everything on them. If you are going to write down How to use powerpoint efficiently in academic project presentations.everything on the slides then please hand-over the slides and take the seat. There is a quite difference between a document and a presentation. If your audiences are reading word by word from the slide then what is the purpose of you being there. So, it is better to do some hard work and turn that data into something meaningful. Tip: Keep one main point per slide.
  2. Visuals make your presentation more attractive so it is better to add some interactive graphs and illustrations. Avoid using the graphics available in Microsoft Office suite and download some free stock-images. Adding flow charts in presentations enhances the presentation of your idea.
  3. Avoid using childish visuals, be professional and look for some better designs. Be careful in using the fonts, You can down beautiful fonts from Google, download them and try them in your presentation. If you think that you are not enough creative then spend some money and buy better templates for you.
  4. Proper alignment of the components in each slide is very important. Effective use of white spaces makes presentation very effective. Be careful while using different color schemes, you can get help about color schemes from colorlovers.com
  5. Design, Don’t just slap things together. 1 hour of presentation requires 30 hours of preparation, this is what the experts say. So, spend some time in designing your presentations if you really want effective results.

4. Be Formal

Academic talks need to be very formal. Avoid the use of any kind of slang or humor that doesn’t sound cool in front of teachers. Your dressing also needs to be formal, if there is any specific uniform of the institution then go for it otherwise go for a suit. Your dress must be slightly better than your audience. Avoid checking shirts and ties with designer logos or other illustrations. View this presentation on the dress code of men and women during the presentation.

5. Maintain a Pace

The poor pace is one of biggest blunders made by the newbie speakers. Pace can make or break your presentation. Most of the newbie presenters speak too much quickly which is the natural effect of fear and nervousness. Gurus say that fast pace causes your audience to understand 10% of your words. So, you have to control your Adrenalin. Only speed is not the issue, the constant pace is also not recommended, this makes you appear as a robot in front of your audiences. Following tips can be helpful in that,

  • Look people in the when speaking
  • Breathe more often
  • Pause between phrases

6. Practice Practice Practice

Yes, you have to do this a lot of times. Marvelous proposal and nice slides can’t save you if you present poorly. You have to repeat each and every word you are going to speak as rehearsal. Looking slides just 1 hour before presentation will end you up as a fool in front of your audiences. I wrote the word practice 3 times because you have to do this in three different ways,

  1. Present in front of Mirror
  2. Invite few volunteers and deliver your presentation to them
  3. Record your presentation and watch it by yourself

7. Avoid slide-reading

It’s the deadliest sin which most of the presenters commit. If your presentation is only about reading the slides then why you even bother to come to the podium, the audiences can read it by themselves. Your slides must contain the keywords or key points of your presentation. The presentation is a kind of formal talk with your audience. Not looking towards someone while talking to them is not a good manner.

8. Don’t be a Robot

Sticking to a place and just keep on speaking will make your presentation boring and unabsorbable for your audiences. Use your hands and head movements to give gestures to the listeners and change your position as well on the available space. It is not recommended to walk in the audiences if it is an academic talk. But if you are a speaker or trainer then it is a highly effective strategy to gain the attention of attendees.

9. Audience Analysis

This is the must-do thing in every kind of talk or presentation. Understanding the expectation of your Audience always helps to deliver a better talk. In delivery an academic talk, surely the experts are sitting in front of you but it’s better to understand that they are expert in what field. Some of the main audience analysis factors are following,

  • Audience Expectations – Everytime audience comes with some expectations and if you violate those expectations, the audience will be offended. Let’s say a politician is planned is deliver a talk to the villagers, they are expecting to hear some news about electricity and roads in the village but the politician starts talking about the legislative matters of the parliament house. He will not only the attention of the villagers but the credibility also.
  • Knowledge of Topic – Don’t ever underestimate the knowledge of your audiences when delivering a presentation on your research proposal. For example, your research topic is something in Genetic engineering and you are explaining them about what DNA is then definitely you will look a fool.
  • Attitude towards Topic – It is necessary to know the attitude of the audience about the topic. It can be possible that the audience are quite interested in your research proposal but they worried about some ethnic and religious issues. So, it would be better to address those issues with more detail in your work.

10. Deliver an Effective Talk

This point is missed by around 98% of the people. Giving a presentation is about telling the about your idea. Keep in mind, there is a motivation in every talk, Academic presentation doesn’t have to be a boring one always. Keep the following points in mind,

  • Fluctuate the tone of voice and convey feelings.
  • Relative descriptive details when necessary.
  • Show sense of humor but not all talks require jokes.

To enhance the delivery of your talk, show enthusiasm, make eye contact, and smile.

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