As a PhD researcher, you may need to do as many as large number of presentations that at one point you even lose the count. As time pass on and many presentations are done, the skills are developed by most of the students. But still some students struggle to develop them or to master them. Communication is much required skill to develop in academia. Below are few ideas that would help you to master it and own the skills proudly.
01. Keep it simple – Do not scatter the slide with sentences. Avoid having all the required points in letters and reading them out to the audience. That makes the audience to lose interest since you are not going to say anything new. Keep you slide as a reference to what you want to convey to the audience.
02. Have minimum number of slides – It is always impressive to have a less number of slide and you communicate from your brain. Keep changing many slides in a short time would distract the audience. Also audience would miss what you are presenting while trying to have a look at each of your slide.
03. Keep interactive – Try to have images, graphs and tables along with your phrases. It is always better avoiding many phrases. It would make the audience lose interest. Have a colourful presentation ( I mean not like a rainbow unicorn). If the stage is free and available for you, you can move a little but do not continuously walk faster and make many actions by hands as it may distract.
04. Be professional – Let it be the outlook of your slides or yourself, be professional. Avoid too decorative styles in the edges of the slide. Stand with head straight and confidence. Avoid carrying piece of paper with written notes and keep trying to look at it while presenting. Try to have eye contact of few to many audience.
05. Take care of your voice and tone – Make sure you don’t rush through the slide by having a goal to finish reading all what you have in that 60 slides (refer to point number 02). Be calm but do not drag.
06. Start with a smile – Do not be nervous. Start your talk with a smile, because you know better on what you are talking about. This would help to boost your confidence.
07. Practice and practice again, may be some more practice – Keep practicing your presentation. Present it in front of the mirror and gain much confidence. Time your presentation, Do the practice withe a timer. Record your practice sessions and listen to them while you are traveling and make note of what you need to correct. Listening to what you talk would help to improve in a larger scale.
Good luck to all the presentations in the future!
Feel free to share your tips on improving the presentation skills in the comments.