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How to Prepare a Paper Presentation

Last Updated: October 4, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 352,132 times.

A paper is bad enough, but presentations are even more nerve-wracking. You've got the writing down, but how do you turn it into a dynamic, informative, enjoyable presentation? Why, here's how!

Guidelines and Audience

Step 1 Know the requirements.

  • Know how long the speech must be.
  • Know how many points you're required to cover.
  • Know if you must include sources or visuals.

Step 2 Know your audience.

  • If you're presenting to people you know, it'll be easy to know what to break down and what to gloss over. But if you're presenting to unknown stockholders or faculty, for instance, you need to know about them and their knowledge levels, too. You may have to break your paper down into its most basic concepts. Find out what you can about their backgrounds.

Step 3 Know your resources.

  • Does the facility have a computer and projector screen?
  • Is there a working WiFi connection?
  • Is there a microphone? A podium?
  • Is there someone who can assist you in working the equipment before your presentation?

Script and Visuals

Step 1 Create a script for your presentation.

  • Only have one point per notecard -- that way you won't end up searching the notecard for your information. And don't forget to number the cards in case you get mixed up! And the points on your cards shouldn't match your paper; instead of regurgitating information, discuss why the key points of your paper are important or the different points of view on this topic within the field.

Step 2 Decide on a limited number of ideas you want your audience to comprehend and remember.

  • As you go through this outline, remove any jargon if it may not be understood.

Step 3 Design visual aids to make your presentation even better.

  • If you won't have access to the proper technology, print visual aids on poster board or foam-core board.
  • If using presentation software, use words sparingly, but enough to get your point across. Think in phrases (and pictures!), not sentences. Acronyms and abbreviations are okay on the screen, but when you talk, address them fully. And remember to use large fonts -- not everyone's vision is fantastic. [7] X Research source

Step 4 Think in terms of conversation.

  • It's okay to be a bit repetitive. Emphasizing important ideas will enhance comprehension and recall. When you've gone full circle, cycle back to a previous point to lead your audience to the right conclusion.
  • Minimize the unnecessary details (the procedure you had to go through, etc.) when highlighting the main ideas you want to relay. You don't want to overload your audience with fluff, forcing them to miss the important stuff.
  • Show enthusiasm! A very boring topic can be made interesting if there is passion behind it.

Practice, Practice, and More Practice

Step 1 Practice your presentation in front of friends and family members.

  • If you can grab a friend who you think has a similar knowledge level to your audience, all the better. They'll help you see what points are foggier to minds with less expertise on the topic.

Step 2 Tape record yourself.

  • It'll also help you with volume. Some people get rather timid when in the spotlight. You may not be aware that you're not loud enough!

Step 3 Be warm.

  • Do the same with your conclusion. Thank everyone for their time and open the floor for any questions, if allowed.
  • Make eye contact with people in the audience to help build your connection with them.

What Is The Best Way To Start a Presentation? . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Most people get nervous while public speaking. [10] X Research source You are not alone. [11] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1
  • Visual aids not only help the audience, but they can help jog your memory if you forget where you are in your presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Rehearse in front of a mirror before your presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

paper presentation tips for students

  • Answer questions only if it is related to your presentation. Keep these to the end of your talk. Thanks Helpful 76 Not Helpful 14

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Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

  • ↑ https://theihs.org/blog/prepare-for-a-paper-presentation-at-an-academic-conference/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/conference-papers/
  • ↑ https://www.ncsl.org/legislators-staff/legislative-staff/legislative-staff-coordinating-committee/tips-for-making-effective-powerpoint-presentations.aspx
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qZMPW5g-v8
  • ↑ https://twp.duke.edu/sites/twp.duke.edu/files/file-attachments/paper-to-talk.original.pdf
  • ↑ http://www.cs.swarthmore.edu/~newhall/presentation.html
  • ↑ https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebradt/2014/09/10/big-presentation-dont-do-it-have-a-conversation-instead/#6d56a3f23c4b
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/smashing-the-brainblocks/201711/why-are-we-scared-public-speaking
  • ↑ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/specific-phobias/expert-answers/fear-of-public-speaking/faq-20058416

About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To prepare a paper presentation, create an outline of your content, then write your script on note cards or slides using software like PowerPoint. Be sure to stick to one main point per card or slide! Next, design visual aids like graphics, charts, and bullet points to illustrate your content and help the audience follow along. Then, practice giving your presentation in front of friends and family until you feel ready to do it in class! For tips on creating an outline and organizing your information, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Tips for Online Students , Tips for Students

Presentation Tips For Students – Show And Tell Like A Pro!


Giving a presentation to fellow classmates can be a bit daunting, especially if you are new to oral and visual presenting. But with the right PowerPoint tips, public speaking skills, and plenty of practice, you can present like a pro at your upcoming presentation. Here, we’ve laid out the best college presentation tips for students. And once you have one successful presentation, you’ll get better each time!

The Best Presentation Tips for Students

1. arrive early and be technically prepared.

Get to the room early and make sure you leave plenty of time for technical set up and technical difficulties. Have several backup drives (including an online version if possible) so that you are prepared for anything!

2. Know More

Be educated on more than just what you are sharing. That way, you can add points, speak candidly and confidently, and be prepared to answer any audience or teacher questions.

3. Share Your Passion With Your Audience

Connect with your audience by showing that you are passionate about your topic. Do this with the right tone, eye contact, and enthusiasm in your speech.

Photo by  Austin Distel  on  Unsplash

4. pace yourself.

When student presenters are nervous, they tend to speed up their speech. This can be a problem, however, because your speed may be distracting, hard to understand, and you may run under your time.

5. Rehearse Thoroughly

Don’t just practice, rehearse your college presentation. Rehearse the entire delivery, including standing up, using gestures, and going through the slides.

6. Show Your Personality

You don’t need to be professional to the point of stiffness during your college presentation . Don’t be afraid to show your personality while presenting. It will make your presentation more interesting, and you will seem more approachable and confident.

7. Improvise

You can’t be 100% certain what will happen during your presentation. If things aren’t exactly as you expected, don’t be afraid to improvise and run off script.

8. Pump Yourself Up

Get yourself excited and full of energy before your college presentation! Your mood sets the tone for your presentation, and if you get excited right before, you will likely carry that throughout and you’ll make your audience excited about your topic as well.

9. Remember To Pause

Pausing not only only prevents filler words and helps you recollect your thoughts, it can also be a powerful indicator of importance within your presentation.

10. Create “Um” Alternatives

Try hard not to use filler words as they make you look unprofessional and uncertain. The best alternatives to “um” “like” and “so” are taking a breath or a silent pause to collect your thoughts.

11. Using Your Hands

Using your hands makes your college presentation more interesting and helps to get your points across. Point at the slide, use common hand gestures, or mimic a motion.

12. Eye Contact

Eye contact is one of the most important presentation tips for students . Many students are nervous, so they look at their notes or their feet. It is important that you show your confidence and engage your audience by making eye contact. The more presentations you give, the more eye contact will feel natural.

13. The Right Tone

The best public speakers vary their tone and pitch throughout their presentation. Try to change it up, and choose the right tone for your message.

Preparing an Effective College Presentation

1. open strong.

Grab your fellow students’ attention by starting strong with a powerful quote, intriguing scenario, or prompt for internal dialogue.

2. Start With A Mind Map

Mind mapping is literally creating a map of the contents of your college presentation. It is a visual representation and flow of your topics and can help you see the big picture, along with smaller details.

Photo by  Teemu Paananen  on  Unsplash

3. edit yourself.

Some students make the mistake of including too much information in their college presentations. Instead of putting all of the information in there, choose the most important or relevant points, and elaborate on the spot if you feel it’s necessary.

4. Tell A Story

People love stories — they capture interest in ways that figures and facts cannot. Make your presentation relatable by including a story, or presenting in a story format.

5. The Power Of Humor

Using humor in your college presentation is one of the best presentation tips for students. Laughter will relax both you and the audience, and make your presentation more interesting

PowerPoint Tips for Students

1. use key phrases.

Choose a few key phrases that remain throughout your PowerPoint presentation. These should be phrases that really illustrate your point, and items that your audience will remember afterwards.

2. Limit Number Of Slides

Having too many slides will cause you to feel you need to rush through them to finish on time. Instead, include key points on a slide and take the time to talk about them. Try to think about including one slide per one minute of speech.

3. Plan Slide Layouts

Take some time to plan out how information will be displayed on your PowerPoint. Titles should be at the top, and bullets underneath. You may want to add title slides if you are changing to a new topic.

Photo by  NeONBRAND  on  Unsplash

4. the right fonts.

Choose an easy-to-read font that isn’t stylized. Sans serif fonts tend to be easier to read when they are large. Try to stick to only two different fonts as well to keep the presentation clean.

5. Choosing Colors And Images

When it comes to colors, use contrasting ones: light on dark or dark on light. Try to choose a few main colors to use throughout the presentation. Choose quality images, and make sure to provide the source for the images.

6. Use Beautiful Visual Aids

Keep your presentation interesting and your audience awake by adding visual aids to your PowerPoint. Add captivating photos, data representations, or infographics to illustrate your information.

7. Don’t Read Straight From Your Notes

When you read straight from your notes, your tone tends to remain monotonous, you don’t leave much room for eye contact. Try looking up often, or memorizing portions of your presentation.

8. Avoid Too Much Text

PowerPoint was made for images and bullets, not for your entire speech to be written in paragraph form. Too much text can lose your adiences’ interest and understanding.

9. Try A Theme

Choosing the right theme is one of those presentation tips for students that is often overlooked. When you find the right theme, you keep your college presentation looking interesting, professional, and relevant.

10. Be Careful With Transitions And Animations

Animations and transitions can add a lot to your presentation, but don’t add to many or it will end up being distracting.

Public Speaking Tips for Students

1. choose your topic wisely.

If you are able to pick your topic, try to pick something that interests you and something that you want to learn about. Your interest will come through your speech.

2. Visit The Room Beforehand

If your presentation is being held somewhere outside of class, try to visit the location beforehand to prep your mind and calm your nerves.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice, practice, practice! The only way you will feel fully confident is by practicing many times, both on your own and in front of others.

Photo by  Product School  on  Unsplash

4. talk to someone about anxiety.

If you feel anxious about your college presentation, tell someone. It could be a friend, family member, your teacher, or a counselor. They will be able to help you with some strategies that will work best for you.

5. Remind Yourself Of Your Audience

Remember, you are presenting to your peers! They all likely have to make a presentation too at some point, and so have been or will be in the same boat. Remembering that your audience is on your side will help you stay cool and collected.

6. Observe Other Speakers

Look at famous leaders, or just other students who typically do well presenting. Notice what they are doing and how you can adapt your performance in those ways.

7. Remind Yourself Of Your Message

If you can come up with a central message, or goal, of your college presentation, you can remind yourself of it throughout your speech and let it guide you.

8. Don’t Apologize

If you make a mistake, don’t apologize. It is likely that no one even noticed! If you do feel you need to point out your own mistake, simply say it and keep moving on with your presentation. No need to be embarrassed, it happens even to the best presenters!

When you smile, you appear warm and inviting as a speaker. You will also relax yourself with your own smile.

The Bottom Line

It can be nerve racking presenting as a college student, but if you use our presentation tips for students, preparing and presenting your college presentation will be a breeze!

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Designing Effective Science Presentations

How to give an awesome powerpoint presentation, give proper attribution to papers and images, how to prepare good images, text instructions for preparing a presentation.

This is an excellent presentation and Dr. McConnell is a good role model for presenting.

This is a longer video, but well worth your time. She goes into more depth than you will need for 12 minutes, but many of her points are applicable to your paper or blog presentations. The talk is divided into: Minutes 0 to 19:10 - Using Powerpoint wisely and Minutes 19:10 to 42:08 - How to structure a science presentation. See commentator Wes Suhler below the video for a further breakdown and links to the sections of the presentation.

For paper presentations, you don't have to present every figure in the paper, just the most important for understanding. Make "data dives" for two or three points. 

Showing other scientists' research and images are frequently required for science presentations, but we always want to respect the rights of authors when we use these. Here are some tips for using research and images properly.

  • For single paper presentations, put the citation for the article on an early slide and state that subsequent images are from the paper. This gives proper attribution to the authors.
  • For presentations about multiple papers, put an abbreviated citation, e.g., Jones et al., 2019, at the bottom of the slide where you show an image and/or discuss a paper and then add full citations in the reference list on one of the last slides.  This gives proper attribution to the authors.
  • You must get the author's permission to use the images if 1) you are going to use this presentation multiple times in the future, and/or 2) it's going to be stored online where the general public can access it.

Distorted or overly complex images will confuse your audience. Make sure to adjust the size or resolution to create good images for your presentation.

  • Use a snipping tool (e.g., Windows has Snipping Tool) to cut only the essential images or parts of images to insert in your presentation.
  • It's even better if the online paper gives you different sizes of an image to download. Choose more pixels than fewer.
  • After downloading an image, you can open it in Paint or a comparable software to resize and/or crop it.
  • Insert the image in Powerpoint and don't forget to give the attribution for the image.
  • Designing an Effective PowerPoint Presentation: Quick Guide This resource concentrates on the creation of the PowerPoint slides. A guide from the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
  • Presentation Tips for College Students A blog posting from ValuED by Teddy Parker-Renga, sponsored by Colorado State University

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How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation of Your Research Paper

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A research paper presentation is often used at conferences and in other settings where you have an opportunity to share your research, and get feedback from your colleagues. Although it may seem as simple as summarizing your research and sharing your knowledge, successful research paper PowerPoint presentation examples show us that there’s a little bit more than that involved.

In this article, we’ll highlight how to make a PowerPoint presentation from a research paper, and what to include (as well as what NOT to include). We’ll also touch on how to present a research paper at a conference.

Purpose of a Research Paper Presentation

The purpose of presenting your paper at a conference or forum is different from the purpose of conducting your research and writing up your paper. In this setting, you want to highlight your work instead of including every detail of your research. Likewise, a presentation is an excellent opportunity to get direct feedback from your colleagues in the field. But, perhaps the main reason for presenting your research is to spark interest in your work, and entice the audience to read your research paper.

So, yes, your presentation should summarize your work, but it needs to do so in a way that encourages your audience to seek out your work, and share their interest in your work with others. It’s not enough just to present your research dryly, to get information out there. More important is to encourage engagement with you, your research, and your work.

Tips for Creating Your Research Paper Presentation

In addition to basic PowerPoint presentation recommendations, which we’ll cover later in this article, think about the following when you’re putting together your research paper presentation:

  • Know your audience : First and foremost, who are you presenting to? Students? Experts in your field? Potential funders? Non-experts? The truth is that your audience will probably have a bit of a mix of all of the above. So, make sure you keep that in mind as you prepare your presentation.

Know more about: Discover the Target Audience .

  • Your audience is human : In other words, they may be tired, they might be wondering why they’re there, and they will, at some point, be tuning out. So, take steps to help them stay interested in your presentation. You can do that by utilizing effective visuals, summarize your conclusions early, and keep your research easy to understand.
  • Running outline : It’s not IF your audience will drift off, or get lost…it’s WHEN. Keep a running outline, either within the presentation or via a handout. Use visual and verbal clues to highlight where you are in the presentation.
  • Where does your research fit in? You should know of work related to your research, but you don’t have to cite every example. In addition, keep references in your presentation to the end, or in the handout. Your audience is there to hear about your work.
  • Plan B : Anticipate possible questions for your presentation, and prepare slides that answer those specific questions in more detail, but have them at the END of your presentation. You can then jump to them, IF needed.

What Makes a PowerPoint Presentation Effective?

You’ve probably attended a presentation where the presenter reads off of their PowerPoint outline, word for word. Or where the presentation is busy, disorganized, or includes too much information. Here are some simple tips for creating an effective PowerPoint Presentation.

  • Less is more: You want to give enough information to make your audience want to read your paper. So include details, but not too many, and avoid too many formulas and technical jargon.
  • Clean and professional : Avoid excessive colors, distracting backgrounds, font changes, animations, and too many words. Instead of whole paragraphs, bullet points with just a few words to summarize and highlight are best.
  • Know your real-estate : Each slide has a limited amount of space. Use it wisely. Typically one, no more than two points per slide. Balance each slide visually. Utilize illustrations when needed; not extraneously.
  • Keep things visual : Remember, a PowerPoint presentation is a powerful tool to present things visually. Use visual graphs over tables and scientific illustrations over long text. Keep your visuals clean and professional, just like any text you include in your presentation.

Know more about our Scientific Illustrations Services .

Another key to an effective presentation is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. When you’re done with your PowerPoint, go through it with friends and colleagues to see if you need to add (or delete excessive) information. Double and triple check for typos and errors. Know the presentation inside and out, so when you’re in front of your audience, you’ll feel confident and comfortable.

How to Present a Research Paper

If your PowerPoint presentation is solid, and you’ve practiced your presentation, that’s half the battle. Follow the basic advice to keep your audience engaged and interested by making eye contact, encouraging questions, and presenting your information with enthusiasm.

We encourage you to read our articles on how to present a scientific journal article and tips on giving good scientific presentations .

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9 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Students

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Making effective classroom presentations takes practice. When you follow a few PowerPoint presentation tips for students, you'll be up to the challenge. These presentation tips refer to PowerPoint slides (all versions) and can be applied to any type of slide presentation.

Plan Your Slide Layout

Make your slides easy to follow. Put the title at the top where your audience expects to find it. Phrases should read left to right and top to bottom. Keep important information near the top of the slide. Often the bottom portions of slides cannot be seen from the back rows because heads are in the way.

Avoid Fancy Fonts

Choose a font that is simple and easy to read, such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Verdana. You may have a really cool font on your computer, but save it for other uses. Often, fancy fonts aren't easy to read on a screen and distract more than anything.

Don't use more than two different fonts , one for headings and another for content. Keep all fonts large enough (at least 18 pt and preferably 24 pt) so that people at the back of the room can easily read the text.

Use Contrasting Colors for Text and Background

Dark text on a light background is best. This combination offers the most visibility. Sometimes, though, you may want a dark background for effect, to dazzle the crowd. In that case, make the text a light color for easy reading in a classroom presentation.

Text is often difficult to read on patterned or textured backgrounds. Keep the color scheme consistent throughout your classroom presentation.

Keep Slide Design Consistent With a Theme

When you use a design theme, choose one that won't detract from your classroom presentation. Also, keep the slide design consistent with that theme. Test it ahead of time to make sure that the text is readable and that the graphics don't get lost in the background.

Use Footnotes to Add Information

Adding footnotes to the slides in a PowerPoint presentation allows you to document the sources of information you used in your research, just as you would if you were turning in a research paper. Use footnotes to cite quotes and statistics or to add extra details related to the text on the slide.

Print Out Speaker Notes

Reading a PowerPoint presentation in front of a class can be nerve-wracking. Printing your slides with speaker notes allows you to have thumbnails, text, and written notes, if you wish, so you can read along with the slides and add pertinent information. You can also use the printed slides as handouts for the class. Alternatively, you might want to add a voiceover to the slideshow to avoid speaking in class altogether.

Run a Presentation Unattended

There might be times when you want the slideshow to run on its own in a continuous loop, such as part of a science fair presentation. Using the Browsed at Kiosk setting when setting up the presentation lets you show the presentation unattended.

Use Animations and Transition Effects Sparingly

Who doesn't love to apply animations, transitions , or GIFs to a presentation? Going overboard with these elements can be entertaining, but rarely will the audience be paying attention to the message of the presentation. The slideshow is a visual aid and not the objective of the classroom presentation.

Convert PowerPoint Shows to Google Slides

Schools often use the Google suite of productivity applications, such as Google Slides, in the classroom. If you have PowerPoint at home, you can use it to create a presentation and share it with your teacher or others using Google Slides.

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GEN / Skills for Student Success: Presentation Skills

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Before the Presentation

During the Presentation

Coming Together

K.I.S.S.: Keep it Short & Sweet (or just Simple). Use fewer words, & more images. Don't try to impress by using lots of words or jargon, for example.  Imagine what would happen if, in the stress of the moment, you forgot how to pronounce floccinaucinihilipilification !

​Audience:  Greet your audience with a smile. Know who your audience will be, and remember to focus on them while you talk.  Try and put yourself in their place & ask yourself what you would find interesting about your topic.

Equipment: Check, Test, Check, & Test again!  Always check & test the equipment you will be using. If you are using slides, save them in more than one place, e.g. thumbdrive & online. Have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.

Death by PowerPoint


Some presenters cram their slides with information and risk sending their audience to sleep (or even death from boredom). You can use the Scissor Technique to improve your slides:

Step 1: Identify one key message Each slide should contain only one key message that you want to bring across to your audience. Step 2: Highlight the key points Re-read the text and select only the key points.  

Step 3: Enhance with visual Use photos or icons to supplement your text.  

Find out more about this technique .

Interesting Read

9 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Students Making effective classroom presentations takes practice, but by following a few tips, you'll be up to the challenge. These presentation tips refer to PowerPoint slides (all versions), but all of these tips can be applied to any type of slide presentation.

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What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)

Presentation skills are essential for your personal and professional life. Learn about effective presentations and how to boost your presenting techniques.

[Featured Image]: The marketing manager, wearing a yellow top, is making a PowerPoint presentation.

At least seven out of 10 Americans agree that presentation skills are essential for a successful career [ 1 ]. Although it might be tempting to think that these are skills reserved for people interested in public speaking roles, they're critical in a diverse range of jobs. For example, you might need to brief your supervisor on research results.

Presentation skills are also essential in other scenarios, including working with a team and explaining your thought process, walking clients through project ideas and timelines, and highlighting your strengths and achievements to your manager during performance reviews.

Whatever the scenario, you have very little time to capture your audience’s attention and get your point across when presenting information—about three seconds, according to research [ 2 ]. Effective presentation skills help you get your point across and connect with the people you’re communicating with, which is why nearly every employer requires them.

Understanding what presentation skills are is only half the battle. Honing your presenting techniques is essential for mastering presentations of all kinds and in all settings.

What are presentation skills?

Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images.

You'll make presentations at various times in your life. Examples include:

Making speeches at a wedding, conference, or another event

Making a toast at a dinner or event

Explaining projects to a team 

Delivering results and findings to management teams

Teaching people specific methods or information

Proposing a vote at community group meetings

Pitching a new idea or business to potential partners or investors

Why are presentation skills important? 

Delivering effective presentations is critical in your professional and personal life. You’ll need to hone your presentation skills in various areas, such as when giving a speech, convincing your partner to make a substantial purchase, and talking to friends and family about an important situation.

No matter if you’re using them in a personal or professional setting, these are the skills that make it easier and more effective to convey your ideas, convince or persuade others, and experience success. A few of the benefits that often accompany improving your presentation skills include:

Enriched written and verbal communication skills

Enhanced confidence and self-image

Boosted critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities

Better motivational techniques

Increased leadership skills

Expanded time management, negotiation, and creativity

The better your presenting techniques, the more engaging your presentations will be. You could also have greater opportunities to make positive impacts in business and other areas of your life.

Effective presentation skills

Imagine yourself in the audience at a TED Talk or sitting with your coworkers at a big meeting held by your employer. What would you be looking for in how they deliver their message? What would make you feel engaged?

These are a few questions to ask yourself as you review this list of some of the most effective presentation skills.

Verbal communication

How you use language and deliver messages play essential roles in how your audience will receive your presentation. Speak clearly and confidently, projecting your voice enough to ensure everyone can hear. Think before you speak, pausing when necessary and tailoring the way you talk to resonate with your particular audience.

Body language

Body language combines various critical elements, including posture, gestures, eye contact, expressions, and position in front of the audience. Body language is one of the elements that can instantly transform a presentation that would otherwise be dull into one that's dynamic and interesting.

Voice projection

The ability to project your voice improves your presentation by allowing your audience to hear what you're saying. It also increases your confidence to help settle any lingering nerves while also making your message more engaging. To project your voice, stand comfortably with your shoulders back. Take deep breaths to power your speaking voice and ensure you enunciate every syllable you speak.

How you present yourself plays a role in your body language and ability to project your voice. It also sets the tone for the presentation. Avoid slouching or looking overly tense. Instead, remain open, upright, and adaptable while taking the formality of the occasion into account.


Incorporating storytelling into a presentation is an effective strategy used by many powerful public speakers. It has the power to bring your subject to life and pique the audience’s curiosity. Don’t be afraid to tell a personal story, slowly building up suspense or adding a dramatic moment. And, of course, be sure to end with a positive takeaway to drive your point home.

Active listening

Active listening is a valuable skill all on its own. When you understand and thoughtfully respond to what you hear—whether it's in a conversation or during a presentation—you’ll likely deepen your personal relationships and actively engage audiences during a presentation. As part of your presentation skill set, it helps catch and maintain the audience’s attention, helping them remain focused while minimizing passive response, ensuring the message is delivered correctly, and encouraging a call to action.

Stage presence

During a presentation, projecting confidence can help keep your audience engaged. Stage presence can help you connect with your audience and encourage them to want to watch you. To improve your presence, try amping up your normal demeanor by infusing it with a bit of enthusiasm. Project confidence and keep your information interesting.

Watch your audience as you’re presenting. If you’re holding their attention, it likely means you’re connecting well with them.


Monitoring your own emotions and reactions will allow you to react well in various situations. It helps you remain personable throughout your presentation and handle feedback well. Self-awareness can help soothe nervousness during presentations, allowing you to perform more effectively.

Writing skills

Writing is a form of presentation. Sharp writing skills can help you master your presentation’s outline to ensure you stay on message and remain clear about your objectives from the beginning until the end. It’s also helpful to have strong writing abilities for creating compelling slides and other visual aids.

Understanding an audience

When you understand your audience's needs and interests, you can design your presentation around them. In turn, you'll deliver maximum value to them and enhance your ability to make your message easy to understand.

Learn more about presentation skills from industry experts at SAP:

How to improve presentation skills

There’s an art to public speaking. Just like any other type of art, this is one that requires practice. Improving your presentation skills will help reduce miscommunications, enhance your time management capabilities, and boost your leadership skills. Here are some ways you can improve these skills:

Work on self-confidence.

When you’re confident, you naturally speak more clearly and with more authority. Taking the time to prepare your presentation with a strong opening and compelling visual aids can help you feel more confident. Other ways to improve your self-confidence include practicing positive self-talk, surrounding yourself with positive people, and avoiding comparing yourself (or your presentation) to others.

Develop strategies for overcoming fear.

Many people are nervous or fearful before giving a presentation. A bad memory of a past performance or insufficient self-confidence can contribute to fear and anxiety. Having a few go-to strategies like deep breathing, practicing your presentation, and grounding can help you transform that fear into extra energy to put into your stage presence.

Learn grounding techniques.

Grounding is any type of technique that helps you steer your focus away from distressing thoughts and keeps you connected with your present self. To ground yourself, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and imagine you’re a large, mature tree with roots extending deep into the earth—like the tree, you can become unshakable.

Learn how to use presentation tools.

Visual aids and other technical support can transform an otherwise good presentation into a wow-worthy one. A few popular presentation tools include:

Canva: Provides easy-to-design templates you can customize

Powtoon: Animation software that makes video creation fast and easy

PowerPoint: Microsoft's iconic program popular for dynamic marketing and sales presentations

Practice breathing techniques.

Breathing techniques can help quell anxiety, making it easier to shake off pre-presentation jitters and nerves. It also helps relax your muscles and get more oxygen to your brain.  For some pre-presentation calmness, you can take deep breaths, slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

While presenting, breathe in through your mouth with the back of your tongue relaxed so your audience doesn't hear a gasping sound. Speak on your exhalation, maintaining a smooth voice.

Gain experience.

The more you practice, the better you’ll become. The more you doanything, the more comfortable you’ll feel engaging in that activity. Presentations are no different. Repeatedly practicing your own presentation also offers the opportunity to get feedback from other people and tweak your style and content as needed.

Tips to help you ace your presentation

Your presentation isn’t about you; it’s about the material you’re presenting. Sometimes, reminding yourself of this ahead of taking center stage can help take you out of your head, allowing you to connect effectively with your audience. The following are some of the many actions you can take on the day of your presentation.

Arrive early.

Since you may have a bit of presentation-related anxiety, it’s important to avoid adding travel stress. Give yourself an abundance of time to arrive at your destination, and take into account heavy traffic and other unforeseen events. By arriving early, you also give yourself time to meet with any on-site technicians, test your equipment, and connect with people ahead of the presentation.

Become familiar with the layout of the room.

Arriving early also gives you time to assess the room and figure out where you want to stand. Experiment with the acoustics to determine how loudly you need to project your voice, and test your equipment to make sure everything connects and appears properly with the available setup. This is an excellent opportunity to work out any last-minute concerns and move around to familiarize yourself with the setting for improved stage presence.

Listen to presenters ahead of you.

When you watch others present, you'll get a feel for the room's acoustics and lighting. You can also listen for any data that’s relevant to your presentation and revisit it during your presentation—this can make the presentation more interactive and engaging.

Use note cards.

Writing yourself a script could provide you with more comfort. To prevent sounding too robotic or disengaged, only include talking points in your note cards in case you get off track. Using note cards can help keep your presentation organized while sounding more authentic to your audience.

Learn to deliver clear and confident presentations with Dynamic Public Speaking from the University of Washington. Build confidence, develop new delivery techniques, and practice strategies for crafting compelling presentations for different purposes, occasions, and audiences.

Article sources

Forbes. “ New Survey: 70% Say Presentation Skills are Critical for Career Success , https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/09/25/new-survey-70-percent-say-presentation-skills-critical-for-career-success/?sh=619f3ff78890.” Accessed December 7, 2022.

Beautiful.ai. “ 15 Presentation and Public Speaking Stats You Need to Know , https://www.beautiful.ai/blog/15-presentation-and-public-speaking-stats-you-need-to-know. Accessed December 7, 2022.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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8 Tips to Power-Up Your Classroom Presentations

Last month, I attended a Back to School Night for parents, sitting through presentation after presentation by teachers, some with slides that helped make their presentation a delight to listen to, and others . . . well, that's why I'm writing this blog post.

The goal of a classroom presentation is to aid you in effectively conveying information in a way that allows students (or their parents) to remember what you said. Unfortunately, for some, the presentation becomes a crutch, and they begin to rely on the slides to tell their story, rather than to help them tell the story.

I've been creating presentations using software like PowerPoint and KeyNote for 20 years, and I've learned a lot about how to most effectively communicate. Here's what I've found.

1. Use as Many Slides as You Need

It's a common myth that better presentations use fewer slides. This is simply not the case. I once sent an education conference presentation to the organizers so they could preview it in advance of my speaking. They wrote back, concerned that my 45-minute presentation had 116 slides. I looked it over and realized they were right! I revised it and sent a presentation with 135 slides back to them. I finished my talk with 5 minutes to spare -- just enough time to take questions -- and the presentation was a huge success.

The number of slides in your presentation is irrelevant. What matters is how well your slides communicate and how much time you spend talking about each slide. Spending five minutes on five slides will almost always be more engaging to your students than spending five minutes on a single slide, even when the information is exactly the same.

In the movie Amadeus , the Emperor of Austria complains to Mozart that his music has "too many notes." Mozart responds, "There are just as many notes as are required. Neither more nor less." Use as many slides as you need to make your point. No more. No less.

paper presentation tips for students

2. Minimize Verbosity

Your slides are there to support what you are saying, not to say it for you. Keep your word count low, and only place one main point on a slide, plus three to five sub-points if absolutely needed. Remember tip #1 above -- don't be afraid to use more slides. They're free! Also, the language in your slides doesn't need to be in complete sentences. Pare the text to as few words as possible, using what's there only to emphasize and reinforce -- not replace -- the words coming out of your mouth.

paper presentation tips for students

3. Maximize Visuals

Photos, figures and icons work as visual memory triggers. They help your students remember what it is you're saying. Any time you can add a visual that helps illustrate or reinforce the points you're making in your slides, you should use it. One great way to do this on the cheap is to use public domain or creative commons photos you can find on Flickr or Google .

4. Reduce Noise

Many teachers like to add banners, headers, footers, page numbers and more noise to their slides. Unless the information needs to be on every slide for a vital reason (which is rare), you should remove it. All these redundant elements do is create distractions from the content of your slides. I find this to be especially true of page numbers. Imagine if a movie included a time code at the bottom, constantly reminding you how long you had been watching. All this does is serve to take the viewer out of the moment. Page numbers in slides really don't provide any useful information -- they just remind your students how long they've been watching.

Pursuant to tips #1 and #2, you're not going to win awards by cramming the most content on the fewest slides. Make text and visuals as large as you can. Not only does this make them easier to see and read, but larger images and text make a greater impact to aid memory. There's nothing wrong with filling an entire slide with a photo, and then placing text right on top. You may have to use a transparent background immediately behind the text so that it's clearly readable, but the overall effect is almost always more memorable than just some text beside an image.

paper presentation tips for students

6. Highlight What You Are Talking About

While you are presenting, your students may be momentarily distracted taking notes, thinking about what you are saying, glancing out the window, possibly even daydreaming. When they refocus on your slides, though, they need to quickly pick back up where you are, or you risk losing them again.

  • Use contrast or call-outs to clearly show the area of the slide you are talking about.
  • Reveal bullet points or table rows one at a time so that the last one visible is the one you are talking about.
  • Use arrows, circles or other pointers to show what you are referencing in specific parts of an illustration, photo or graph.
  • Animate and reveal parts of illustrations and graphs (where possible) to build your story rather than showing everything at once.
  • Use bold type or different colors to highlight the keywords in any lengthy text.

paper presentation tips for students

7. Transition Changes

Humans suffer from an affliction called change blindness -- we have a hard time seeing changes unless there is a clear transition between the states. This is especially a problem in presentations where slides may look very much alike. Most programs include transitions that can be used between slides or on elements in the slides themselves.

My favorite transition is the cross-dissolve -- where the first slide fades down while the next slide fades up -- but different transitions can help illustrate points in your presentation. Are you talking about combustion or the fire of London? Use a flame transition. Talking about photography or Hollywood movies? Use the flashbulb transition. Even "cheesy" transitions help overcome change blindness and aid student memory at the same time.

8. Repeat Yourself Redundantly

It’s OK to repeat the same slide more than once -- especially when using images -- if you are reminding students of an earlier point. Obviously, this is not a license to be monotonous. However, if you want to tie separate ideas together, emphasize a point or splash in a little comic relief, it's perfectly fine to repeat a slide.

Bonus Tip: Make it Funny!

There's little doubt that emotional responses can aid memory. While it can be difficult to apply this power in a classroom slide presentation, humor is easy enough, and adding a bit of levity to your presentations at the right points can work to give students vital memory hooks.

Remember, the point of presentation slides is not to replace you as the teacher, but to help your students understand and remember what you are teaching. Overwhelming them with too much information can be just as harmful as underwhelming them with too little.



Best Presentation Tips for Students

  • October 19, 2022

Table of Contents

Prepare an outline, create a strong beginning and end, know more than you need, practice, practice, practice, work on your anxiety, create helpful visual aids, arrive early and set up, be prepared to improvise, show your passion, find alternatives or avoid filler words, watch your gestures and make eye contact.

Being a student and giving a presentation might cause anxiety, especially if you have not had a chance to practice speaking in front of large crowds and gain confidence. Fortunately, there are many techniques you can use to minimize your presentation-related anxieties while improving your delivery. 

This article will not just help improve your presentation skills; it will also give you far more confidence to stand in front of a crowd, which for some can be frightening. So do not click off sweaty and afraid just yet. Here are our best tips for improving your presentation skills.

Presentations are frequently required of college students, and it’s only one of the many causes of stress during that period. While the presentation’s objectives and outside factors will impact the presentation’s style, content, and structure, each requires certain skills to achieve a successful delivery.

Unfortunately, even after college, doing presentations will still be necessary. Most professions demand you to present to a group or client, depending on the sector, so the earlier you start practicing, the better. We are here to share presentation tips to help you overcome your fears and perfect your presentation skills.

So, how do you start a presentation as a student? Here is what you need to know. When creating a presentation, the most challenging part can be organizing everything you know about the topic in a logical order. To ensure that the outline does not jeopardize your presentation, you can use the mind-map strategy.

Mind mapping is a visual representation of the information in your presentation. It can assist you in seeing both the big picture and the little details because it gives your topics a visual representation and flow. It gives you a clear idea of what needs to come first and after that. 

You may discover countless tools and mind-mapping software online. If you are worried about remembering what to say, this is a stage you do not want to skip.

Conceptualizing and framing your topic is the most crucial part of preparing. One of the most important decisions you make is where to start and where to end. To choose where to start, consider what the audience already knows and how engaged they are in your topic. 

That does not imply that your presentation can succeed or fail based on the introduction. The finest speakers immediately introduce their topic, describe their enthusiasm for it, and inspire the audience to share their enthusiasm. 

Additionally, your presentation will stand out if the ending is strong. It may include a call to action, a memorable quote, a story describing why this subject is so significant to you personally, or a summary of essential lessons learned.

You will research the topic you intend to cover before creating a presentation to understand it thoroughly. And because you know the subject, you may feel as if you need to pour all of it on your audience, and this is where you are wrong. 

Know more than what you share; however, it is preferable to keep your presentation subject to what can be discussed and supported by examples during the specified time. By doing so, you will be able to elaborate, talk openly and confidently, and be ready to respond to any queries from the audience. 

The most effective public speakers prepare their speeches and presentations months in advance so they may run through practice sessions to fully iron out any kinks. Yes, perfectionism is a learned trait. Your body language will improve when you are well-prepared before giving a presentation, and you will feel more at ease and confident. Hence, practicing your presentation multiple times would be preferable. 

Practice your presentation in front of a friend, coworker, or family member so they can provide feedback. Alternatively, you can try recording it and listening to it later to identify which areas need improvement. Giving oneself plenty of preparation time is the best approach to making a good presentation unforgettable. 

The main focus of pre-gaming is getting ready for the big game. If this is the case, you might want to calm your anxieties by yelling out the title of your presentation, hopping around, or practicing the entire thing in front of a mirror.

Before your presentation, get pumped up and energetic! Your attitude sets the tone of the presentation, so if you are excited just before, you’ll probably maintain it throughout and spark the interest of your audience.

Your audience does not want to sit through a protracted presentation where all you hear is one person talking at you, just as you would not want to. Avoid boredom for them (and yourself) by incorporating lovely visual aids. The audience will find your presentation more entertaining. Visual aids might act as cues to help you stay on course.

Use contrasting colors whenever possible, such as light on dark or dark on light. To use throughout the presentation, stick with a few primary colors. Select high-quality photographs, and be sure to cite the image’s source.

Our attention span is relatively short because of the information overload and continual scrolling. As a result, incorporating graphics that can captivate an audience helps them understand complex concepts, create emotional connections, and help with knowledge retention.

Nowadays, the presenting technology options are countless. The visual technology portion of your presentation tends to get a lot of attention but can also make or break your presentation if the equipment decides not to function properly. 

As a result, perhaps the most important thing to remember while giving a speech is to arrive early. Preventive action is the greatest approach to staying out of trouble and having everything fall apart last minute. 

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The day before, back up your presentation software, upload it to Dropbox, and bring an MP4. Verify that all technical equipment, including the computer and projector, are hooked up and operating properly before the class begins. After double-checking everything, you are ready to present.

Even careful planning can never predict when something will go wrong. Yes, the mistakes you will probably make during a presentation won’t result in anyone being beheaded. However, knowing what to do if an unexpected power loss destroys your expertly created PowerPoint presentation is still useful.

Preparing a script and practicing your speech is essential for an effective presentation. However, as things start to diverge from your goals, it can cause you to fall behind. Remain calm and confident, even if things do not turn out the way you expected them to. 

Take advantage of whatever occurred, then nudge the presentation back in your desired direction. Make jokes to keep the audience’s attention or gracefully respond to nasty comments.

You could lapse into an overly professional and rigid speaking style during a presentation. This will make for a dull presentation. Do not forget to express your personality. Speaking casually will help you come out as credible and professional. 

Analyze the demographics of your target audience to determine the most efficient communication strategies. Once you figure that out, you will be able to show your passion for the subject and have the audience understand why the topic is important to you and why they should care about the matter. 

How do you speak in a presentation? Do you stutter or speak too quickly? You are not alone. When anxious, you often strive to get through the presentation as quickly as you can to finish it. An absolute no-no! Make sure to talk more slowly than you usually would to help the audience comprehend and assimilate what you are saying. 

As a result, you’ll be less anxious and less likely to stumble over the words you will unavoidably want to employ, such as filler words. Avoid them as much as possible because they lend you a shaky, unprofessional appearance. The finest substitutes for “uh,” “like,” and “so” are exhaling or pausing silently to gather your thoughts.

One of the most crucial pieces of advice for students is to make eye contact when presenting. Because they are so anxious, many turn to look at their notes or feet. Make eye contact with your audience to transmit confidence and keep them interested. You will find eye contact becomes more natural the more presentations you deliver.

Simply moving around will help you include eye contact in your presentation! If you pace a little or switch sides, your eyes will automatically shift to different room sections. 

Using your hands is another excellent method to interact with your audience and aid in their understanding of your ideas. Pinch your fingers when discussing a small matter. When referring to numbers less than five, raise the appropriate number of fingers. It makes it simpler to remember the number. It is a method for drawing attention to—in a nonverbal way—the word that listeners need to retain.

Being on stage as a college student can be intimidating, but with our presentation tips for students, it will be easy for you to prepare and deliver your presentation. And after giving one effective presentation, you will never want to get off the stage! However, to be successful in college requires more than having your presentation skills down. To learn more about this, read our article on the habits of successful students .

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15 Presentation Tips for Students You Need to Know in 2022

College students are often asked to make presentations. The presentation's style, substance, and organization will be influenced by its goals and external factors. However, to be successful, each presentation calls for some skills. As a result, in this article, you will be introduced to 15 presentation tips for students which can help you strengthen this skill. 

Best 15 Presentation Tips for Students

Effective presentation methods and excellent presentation skills are necessary for a successful delivery. Many elements are important for a presentation to be effective–the design, content, delivery of information, etc. The presenter must consider the most effective way to communicate information to the audience. 

You can accomplish this by strengthening your presentation skills with the tips provided below. 

Prepare a mind map or outline

paper presentation tips for students

The most important aspect of preparation is conceptualizing and framing your topic. Choosing where to begin and where to conclude is one of the biggest decisions. Consider what the audience already knows and how interested they are in your subject to determine where to begin. That does not mean that the introduction can make or break your presentation.

The best speakers immediately present the subject, outline their passion for it, and persuade the audience to love it as well.

True, practice makes perfect. When you are well-prepared before giving a presentation, your body language will also improve, and you will feel more at ease and confident. Naturally, it would be best if you practiced your presentation several times. 

To determine which sections need improvement, rehearse your presentation for a friend or coworker, or try recording it and listening to it later. Listening to recordings of your previous presentations can reveal bad habits you might not be aware of.

Know more than you’re planning to share

paper presentation tips for students

Before preparing a presentation, you will do your research and learn a lot about the specific topic you want to cover. As a result, you want to share with the audience all the knowledge you have gained; however, that is not always the best-case scenario. It is better to limit the topic of your presentation to what can be presented and illustrated with examples in the time allotted. 

As such, you should resist the urge to sweep too widely. Instead, try to dig deeper and add more information. Instead of describing something too broadly, focus on your specific topic. This will help your audience better comprehend your presentation. 

Show passion

You will have problems persuading the audience to agree with you if you do not believe in the subject with the same enthusiasm that you love to talk about it. Find a feature about it that you can come to adore. You must have confidence in your reasoning, be prepared, and be enthusiastic about the subject.

Manifest your passion through your activities. Maintain eye contact with audience members while making a lot of gestures (mainly when speaking to a sizable crowd from the stage), grinning, and letting your passion come through in your voice. 

Almost invariably, speaking more slowly results in a significant improvement in how you sound. The fast motion causes your mouth to start talking randomly when you speak too quickly. Then you begin to feel compelled to finish those thoughts, which causes you to deviate. 

This detracts from your own presentation and gives the impression that you are unorganized and out of control. And it's more difficult for your audience to understand what you're saying.

Be prepared to improvise

paper presentation tips for students

Everyone has encountered a situation in their professional lives where a technical glitch has caused more suffering than imagined. What is advisable to do is to take any situation that deviates from the script as a chance to sharpen your presentation skills. 

Improvise by making jokes to keep the audience's attention or respond to harsh criticism gracefully. But keep in mind to never become anxious or lose confidence. 

Reading the slides is a big no. It presents you in a careless, unprofessional, and unprepared manner. It's only natural for the audience to attempt to read a slide with a lot of text. The brain only processes so much new information at once though. As a result, viewers can either read the slides or listen to you, but not both.

Instead, have slides with keywords to support your arguments. In other words, let the slides enhance your speech, not replace it.

To purposefully pause throughout your presentation takes a significant amount of confidence. The audience anticipates that you will talk while you are in the front of the room. You may feel pressured to do so.  

However, a pause is an excellent approach to get people's attention. Every awards show uses this element; the pause magnifies the anticipation. The value and memorability of the message are enhanced by anticipation, which is exactly what you want for your presentation. 

Don’t be monotonous

paper presentation tips for students

The main factor for a successful presentation is to keep your audience interested. People can become very bored with repetition and monotony. Unconscious cues from your voice affect how the listener views your knowledge, zeal, and sincerity. 

As a result, you should experiment with your voice's volume, pitch, and pace of speaking to prevent giving monotonous presentations.

Use your hands

Hand movement can be a great way to engage with your audience and help them understand your arguments better. 

Pinch your fingers when talking about something minor. Hold up the appropriate number of fingers when referring to a number less than five. It makes the number easier to recall. It serves as a technique to highlight—in a nonverbal fashion—the word that listeners need to remember.

 Make eye contact

Watch for your audience's response to what you are saying. You can tell whether someone is nodding their head or showing signs of concentration, which will help you concentrate on talking to your audience.

If the person looks confused, you'll probably explain and become more concerned with your message. You will naturally slow down if you start thinking more about your audience than yourself, which is why eye contact is key. 

Create visual aids

paper presentation tips for students

Because of the information overload and constant scrolling in our modern world, the attention span is very limited. Depending on the topic and speaker's communication style, audience engagement in speeches and presentations peaks around the 10-minute mark. 

As a result, some PowerPoint presentation tips would be using visuals that can engage an audience, help them comprehend complex concepts, build emotional connections with them, and aid in information retention. 

Humor is one of the most effective techniques for communicating and getting your point through. It can also be one of the best ways to make your presentation memorable when done properly.

You can utilize humorous catchphrases, analogies, cartoons, or your own experiences. Personal stories are frequently filled with funny details, and when you tell about something that has happened to you, people may relate, which is the entire reason the narrative is humorous. 

Tell stories

paper presentation tips for students

Telling stories is a captivating presentation technique. Stories captivate an audience, arouse empathy, build trust, and drive action. People love stories because they can relate to them.

Developing your narrative abilities will make it easier for you to convince the audience of the importance of your views. Spend the necessary time developing these abilities to differentiate your point from the others.

Arrive early and prepare

Arriving earlier may be the most crucial thing to do when giving a speech. You don't want to be one of the presenters who enters the room quickly at the last second. The equipment does not work, the space is not organized as anticipated, and the handouts are missing. Everything just breaks down.

Simply arriving earlier is all that is needed to prevent such chaos. Check everything twice, and you're set to go.

You could attempt combining the 15 presentation tips for students to give a compelling presentation. It should be noted that not all of these suggestions may be needed for your particular presentation. Furthermore, using too many of these may make the presentation seem cluttered and "rehearsed."

So consider in advance what you want to focus on, and after some practice, you will find your own presentation style that will make you unique.


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class presentation tips for students

31 of the best class presentation tips for students

Katie September 20, 2022 communication , grades

paper presentation tips for students

By Katie Azevedo, M.Ed.

Giving class presentations is just part of the school experience. Some students dread presenting to their classmates, and others prefer class presentations to written assessments. If you’re new to this, or if you’re just looking for some ideas, I share my best class presentation tips for students in the post below. 

Class presentations often involve a visual component, and an audio and delivery component. The tips in this post are for class presentations that involve SLIDES, such as Google Slides or PowerPoint. Therefore, I break down the class presentation tips for students into the following categories:

  • text and content
  • Audio and delivery class presentation tips
  • Bonus class presentation tips to up-level your game

Class presentation tips for VISUALS

The following tips will enhance the visual component of your school presentation. The strategies are further categorized by format, text, and images.

Class presentation tips for slide FORMAT 

The visual format of your presentation must be clear and easy to read.

1. Use a slide deck.

This class presentation tip is obvious, but I can’t leave it off the list. If you’re presenting to your fellow students, you will need some kind of visual representation of the information you’re delivering. Very rarely will you present to your class without slides. Google Slides and PowerPoint are the two primary products to make slides. 

2. Use the right number of slides.

Class presentations in high school and college will likely be 5 minutes or less. Follow your teacher’s guidelines, of course, but generally, students will use 1-2 slides per minute. (That would be 5-10 slides for a 5-minute presentation.)

3. Use an appropriate slide template and theme.

PowerPoint and Google Slides come with default slide templates (themes). Most of the default templates are suitable for class presentations, and so you should be fine choosing one of those. You can also find templates on the free version of Canva. I like slidesgo.com for free templates (it’s not sketchy – I’ve personally used it. I also like SlidesCarnival.com but you have to import the templates into Canva first, and then export them from Canva into Google Slides or PowerPoint. 

4. Use clear fonts.

Pick your font based on clarity, not creativity. Your audience should be able to read your text effortlessly and from the back of the classroom. Here are some rules:

  • Avoid cursive / script fonts
  • Avoid writing in all capital letters
  • Avoid fonts that are entirely in italics (slanted)

5. Use a maximum of two fonts.

Stick to two fonts: one for headings and titles, and one for body text. More than two fonts make your slides hard to read.

6. Use 3-4 colors.

Stick to a basic color palette of no more than four colors. It’s fine to use images that are outside your color scheme, but besides images, avoid too many colors. Most default templates stick to four colors or less, so you’re safe if you use a pre-made template. 

7. Use high-contrast text-on-background combinations.

Your text needs to stand out from the background color. Black font on a white background or white font on a black background provides the highest contrast and best readability. This website here provides excellent information and examples about color combinations.

Class presentation tips for slide TEXT and CONTENT

8. start with a simple title slide..

Your teacher will likely require a title slide in the syllabus. Even if it’s not required, make one anyway. A title slide should be simple: the name of the presentation, your name, and a simple graphic or image. 

9. Include a roadmap slide.

A roadmap slide (I made up that term, but it works) is like a table of contents. It tells your classmates what they will learn from your presentation. Even if your presentation is only 6 slides long, a roadmap slide can be helpful. Below is an example. 

tips for class presentations for students - roadmap slide

10. Include enough white space.

White space is the blank space that doesn’t contain text or images. White space is very important for readability. In the image below, you can see the impact white space has on readability. 

tips for class presentations for students - include margin

11. Use bullet points.

Whenever possible, use bullet points instead of complete sentences. Most slides should include no more than 5-6 bullet points. If you need to say more, continue the bullet points on another slide.

12. Leave some text off the slides.

Your slides should include minimal to moderate text that you will elaborate on during your class presentation. In other words, don’t cram the slides full of everything you want to share on the topic. The only exception to this rule is if you are not verbally presenting to the class, but are instead just sharing the slides with your classmates to view on their own.

13. Include examples.

Examples make most things clearer. When possible, include an example for all your main points. 

14. Include statistics and other quantitative information.

Use numbers in place of text when you can. Numbers and statistics can be easier for your audience to process. Example below:

  • Instead of saying this: There is one-third as many Giant Pandas living in 2020 as there were in 2014.
  • Say this: Giant Panda population in 2140 = 1864 | Giant Panda population in 2020 = 600 [ source ]

15. Include a summary slide

Consider adding a final summary slide to your class presentation. This is an excellent strategy because it will increase your audience’s understanding of your main points. The text on this slide should be in bullet-point format. The information on this slide might align with the information on your roadmap slide.

tips for class presentations for students - summary slide

Class presentation tips for slide IMAGES

16. include an image or graphical element on each slide..

Every slide should have some kind of graphical element to complement the text. Some slides might even have an image and no text. (You would explain the image in your verbal presentation to the class.) Note: be sure to cite all images.

17. Use images / graphics for illustration and emphasis, not decoration .

Avoid using images for decoration. Images and graphics should do one of the following:

  • Add something valuable to the text
  • Illustrate the idea on the slide
  • Represent the idea on the slide
  • Emphasize an element of the slide (such as underlines, stars, etc.)

18. Resize and reformat images.

Resize images and graphics to fit the scale of your slide. It should be big enough to see clearly, but still allow for plenty of white space (Class Presentation Tip #10). You can remove the background of an image using a mobile app, or something like the paid version of Canva or PicMonkey. Again, be sure to cite your images.

19. Use video when appropriate.

If your presentation calls for it, include short video clips. Only use video if it adds value. 

20. Use icons for emphasis.

Use icons like stars, 3D shapes, speech bubbles, and arrows to emphasize important text. Keep these icons within your color scheme. You can find free icons within Google Slides and PowerPoint, or you can use Google Images or Canva.

21. Use graphs and charts.

Too much text is confusing. Too many images is boring. Solve this problem by using pie charts, bar graphs and other graphical ways of representing data.

Class presentation tips for SPEAKING

You might have the best slides in the class, but your presentation is not complete until you deliver it to your classmates. The following tips are for improving your audio and delivery.

22. Never read directly from the slides.

Use the slides as a reference, but don’t read word-for-word. How do you do this? First change to the next slide. Then look at it for cues. Next, speak directly to your classmates, making eye contact as your speak. It’s okay to glance back at the slide if you need to.

23. Face your audience.

Your body should always face the audience. Stand or sit either straight on, or at a 45-degree angle. Never have your body square to the presentation screen.

24. Explain the images.

When you present each slide, you should spend some time on the text and some time on the images. If your images add value (which they should), then this should be simple to do.

25. Speak slowly and clearly.

Speak slower than you naturally speak. Practice difficult words until they are smooth.

26. Use verbal transitions between topics.

When you change topics, use transition expressions such as “Next, we are going to look at …” or “Now, let’s move on to …”

27. Practice more than you want to.

Practicing your class presentation over and over improves your delivery and increases your confidence. Practice in front of the mirror, in front of others, or in front of your camera (to be watched later, of course).

Bonus class presentation tips for students: How to up-level your game 

The following bonus tips are for students looking to take their class presentations to the next level. Keep in mind that some of the ideas below are best suited for college and university students.

28. Provide a printed note-catcher.

An engaged audience is the best audience. To increase your classmates’ active focus, provide each student a printed note-catcher they can use to follow along with your presentation. PowerPoint and Google Slides both have features that enable you to print out your presentation with the slides on the left and space to take notes on the right. 

29. Ask questions and survey your classmates.

Another way to engage your audience is by asking them questions. You can build these questions into the slides themselves, or you can pause your presentation to ask questions before moving to a slide with the answers.

30. Use the Speaker Notes section .

The text on your slides should vary from the words you speak to your classmates during your presentation. Either you practice your presentation so much that you memorize it, or you use the Speaker Notes section on PowerPoint or Google Slides.

31. Open with a question, and close with an answer . 

A great class presentation tip for students is to open with a question you pose to your classmates at the beginning, and then close with the answer. You could put the question on its own opening slide and then close with another slide that re-poses the question and features the answer. 

For example, if you are presenting on Susan B. Anthony, your question could be Who was Susan B. Anthony? and the answer – which is the point of your presentation – could be Susan B. Anthony was one of America’s greatest champions for freedom and equality of women and slaves. College-level presentations would have more complex question-and-answer pairings than this example, but you get the idea.

Class presentation tips for students – summary notes

It’s important to follow your teacher’s requirements when creating your class presentation. Use these tips and strategies to maximize your grade, impression on the class, and your content delivery – but always consult your syllabus first. 

And finally, the greatest tip of all is to PRACTICE. In Tip #27 I emphasize the importance of practicing more than you want to. Watch TED talks and other notable speakers to see how smooth they speak – these presenters have practiced the same presentation hundreds of times. Practice is the key.

More resources

  • How to ask for help in school: 4 tips for self-advocacy
  • What to do when you’re confused in class
  • 5 life skills all students need to be functional adults

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Center for Teaching

Making better powerpoint presentations.

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Baddeley and Hitch’s model of working memory.

Research about student preferences for powerpoint, resources for making better powerpoint presentations, bibliography.

We have all experienced the pain of a bad PowerPoint presentation. And even though we promise ourselves never to make the same mistakes, we can still fall prey to common design pitfalls.  The good news is that your PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have to be ordinary. By keeping in mind a few guidelines, your classroom presentations can stand above the crowd!

“It is easy to dismiss design – to relegate it to mere ornament, the prettifying of places and objects to disguise their banality. But that is a serious misunderstanding of what design is and why it matters.” Daniel Pink

One framework that can be useful when making design decisions about your PowerPoint slide design is Baddeley and Hitch’s model of working memory .

paper presentation tips for students

As illustrated in the diagram above, the Central Executive coordinates the work of three systems by organizing the information we hear, see, and store into working memory.

The Phonological Loop deals with any auditory information. Students in a classroom are potentially listening to a variety of things: the instructor, questions from their peers, sound effects or audio from the PowerPoint presentation, and their own “inner voice.”

The Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad deals with information we see. This involves such aspects as form, color, size, space between objects, and their movement. For students this would include: the size and color of fonts, the relationship between images and text on the screen, the motion path of text animation and slide transitions, as well as any hand gestures, facial expressions, or classroom demonstrations made by the instructor.

The Episodic Buffer integrates the information across these sensory domains and communicates with long-term memory. All of these elements are being deposited into a holding tank called the “episodic buffer.” This buffer has a limited capacity and can become “overloaded” thereby, setting limits on how much information students can take in at once.

Laura Edelman and Kathleen Harring from Muhlenberg College , Allentown, Pennsylvania have developed an approach to PowerPoint design using Baddeley and Hitch’s model. During the course of their work, they conducted a survey of students at the college asking what they liked and didn’t like about their professor’s PowerPoint presentations. They discovered the following:

Characteristics students don’t like about professors’ PowerPoint slides

  • Too many words on a slide
  • Movement (slide transitions or word animations)
  • Templates with too many colors

Characteristics students like like about professors’ PowerPoint slides

  • Graphs increase understanding of content
  • Bulleted lists help them organize ideas
  • PowerPoint can help to structure lectures
  • Verbal explanations of pictures/graphs help more than written clarifications

According to Edelman and Harring, some conclusions from the research at Muhlenberg are that students learn more when:

  • material is presented in short phrases rather than full paragraphs.
  • the professor talks about the information on the slide rather than having students read it on their own.
  • relevant pictures are used. Irrelevant pictures decrease learning compared to PowerPoint slides with no picture
  • they take notes (if the professor is not talking). But if the professor is lecturing, note-taking and listening decreased learning.
  • they are given the PowerPoint slides before the class.

Advice from Edelman and Harring on leveraging the working memory with PowerPoint:

  • Leverage the working memory by dividing the information between the visual and auditory modality.  Doing this reduces the likelihood of one system becoming overloaded. For instance, spoken words with pictures are better than pictures with text, as integrating an image and narration takes less cognitive effort than integrating an image and text.
  • Minimize the opportunity for distraction by removing any irrelevant material such as music, sound effects, animations, and background images.
  • Use simple cues to direct learners to important points or content. Using text size, bolding, italics, or placing content in a highlighted or shaded text box is all that is required to convey the significance of key ideas in your presentation.
  • Don’t put every word you intend to speak on your PowerPoint slide. Instead, keep information displayed in short chunks that are easily read and comprehended.
  • One of the mostly widely accessed websites about PowerPoint design is Garr Reynolds’ blog, Presentation Zen . In his blog entry:  “ What is Good PowerPoint Design? ” Reynolds explains how to keep the slide design simple, yet not simplistic, and includes a few slide examples that he has ‘made-over’ to demonstrate how to improve its readability and effectiveness. He also includes sample slides from his own presentation about PowerPoint slide design.
  • Another presentation guru, David Paradi, author of “ The Visual Slide Revolution: Transforming Overloaded Text Slides into Persuasive Presentations ” maintains a video podcast series called “ Think Outside the Slide ” where he also demonstrates PowerPoint slide makeovers. Examples on this site are typically from the corporate perspective, but the process by which content decisions are made is still relevant for higher education. Paradi has also developed a five step method, called KWICK , that can be used as a simple guide when designing PowerPoint presentations.
  • In the video clip below, Comedian Don McMillan talks about some of the common misuses of PowerPoint in his routine called “Life After Death by PowerPoint.”

  • This article from The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights a blog moderated by Microsoft’s Doug Thomas that compiles practical PowerPoint advice gathered from presentation masters like Seth Godin , Guy Kawasaki , and Garr Reynolds .

Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story , by Jerry Weissman, Prentice Hall, 2006

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery , by Garr Reynolds, New Riders Press, 2008

Solving the PowerPoint Predicament: using digital media for effective communication , by Tom Bunzel , Que, 2006

The Cognitive Style of Power Point , by Edward R. Tufte, Graphics Pr, 2003

The Visual Slide Revolution: Transforming Overloaded Text Slides into Persuasive Presentations , by Dave Paradi, Communications Skills Press, 2000

Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck: And How You Can Make Them Better , by Rick Altman, Harvest Books, 2007

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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

paper presentation tips for students

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

paper presentation tips for students

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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  • February 10, 2022

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Apart from knowledge and understanding of the subject, the way you present your answers in the answer sheet to the examiner also plays a vital role in scoring good marks in board exams. You may have definitely heard toppers talking about the role of paper presentation and how it helps to score well in boards. Presenting your answers in an appealing manner helps you score candy points in any examination. Although it won’t fetch you much extra marks, it helps prevent the extra loss of marks.

Paper presentation techniques and tips are very less often discussed and explained by the teachers, despite of it being a major part of every topper’s success. This blog will fully emphasize upon paper presentation techniques and how you can use them with your knowledge and understanding of the subject to score full marks.

paper presentation tips for students

The role of paper presentation

  • It makes your answers more appealing to the examiner , who consequently reads your answers with more interest.
  • It makes your answer sheet stand out from the crowd. Even if you write the same answer as others, the examiner will find your answer different in terms of presentation which will earn you candy points.
  • It makes the examiner’s task easier . Your answers become much obvious, to the point and comprehensive at the same time.
  • It depicts and conveys your level of understanding of the subject to the examiner. Your answers become much more organised than before.

paper presentation tips for students

Paper Presentation tips for board exams

  • Legible Handwriting

Don’t run after ‘good’ handwriting. Handwriting does not play any role in your exams. Instead, make sure that your handwriting is legible, i.e., the examiner can read your answer sheet clearly without making much assumptions about what you have written. You are supposed to make your answer sheet neat and not beautiful. Do not try to show off your calligraphy skills on paper. Write in a clear, neat handwriting with sufficient gaps between the words and minimum cuts.

2. Use of bullet points

Unless it is a language paper, always use bullets points to write long answers in theory exams. The examiner neither has the time nor will to read long paragraphs to assess your answers. Make his task easier by writing in bullet points.

You may use bullets to write answers for the following type of questions:

  • Give reasons.
  • Describe the types/components/parts.
  • Characteristics/features of something.
  • Importance of the topic.

3. Highlight important keywords

Much often, certain keywords are powerful enough to answer the whole question. However, while writing they get mixed up with other words and the examiner may not pay much attention to them. Highlighting key words of the answer by underlining them grabs the attention of the examiner, who can now at a glance judge the quality of the answer and understanding of the candidate.

  • Avoid highlighting the whole sentence unless it is a really important and famous quote. Highlight certain words and phrases only.
  • Always highlight the facts, formulas and key-terms.

paper presentation tips for students

4. Draw columns for difference type questions

Always draw two columns using a pencil to differentiate between concepts or theories. Do not write two paragraphs on each. Drawing columns makes it easier to read and comprehend for the examiner. Refer to the following snap from the answer sheet of 2019 CBSE economics topper.

paper presentation tips for students

5. Use diagrams/flowcharts/graphs wherever possible

Make your sheet appealing and attractive. Use pictorial presentation wherever required. This helps the examiner to predict the content of your answer before even reading it. Thus, if you have drawn a good flowchart representing the components of Budget, you will get full marks even if you have not written the answer very well. This will provide you an edge over other students who use only words to explain. Don’t restrict yourself to that.

Use of a creative pictorial method by business studies topper 2019:

paper presentation tips for students

6. Leave enough space

Between words, answers, and on margins. Usually, the answer sheet provided by any board is already margined. If not, take 2-3 mins initially to draw straight margins on the both sides of every sheet. You can use the space beyond the margin on left hand side of the paper to write the question number.

Similarly, leave 2-3 lines after finishing every answer and before starting a new answer. You can also draw a horizontal line after finishing an answer to make it more visible. In case of long answers, start every answer on a fresh page. This makes your answer sheet clearer and organised.

7. Make a separate space for rough work

In subjects that require calculation, it is advisable that you mark the last sheet of the answer booklet as rough and use it for your calculations. Many students use the space beyond the right margin of the sheet to do rough calculations. This disturbs the neatness of the paper a little bit. However, no one is going to cut your marks for that purpose. You can go as per your comfort.

8. Refer to topper’s answer sheets

You can refer to and analyse the answer sheets of toppers to get more idea on paper presentation. CBSE releases the scanned answer sheet of toppers for all subjects every year which can be accessed on their website. We have provided you the tips, you can check the implementation by analysing answer sheets. No one is born a master. You cannot expect yourself to implement these techniques directly on the day of your board exam. Follow and practice these tips in your regular class tests, half yearly exams, pre-boards and while solving sample papers and notice the change for yourself.

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    Paper Presentation tips for board exams Legible Handwriting Don't run after 'good' handwriting. Handwriting does not play any role in your exams. Instead, make sure that your handwriting is legible, i.e., the examiner can read your answer sheet clearly without making much assumptions about what you have written.

  23. 10 best tips for students for PowerPoint Presentations

    With the help of a top paper writing service and PowerPoint, ... We will definitely get into the presentation tips for students in detail but before that let's get familiar with their importance. Importance of PowerPoint Presentations for Students. In the 21st century a detailed, informative, comprehensive and complete presentation is really ...