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Presentations: Presentation Structure

Live Presentations

With presentation slides you need to follow a structure which links the slides with the spoken element: 

  • Greet your audience and explain the purpose of the presentation. Are there key words or phrases you can use here and repeat as you reach later slides to create a sense of narrative? 
  • Consider how each slide can act as a prompt for you to discuss. Can you talk without notes, or do you need some key points written down? The less time spent reading from notes, the better. 
  • Practice your talk. Physical positioning can make a difference so think about your posture, keep your head up, and don’t block the images. 
  • Think about recording yourself. Think about your pace and volume, and consider how to stress key words. Make sure that you are referring to the slide content. 
  • On the slide before your references, summarise the main points and think about giving a final message which you want your audience to take away. 

Working in a group brings its own benefits and complications. Think ahead to what you collectively want to achieve, and how to get there. 

  • Make contact: Exchange names and details and keep a record of this information. Discuss what the group is expected to do and agree a meeting schedule. 
  • Break it down: Agree on a timetable for when each part of the project must be finished and who is responsible. Be specific — everyone in the group must agree to turn in something tangible to the group at a stated time.  Agree about what to do if people in the group won’t be able to meet a deadline.  
  • Planning meetings: Use some of your group meetings to review what members have accomplished up to that point. Have group members provide feedback about each other’s work. Set new expectations and deadlines as appropriate so that the work doesn’t all pile up at the end. 
  • Delivery: Once the research on the project is developed, decide on a presentation format, audio/visual aids for the presentation and who will serve as the presentation moderator. Practice and work to improve delivery skills of group members - think about tone, pace and posture. 
  • Have you explained on the first slide/linked discussion what the presentation will be about? 
  • Have you addressed the assignment instructions on each slide? 
  • Do your slides provide a clear prompt, reducing your need for written notes? 
  • Have you provided links between slides, with each section leading to the next? 
  • Does your final slide (before the references) provide a conclusion, summarising your main points? 

Static Presentations

Some leaflets are one-sided, and some are double-sided. Some leaflets are intended to be flat, and some may have one or two folds. Make decisions about how much space you have and how it will be arranged before you start. 

Some submissions require you to create a webpage, and some require you to create a website with multiple webpages. Think about webpages you think work well and why. 

With leaflets, make sure that you address your central idea and support this with images.  

Academic posters have some flexibility in presentation, but there are some required areas, such as:  

  • Banner - Title , Author & Institutional affiliation 
  • Introduction - provide a brief overview 
  • Paragraphs - explore your research, with citations: methods, results, conclusion, summary 
  • Reference list - use the correct format (see Referencing & Plagiarism for more guidance)

Below the banner, most posters are divided into three or four sections of content. Think about how the viewer’s eye will follow the flow of information – generally people read from top to bottom and left to right. 


  • Consider how a viewer will ‘read’ the images and text. What stands out, and is it the most important information? 
  • What is your main message? 
  • With posters and webpages, have you expanded on required areas, using subheadings if appropriate? 

Further Reading