Practising Your presentation for University

Getting some practice making your presentation perfect

Once you’ve allocated tasks and fleshed out a basic structure, you and your group will need to practice delivering your presentation to iron out any problems which will undoubtedly arise. No matter how excellent the content, the presentation will not score well if it’s delivered badly. Follow these five tips to get the best grade possible.

Practising your presentation at universityMake the Most of Your Time

By now you’ve selected a topic, divided it up into sections and allocated tasks and timeframes (if not see previous blogs for more information on this). As soon as the presentation has been compiled, have a run through as soon as possible. Even with the bulk of the content produced, you’re still a long way from finishing. After your first few practices you will quickly see whether you’re close, or whether more work is needed. Your lecturer will have given you plenty of time to prepare for your presentation so make the best use of this time – starting straight away means you can factor in additional practise sessions if you need them. It’s better to meet up once a week over a four week period than leaving it to the last week when not everyone may be available.

Identify Structural Problems

Run through your presentation again and identify structural problems. Ideally one section should logically follow the other (see the last blog entry for more on this) and if it doesn’t, consider moving the speakers around. Each section should also be linked, so that the speaker concluding their section also introduces the next speaker, outlining how this follows on from their part.

Identify Presenting Problems

Each speaker’s abilities will vary. For very nervous presenters, provide reassurance, and keep an eye out for nervous traits – hopping from one foot to the other or moving around excessively. The more you prepare, the less nervous everyone will become. Deep breaths can be calming, and can also help a quivering voice. For those who don’t know where to put their hands, provide a pencil or a marker pen for them to hold – they can gesticulate with it – and avoid putting your hands in your pockets whilst presenting, or waiting to present, because it looks too casual.

Identify Logistical Problems

If you’re playing any kind of media, ensure there will be the correct equipment in the place you’re delivering the presentation if you’re not supplying your own. Also be aware that some Universities require memory sticks to be checked before being plugged into their own systems. Also make sure nobody can trip over any wires.

Practice, Practice, and Practice

The more you practice your presentation, the better it will be on the day. Any structural problems will soon be identified and, if in week 1, the content is a little irrelevant, or boring, there’s time to jazz things up – just as long as each presenter doesn’t go over their allocated time slot. Additionally, the more you practice as a group, the more confident you will become in the material you’re discussing. Practise well, and you will deliver with authority, setting a clear benchmark for your classmates to aspire to.

Don’t forget to scan your presentation through

This is absolutely essential if you plan on handing in the notes, slides etc. You need to ensure your work is plagiarism free. is a free plagiarism checker that scans your work against billions of online sources – web pages, journals, electronic books and much more.

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