Presentation Skills

Making a presentation in Transition Year is something you will probably have to do a lot. It’s important to know the right way of making a presentation but also the wrong way of making one. In this article you will learn useful skills you can use for your presentations in TY but also for any presentation you will make in the future.

Preparing a Presentation

STEP 1: Know your audience and set your goal

When preparing your presentation you must first know your audience and set your goal. A lot of the time your audience will be students, teachers and parents. Engaging with students is important, letting a teacher know you put work into the presentation is important and finally, keeping parents interested is important. It’s becomes easier to make and present a presentation when you have set your goal. What do you want to achieve with your presentation. If you’re pitching a business idea your goal might be that your audience would want to invest into the idea or find out more.

STEP 2: Making it memorable & persuading your audience

You don’t want your audience walking out of your presentation learning nothing about it. When making a presentation try to imagine yourself as the audience. By doing so you will know what’s not so interesting and what is. You’ll know if you need a visual aid or text to sum up what you’re saying. Try not to ramble on about one point. After speaking an adequate amount about a topic ask your audience if they have any questions. Think about each topic as a paragraph in a essay, keep your ideas together. If you’re trying to pitch an idea you need to try and make your audience think the same way you’re thinking. You need to tell them why you’re idea will work or why it’s good. It’s also good practice to talk about the negatives so that they know you have done your research.

STEP 3: Visual Aids

An image can mean 1000 words. Sometimes it’s easier to show your audience an image rather than explaining it. However, make sure the images you use are relevant to the topic.  Sometimes a video can be helpful, however, don’t have really long videos or make the video a large percentage of your presentation. If you’re using an image or video make sure it reinforces your message. Remember that what you say should come before what you show. Colour visuals can increase readability by 80% and can increase retention by 75%. Primary colours are better and more memorable than secondary colours. Consider using a template for your presentation and use a good font size with 6 lines x 7 words max on each slide.


STEP 4. Have Notes

If you think that you will find it difficult to remember what you want to say and when you want to say it, it may be a good idea to have a record card or otherwise (something that can fit in the palm of your hand) with bullet points for each slide/section of your presentation. A quick glance at this card will help you remember what you want to say next. This will also prevent you from looking at your PowerPoint presentation so that you can focus on your audience.

Record cards are useful for making presentations


  • Be confident when presenting.
  • Start and finish strong.
  • Structure your slides well.
  • Keep eye contact with your audience but don’t creep them out.
  • Your body language can be the difference between a good presentation and a bad one.
  • If you’re working in a team try to divide the presentation between team members or assign a topic to each team member.
  • Always have a Plan B if something goes wrong e.g. Technical Difficulties.
  • Always check if you’re audience have questions
  • If necessary consider take away notes or a call to action.

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