the needs of your audience and match your
contents to their needs.
Know your material thoroughly. Put what
you have to say in a logical sequence. Ensure
your speech will be captivating to your audience
as well as worth their time and attention.
Practice and rehearse your speech at home or
where you can be at ease and comfortable, in
front of a mirror, your family, friends or
colleagues. Use a tape-recorder and listen to
yourself. Videotape your presentation and
analyze it. Know
what your strong and weak points are. Emphasize
your strong points during your presentation.
When you are presenting in
front of an audience, you are performing as an
actor is on stage.
How you are being perceived is very important.
Dress appropriately for the occasion. Be solemn
if your topic is serious. Present the desired
image to your audience. Look pleasant,
enthusiastic, confident, proud, but not
arrogant. Remain calm. Appear relaxed, even if
you feel nervous. Speak slowly, enunciate
clearly, and show appropriate emotion and
feeling relating to your topic. Establish
rapport with your audience. Speak to the person
farthest away from you to ensure your voice is
loud enough to project to the back of the room.
Vary the tone of your voice and dramatize if
necessary. If a microphone is available, adjust
and adapt your voice accordingly.
language is important. Standing, walking
or moving about with
appropriate hand gesture or facial
expression is preferred to sitting down or
standing still with head down and reading from a
prepared speech. Use audio-visual aids or props
for enhancement if appropriate and necessary.
Master the use of presentation software such as
before your presentation. Do not over-dazzle
your audience with excessive use of animation,
sound clips, or gaudy colors which are
inappropriate for your topic. Do not torture
your audience by putting a lengthy document in
tiny print on an overhead and reading it out to
Speak with conviction as if you really
believe in what you are saying. Persuade your
audience effectively. The material you present
orally should have the same ingredients as that
which are required for a written research paper,
i.e. a logical progression from
statement) to BODY
(strong supporting arguments, accurate and
up-to-date information) to
CONCLUSION (re-state thesis, summary, and
not read from notes for any extended
length of time although it is quite acceptable
to glance at your notes infrequently. Speak
loudly and clearly. Sound confident. Do not
mumble. If you made an error, correct it, and
continue. No need to make excuses or apologize
Maintain sincere eye contact with your
audience. Use the 3-second method, e.g. look
straight into the eyes of a person in the
audience for 3 seconds at a time. Have direct
eye contact with a number of people in the
audience, and every now and then glance at the
whole audience while speaking. Use your eye
contact to make everyone in your audience feel
Speak to your audience,
listen to their
to their reactions, adjust
and adapt. If what
you have prepared is obviously not getting
across to your audience, change your strategy
mid-stream if you are well prepared to do so.
communication is the key to a successful
presentation. If you are short of time, know
what can be safely left out. If you have extra
time, know what could be effectively added.
Always be prepared for the unexpected.
Pause. Allow yourself and your audience a
little time to reflect and think. Don't race
through your presentation and leave your
audience, as well as yourself, feeling out of
humor whenever appropriate and possible.
Keep audience interested throughout your entire
presentation. Remember that an interesting
speech makes time fly, but a boring speech is
always too long to endure even if the
presentation time is the same.
to enhance your presentation, be sure all
necessary equipment is set up and in good
working order prior to the presentation. If
possible, have an emergency backup system
readily available. Check out the location ahead
of time to ensure seating arrangements for
audience, whiteboard, blackboard, lighting,
location of projection screen, sound system,
etc. are suitable for your presentation.
handouts ready and give them out at the
appropriate time. Tell audience ahead of time
that you will be giving out an outline of your
presentation so that they will not waste time
taking unnecessary notes during your
Know when to
STOP talking. Use a
timer or the microwave oven clock to time your
presentation when preparing it at home. Just as
you don't use unnecessary words in your written
paper, you don't bore your audience with
repetitious or unnecessary words in your oral
presentation. To end your presentation,
summarize your main points in the same way as
you normally do in the
CONCLUSION of a written paper. Remember,
however, that there is a difference between
spoken words appropriate for the ear and
formally written words intended for reading.
Terminate your presentation with an interesting
remark or an appropriate punch line. Leave your
listeners with a positive impression and a sense
of completion. Do not belabor your closing
remarks. Thank your audience and sit down.
Research Guide for Students