Presentations

A pupil giving a presentation in class with other pupils looking interested and engagedA pupil giving a presentation in class with other pupils looking interested and engaged

A presentation is more formal than a discussion. Presentations are usually performed alone so can feel quite daunting.

But you will feel more confident if you are well prepared, are clear about what you want to say and have practised your delivery.

To present successfully there are several things you will need to think about.

Purpose

Think about what you want to achieve with your presentation. The purpose might be to give information, to persuade or to explore an issue. If you are clear about your purpose it will help you to make decisions about how to organise your ideas and what kind of language to use. For example, if you want to persuade the audience, you should think about using emotive language, repetition and rhetorical questions to emphasise your points.

Audience

Think about your audience both when you are planning and when you are delivering your presentation. The language and style you would use to present to an audience of teenagers might be quite different from how you would speak to a group of adults. Your topic, structure and delivery should be chosen with your particular audience in mind.

Look at your audience during the presentation to engage them with your ideas. Think beforehand about the kinds of questions they are likely to ask.

Content

The most important thing here is that you come across as well informed and as someone who really understands the topic. You need to speak in detail but try to avoid including too many ideas. Three or four points well explained and supported with examples is far better than just skimming over twenty different ideas.

It’s usually better to avoid writing out your presentation as this can lead to you reading out a piece of writing. Notes and visual prompts can help you remember what you want to say.