Deliver Seminar Effectively:

One of the important tasks in any engineering student's life is to deliver a seminar on a topic or project. The seminars are useful in presenting newer ideas, technologies to a wider audience and also to inform your audience about your project. Many students find it extremely difficult to present a seminar in an effective way. There are simple tips you can follow to make very good impression on your audience and subsequently secure good marks in semesters.

1. Content:

No matter how good your project or topic is, without great content, it's a waste of everyone's time. Let's get this straight in our minds: You should have great content for the seminar. However, this can be challenging. So how can you get awesome content for your topic or presentation? It's simple.

First analyze the topic or project on your own. I'm sure not many of you have done this. Then ask these questions: What am I presenting? To whom I'm presenting? Why is this important? (that's more than just securing good marks) How can make this interesting? and so on. With the help of these specific questions, you have opened the gates of new information. Now you have places like FaaDoOEngineers and Wikipedia where you can seek great information and content for your seminar. Have experts to answer your questions so that you present the correct information.

2. Your Power Point Presentation:

You might think that a complicated presentation will impress the judges (if any) and your audience. But it's exactly otherwise. Imagine yourself as a part of the audience and think what would you expect the presenter to do. Would you like a boring, listless presentation ? Of course not.

So, how can you make your presentation interesting to audience? There are few tips -

Do not fill your slides with loads of text just to make yourself appear smarter and intelligent. If the person sitting in the last row can't read what you've written on the slides, you've failed. Don't do it. Just one or two descriptive lines on your slides with a BIG FONT and people will read it.

But that does not mean you go on increasing the number of slides. Any presentation with more than 20 slides is - boring. It's a simple rule. Try to limit the number of slides to under 15 and if not possible, 18. But never more than 20.

Make an intelligent use of images, videos to make your presentation appear good and attention grabbing.

See, the ultimate idea is to make your audience listen to you and not read text on the slides. Don't compensate your shyness by adding lot of text on your slides.

3. You:

- Shouldn't be scared of facing audience. If you've stage fear (lot of people do), get rid of it by practicing it. I got rid of my stage fear by choosing to participate in college cultural fest in singing competition [IMG]

- Should allot enough time for your project members to explain their part during presentation. Again, don't add 10 slides per member. Even 2-3 slides/member will do. But have each member present quality content in their part of presentation.

- Should dress up well. Formals is natural choice. But what to wear - is your own decision.

- Should not speak faster just to appear fluent with the language. Also, do not fake accent.

- Should be ready with everything at least 30 minutes in advance.

- Should not have wavy hands, shaky legs. Get rid of stage fear.

- Should not be over confident even if you know your topic is the best.

- Should look at the judges and your audience with confidence. Don't ignore a part of audience. Look at everyone so that they feel connected.

- Should try to have an earlier slot for your presentation and set the benchmark high for the rest of the participants (helps in competitions).

- Should be prepared to answer questions related to your seminar. This can be achieved by preparing well.

- Should get your presentation demoed in front of someone who's better at English, if possible.

I hope these tips will be helpful to all of you who're looking to deliver effective seminars in your colleges and competitions.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask in this thread.