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5 Tips for Final Presentations

By: Sophia Featherstone

Being in the midst of finals season, I decided to compile a list of tips and tricks that might help you through your next presentation.

1. Plan Out Your Attire Beforehand

Wear something you feel comfortable in. If you're uncomfortable, the audience will take notice. For group presentations, coordinate your outfits so that the team presents as a united front. If you feel like going the extra mile, coordinate your outfit with your presentation slides so that everything looks purposeful.

2. Use Your Voice

Speak loudly, clearly, and at a slow pace. You know the content, but the audience does not. Thus, pace yourself. People tend to speak very quickly when they're nervous. It's easier said than done, but try your best to slow down as much as possible. Furthermore, don't forget the power of a pause. Pausing for five seconds while speaking doesn't lose the audience's attention; it gains it.

3. Engage with the Audience

Avoid reading word for word off your slides. Engage with the audience. Even if you're nervous, feign confidence and walk around. Take up space. Scan the room and make brief eye contact with audience members. A few words to live by by Rihanna. When asked, "What do you do on those days that you don't feel that confident, or fearless, or powerful like you did out there?" Rihanna said, "Uh, pretend."

4. Use Eye-Catching Visuals

Incorporate clearly labeled and bright visuals into your presentation. Include no more than 20 to 30 words per slide. That said, instead of text-heavy slides, include aesthetically pleasing charts, graphs, and photos to illustrate what you're presenting. Don't just present on a topic; use visuals to illustrate why the topic is important.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

Gain confidence by practicing in front of a mirror, family, or friends. Try to avoid relying on note cards. Repetition will help you refine your delivery and ensure a polished performance. If at some point you make a mistake, remember that the audience doesn't know the rehearsed presentation like you. So, don't sweat it.

I wish you all the best of luck on your final presentations. You've got this!


About the Author:

Originally from Syracuse, New York, Sophia Featherstone is a junior at Boston University, majoring in public relations and minoring in sociology. At PRLab, she is the account supervisor for Aaron's Presents and Boston University's Committee on Sexual Assault & Harassment Prevention. Outside of PRLab, Featherstone is the co-president and co-campus correspondent of Her Campus Boston University, the membership vice president of Alpha Phi Omega Zeta Upsilon, the agency coordinator of and an account manager at Unleashed Public Relations, and a member of BU's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Featherstone is a former in-house program assistant for external relations at the Boston University Academy. Now, she works as a yearbook assistant at BU's Dean of Students Office. Ultimately, Featherstone is excited to apply what she has learned to more real-world projects, gaining the tools and knowledge that will help make her successful post-graduation.

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