Practising your presentation

Want to deliver an amazing presentation? Practising will help build your confidence and polish your speaking style.

Why should I practise?

Everyone gets nervous before a big presentation! But proper preparation can help you overcome those nerves and build your confidence. Practising your presentation helps you become familiar with your content and develop your speaking style. Practising with other people also gives you useful feedback, so you can find out what works and what doesn’t.

What should I consider?

When practising your presentation, you might want to consider the following:

Timing

Make sure your presentation stays within the time limit. If you go over time, don’t speak faster – try reducing your content instead.

Flow

Does your presentation flow smoothly from beginning to end? Or does it jump abruptly from section to section?

Use your practice time to refine your presentation structure and try practising sentence starters to lead from one idea to the next.

Audience questions

Answering questions can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of presenting. It can be hard to predict what questions you’ll be asked.

Ask friends or colleagues to think of questions about your presentation. This lets you prepare for questions that you’re likely to get. You’ll feel more confident with some answers ready.

Questions are also a good way to tweak your presentation content. If you get a lot of questions about a particular section, consider spending more time to explain it in your presentation.

How can I practise?

  • With friends or colleagues
  • In front of a mirror
  • Record yourself on your phone
  • University competitions – 3 Minute Thesis, Exposure (for postgraduate students)
  • Tutoring
  • Toastmasters or improv/roleplaying groups
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