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Crafting Presentations: Some Rules of the Road
Transcript of Crafting Presentations: Some Rules of the Road
The Paper Rule: If You Can Write, You Can Present
Presentations are not all that different from papers. You still hook your audience, introduce your topic and establish a thesis, present evidence and provide analysis of it, and leave us interested with a thought provoking conclusion.
The Slide Rule: Don't be the Gingerbread Man
This rule states that there is no cookie cutter approach to good presentations. While Powerpoint is certainly helpful, the visuals you choose should complement your presentation, and sometimes slides aren't the best for that. Remember that there are scads of other possibilities to engage your audience. If you do use slides, make sure they complement and expand, and don't reiterate what you are saying.
The Script Rule: Don't Use It
While you may start out with a script, your goal should be to practice enough and break down your script into notes so that you don't need it. Preparation here is key as you practice in front of a mirror and for people enough that a quick note is all the cue you need. This will also help with that dreaded eye contact people struggle with so much.
The Research Rule: No Legwork, No Presentation
Alright, maybe you'll still present, but chances are it will be bad. You can only present well if you know what it is that you want to say. The quality of your presentation is therefore dependent on the quality of your research. Familiarizing yourself with The Craft of Research is a great place to start.
Click here to see an example of an Exhibition outline.
Check out this example of a great Powerpoint presentation.
This example of a very visually different presentation.
Check out this example of a well-prepared presenter speaking from notes.
Click here to see an overview of The Craft of Research designed by the Writing Center.