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How to Prepare For and ROCK Your Next Class Presentation!

Got a big class presentation coming up? Tutor Doctor can help! Although speaking in front of a classroom can be intimidating, there are lots of great ways you can prepare (and hopefully take some of the edge off). Here's how to prepare for and ROCK your next class presentation!

1) Know your material. Although this may seem somewhat obvious, make sure you are comfortable with the subject you are presenting! In other words, try not to just memorize items for the sake of the presentation. You may be asked questions at the end, so it's better to have a broad understanding of the topic you are discussing.

2) Get into your topic. It's always great to have a subject you are genuinely interested in, but you may also be faced with a new topic you aren't familiar with. Try to find things that peak your interest and make connections. Having legitimate enthusiasm towards a topic will show during the presentation!

3) Memorize, practice, and repeat. If you are required to speak, don't try to memorize your presentation the night before. Break up the dialogue into chunks, and use index cards to help. Depending on your teacher, you may be able to use them during your presentation. However, it's important to keep eye contact with your audience, so don't rely on them too much. Students that haven't practiced enough will find themselves looking down at their cue cards frequently.

4) Practice in front of a mirror. Public speaking, and presentations in general, are all about connecting with your audience. It's important to keep the audience engaged by looking around, making eye contact, and smiling. Observing yourself in the mirror can help identify areas that may need improvement.

5) Time yourself. Or even better, record yourself while doing it! Often teachers will have specific requirements for a presentation's length, and students that are not within these guidelines may lose points. If your teacher expects a “3-minute presentation” on your topic, make sure you time yourself beforehand while practicing. Recording yourself is great too – even just audio – as it can help you tweak other important factors (how fast you are talking, volume, pronunciation, etc.)

6) Have all your materials ready to go. Whether you have a traditional poster board or a modern digital slide-show presentation, make sure you're prepared well in advance. This is especially important if you are using technology. You don't want to be fumbling around with projector cables and opening desktop windows during your presentation. If you're playing a video clip, for example, make sure the volume level is set before. All of these things can be done while setting up your presentation beforehand – try to avoid unnecessary hangups like this when in front of your class.

7) Rehearse in front of someone. Ask your parents, family members, or even other students to watch you do a “mock” presentation. The pressure will be lower because it's just practice, and they may be able to give you helpful pointers that you can apply to your actual presentation.