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Independent College Dublin: Assignment & Presentation Skills

Welcome to YOUR Resource Page

You may be asked to plan and deliver a presentation as part of your coursework at ICD. Presentation skills are not just 'college-place' skills but are also highly valued transferable workplace skills.  The resources on this guide can help you to develop your understanding of presentation skills. Use the resources to help you design an effective and engaging presentation. Always ask your lecturer or teacher for help in planning.  

Presentation Skills

Refer to the following 3 steps when you are tasked with a presentation! 

1. Plan (and design) your presentation - preparation is key. First, develop the outline of the presentation. Ask yourself some questions: What is the theme? How do I interpret the presentation assignment brief/question? What content will I need or do I want to present? After you have your content, you can focus on technique, style, and delivery. You may have too much information in the early stages and have to eliminate some because of time limits. 

  • The audience. Who are they? What do they know? What do they need to know?  Some questions include:
  • What is the audience’s knowledge base?  Do I need to define key terms or will everyone in the class know them?
  • What might make the presentation interesting to this audience? Anecdotes? Visual aids? Statistics? Embedded videos? Examples?
  • Familiarize yourself with the room setup and the available technology BEFORE your presentation.
  • If you are nervous, remember to breathe! :) The presentation will be over before you know it!

Remember a presentation is like any other task you will do at college. It must have a beginning/opening, a middle section which is the main body of the presentation (the main points and most important information), and a conclusion. 

2. Practice, practice, practice

  • Don’t write out or memorize the whole presentation.
  • Focus on learning the flow of ideas rather than the exact wording. However, it can be useful to memorise certain sections and/or words and phrases. 
  • For example, memorize the first sentence to boost your confidence or an introductory sentence for each slide. 
  • Practice the entire presentation several times, including in front of a friend for feedback.
  • You could even record yourself on PowerPoint (or any other slideware presentation tool)
  • Look for sections to improve upon. 
  • With preparation and practice, you will be far more confident
  • If you are nervous, remember to breathe! :)
  • Use the following checklist (originally published by NUI Galway). 

3. The Presentation 

  • Remind yourself of your time limit and keep track of time. 
  • Remember to make eye contact and use gestures
  • Vary the tone of your voice for emphasis
  • You can ask some questions to your audience for engagement (but not too many! You are presenting!) 
  • Likewise, anticipate some questions (at the end of your presentation) and prepare their answers.
  • It is a good idea to make and use some notes. These could be handwritten, cue cards, motes attached to slides etc.
  • If you are nervous, remember to breathe! :)