No one enjoys a boring peer presentation in a classroom setting. As a student, livening up your presentation will not only improve your grade, but will make you more excited and comfortable with the presentation itself. As a result, you will be better prepared for success by putting the necessary time and effort in the preparation process through making an engaging and dynamic presentation.
Depending on your presentation's subject and topic, you may be able to use role playing as a way to draw in your classmates. Dress for the part and use role play to have a lively question-and-answer portion to involve the class in your acting. You may also be able to develop role-playing cards to hand out to small groups so that they can form their own characters as part of your presentation or they may be able to debate the pros and cons of a decision or an event in history as part of the role play.
Multimedia is one of the competencies that K through 12 schools are trying to instill in their students. Take advantage of the resources of your school or classroom by developing a multimedia presentation that not only uses a slide show, but also incorporates music, visual aids, movie clips, user-generated videos and websites, all of which can greatly enhance the creativity and effectiveness of your presentation. Beware of going overboard on transitions, having too many fonts or simply reading the information off of the slide show while presenting.
Trying to engage as many learning styles as possible during a presentation will also help to garner your audience's attention. One of the more popular learning styles inventory was published in the early 90s by Harvard educator Howard Gardner, who proposed that there are seven distinct intelligences that affect how students best learn. Visual-spatial learners think in terms of physical space and interact well with charts and models, while bodily-kinesthetic learners need hands-on experience and movement with tools, role playing or real objects. The other intelligences include musical-rhythmical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic and logical-mathematical.
Tell a Story
Facts and figures can easily be boring and disengaging, however, everything has a story behind it regardless of the discipline. Research the background story on your presentation topic and develop a story line. You can include the story in your role play or you may have your classmates make their own time line to compare their background and story with the story of your presentation. Storytelling helps to draw in listeners and is highly valued as a break from the traditional facts-and-figures presentations.
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