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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

MKT 241: Principles of Marketing


Are you looking for new and improved ways to present your ideas?  Are you looking for ways to impress and capture your audience?  Check out these presentation tools and tips!

The new way to present

Oral Presentation

In some classes, writing the research paper is only part of what is required. Your professor may also require you to give an oral presentation about your study. Here are some things to think about before you are scheduled to give your presentation.

What should I say?

If your professor hasn't explicitly stated what your presentation should focus on, think about what you want to achieve and what you consider to be the most important things that members of the audience should know about your study. Think about the following: Do I want to inform my audience, inspire them to think about my research, or convince them of a particular point of view?

Oral communication is different from written communication

Your audience only has one chance to hear your talk; they can't "re-read" your words if they get confused. Focus on being clear, particularly if the audience can't ask questions during the talk. There are two well-known ways to communicate your points effectively. The first is the K.I.S.S. method (keep it simple stupid). Focus your presentation on getting one to three key points across. Second, repeat key insights: tell them what you're going to tell them (Forecast), tell them, and then tell them what you just told them (Summarize).

Think about your audience

Yes, you want to demonstrate to your professor that you have conducted a good study. But professors often ask students to give an oral presentation to practice the art of communicating and to learn to speak clearly and audibly about yourself and your research. Questions to think about include: What background knowledge do they have about my topic? Does the audience have any particular interests? How am I going to involve them in my presentation?

Visual Presentation

Tips for Using Presentation Software Effectively

  • State no more than three or four main points on a slide [slides that have too many words on them are a big turn-off]. Remember that the slides are intended to supplement and enhance what you are saying, not to replace it.
  • Give your audience time to take notes. Pausing also gives you the opportunity to collect your thoughts before moving on to the next point.
  • Don't read from the slides! Audiences really hate this. Summarize or explain what's on a slide. Only read quotes or statements when you want to emphasize something.
  • Make sure your audience can see the screen. Think about where are you standing. Do not stand in front of the screen. If there is no angle where everyone can see, then move around before moving to the next slide [for example, point to something for emphasis].
  • Don't overcrowd your slides with too much detail. Using color, pictures, and graphs can make your slides more interesting, but be aware of the fact that certain color combinations can be very hard to read from a distance.
  • Remember that PowerPoint or Prezi may look great, but if the technology goes wrong, it's a good idea to print out a handout, or have some traditional overheads as a backup just in case. If the audience is too large to do this, ensure that your notes are sufficiently detailed so that you can talk in detail about your topic.
  • I know you may be tempted to spend more time on producing graphics than on the actual talk but remember: if your talk is poor, no amount of fancy graphics will save it!

Text Guidelines for Presentation Slides

  • Use the same colors and fonts throughout; select graphic images in the same style
  • Keep the background consistent and subtle
  • Be sure text contrasts well with the background
  • Generally use no more than six words per a line
  • Generally use no more than six lines per a slide
  • Avoid long sentences unless it is a important quotation
  • Larger font indicates more important information
  • Font size generally ranges from 18 to 48 point
  • Fancy or cursive fonts can be hard to read
  • Avoid abbreviations and acronyms