Are Presentations Common in College?

August 20, 2020

You just graduated from high school. There are so many things you will miss, but also so many things you will never want to experience again. Remember that god awful time you had to work on the same class project with the class clown? You did all the work for the presentation, the content was all yours, and yet the presentation day came around, and there you were standing in front of the blackboard with him. He starts making inappropriate jokes, takes the entire focus away from the content, makes the presentation all about him… You start sweating under the cold stares of the teacher. Who would want to relive that? On another note, perhaps you are a person to hate public speaking and are thinking to yourself: “College classes tend to be bigger. There is no way they are going to make me present in front of the whole class!”

Well, I have some news for you. There will most likely be at least one presentation assignment per class in a semester. Given you will take 4 to 5 classes on average, that adds up to about 10 presentations per school year. This number could vary, of course, someone who is studying in the business or communications department will likely create way more presentations than someone who is studying computer science for instance. Yet, presentations will be a continuous part of your college reality.

How are college presentations different from high school presentations?

  • College presentations will likely be more content-centric than presentation centric. In fact, we can easily rename them as research presentations. This is why making the message of your slides clear and your content straightforward is more important than ever.

  • Visuals are a must. As your audience is going to be relatively larger than your typical high school classroom, it is going to be more important to sustain the attention on the slides. Visuals are a key way to keep the presentations engaging. This could involve diagrams, images, videos, presentation cliparts and so on.

  • Find practical ways to collaborate with your teammates. High school students usually live in the same neighborhood and have an easier time coordinating their already similar schedules. This is harder to do in college as a lot of students have drastically different academic calendars. Finding ways to collaborate on the presentation without having to physically meet up would save you a lot of time and effort. For instance, decide on which slides each member is going to work on and try out online tools where everyone can work on their sections separately.

  • Practice your presentation. It is more critical in college to showcase how you mastered your content. You may think you know the content very well- that should reflect in the way you present.

  • Keep it interactive. Find ways to keep your classmates engaged in the presentation. This could mean asking them questions, creating a questionnaire slide where you present your audience a survey, make the audience use iclickers, and so on. Be creative!

  • Work on your public speaking skills. It might be more intimidating to present in front of a larger crowd and on a higher level of an academic subject. This is why working to enhance your public speaking skills could ease the stress and build up your confidence for your next presentation. Consider researching public speaking tips or participating in public speaking workshops.

  • Be more organized. If deadlines, citations, attire was important for a high school presentation, it is three times more important in college. Preserving your academic integrity and following proper academic conduct should be in the back of your mind as you prepare for your presentation. Meet your deadlines, keep open communication with your instructor, do not plagiarise the content, and cite your work. Watch out for proper attire and finding the right level of humor.

  • Watch out for design issues. Good content shines even better through good design. Find the right template, color, font, and design for your theme. But, try not to waste too much time doing this.

  • Presentations in the age of Covid-19. With the pandemic, a staggering total of 1.2 billion people are out of the classroom according to World Economic Forum data. As a result, e-learning is becoming the norm for education. This has a critical impact on presentation related tasks as well. Giving a presentation online rather than face to face may sound appealing to people who are afraid of public speaking. But, on the contrary, the lack of physicality in online presentations may make it more difficult to capture and sustain audience attention. To impress your teacher and keep your classmates engaged in your presentation, you will need to create an even more visually appealing and easy to follow the presentation. No one knows how long this pandemic is going to last; this is why it is critical to pivot your presentation making strategies according to the new standard of learning.

These bullet points may come as intimidating to you. But luckily new generation presentation tools, like Decktopus are here to help you with your college presentations. Decktopus helps you with design-related issues, presentation organization, offers video public speaking tips, makes it easier to share and collaborate on your presentation, offers visual aids, and highlights the content of your presentation. With Decktopus, presentations may become your favorite task in college! Check out our free trial here: https://app.decktopus.com/sign-up

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