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The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

Presentation 101

Students showing their final product after following all the tips and ideas. (Maria Tirado)

Sweaty palms fold into fists as a student prepares to give their presentation. Heart racing, they contemplate the inescapable question: Is my presentation good enough? These intense feelings of doubt and anxiety are typical to the human experience, but there are ways to proactively minimize the stress. Let’s rewind the story and determine what steps to take to ensure that this presentation is unforgettable.

Tip 1: Use Canva

It’s possible to craft a good presentation using other platforms, but for an award worthy display, Canva is the best bet. The site is user friendly, and the options for customization are endless. On one hand, using a blank presentation allows for full customization, but on the other, there are hundreds of striking templates to choose from for an automatic advantage. English teacher Ms. Shumeyko recommends that students search keywords pertaining to their topic to find relevant templates. She notes that they “allow [students] to be creative and have a template already made for them.” With Canva’s arsenal of creative tools, presentations are sure to be superb.

Tip 2: Avoid Wordy Slides

When creating a compelling presentation, it’s important to spread out the information instead of piling paragraphs into a couple slides. Presenting snippets of info on the screen and verbally elaborating on the topic keeps the audience engaged and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed by the “word vomit” on the slide. Ms. Shumeyko mentions that she includes “very few words on the slides so that students don’t get overwhelmed with the text and can instead focus on what’s being said or explained.” Keeping slides brief ensures that the audience’s attention remains focused on the material at hand rather than drowning in a pool of excess fluff.

Tip 3: Add Transitions

A transition between slides provides added interest and a professional touch. As the previous slide dances away and new information takes the stage, viewers have a brief second to process all they’ve learned and prepare for the next set of ideas. Transitions also give the presenter a moment to collect themselves and recall the details located on the next slide.

Let’s rewind the story and determine what steps to take to ensure that this presentation is unforgettable.”

Tip 4: Choose a Cohesive Color Scheme

Someone doesn’t have to be an expert in color theory to make a stellar presentation, but it’s certainly easier to follow information that isn’t competing with a neon collage. The goal of an aesthetic presentation is to engage the audience and direct their attention to the speaker’s insights, but conflicting colors can have the opposite effect. Feeling stuck? Try one of these popular color combos: pink and cream, beige and brown, blue and white, or black and yellow.

Tip 5: Add Fun Elements

How do you add quick and easy charm to a slide? Use a fun graphic. Implementing creative elements such as animated stickers, helpful arrows, and trendy fonts can elevate any presentation from a basic box to a visual masterpiece. But, make sure the images included are relevant to the topic. When adding in these elements, an important tip to consider is the “rule of odds”. Instead of adding two or four stickers, try adding one or three for a more balanced and interesting piece. To avoid confusion, use no more than three different fonts on a single slide. With these clever tricks, future presentations are guaranteed to be distinguished.

Note cards made by students to help them be ready to present in front of the whole class
(Maria Tirado)

Tip 6: Practice

This one seems obvious, but the presenter’s familiarity with the information directly relates to the success of the presentation. Business teacher Mr. Shirley advises students to “practice so much you can go through your slide deck with minimal screen reading/note card references.” He explains that once a presenter is confident in the material, “they will have more mental space to consider the audience” and add in relatable questions and jokes to captivate viewers. In a fast paced modern society where instant entertainment is only a click away, presenters are fighting for an audience’s attention. If you can master the art of knowing the information on the slide and focusing your attention on engaging the audience, the presentation will triumph.

Tip 7: Be Confident

Confidence is transmissible through body language, and the audience will pick up on it. Speaking with a strong voice, making eye contact, having good posture, minimizing fidgeting, and avoiding fillers such as ‘like’ and ‘um’ will send a powerful message that increases your ethos; audiences are more likely to listen to those they find credible.

Presenting is no easy task, but there are ways to ensure success. Denmark Unleashed’s top three tips are to avoid wordy slides, add fun elements, and practice. The effort put into a presentation will be noticeable, and dedication will be rewarded. So whether you’re a teacher, a student, or anyone in between, your next presentation will crush the competition with some minor tweaking and some major commitment.

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About the Contributors
Katie O'Neal
Katie O'Neal, Staff
Life is a journey, and high school is the smelly gas station stop along the way. At this current stop, I fill my time with more books than you can count, playlists as long as school days, and ideas that I might one day turn into novels. I’m excited to add crafting articles to my list this year, and my dream is that they will inspire others to make the most of whatever spot they’re at.
Maria Tirado
Maria Tirado, Staff
I’ve always hated math but since I moved to the US my life took a 180 degree turn for the better. Being born and raised in Colombia is something I’m very proud of and I still keep in touch with my roots and culture. Before the sun rises I’m here at school helping the athletic trainers which is what gets my day going. Later in the afternoon I then go to basketball practice while I spend time with my favorite people. In my free time I go to the practice field with my friends to play flag football or I end up going to work.

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    Brendan ThorntonMay 13, 2024 at 11:50 am

    I really love this photo! It really supports this article in a fascinating way.