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Presentations: oral

Design your presentation

A well-designed presentation will help you to deliver your message clearly. It will ensure your audience gets the most out of your presentation.

A poorly designed presentation could distract from your key messages, confuse your audience, and won't showcase your knowledge effectively.

Learn how to use presentation software

Your presentation will probably involve the use of PowerPoint or a similar application such as:

  • KeyNote: eye-catching, professional visuals and you can rehearse presentations and present to off-site locations in real time.

  • Google slides: great for group presentations and makes slide sharing really easy.

  • Prezi: fun, creative, non-linear presentations.

You will need to consider how comfortable you are using it.

Set aside plenty of time to create your presentation especially if you are unfamiliar with the software.

If you want your presentation to be visually engaging, insert video or audio clips (check any copyright restrictions).

For advice on specialised software and tools that can help you with your studies and assessments (such as dictation, screen reading or mind mapping tools), visit the Disability Services Assistive Technology page. You can also find a wider range of personalised support, from academic adjustments and alternative exam arrangements to advice on extra funding. To find out more and register, contact Disability Services.   

Make your presentation easy to read

Make sure your audience can read and understand what you show them. Don’t make the text too small – the body text should be size 24 and the headings should be larger.

Do not put too many words on a slide as your audience will be distracted trying to read it rather than listen to you.

Presenting data

As part of your presentation you may want to present data on your slides. You should:

  • consider appropriate layout (line graph, table, bar chart etc)
  • use clear titles
  • present only the data you are discussing, rather than all the data you have collected
  • keep it simple.

Take a look at this Occam’s Razor blog post by Avinash Kaushik for some great advice about ways to present data.

This presentation design tutorial from the University of Manchester will help you to think about some of the ways in which you can successfully use design in your presentation.