Research presentations are an indispensable part of a student’s curriculum that one cannot really avoid. However much you detest standing on the podium and facing peering teachers and a class full of mischievous mates, you cannot find a way out of this dilemma.
Moreover, if you are pursuing business studies or a branch of science, you know how daunting the entire process can be. Although many students believe that the hardest part of a research presentation is blending data with pictorial representations, they soon find out that when it gets down presenting their ideas, they feel stymied.
Standing at the head of the class with teachers staring at you and classmates smirking at you isn’t really the setting to speak in, right? You can feel your palms sweating and your voice getting choked. And if you are a shy introvert, then talking about your research presentation in a room full of people is no less than a nightmare to you. The pressure is almost palpable!
So, if you are finding it hard to share your research work and ideas with people, then here are some proven tips that can help you deal with the pressure points while presenting your research work!
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS
Our research paper experts have revealed the best techniques to express your viewpoints thorough a vibrant presentation while standing in front of the teacher panel. Here are a few things that you can do before heading to the dais to give your research paper presentation. Here’s how you can calm your nerves and get better at presentation.
- Practice in front of the mirror
Rehearsing your research presentation outline multiple times in front of the mirror can be of immense help. If you want to sound great, write out your speech rather than fumbling for words or trying to get the right words to explain your arguments at the nick of the moment. A script can help you frame your ideas better. If you can’t write one up, search for research presentation templates to get an idea. If the mirror doesn’t work, practice the script in front of a friend or your sibling if you are comfortable with them. If that too makes you antsy, then try recording your research project presentation and then listen to it and evaluate which are the areas you need to work on.
- Get the adrenaline to work up your enthusiasm
If you feel too anxious and jittery about facing your classmates and explaining your arguments, then an energy drink can be of help. This will help you up your endorphin levels and turn the jitters into enthusiasm. It is entirely reasonable to feel nervous when you cannot really avoid a mispronounced word or a slip of the tongue. But handling your mistakes with enthusiasm can make the entire experience way better. An enthusiastic speech can win over an eloquent one. So, before you take the stance, make sure you feel as energetic as possible. Listen to peppy music with some hip-hop beats to get the energy guzzling.
- Check out YouTube
YouTube has the solution to most of our worries, and in this case, too you can check out research paper presentation videos online. You can even ask your friend for tips and make the most of their experiences of presenting their paper before you. Their experience can give you valuable insight into what should be done and what not. You will also get some context by seeing these videos. Moreover, you will get an idea of the mistakes and blunders that you should avoid. Check for what works in the videos and try to implement these in your presentation.
- Arrive Early
Make sure you reach the conference room or the seminar hall early, so that you have plenty of time to settle down before your talk. Use the extra time to go through the slides and the script one last time. Reach early and get adapted to the space you are about to give the research presentation in. Even if you practiced a lot at home, practicing it once in the actual set up can be more helpful. This will also help you to adjust to the surroundings of the room, and the more adjusted you are to your environment, the more comfortable you’ll feel while speaking to the audience. If possible, practice with the microphone and lighting on you to get used to your vocals and the spotlight that will definitely you. From the dais, address the audience and search for a spot that you can look at if you cannot remember things in between.
- Use vibrant visualisation
Visualisation has a vital role to play in a research presentation. More vivid and detailed the images, the better will be your presentation. To bring out the effectiveness of visualisation, use positive and bright colored pictures. Moreover, it is essential that you understand in which interval to put the images. If you cannot understand how to integrate the pictures, check some research presentation example on the internet.
- Talk to your classmates
Although your classmates are going to make fun of you every time you mess up, you need to remember that if requested, they can assist you. It is a misconception that the audience is brutal and awaiting one wrong step from your end. Your peers want to see you succeed. So, if you have a fear of public speaking, go talk to your friends and request them not to laugh out loud in between. The chances are pretty good that they will oblige and listen to your presentation intently. If you start to feel nervous, remind yourself that your classmates, as well as the professors want to see you emerge victorious at the end of the ordeal.
- Relax and take deep breaths
Always remember this – when you are nervous, your muscles tighten, and your heart beats faster, thus messing up things more. You don’t want to catch yourself holding your breath while speaking to a class full of people, do you? So, try to relax and take deep breaths to get oxygen into your brain. Chuck the straight and sour face and instead smile in between. Smiling will help you up your endorphins, thus replacing anxiety with calm.
Moreover, when you present the research paper with a smile on your face, people will get a positive vibe out of it and enjoy the entire thing. Smiling will also help you reflect confidence and enthusiasm to the crowd. Do some light exercise a day before your presentation to boost endorphins.
- Work on Your Pauses
When you are nervous, you may end up speeding up your presentation and end up talking too fast. The audience might not understand most of what you are trying to convey, and as a result, you may be scored poorly. So, you need to plan your pauses properly. This will help you to catch a break as well as let the audience (in this case, your friends) assess all the information that you have provided them with. So slow down and use pauses in your speech. Pausing will help you to make the presentation feel a lot more conversational, which in turn will help you relax. It is very important to understand how to schedule the pauses. Check out research paper presentations on the net and see how the speakers have interspersed the stops in between the verbosity.
- Include limited information
Although a research presentation must be thorough and detailed, you also need to understand that it is impossible to include every interesting fact that you found out about the topic. Most management students often make the mistake of choosing quantity over quality and end up going on a rant. Especially if it is an AP research presentation on rubric or a marketing research presentation, students end up lengthening the research PPT presentation a tad too much. Make sure that the presentation is insightful, and has actionable information, but also know where to stop. Know what to include, and what to leave out. After you are done with the research PPT presentation, edit through the slides and curtail the information that you think isn’t that important.
- Keep it entertaining and engaging
Even if your presentation is on the formal side, it won’t hurt to keep the tone a little informal. To keep the entire episode entertaining, use comical representation in your PPT. Throw in some light-hearted slides to make the air in the room more comfortable. These bits will also serve as breaks and will help the audience feel rejuvenated while presenting them with a sea of information. Inject a little humor into your talk. And try to engage your audience. While citing examples, give original examples that include your friends. Take a live poll to prove your point. This way your audience won’t have to sit idle through the entire thing and will feel like they are a part of the process too.
- Be prepared to face the queries
You are going to have to confront many questions from the audience, and therefore you need to be prepared with them so that when you are thrown a query, you end up blabbering meaninglessly. So, search up for the most frequently asked questions regarding your topic and be ready with the answers. And if you come across a question that you are not sure about, be honest and tell them that you do not know the solution instead of fabricating facts. None of us can ever know everything about a given topic and therefore admitting it in a presentation can actually improve your credibility.
- Body language is important
Practicing confident body language is another way to boost your pre-presentation jitters. When your body is demonstrating confidence, your mind will follow it too. Studies have shown that using power stances while giving a talk creates a lasting sense of confidence and assurance. So, make sure that you plan how to stand and how to sit. However, most experts suggest that it is better not to sit while giving your research presentation. If you feel restless, start moving about within the space on the dais. You must have seen speakers covering the majority of the area on a stage. Before you go on stage, get an idea of how you are going to stand!
- Do not try too hard
Do not try to impress the audience too much. When you are on the stage, do not try to impersonate someone you are not. With one step amiss, you may end up making a mess out of the entire situation. So, be comfortable in your skin and talk at your own pace. Accept your fear rather than trying to fight it. Do not try to hide your nervousness as that will only intensify your anxiety.
As a student, your focus should be to provide insight into the topic that has been assigned to you. Communicate your opinions and ideas in a way that is easy to understand. In many ways, giving a research presentation is a lot like telling a story. So, try to narrate in a compelling and engaging way. At the end of the day, remember that the experience should be one that makes you more knowledgeable. If you do not know how to make a research presentation, ask for help. With an extra helping hand and the above tips, conquer the fear and face it! All the best!
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