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Presentations: PowerPoint and Beyond: Components of a Speech

Focusing & Framing


  • Clarity of purpose (thesis)
    • Develop a thesis statement
    • Generate main ideas
    • Using resources to develop ideas
    • Understand  the interactional goal: Examples
      • To teach presentation skills
      • To convey research and find it compelling
      • To win a contest
      • To build community
    • You may not overtly state it in your presentation, but have it in mind.
  • Know your audience (setting)
    • Who is your audience?
    • One-on-one, 50 people, three people at a poster?


  • Organizing your main points (structure)
    • Example: Start with one anecdote, then content, and then circle back to anecdote



How will you grab your audience’s attention?

  • Anecdote
  • Quote
    • From movie / show
    • Proverb (foreign or local)
  • Statistic
  • Poem
  • Rhetorical questions
  • Catchy phrase or sound bit
  • Contrarian approach (universally accepted concept and the go against conventional wisdom)
  • Startling assertion / fact
  • Reference to historical event
  • Use the word “imagine”
  • Tell a (short) story / arouse curiosity
  • What if scenario

Researcher Identity

  • Who are you? Why are you invested in this research?
  • Your passion and interest in topic could be enough!
  • Beyond I’m a student in the class and I have to do it.


  • Is there anything that needs to be contextualized for your audience before you dive in?


  • What is the purpose of your research?

Elaboration & Connecting Ideas


  • How are you supporting your ideas? (Evidence)
    • Literature review, data collection, interviews, surveys, primary sources, etc.

Connecting Ideas

  • How are you connecting ideas? (Transitions)
  • How do you show the relationship between ideas?
  • This helps listeners keep track of your content.



  • Very important to reiterate thesis and main ideas – it’s okay to repeat yourself to keep audience on track
    • Make this concise!
  • Call for further research
  • Connect back using first hook


Effective Nonverbal Communication

Evidenced through…

  • eye contact
  • tone
  • pitch of voice
  • volume
  • breath
  • posture
  • intentional use of hand gestures
  • movement
  • not overly relying on notes
  • pauses

Video yourself to learn about your habits!