Creating a Presentation

It is highly likely that you will be called upon to make presentations while studying at NUI Galway. Presentation skills are highly valued at university, in work and in life, and they are best developed through practice. While some students love presenting and do so very naturally, others find the process somewhat traumatic. 

Designing effective presentations generally requires attention to all three types of communication: oral, written and non-verbal. Your lecturers will usually provide you with presentation guidelines and you should adhere strictly to these – you will lose marks if you don’t. If in doubt, follow the guidance provided by your lecturer rather than the Academic Skills Hub! If you haven’t received clear guidelines, check out our checklist for planning a presentation and be sure to ask if you aren’t sure about what is required of you.

If you are expected to create a PowerPoint or similar slideshow to support your presentation, take a look at our checklist for creating a presentation slideshow. For more information on using PowerPoint and other presentation software, please see the IT and digital skills section of the Academic Skills Hub. 

For more in-depth resources on presentations, see the All Aboard tutorials Presentation skills and tools and Digital images.

Delivering a Presentation

It is one thing to design and create a presentation, and another to deliver it. Some people love giving presentations and are delighted to get an opportunity to demonstrate their learning in an alternative way to the traditional essay or exam. Others can’t abide them. It is normal to feel nervous about presenting (indeed, public speaking is a major fear for a lot of people), but it is well worth your while working on developing your presentation skills. They will undoubtedly be called upon in your future working or personal life, and university is a great place to hone these skills. See our top tips for improving your non-verbal communication skills for some useful pointers to get you started.

You may be asked to present as an individual, or as part of a team. See our checklist for delivering a presentation for some handy hints about presenting in both of these contexts.

Being a student at University occasionally involves you doing things that lie outside your ‘comfort zone’. This is actually really important for your personal, educational and professional development. Doing things that you find challenging or difficult, while often unpleasant in the lead-up to - and even during - the event, can result in a fantastic ‘buzz’ and sense of achievement afterwards. This makes it so much easier to face into a similar challenge the next time around. So take a deep breath, and resolve to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ – in 99% of cases, you will be so glad that you did.