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Acing your presentation

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Presenting a project or speaking in public doesn’t have to be a nerve-racking nightmare, we promise!

Preparation is key to calm your nerves and, with that in mind, we’ve put together some expert insight to help you ace that presentation and communicate with confidence.


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Tackle the fear of public speaking


Read a free sample of Stand Up and Be Heard for Rob Grieve’s tips on developing your public speaking skills for university. The book draws from real-life experience and focuses on authenticity over perfection.


Check out Rob’s Twitter Q&A with Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (#LTHEchat) and fellow academics about public speaking and oral presentations at university for expert insight.

view twitter q&a

Rob’s also written a blog post for #LTHEChat about the negative impact fear of public speaking can have on students’ university experience and mental health - and most importantly, how it can be overcome.

read rob's blog post


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How to prepare a successful presentation?

We’ve said before, preparation is essential to deliver a good presentation. So, we’ve compiled key questions to help you plan and ensure your presentation’s success.

This expert advice was extracted from The Academic Skills Handbook by Diana Hopkins and Tom Reid. You can also read our Q&A with Diana and Tom about the importance of developing your academic skills.

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1. Understand

What does my tutor want me to do?


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2. Analyse

What are the instructions and marking criteria?

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3. Research

What am I going to talk about?

What are my main points?

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4. Plan

What does my audience already know?

What do I want them to know at the end of the presentation?


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5. Structure

The Introduction: Am I grabbing my audience’s attention?

The Body:  Is the content ordered logically and clearly linked?

The Conclusion: Am I leaving the audience with something to think about?

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6. Prepare

Visual content: Are my slides uniform? Am I keeping information clear and to a minimum?

Notes and cue cards: Have I practised my delivery? Am I speaking clearly? Do I want to use notes or cue cards?

(top tip: never read out from your notes, instead use them as prompts to aid your memory)

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Watch this super quick video with author of Give Great Presentations, Lucinda Becker, to refresh your memory ahead of your presentation.


If you’ve followed the above tips when preparing (and practising) you’re more than ready to ace your presentation.

Good luck!

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