APP101 Independence The Best And Effective Presentations Practices

Week 3 Discussion – Effective Presentations

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Initial post due on Wednesday with replies due by Saturday, 11:59pm (MT) end of week 3 (60 points)

Learning Objectives Covered

  • LO 03.01 Discuss presentation best practices

Career Relevancy

The development of presentation skills is essential for students to prepare to enter their chosen careers. The development of these skills will support the student in demonstrating confidence in many areas required by employers and assist new students in presenting themselves during interviews, networking, and in all areas related to business communications.


9 Presentation Tips

As a student, you will be writing a discussion post every week throughout your program. In the past two weeks, the discussion posts focused on teaching some of the basics to help you to develop a quality discussion post. Now that you have a foundation of skills needed to write quality posts, this week the discussion is more in alignment with posts you will complete throughout your program. Discussion posts are often developed from an article, video, or a combination of content from the weekly learning objectives. The post this week will focus on the weekly topic, which is in the use of MS PowerPoint and effective presentations.

PowerPoint is a fantastic tool that will help you to develop presentation visuals not just for the classroom, but also in the business world. While being a presenter may not be part of your career focus, it is likely that you will need to develop and present content in your chosen career. PowerPoint will help you to create strong visual content to share your information with your audience.

As you learn how to use PowerPoint, you will find many useful ways in which to present and share your information. Below are many presentation tips to help you give an engaging presentation with and without the use of PowerPoint. However, before you get started, please view the short video below, which will provide some humorous insight of many common mistakes presenters make when using PowerPoint.

How can you make a good presentation even more effective?

First, watch this humorous video for a presentation of the most common mistakes made by PowerPoint presenters.

Life After Death by PowerPoint (3:59) (Links to an external video (3:59) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • Explore bad PowerPoint habits
  • Understand ways to engage your audience with PowerPoint

Next, read the text below, which is a collaboration of information taken from and insight from our instructors. Developing presentation skills is a fantastic career soft skill and one that you will want to add to your list of resources. The article below will help you to identify skills you may already have, and also some that you may want to develop throughout your program and career.

Tip 1: Express excitement and connect with your audience

  • Be honest and direct with your audience about your message and its importance. Audience members will quickly become disinterested if you are not passionate about your content. As you share your passion for your topic, you invite others to share in the excitement.

Tip 2: Focus on your Audience’s Needs

  • Presentations should always be developed for the particular needs of the audience. Even regular and pre-planned presentations need to be modified to fit the needs of the audience. Effective presenters not only have well-developed presentations but can also adjust the content and flow based on the reaction of the audience.

Tip 3: Make eye contact and share facial expressions

  • Making eye contact with audience members is essential in rapport building. Audience members will first connect with the presenter, then the content. Making eye contact throughout your presentation will help you to emphasize important points and build a lasting relationship with your audience. Appropriate facial expressions that fit your content will also help to convey your message and create even stronger connections. Even on webinar presentations, facial expressions such as a smile will be noticed by your audience.

Tip 4: Create a strong opening

  • Create a “wow” factor with your audience in the first minute or two of your presentation with an opening that will grab attention. Audience members have a short attention span and will give a new presenter just a few minutes before they tune out. Use a sharp visual and powerful opening message to grab attention and keep your audience engaged right from the start of your presentation.

Tip 5: Tell Stories

  • Be prepared to tell a story, using PowerPoint to expand your message and paint a picture for your audience to follow. Stories can entice emotions, drawing your audience in as you share your experience. By sharing a story, or a personal experience, you will engage your audience and they will be more likely to remember key points. In the development of your presentation, think of a story to share your message, then develop a presentation around it to fit the needs of your audience.

Tip 6: Visuals to enhance the message

  • In the development of your PowerPoint and other visuals, the goal is to emphasize key points, images, and relevant facts. Often, “less is more” regarding the use of visuals. The presenter’s job is to expand the message, using visuals to further the message not share the message. PowerPoint should never be used to tell the story itself, and never read the text from your slides or use visuals like a cue card or teleprompter.

Tip 7: Vocal Variation

  • While the words you use throughout your presentation are important, the way you say it may be critical. As a presenter, you can change the message considerably by varying the way in which you speak. Changing your tone, pitch, and speed are all ways in which you can change your message, build an emotional connection, and hold your audience’s attention.

Tip 8: Non-Verbal

  • About 80% of communication is non-verbal. Thus, it is crucial that presenters acknowledge that they must use body language in their presentations. Express open and confident gestures, move naturally around the room, and include the audience when possible. It is best to avoid pacing, hands in pockets, and crossed arms when you present, as it will send a message that you are closed off and unapproachable.

Tip 9: Relax, Breathe and Enjoy

  • Be calm, keep breathing, and enjoy yourself. A presentation is nothing more than an opportunity for you to share a story with a group of people. Always remember, steady breathing is essential. If you find yourself breathing or talking too fast, pause, take a breath, and slow down. Slowing down, taking a breath and pausing will help put you and your audience at ease.

Sample In-text Citation

(Skillsyouneed, 2015)

Sample Reference (2015). Top tips for effective presentations. Retrieved from…


From the above reading, choose 3 tips that stand out to you. Perhaps choose one that you are good at, and one that you may need to improve upon, to share in your discussion post. How might you use some of these tips in your presentations, or how would you go about developing them to become a better presenter? Make sure to share why you have chosen these tips.

We have spent the past two weeks learning how to develop correctly formatted discussion posts. Use this week’s post as an opportunity to practice your new skills. Add in-text citations and references, and make sure your main post is at least 150 words. You are welcome to use the sample citation and reference above, or you can choose an outside source for your post. The citation and reference will not be graded this week. As such, do your best and practice adding references.

Hint: Discussion posts are similar to in-class discussions. As such, share insight with others, and use each post and reply as an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from one another.

Reply Requirements

Per the Due Dates and Participation Requirements for this course, you must submit 1 main post of 150+ words, 1 APA citation and reference, as well as 2 follow-up posts of 50+ words. Responses can be addressed to both your initial thread and other threads but must be your own words (no copy and paste), each reply unique (no repeating something you already said), and substantial in nature. Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time (20%) and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. (20% per post).

See SHARC for sample APA-formatted discussion post (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.


The files below are PDFs showing A-level work by fellow students. The examples are provided to illustrate the quality of work needed to get an A on this task. Copying from the samples is considered cheating. Use the examples to inform your plan to create your own work. Look at the pieces for writing quality, use of citations, weaving outside sources and the author’s position together, ability to meet the goals of the task, and cohesion.

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