I have been watching a lot of student presentations recently – some good, some not so good, and some brilliant! As I was watching one of the excellent ones I realised what the speaker had done which made it such a good presentation: she had taken ownership of her presentation content. Her presentation had a really big effect on me because I hadn’t fully realised the importance of this aspect of giving a presentation before. She chose her topic and spent some time studying it until she had a thorough understanding of it. Then her skill was in reworking the content to make a difficult topic accessible to a non-expert audience. I often say to students who are preparing a presentation: imagine you are preparing this for your younger brother or sister. What will they need to know to fully understand the points you want to get across? The worst thing of all in a presentation is when a speaker simply relates information to you. A presentation is personal thing from you to someone else and unless you are clear what it is you are giving (what your content and message is) it isn’t going to work very well.
Read some useful presentation tips from Leicester University (where I did my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees!) here.