Whether you love them or hate them, at some point you have to give a presentation. If you are having anxiety attacks just thinking about presentations, you might want to keep these things in mind.
The ultimate goal of a presentation is to inform your audience. Do not waste your time or theirs by giving them pointless information. However, you should still have fun, engaging presentation that is still informative.
Do not be distracting
When you are presenting, do not distract your audience with too many animations or pictures on your slides, or the wrong slide background. You may not care if your classmates get distracted, but if your instructor does, then you have a problem. Also, do not fidget, play with your hair or adjust your clothing. Those unnecessary body movements can be distracting as well.
Keep it short and do not read
This depends on your instructor. Some want a transcript of your presentation plastered on the slide, others do not. Always check with your instructor about how many words to include per slide, and ensure that your audience can read the text.
If you are going to put dozens or hundreds of words on your slides and then read off of them, you might as well just give your audience an essay; it would be easier and faster for everyone.
There is a certain amount of security that comes with reading off of the slides, but it makes your presentation boring to sit through.
While you should not read off your slides, there is no shame in having some presentation notes. Most people do not expect you to have everything memorized.
A tip for presentation notes: copy and paste your slide text onto a document and under each bullet point, add additional information you want to include. This keeps you organized and helps you avoid reading directly from the slides.
Use graphics to your advantage
People like pictures, so if you can find a graph or an image to better represent the information or point you are trying to make, use it. If you cannot find one already made, try your best to make one yourself.
Make eye contact and speak clearly
Wow, you actually read past the heading. Okay … You do not have to make eye contact with every person in the room, nor do you have to make sure the people in the next building over can hear you. Just look at your instructor and look to the right and left of your audience for two seconds each, rinse and repeat and voilà, you just faked your way through eye contact.
As far as volume is concerned, that depends on the room of your presentation, the size of your audience and your normal speaking voice. A general rule is that the volume of your voice should increase and decrease proportionally to the size of your presentation room and your audience. For example, if you are presenting in a classroom for 50 people, you should be louder than normal.