How to Improve Presentation Skill

Table of contents


 Definition of research problem Your presentations skills are just as important as the information you are presenting. Presentation skills are important for every individual when you have the need to present yourself. It is not only essential for your studying but also for future career. When you are applying for a job, you have to present yourself as a sincere applicant who is ready to improvise the organisation using his or her technical and non-technical skills. Only if you present yourself with the right attitude, you will be able to get the job. Even when you are in the job, you should be attending business meetings with the higher officials where your presentation skills will prove yourself. The purpose of this paper is to study the effectiveness of oral presentation as an assessment tool in university and career as well. The assessment practices in these subjects have been studied by many authors. Assessment may involve written tasks such as essay, report writing, calculation using formulae, computer simulation, short answer or descriptive writing in examination, multiple choice questions and also an oral presentation on a written task. However, the issues relating to oral presentation have not been studied clearly before. This paper reports the results of an empirical investigation of oral presentation used Banking University, especially in Foreign Language Faculty.

 Research scope and objectives Three specific questions are addressed in this paper. The first question is about the inportance of performance in oral presentation. The second question is about the effect that gender and student background determined by students’ nationality may have on their performance in oral presentation and other forms of assessment. The third question is about developing insights on various issues involved in the student performance in oral presentation in university and future career. The study of oral presentation with the issues involved helps student in understanding the relationship between the steps of making a presentation. The study of effect of gender and nationality of students on their performance can help in understanding the problems associated with particular groups of students and can help resolve equity and learning issues in a particular group of students.
Structure of research report This report begins with an in depth literature review in chapter two which examines the oral presentation and issues involved. In chapter three, research questions are formulated from the literature. Chapter four provides detail regarding the research methodology selected by the researcher, in an attempt to collect data. This methodology includes qualitative as well as quantitative methods of data collection. The collected dated is disclosed in chapter five, through the use of graph and figures, as well as direct quotation from experts.

An in depth review of the findings is examine in great detail in chapter six. Here more common themes and opposing opinions are explored more closely. Chapter seven concludes the research and offers proposed future research topic.

Literature Review

In today’s business environment, the competition in the workplace is getting more competitive. It is no longer enough for you to have the necessary capability to do the job, you should also be able to talk well, write well, and present yourself attractively to your superiors.

Until recently many researches have been done in this topic. Researchers show the importance of presentation skills and the way to improve them in working environment (Tom Antion), In fact, it’s not enough just considering the side of whether being good or bad of the presentation. We should consider it from many aspects to enhance our capacity in presenting and succeed in career. Thus, our research focus on analyzing the ways for students especially for seniors who will become staffs or entrepreneurs in the near future to cultivate their presentation skills.

This paper was executed to solve communication problems noted above deficient oral presentation skills– and its purpose is to address: (1) a few possible reasons for students’ inability to effectively deliver presentations and (2) training strategies designed to help students develop a proficiency in the area of oral presentations.

Explanations of Students’ Poor Presentation Performance

Communication-related anxiety The inability to effectively deliver oral presentations may stem from a communication-related anxiety known as oral communication apprehension. This is the biggest problem that presenter may come up against. The problem McCroskey (1977) defined as “an individual’s level of fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person or persons” (p. 78) which may contribute to an increase in anxiety and loss of self confidence and, consequently, negatively affect one’s action to engage in oral communication from face-to-face speaking to an audience by delivering a presentation or speech. According to Phillips (1968), a factor contributing to poor communication performance may lie in one’s memory of his or her parents misusing language to ventilate grievances, berate one another, or verbally harass family members, including oneself. These negative experiences may have led the individual to be fearful or reticent of communication dialog, resulting in withdrawal from oral communication encounters.

Vague Intent You memorized the content (and it shows, by the way). Someone has a question. Panic sets in. You never prepared for questions and all you know about this topic is what is written on the slides. If you are not clear about what you want your presentation to achieve, then its success will be a hit-and-miss affair at best. What is the purpose of your presentation? ”, said Shaun Killian (2009).
Poor Structure It is intergral to prepare structure to transfer you intent after having clear knowledge about the topic you are going to present. It is not as simple as the popular “tell them what you will be saying, say it, and tell them what you have said” formula (Seven sins of poor presentations, Shaun Killian ,c. 2009). Not so well prepared structure will not allow you to deliver a cohesive presentation that achieves your intent.
 Not Understanding Your Audience A great presentation given to one audience may fall flat when repeated with another because people are different and you need to personalise your presentation for the specific audience concerned. You’ve heard the phrase “know your audience” but do you know how to do that? Of course it means to know who is in your audience, what their general preferences are, to know different ways to relate to them, etc (n. ). Assuming you do, how you allow them to easily understand your points is an obstacle.
 Low Engagement Storytelling is a way to engage audience because it sparks our imagination and plays to our innate desire to know what happens next (n. d). Sooner or later, the connection between you and your audience will be replaced by a boring atmosphere if you fail in engaging them.
Poor Preparation Shaun claimed that audiences can sense when you are relying on a script or using your slides as a crutch to hide your lack of knowledge.

A lack of preparation can also throw off your timing, leaving you to: (1) Cram an overload of information into the time you have left, or (2) Come up with ways to fill your remaining time. Plan the purpose Before you create a new presentation, or when you review existing presentation, ask yourself “what’s my purpose for giving this presentation? ”Is your goal to persuade, to inspire, to inform or to entertain (Chakisse Newton, 2008). Having a clear understanding of the presentation’s purpose enables you to set more specific goals.

Being clear about what you want your presentation to achieve will enable you to make wise decisions about how to best structure and deliver it.Prepare carefully for your presentation To deliver an effective presentation, you have to know your material well. Here are some tips you can use to repare carefully your presentation

Check that writing is legible from the back of the room
Smooth transition between topics and slides
Sequence of points is logical
Get feedback from a classmate
Become familiar with the audio-visual you shouldn’t use a number of media (i. e. verhead projector and slides and blackboard) until you are quite confident and experienced.

If you are going to use mixed media, it is even more important that you rehearse, to get an indication of how long it will take to turn off one projector, start the other etc. * Timing of your presentation. To get your timing right, you need to rehearse your presentation. Actors, musicians and other performers understand this all too well. Yet many presentations are not practiced until they are conducted live in front of the audience. Rehearsing your presentation will help you speak with confidence and stay on track.

It also helps you to move away from vague ideas about content into the more concrete realm of what you will say and how you will say it (Shaun, 2009) * Get used to public speaking and reduce your nervousness * Identify any mannerisms that may be inappropriate or annoying during public speaking. For example, these may include a tendency to finish sentences with the word “ like “ or ” y’know ” or perhaps you begin every sentence with an ‘ errm ‘, or ‘ ahhhm ‘ or ‘ So. . ‘, or maybe you begin every new slide by saying “Where are we now? ” or “Well, . “. Once you have identified them, and with a little practice, you will be able to better control your use of these mannerisms. Don’t worry too much about having a few of them in your seminars- you are not a robot! In addition, people generally have a very good ability to filter the occasional ‘errm’ or ‘ahhhm’ out of your main points. It is the overuse of such mannerisms that is problematic.  Some other important tips Devote some preparation time to better understanding your audience.  What have they been up to recently? What have they achieved? Will they be hostile or receptive to what you have to say?What do they already know or believe about the matter at hand?  What do you know about their learning styles and personalities?  What challenges do they face in their workplace? What help do they need? What do they like and respect? To truly understand your audience, you need to avoid the clinical, somewhat removed method of answering these questions and try to view things from their perspective (Shaun, 2009).  Think of ways to actively engage them. One of the most powerful ways to accomplish this is through storytelling. here are other ways to engage your audience. These include using: Questions both real and rhetorical, to get people thinking about what you have said  Games that reinforce the key messages in your presentation, Movement to wake people up  Literary devices such as parallel structure, word pictures, triads, metaphors and the antithesis  The materials including 3 books and an article conducted by relevant website. This literature on oral presentation involved two issues of students’ oral presentation.

This study made a contribution to the study of presentation by offering insight into issues involved in the oral presentation. In particular, this study identified the problems associated with the execution of oral presentation and proposed the strategies for students to overcome the problems. Although the above strategies may appear to constitute a precise structure, they are subject to modification and omission at the strategy for the communication-related anxiety. More studies should be learned in order to get a clearer and deeper knowledge about managing anxiety for the presentation.


Subjects to the Study

Finding reliable and valid sources of information for the research was a challenge for the researcher. The researcher used electronic databases using keyword? searching methods to locate traditional and online sources on the topic. The primary database used to locate sources was well? known research journals and publications. Another database used to locate sources was the Library of Banking University. The researcher used Library of Banking University primarily to locate traditional sources such as books and some research articles.

This paper attempts to answer the above mentioned research questions through an analysis of student data collected from Faculty of Foreign Language, at Banking University over a period of for years from 2010 to 2014. Because we do not have enough time to do the survey the whole Foreign language Faculty we do the survey in the class we are studying with, which comprises 35 students who are studying the subject over this period. Out of these; 27 are female students, 8 males. This research was conducted by questionnaire and investigated junior students’attitudes to the importance of presentation.

The questionnaire used multichoice method to assess student attitudes and provided open ended responses for additional comments. No personal information was collected; the survey was voluntary and anonymous. There was an 85% response rate to the questionnaire. A breakdown of the responses is listed below in Table 1. It can be clearly seen from the results that there are many students acknowledge about the importance of oral presentation and its relevant issues as well. The survey also allowed participants to suggest any strategies for the progress from the preparation to the presenting of the talk to have a good presentation. . 2 Research instrument The questionnaire instrument is a popular method doing research . It consist of 11 questions edited by researchers. Most of these questions focused on the importance of presentation skill ,the difficuties in doing a presentation and finding the way to improve. We gave somes mutiple choices . And some questions ,there is space for the participants to give their own opinions. After getting the information in the survey ,the data was gathered and annalyzed to come to findings 3. 3 Data collection and research procedures.

The data collection procedures in this thesis consist of two phases Phases 1 : it took researchers a half of month from October 10th to October 25th 2012,to review previous study and select the ralated materials in this subject Phases 2: after that on November 6th 2012 35 copies of the questionaire were distributed to the participants . Then the information was gathered and analyzed to achieve the concrete conclusion. This process lasted 7 days to November 13th . Lastly, it took more than a week to perfect and finish this research paper from November 13th to November 20th ,2012.

Data Analysis and Finding

Responses to the Questionaire

 Participants ‘s opinions about presentation skill in future career. Most of them (60%) agree presentation skill is the most important skill to get s good career . 30% participants think knowledge is the most important and 10% is neutral. Reasons why students can not be a good presenter.  35% of students think the lack of preparation makes the poor presentation.  It is culculated that 30% of students did a bad presentation because of being short of confidence. 25% of students have problem with the language they use in the presentation. 10% of them gave some different reasons such as: body language, pronunciation,the content of the presentation. Methods to have a good presentation There are some methods for an attractive presentation that participants gave. Prepare carefully for the presentation.  Get used to public speaking and reduce your nervousness.  Use some small games or a funny stories in the presentation. Use body language. Use simple word or definitions.


According to the survey ,the real situation is found out . 60% of participants agree presentation skill is very important ,30% disagree and other 10% of them are neutral. It was calculated that the lack of preparation makes up 35% among the reasons which lead to the failure in presentation. The other 2 main problems are language and short of confidence. Along with that the participants also gave some solutions that they used to improve their presentation skill . Those finding indicated not only the importance of presentation skill but also the method to advance it.

Discussion and Recommendation

 Preparation: 35% of participants think lack of preparation makes the presentation fail. Some people recommend memorizing a script and practicing it intensely for as long as you possibly can. Other people suggest having key talking points and riffing on those. From heavy-duty preparation to minimal preparation, you’ll get it all, and everything in-between. Besides, over time with enough practice you can learn to speak and present in any style. From there, you can find your own speaking style. Moreover ,  it is quite helpful to practice each section of presentation in pieces.

You should focus on one part, memorize the core elements, run through it till you are comfortable and then move to the next piece. Then it’s just a matter of stringing the pieces together, which is easier.

Confidence: 30% people point out that confidence contributes a lot to an excellent presentation. Definitely, practicing in front of people helps you more confident. If you haven’t given a lot of presentations this will feel awkward but it’s better to get over those feelings now rather than when you’re on stage. You need the quiet time to memorize things and get a feel for what you’re doing.

However, it will be better to practice while distracted by other sounds or visually because it makes you feel more confident . All the advice in the world won’t help if you can’t get comfortable with your preparation, practice techniques and ultimately, the presentation itself. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable. The more comfortable you feel, the more confident you feel, and the better things will go.

Language: It is adviced not to get hung up on specific words. It’s unlikely that missing or changing any one word will totally ruin your presentation, so don’t worry about perfection.

Practicing hand gestures is also essential. If you’re giving a “naked” presentation (with nothing in front of you like a table, etc. ) then you need to be aware of what you’re doing with your hands and your feet. So think about your hand gestures and how they relate to what you’re saying. If you plan to move around, pace in sync with your words. I’ve been practicing this for a few days with great success.


Strengths: As students of Foreign Language Faculty, we have more chances to practice presentation in comparison with other students.

It is also considerable advantage for doing surveys and collecting data from our classmates.

Weakness: Still being senior students, the researchers have not been trained presentation skills systematically. Also, the time for processing this thesis was limited. The researchers can not apply more research methods into the procedure to tap into more evidence for the statements. However; after very hard working to gear up the research, the researchers are in the hope of bringing up the solution to make people find effective methods to get success in making a perfect presentation.

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