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Presentation - ATK

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Students from Ipswich can book two appointments per week (if you are a student from the Learning Network, please contact your library) - 

  • up to 1 hour with an Academic Skills Advisor

Appointments are scheduled in 30 minute slots.  

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Practising your presentation

Few people are able to give presentations without the use of notes.  Even experienced speakers often use some form of notes in order to jog their memory and aid the presentation.

There are several methods for preparing and using notes during presentations, including full-text notes, PowerPoint Notes, notes on cue cards, keywords on cue cards and Mind Maps

Full-text Notes
Whilst having your entire presentation at your fingertips will ensure you do not forget what you want to say, the main disadvantage is that it will be more difficult to engage with your audience if you are preoccupied with reading the text.  Reading a prepared text can result in the presenter sounding overly formal, therefore, if you chose this method, it is important you become familiar with the script so that you are able to maintain eye contact with the audience without losing your place. 

PowerPoint Notes
One of the most important features which should be utilised when creating a PowerPoint presentation is the Notes field.  It can be utilised in a range of different ways, but as a minimum it should be used to house the content of the slides and provide exemplification where necessary.

The Notes field provides presenters with an ideal location for storing information that would be used to clarify and expand on the content presented on the slides.  The Notes can be printed and referred to during the presentation itself.

The following video demonstrates the process for creating and printing Notes within PowerPoint:

Notes on cards
Using index cards with your main presentation points is also a helpful method for using notes.  To be the most efficient, write supporting material under each point in a concise way, followed by a linking statement at the bottom of the card to lead into your next point/slide.  It is beneficial to become as familiar as possible with the main points of your presentation, as it will make you less reliant on the cards, and therefore give the appearance of greater engagement with the audience. 

For example:


Keywords on cards
Preparing cue cards with keywords rather than detailed notes will further simplify your written notes, allowing for more spontaneity and opportunity to build rapport with your audience.  If you are not familiar enough with your presentation content, however, using keywords rather than notes on cue cards may not provide you with enough information to cover your main points, and could result in the lose of the audience's interest and attention- especially if you appear unprepared.  If you choose to use keywords only, it is important you rehearse your presentation to ensure your preparedness.  

For example:



Mind Maps
Mind maps represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualise, structure, and classify ideas, and can be used as notes to aid in a presentation. 

As with using keywords, it is important to be familiar with the material you intend to present if you choose to utilise a mind map, as it contains minimal text and, instead provides visual clues.

Below is an example of a mind map developed for a presentation (note the colour-coding that coincides with the main points):

mmslideccl2image from Philippe Boukobza from Flickr