The Art of Presentation: COVID-19 Edition

From a young age, we were taught the importance of presentations and what it means to be a good presenter as well as a bad one.  I can clearly remember my first presentation which covers my cultural heritage in the 2nd grade. As children, teenagers and adults, we are always creating and giving presentations on various topics in work and school settings. By now, we all know the basic criteria of how to lead a successful presentation, we need to be presenting the topic and not reading it, you need to have good intonation and seem interested in what you are presenting, and you need to make your presentation interested, so a lot of pictures and little to no words. These criteria were and still are very useful to us nowadays, but with the introduction of quarantine into our lives and with everyone working online, what are the best tips for oral and oral visual presentation in current COVID quarantine?

Caroline Goyder August 3, et al. “Zoom Tips: 5 Ways to Make Online Presentations Pop.” The Enterprisers Project, 3 Aug. 2020, enterprisersproject.com/article/2020/8/zoom-tips-online-presentations.

Nothing is worse and more boring than listening to someone read and ramble on about a random topic during a presentation.  Typically, people tend to have short attention spans comparable to that of a goldfish. Due to covid, people’s attention spans are even shorter as if they lose interest, they will probably open a YouTube video or a game. So, maintaining their interest is your priority as a presenter and to do so, you MUST keep your presentation SIMPLE!!! This however is easier said than done. Having made a fair share of presentations myself, I understand the feeling of needing to cram as much information into your presentation as possible thinking that every single crumb of it is important. Well, in order to maintain your audience’s attention, you need to summarize your information to a bare minimum. Focus on the overall message rather than the many details. When it comes to PowerPoint presentations, rather than suffocating your slides with hundreds of words, have a few sentences or bullet points and use the rest of the space for pictures and diagrams which correlate with the topic of discussion. Here is a good example.

Master your craft:

A good presenter should not depend on his presentation to deliver the message.  In order to be able to able to properly deliver a presentation, you need to determine how prepared you are to do so and what you require to master your topic. Speaking from personal experience, rehearsing your presentation, understanding your topic and being passionate about your topic will take you a long way. This will allow you to be prepared during unexpected scenarios such as if your screen share does not work or if run into any other form of technical difficulties. These sorts of preparations will allow you to feel confident and not be as nervous on stage. Practice your presentations on a group of friends on a call who will give you constructive criticism to receive tips and pointer on what you should improve and make sure that your virtual presentation work ahead of time. Without proper preparations, you can expect to stutter, lose your train of thought and run into technical difficulties during your presentations which will do nothing but add even more stress to you and make you lose your confidence. Great preparation also allows for you to have an easier time during recordings for any documentaries, plays or campaigns you may have to record for your classes. By the end of your preparation period, you should be able to comfortably present in front of a big crowd of virtual icons. 

Boston, Jane. “Taking an ABIM Practice Exam Will Help You Feel Better About Taking Those Boards.” NEJM Knowledge+, 28 Jan. 2016, knowledgeplus.nejm.org/blog/taking-an-abim-practice-exam-will-help-you-feel-better-about-taking-those-boards/.

Now that you can grasp the concept of how to even come close to delivering a great presentation, it is your time to shine.  Your presentation will without a doubt be a lot better and you can expect a lot better results and feedback.                      

4 réflexions au sujet de “The Art of Presentation: COVID-19 Edition”

  1. Hey Adam, I really liked the way you wrote this blog. You brought up lots of really useful tips to help us all do better on our presentations. Especially for me since I consider this one of my weaknesses in school. This being said, even when I practice a lot and feel completely prepared, I still tend to have various nervous ticks when I’m presenting (running fingers through hair, playing with my hands etc). Do you have any tips on how that could be resolved?

    1. Hey William, I’m glad that you enjoyed reading my blog on the art of presentations during the covid 19 pandemics. That being said, in order to get rid of the nervous ticks that you have during or prior to these presentations, here are some little things that you can do:
      1. You can film your presentations during your practice runs in order to observe them from your audience’s point of view. This will allow you to see how many times the ticks occur throughout your presentations and will allow you to slowly fix them all along with your practice sessions.
      2. You can create punishments every time you have a minor tick. For example, every time you brush your hand through your hair or play with your hands, you can give yourself a punishment of 10 push-ups. This will associate these undesired ticks with punishments which will eventually stop you from having these ticks.
      Hope this helped and good luck with your next presentation. I’ll be watching out for your ticks.

  2. Hey Mekni! I really enjoyed reading your blog and it’s funny because in my recent blog I bring up a lot of the same points, and it’s just good to see someone else using the same tips. Presentations have always been one of my weaknesses and when the pandemic hit and we moved to virtual learning, everything just went downhill from there. Moving onto my question, which you might not be able to answer. I do tend to feel nauseous before a presentation and I can’t seem to find anything that works to prevent that…do you have any tips? Thanks again for this great blog!

  3. Hey Adam,
    I really enjoyed your blog and found it very informative. The different techniques you showed were explained in a simplistic manner and your explanation about using bullet points instead of paragraphs made a lot of sense. I personally struggle with oral presentation and say « uhh » a lot when I’m trying to think of the next word I have to say, even if I know all of my points. Do you know what I could do try to avoid this, or should I just memorize all of my presentations?

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