Education & Courses

How To Give A Presentation

Thankfully, I don’t have to do this very often. However, at the odd PTA meeting or teacher’s non-instructional day I find myself on the list of teachers who will be making a presentation to the others. As a part-time elementary school teacher I find that I like to learn as much as I can about how to give a presentation that is successful. I don’t normally like to have to share with others my findings with a public presentation, but I sometimes must. With this in mind, I devised a system that makes creating and presenting them much easier. It’s not perfect and it may not be exactly the way you would approach the situation but it works for me. That is reason enough for me to want to share it with you.

5 Tips On How To Give A Presentation

1. Stick To The Point

I know, this sounds like the most logical tip possible but sometimes a presentation wanders off into territory that has no clear connection to the main topic. This is why I like to print the titles of my presentation on the top of each paper I use for notes. This keeps reminding me what I’m actually speaking on and sometimes keeps me on track better than any other trick I’ve used in the past. It’s far better than sticky notes and a lot easier to implement.

2. Tell Stories

Okay, I admit it. I am a bit of a story teller. That’s probably why I usually get asked to give presentations from my school staff. I like to pepper my conversations with stories about my cats. They tend to give me a lot of material to use and typically I can pull something out that can somehow relate to the topic of the presentation. I also try to use a little bit of humour, but not too much. It’s okay to try for the odd laugh but leave the rest to professionals.

3. Be Entertaining

Not everyone is extroverted enough to ‘perform’ during a presentation. I know I’m not but I do know that I can tell an interesting story and keep it on topic. The last thing you want to do is sound dull and uninterested in your topic. Sure, how lunch money is being spent in the school district may make for a dull presentation but if you find an interesting way to share that data, you’ll score a win. Or at least you won’t get skipped over the next time.

4. Don’t Overdo Media

Visuals are pretty nifty and they really do spiff up an otherwise boring presentation. However, if you rely heavily on them, you are taking away from your skills and putting the focus on pretty pictures and graphics. I try to keep my visuals down to a minimum and will always sneak in at least one slide of my cats. It just lightens the mood and helps me to transition from one part of my presentation to another. Sometimes I’ll just use one as a background.

5. Keep Perspective

What I often have to remind myself is that by the end of the day, I’m still me. The presentation is not going to make or break my day or have a huge impact on the hours I work at the elementary school. In other words, you are not going to be judged on the abilities you have or may not have as a result of your presentation. This one important point keeps me focused more than anything else I’ve mentioned here. Without a doubt, it is small potatoes in the overall scheme of things.

Have Some Fun Sharing With Others

It took me a long time to get used to the fact that my peers thought I was pretty good at making presentations. Sure, at first I thought it was because no one else wanted to do them. Eventually I started to see the things about me that they did and I realized that maybe I could speak confidently about head lice in grade 3 or why cursive writing is so difficult for teachers to teach to middle school children who text all the time. However, I did note that my stories in the staff room are usually moments everyone stops long enough to hear and that my funny bits make people laugh along with me rather than at me. So, what I am saying here is that you can do this. You just have to give it a try. The worst that could happen is you end up enjoying it and becoming a presentation hog in your office. So that’s it in a nutshell, you are now all over how to give a presentation. Give it a go next time you get asked at work.

Jeanie Henderson

Jeanie aka CrazyKittyChick Jeanie is an elementary school teacher by day and cat blogger for Top Cat Condo by night. When she isn’t preoccupied with her two mischief makers (Doogle & Roger) she’s exploring and sharing new ways to make money online.