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Help your child make an engaging presentation

MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2015 13:26 PM

With the end of term just a few short days away, many students are creating final presentations to show their teachers all that they've learned from Common Core preparation. You can help your children ace these assignments with a few tips:

Start with the information
It's easy to get caught up in making a PowerPoint or visual aid look pretty and forget about the very base of the piece: information. Students should start by mapping out what facts they want to share. Then, establish an organizational pattern. If the project is for history class, chronological order may make the most sense. For math presentations, start with what the class already knows and then branch off into the new topic. Your children should formulate an outline of the data they must  include before moving on to visual effects.

Many high schoolers must give presentations based off credible sources. They may even have to create a formatted references list as part of the assignment. Make sure your kids know what format to follow as using the wrong one can greatly alter their grades. The project may require a separate source list or one included at the end of the slideshow. Be sure your children follow the instructions.

Add visual aids
Infographics, charts, graphs and photos all add useful information and something that's more fun to look at than just words. Your children can use programs like Excel to create their own visual data. Or, use photographs from the Internet. Just be sure your kids note where they found the infographics or photos, or they may lose credit. There should be only one visual aid per slide or the presentation may look too busy.

It's also important to consider the style of the presentation. PowerPoint, for example, offers a lot of creative styles. Your kids should browse through the options to find one that they like best. There are colorful templates as well as elegant, professional ones. Your kids can pick ones that best suit the topic and teacher. Some educators would rather have grey-scale visuals while others are OK with more interesting, colorful ones.

A good presentation becomes great when the student practices. Carefully timing when they click to move to the next slide and memorizing what order the information is in will give your children a leg up. Plus, if they have practiced the presentation, they will feel more confident and be less likely to make mistakes due to anxiety.