The Library offers speaking consultation and practice at the The Speaking Center. Schedule an appointment with us and practice giving your presentation.
I have been accepted to present an oral presentation at the Symposium; how do I upload my talk? All oral presentation rooms are equipped with PC laptops (no Apple Mac's) so be sure the format of your presentation is compatible with PCs. In general, we recommend that students save their presentations in two formats: the first being a .PPT (Microsoft PowerPoint) file, and the back-up being a .PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file. Please bring these files on a portable drive (flash drive, etc.) to your oral presentation panel and be sure to show up early to allow enough time to download it to the computer prior to the start of the session.
1. Practice and prepare. Practice in front of a mirror. Take a video or audio recording of yourself. Rehearse the presentation in your head when you are unable to rehearse it aloud. With the right amount of practice and preparation, the words will flow more easily on presentation day. Don’t strive for absolute perfection, though: too much rehearsal may make you come across stiff and stifled, not natural.
2. When practicing, pay attention to your voice inflections, including which words and syllables you will emphasize. Be deliberate. Your voice inflections and emphases will affect your audience members’ interpretation, comprehension, and retention of the material.
3. Know how you are going to stand, gesture, and move your body. Practice walking around a bit – moving toward your audience and back towards the screen/lectern, for example. Try to face your audience at all times, and look around the room at individual audience members as much as possible. Make the audience feel like you are directly addressing them. While some movement is fine and can complement your style, be careful not to walk or pace too much; this can be distracting.
4. Wear comfortable professional clothing and comfortable shoes. You will not want to be distracted because you are uncomfortable.
5. Be early. If you are running late, you will be more nervous and have less time to prepare yourself mentally.
6. On the day of the talk, take 10-15 minutes before your presentation to relax, do some deep breathing, and keep your mind off of the presentation for a bit. You want to be relaxed during your presentation.
7. Be confident! Be passionate! Be energetic! You’ve got this. Don’t expect to be perfect, but if you have practiced and you are confident, it will show and make for a great presentation.