Presenting information clearly, memorably and in a way that impacts your audience is an important skill - both here at the university and later in professional life. Many university courses require you to present information either individually or in groups and some courses are even examined through an oral presentation or discussion.
If the mere thought of presenting in front of an audience or even recording yourself presenting makes you nervous, you are not alone. Presenting is a skill that can be practiced and developed and as we become more competent we tend to become less nervous.
Like academic writing, preparing a high quality presentation is a process. When you are asked to write a text, the scope is often clearly stated in either number of words or pages required. It can be more difficult to determine the scope of a presentation, but is perhaps useful to know that average speaking speed is approximately 150 words/minute - so a 10 minute presentation is likely to contain approximately 1500 words.
Regardless of whether you choose to write a complete manuscript or simply a list of keywords, it is important to practice your presentation to get a feeling for how long it will take you to deliver your content. When preparing for an oral exam it can be a good idea to record yourself answering practice questions and possible follow up questions.
Tutorial in presentation technique
Students and PhD students can book a 30 minute tutorial in presentation technique.