Make the Most of Your University Papers and Presentations

Jul 1, 2017 7:00:00 PM

As a drama student, you are expected to feel reasonably comfortable presenting in front of a crowd of people, and for the most part that is true. However, it’s the creation of the presentations where the stress can seem overwhelming. Through trial and error, I figured out some important points on how to make my presentations stand out and get noticed in all the best ways.

1. Make it entertaining, and I don’t mean by acting.

Simply incorporate personal details that are relevant to the topic. By sharing a few personal anecdotes, I was able to keep people interested and entertained.

2. Incorporate first, second and third person.

Like much of the narrative in Erin Morgenstern’s popular and wonderfully engaging book ‘The Night Circus’ (which I highly recommend you read before writing papers and presentations), I also drew readers into my subject by incorporating first, second and third person in the narrative. Especially by using ‘you’, the second person, in the presentation, the audience becomes part of the elaborate world you are creating. I tried to set the scene by writing intro

ductory paragraphs such as, “You are on a blustery, snow covered subway platform in January and running late for an important meeting…” and thus influencing the audience to feel a part of the scene. I received a 1st in both the written and the presentation formats of my assignment.

3. Show passion!

Debra at the DAR Workshop.jpg

Be passionate about your subject and express it in both your written and presentation formats. The more I was excited and believed in my ideas the more the professors were able to see the merit in my arguments. I tried wherever possible to choose topics that I was interested in, consequently I didn’t have to manufacture an emotional connection it naturally came out from a genuine enthusiasm for the subject. I recommend reading articles such as ‘Writing with Passion and Purpose’  and in-depth online searches for great writing tips.

4. Keep to the point.

Be clear and concise and whenever possible have great graphic accompaniment. My grades weren’t as high as I would have liked when I tried to be too creative with my language or word counts were pushed by adding superfluous words. Be clear and concise with your language and relevant graphics, and professors will be more interested in your chosen subject.

5. The little things can make a big difference.

Make it beautiful! We all underestimate the importance of making it look great. Consider the font, the boarders and the layout in your presentation. Look at many different formats online and find textures, colors and designs that represent your ideas professionally and in creative ways. Packaging is as important as the words, the meaning and the images.

6. Be yourself.

And lastly don’t try to be someone you’re not; let your best self-come through in your text and presentations. As I complete my final assignment, my dissertation, I continually remind myself of these points.

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