Reports are hard to write, and it is even harder when you know that you have to present them in front of a room full of your peers (and your professor). Here are some tips that could help you score those full marks you so rightly deserve.
You are presenting a topic with the intention of imparting knowledge to the rest of the class. Having a peer talk about class material makes it less daunting to everyone else, as you are discussing it on the level of one student to the other. It is your responsibility to come prepared, not read the material to them word for word. Adding relevant information from different sources spices up the discussion. Don’t overdo it, though: your presentation must be informative but
Cards are Your Cues (and Friends)
Unless your professor expressly says you can't use them, feel free to utilize a script for your report. Keep in mind, though, that you should not abuse this privilege. You do not need a verbatim script of your resource material. It is best that you only make cue cards highlighting the main points of your report, with a few supporting ideas that will help you along. Your audience (or your professor) will certainly not appreciate you reading out your whole report.
Eye Contact (Your Audience Won’t Bite!)
A problem people often encounter with public speaking is the difficulty in establishing or maintaining eye contact with the audience. However, keeping eye contact actually helps the audience process your presentation. With this action, you are conveying that you are confident in your source material, and meeting your audience's point of view brings the points you want to get across easier to them. The move gives an otherwise fact-driven presentation both a
personal and professional touch.
It is a common thing to be scared to talk in front of a lot of people, even if these people are the same group you see every day. Something about the podium, or being alone in front of the class, kicks the nerves into full throttle. When you feel your voice getting shaky, find a place where you can pause and regroup. The rest of the class can use the pause as time to process the information they had just received, and you recollect your nerves without disturbing the overall flow of the presentation.
Practice Makes Peace
Calm down those jitters and the nervousness that comes with speaking to a large group of people by first rehearsing your piece by yourself. Be sure to note down which words you usually stumble over. You can also practice in front of a bunch of stuffed toys for image training, or friends you are comfortable with that you can ask for opinions later. Gradually expanding your public speaking comfort zone will let you adjust to talking to a crowd at large.
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