Final Presentation Tips

Summarize Information

Learn how to effectively summarize and distill information:

The ability to summarize and distill information allows you to present what you learned in a more meaningful way by making it available to others in varied and/or new contexts. Distilling information allows you to take a large amount of information and reduce it to its fundamentals by capturing its main points. By summarizing the information, you have extracted throughout the semester, you can more easily express and more effectively communicate those main points in your own words, making the information more meaningful and useful to you, your group, and your corporate partners.

  • Distill new information about your project to its fundamentals.

  • As concisely as possible, summarize (using your own words) what you have learned about that topic.

  • Identify what you believe is the most important information related to the topic.

Non-Verbal Communication

If you are not speaking, be aware of your non-verbal communication. We convey significant meaning through our nonverbal cues. These include:

  1. Facial expressions

  2. Gestures

  3. Paralinguistic (e.g., voice inflection, tone, volume, etc.)

  4. Body language and posture

  5. Proxemics (i.e., the personal space you maintain when communicating)

  6. Eye contact

  7. Haptics (i.e., touch)

  8. Appearance (e. g., how you dress)

  9. Artifacts (i.e., objects and images used to communicate information)

Communicating nonverbally isn’t something you can choose to do or not to do. Everyone is continuously communicating nonverbally, by sending cues and by interpreting other people’s cues.

Written Communication

The ability to share information in written format is an essential skill. You are expected to be able to write a clear, concise, and persuasive manner. A great way to start developing better-written communication skills is to use the resources offered by OWL, the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Tips for Effective Verbal Communication

What is involved in developing improved verbal/sign communication skills?

At a basic level improvement requires 5 things, as explained by Richard Anderson, now former CEO of Delta Airlines, in an interview with the New York Times.

  1. "Know the fundamentals" of communicating coherently

  2. "Think clearly about what you will say" adhere to good sentence structure (subject, verb, object) and express complete thoughts

  3. "Prepare for meetings" by thinking about what you are going to say and having the information to back it up

  4. "Engage in discussions" rather than engaging in debate. Good verbal/oral communication is a process of sharing ideas, information, and perspective

  5. "Listen to others" because a discussion is not possible if you are not willing or able to hear and consider what others have to offer.

Please read a synopsis of the New York Times interview on the Harvard Business Review website: Five Ways to Sharpen Your Communication Skills.

Below are additional tips for effective verbal communication.

  • Frame and clearly convey a central message. Your audience - whether one person or many people - must be able to easily understand your message.

  • Use appropriate delivery techniques that enhance the effectiveness of your presentation. This means using an appropriate vocal range, using eye contact, employing gestures, and a posture that conveys confidence and enhances your message.

  • Make conscious language choices (e.g., vocabulary, sentence structure, etc.) to ensure your central message is clear, is appropriate to the topic and audience, and is free of bias.

  • Group and sequence ideas and supporting material to best support your central message.

    • An introduction that explains the purpose of your presentation, establishes rapport and captures the people’s attention.

    • Content sections that provide relevant information that is appropriate to conveying your central message and accomplishing the purpose of your presentation.

    • Transitions that smoothly move your presentation from the introduction to the content sections, to the conclusion.

    • A conclusion ends the presentation by tying the content back to the opening.

  • Select and provide supporting materials (explanations, examples, illustration, statistics, analogies, etc.) that are relevant to your central message.