Skip to main content
Middlesex University LogoLibrary Guides

Triple 'A' - Communicating: Home

Presentations are becoming more widely used at university. You might be asked to work with others to produce a group presentation. In some cases, your presentation will be assessed. Presentation skills are likely to be useful in your career too.

Presentation skills does not just mean knowing how to put a good set of PowerPoint slides together, it means engaging and connecting with an audience to get your message across. Standing up in front of other people and sharing your ideas can be a stressful experience, but also extremely rewarding intellectually.  

Work your way through the four tabbed sections to learning more about the best strategies and techniques for formal presentations in academic settings.

Planning for your presentation

It’s important to allow yourself enough time to plan and prepare a presentation as you would any other written assignment. Careful planning will provide you with the confidence to feel that you 'own' your topic and this confidence will help you to deliver a calm and effective presentation.

 

Present like a pro: planning your way to success

My Learning Essentials from The University of Manchester created this interactive tutorial that takes you through the process of planning your presentation, giving you some useful techniques to ensure that your presentation remains focused on the requirements of your task and directly addresses the topic you're covering.

Access the tutorial from here!

 

Planning an effective presentation 

The video produced by the University of Warwick will help you to communicate effectively through presentations by breaking down three important aspects of presentation for you to consider; time, audience, and resources.

The University of Leicester have produced a handy guide that offers you an insight into the process of planning an effective presentation. The guide focuses on the importance of the presenter's relationship with the audience and suggests key strategies for making an impact.

Access and download the guide from here!

 

Presentation planners and checklists 

My Learning Essentials from The University of Manchester created resource can be used as a template for planning your presentation. Download the resource from here!

 

Before you go to give a presentation, you might want to work your way through this checklist: access and download the checklist for later use from here!

Developing content and tips for success

The resources below provide practical suggestions for structuring your presentations, focusing on the need to develop clear and logical progression of content. We also identify techniques for maintaining audience interest such as visual aids and the various digital tools that can be utilised for presentations.

Seven presentation skills and tips to leave an impression

The video from Practical Psychology provides seven tips for a great presentation. These include: knowing your audience, using structure to build on ideas, and building confidence with practice.

Presentations require as much thought, planning and research as written essays, even though their purpose, style and audience are often different. For many students, delivering a presentation can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it does not have to be! The University of Birmingham have created a short guide to assist with presentations. Download the guide from here and start to improve your presentations.

 

Digital tools for presentations​

Use digital presentations to reinforce what you are saying with text, images, audio or video. The process of creating a digital presentation also helps you to think through your ideas. Download this guide to help you chose the best tool to create your next presentation.

 

Using visual aids

My Learning Essentials from The University of Manchester have created this interactive resource that outlines different visual tools you can utilise to create visual aids for your presentation. It explores the types of visual aids you can use and what to display on screen. It will give you some inspiration you can use to design your own slides. Access from here!

This guide produced by University of Leicester will help you use visual aids in your oral presentations to achieve the best impact. Your visual aids should be clear and concise, providing a stimulating addition to your spoken word. Download a copy of the guide and use later from here.

Presentation delivery 

If you are giving a presentation for the first time, you may be wondering what it will feel like to be the presenter rather than the audience.  Every presentation is a learning experience, so reflecting on how it went afterwards might also be a useful exercise.

Here are some things to remember:

  • Face the audience, don’t talk to the screen.
  • Make eye contact with the audience. Don’t just focus on one person; engage the whole audience.
  • Don't rely on a script. Use cue cards so you don't forget what you are saying.
  • Talk clearly and loudly and with sufficient pauses.
  • Take note of your body language. If you look confident, this will help you to feel confident.

 

The art of delivery  

      

In this interactive resource from My Learning Essential at the University of Manchester will explore what makes a good presenter and how can you use this to become a more confident when presenting. These techniques will enable you to deliver your presentations in a way that will make your audience sit up and take notice! Access the resource here!

 

Presentation skills - top tips

Watch this short video produced by the University of Leeds for some useful tips on how to give a presentation. Keep these tips in mind when practising your presentation to help you feel more confident.

 

 

Speaking with confidence

This talk was given at a local TEDx event (produced independently of the TED Conferences). In this fun and personal talk, Caroline Goyder an author and voice coach, shares a story of moving from stage-paralysis to expressive self. Accompanied by an unusual prop, she encourages us to use our voice as an instrument and really find the confidence within.

 

 

The 110 techniques of communication and public speaking

This talk was given at a TEDxZagreb (produced independently of the TED Conferences). David JP Phillips has spent 7 years studying 5000 speakers, amateurs and professionals in order for the first time in history to detail every single skill a communicator from stage or in a presentation uses in order to deliver their message. This TEDx talk gives you the very most important ones to bring with you to your next presentation or even everyday communication! 

 

Group work  

It is common for pieces of coursework to be set as group work. To work successfully in a group requires a range of skills and it is vital to work as a team rather than as a collection of individuals. Use the following links for advice and support on improving your group working skills;

 

Key elements of group work

This interactive tutorial from the University of Manchester explores explores key elements of group work. Including, the skills involved and getting the most from working collaboratively. It also highlights important considerations to help you stay on track and address issues that may arise.

Access the interactive tutorial

Top tips for group work projects

Students and staff from the University of Edinburgh Business School share their top tips for succeeding in group work projects and getting the most from every member.

 

Before you participate in group work, you might want to work your way through these tips with other members of your group: access and download from here!