Few people think about this mandatory task with great anticipation. But at some point during the semester, almost every student will find a list in front of them where they are supposed to write their name and matriculation number, as well as the topic they want for their required paper. And then it begins – the time of anticipation. Few people are actually afraid of getting a bad grade, but mainly of embarrassing themselves in front of their fellow students. After all, as a student, you are speaking to your peers.
So how best to deal with this situation? What tricks are there that can help to make the presentation a success?? This article provides the necessary tips and shows how you can successfully convey your acquired knowledge and inspire a critical audience with the help of a few skills and tricks.
Lecture, paper or presentation
Nowadays, it is not uncommon for schoolchildren to learn the basics of rhetoric as part of their curriculum. But at the latest now, as a student, one should know it exactly. A presentation in the context of a study – whether on the Defend the thesis or as an examination performance in the seminar – always one pursues concrete goals. Instead of trying to convince customers, colleagues or bosses, or to provide impetus in terms of motivation, the point of a presentation is to deliver a performance that is subsequently critically evaluated and graded.
Presentations are often subject to formal requirements or. The university’s guidelines, but the speaker almost always has to put up with critical questions after his presentation and hand over a complete documentation of his presentation.
The first step may seem simple – but it is not. Even the most talented presenter will not be able to compensate for weaknesses in the content and subject matter of the presentation with rhetorical tricks. Therefore, the first and most important step for a successful presentation is an intensive familiarization with the Topic . In other words, you have to know what you are talking about.
Structure and outline
It helps to structure the learned material logically at an early stage and to have a Outline just as you would for a presentation Bachelor thesis or master thesis would also do. This structure not only helps to keep track of the subject matter but also helps to learn the material and to present the paper later on. Anything that builds on each other logically and logically is remembered more quickly – not only by the learner but also by the listener. Here it concerns that red thread is not missing in any thesis. If one has the suspicion with the thesis that this thread is not to be recognized, one can by a Editing for a master thesis or Bachelor thesis Gain confidence. For a presentation, it helps to give a test presentation, for example in front of friends or fellow students.
The choice of media
Sometimes the choice of media for a Presentation guidelines provided by the university. Those who can choose freely here should – depending on the circumstances – consider including several presentation media in the presentation. PowerPoint and Keynote may be the most popular tools, but they are not the only ones. Why not also use analog aids such as a flipchart or planning board if it is appropriate for the subject matter?? Hardly anything makes more of an impression than a context explained live with a felt-tip pen, so to speak. For the illustration of a further outline point one could then put on slides again, whereby one should make sure that one limits oneself to the essential key points and does not produce text sausages.
A subsequent bullet point could again be used to create a new presentation with the help of Graphics and tables lecture – only to return afterwards to a PowerPoint presentation or keynote.
The advantage of such a change of the presentation media lies in the variety and thus the increased attention with the listener. Nevertheless, according to Rost (2018), 135 such a type of presentation must be practiced intensively. It is no use finding out on the big day that the typeface on PowerPoint is too small or that the speed of the presentation does not match the number of slides (cf. the Guidelines of Bielefeld University ).
The presentation style
Up to now, it was only a question of how best to technically implement the content or how to present it. represents. But the most important thing in a presentation is of course the speaker himself. After all, what good is the best content if you can’t inspire your audience?.
Therefore, here are two hints aimed at the style of the presentation: speak slowly and feel comfortable and have fun.
You can expect to arrive at such a presentation with a certain amount of nervousness and probably speak faster than you normally would. However, this betrays a certain insecurity and also makes it more difficult for the listener to follow. That’s why they speak – especially the opening remarks – emphatically calmly and slowly (which, in the end, amounts to normal speaking speed). Because that calms the body and one speaks involuntarily with a deeper voice, which again exerts a calming effect on the listener.
So, in the best case, speaking calmly starts to make you feel comfortable and relax a bit. Now you can start enjoying it and having fun.
Great, you’re already excited enough and now you’re supposed to have fun with the whole thing as well? No seriously: If you really enjoy your topic, you can throw away the rhetoric books.
The bottom line is that this joy is inevitably transferred to the audience and you automatically achieve the best results. The best tips and tricks are of no use if you don’t have at least a little fun and enjoyment with your subject and the lecture (Further information on the subject can also be found on the website of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main ).
The five golden rules of speech
If you were willing and able to take the tips mentioned up to this point to heart, you’re actually way ahead of the game when it comes to the topic of giving a presentation. However, if you want to shine rhetorically beyond that, there are still the five golden rules of language – rhetorical subtleties with which you can win over your audience more easily. As there would be:
1. Get out of the ego trap
Every time one formulates "I want to do this" or "I want to point out that" the listener might secretly think "So what?? Go ahead, I don’t care."If it is not a matter of expressing personal opinions, it is better to address the audience directly.
Instead of: "I would now like to refer to the next slide."
Rather: "On the next slide you will see".
2. Avoiding unintentional depreciation
Value-diminishing phrases are said quickly and in most cases unintentionally, without being aware of their counterproductive effect. Therefore, beware of value-diminishing phrases that invite the audience to digress or to doubt what is being said.
Instead of: "The following model is probably nothing new to most, yet …"
Dear: "As a refresher, here again is the well-known model of Muller-Ludenscheid, see now…"
3. No softeners
Subjunctives, passive formulations, impersonal sentence constructions and filler words – all these are not necessary in a presentation. Instead, the clearer and more concrete the language, the more captivating the presentation (Cf. Oppolzer (2010), 13).
Instead of, "It is relatively common to think that more money should be spent on education."
Rather: "The education minister called for the state to invest more money in education."
4. Ask questions
He who asks, leads – as the saying goes. And indeed, listeners feel more involved in the presentation if the speaker addresses (rhetorical, of course) questions to the audience from time to time.
Instead of: "On the next slide you will see a model of the new XY 100."
Rather: "But how does the new XY 100 work exactly??"
5. Avoid a nominal style of speech
Particularly clever contemporaries are of the opinion that the nominal style of speech is especially scientific because it sounds so nice and dry. But in reality, it only complicates things and invites the audience to tune out.
Instead of, "This lecture has no ambitions to discuss the Renaissance concept in general. It is only about the representation of da Vinci’s work at the time of the Milan era."
Rather: "But what role did Leonardo da Vinci play within the Milan era?? This is what we are talking about today!"
As you can see, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want your presentation to be successful. The tips range from good and intensive preparation to the style of the presentation and rhetorical subtleties in the use of language. However, if these are taken into account, the presentation should receive a good rating.
Rost, Friedrich (2018): Learning and working techniques for university studies, 8.Aufl. Wiesbaden.
Oppolzer, Ursula (2010): Super learning – Tips and tricks from A-Z, Learn more effectively, With many exercises, 7.Aufl. Hanover.