Many fields within graduate school require a research presentation, but only some students feel comfortable presenting.
Thankfully, you can apply some tips to build your presentation skills and be more confident in your public speaking!
Preparation is Key
Preparation is the most critical step of public speaking. First, you should know the content of your presentation thoroughly. Your audience may ask questions, so it is best to challenge your research in anticipation of what others might argue against. Then, practice presenting with one or more people and then ask them for feedback on how the presentation flowed and if there is anything you can improve. This practice will also help you be more confident in presenting research in front of others.
Mind Your Audience when Public Speaking
Do a little research on who you are presenting your research to, and then prepare your presentation according to your audience. If your audience members are experts in the field, you won’t need to explain common concepts in your presentation. You can also try to make the presentation more interesting to listen to with the help of visual aids, such as a relevant and easily understood graph or chart. You can also give relevant personal anecdotes to convey your personality and grab your audience’s attention.
Confidence might not come naturally, but you can practice it so others can’t tell you are nervous. Here are two tips. First, give your presentation in front of a mirror and observe your confidence when standing straight. Second, avoid fidgeting by practicing a few breathing techniques to remain calm.
Once you have given your presentation, reflect on what you did well and what you could improve upon. Presenting is a skill to practice, so don’t be frustrated if your first research presentation doesn’t go as smoothly as expected. Take it as a learning experience you can build upon so that future presentations will be even better.
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