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Presentation Guidelines for Communication Internships
  • For formatting guidelines for PowerPoint design, please review online “Hints and Tips” below.

    Please include the following elements in your 12-minute presentation to the faculty:   

    Informative Speech Pattern

    I. Introduction
    A. Attention-Getting Device (AGD): perhaps a famous quotation, lesson learned, or relevant anecdote
    B.  Transition from AGD to Thesis:  "I share this quotation with you because . . ."
    C.  Thesis: "In this presentation, I will share my experience as a/n [state job title] intern at [state name of 
    D.  Credibility: "In case you don't know me, I'm [state name], a [state classification, such Jr. or Sr.] 
                [Communication/Organizational Communication/Public Relations/Electronic Media and Film/Theatre 
                Studies] major."
    E.  Provide another two or three sentences about you and your background.
    F. Preview: "And today, I'll be talking the place that I interned, what I did and who I worked with, and what I 
                gained from the experience."

    Transition: "Let me start by talking about the place that I interned."

    II. Body
    A. Organizational Information:
    *  describe type of organization (not-for-profit, retail, medical, etc.)
    *  identify location
    *  estimate number of employees, etc.

    Transition: "Now that I've told you a little bit about where I worked, let me tell you about my internship."

    B. Internship Information:
    *  describe the number of hours on-site for the internship
    *  department in which the student interned or engaged in a pre-professional activity
    *  name & title of on-site supervisor
    *  examples (both visual and actual materials) of work projects such as news releases, brochures, DVDs, 
                CDs, presentations, editing, etc.

     Transition: "So now that you have a better since of my internship experience, let me share with you what I 
                gained from it."

     C. Learning:
    *  describe what you felt was the most important aspect of the experience
    *  how the experience tied in with course work in his or her major
    *  describe what skills or body of knowledge that you wished that you'd possessed prior to taking this 
    *  any final thoughts, observations and/or recommendations.

    III. Conclusion
    A. Review Thesis
    B. Restate Main Points
    C. Wrap up (parallel of attention-getting device)

    Hints and Tips about PowerPoint Presentations

                 Hints and Tips about PowerPoint Presentations (Short and Sweet)
    *             No text (except citations) on the bottom 1/3 of the screen.
    *             No more than 4 bullets per slide.  No more than 6 words per bullet.  In general, then, no
                       more than 24 words per slide.
    *             You need an image on each slide.
    *             Look at the image on the wall screen, not on the computer screen.

     1.  Your first slide & your last slide should match or have a similar design pattern.  If you start with a title slide that contains your name, title of your presentation, & an image, then end with that same slide.  If you start with a quotation, then end with a quotation.  (It doesn’t have to be the same quotation).  If you start with an image only, then end with an image only.  (It doesn’t have to be the same image.)

    2.  Remember that you are the speaker. You are more important than your slide show.  Your slide show should be working to clarify your presentation, to make your presentation more visually/aurally appealing, & to make you look good. Your slide show should not be something "to hide behind."

    3.  Base your slides on images, not words. Your slides should supplement & reinforce your message, not replace it.  

    4.  Don't stare at the overhead screen throughout your presentation.  Glance at the overhead screen as needed, but remember that one of your main priorities is to establish & maintain good eye contact with your audience.   

    5.  Glance at the image on the overhead screen, not at the image on the computer screen. Your audience will look where you look (even if it doesn't make sense to do so).  

    6.  Don't stand in front of your image. What's the purpose of making a slideshow, if you stand in front of it.   Stand slightly to the side. 

    7.  Include your citations on your slideshow presentation.  Place your source citations in a small font on the bottom right of the slide in which you’re referencing that material. 

    8.  Unless specifically requested by your instructor or audience, do not include a works cited or bibliography page at the end of your slideshow presentation.  They do not serve a useful function because typically they’re only displayed for ten seconds or less.  That’s not enough time for an audience member to write down vital information.  If you need for your audience to have a copy of your citations, create a handout that you distribute before or after your presentation. 

    9.  Limit yourself to no more than 24 words per slide.  Don't crowd your slide with lots of words. Your audience needs to be able to glance at the slide quickly, read the text, & look back at you.  

    10.  Try to limit yourself to no more than six words per bullet. Moreover, you do not have to use the exact words in your bullet that you do in your speech text. As long as your bullets & speech text correspond, you're fine.
                *    Keep your bullets short.
                *    Close is good enough.

    11.  Try to limit yourself to no more than four bullets per slide. If you have too many bullets on a slide, you're drawing attention away from yourself.  

    12.  Try to avoid overhangs.  An overhang occurs when you have one word on the second or third line of a bullet.
              * Overhangs make your bullets look
    You can solve the problem by reducing your font size, reducing the number of words in your bullet, or increasing the width of your text block.

    13.  Other than source citations, try to avoid putting text on the bottom third of the slide.  Depending upon the placement of the overhead screen, audience members in the back of the room may not be able to over others’ heads to read the text on the bottom of a slide.

    14.  Make sure that the color of your background & the color of your text (1) don't clash & (2) work for easy
     visibility. Some color combinations are just nasty. Other color combinations look good on a small screen but don't project well. Think contrast when thinking ease of visibility (i.e., light on dark; dark on light). Complementary colors work but only if they're in a bright hue. Colors close together on the color wheel tend to be hard to see (i.e., blue, purple, red   combinations; red, orange, yellow combinations; yellow, green, blue combinations; green, blue, purple combinations).  This doesn't mean that you can't use these colors on a slide. It just means that you'll have to vary the intensity & hue on certain shades (i.e., a bright red on a darker blue).  

    15.  Unless there is some compelling reason to do so, don't pre-program your slideshow to switch screens after a certain amount of time. The rate you speak when practicing your presentation may very well not be the rate you speak when delivering your speech for an audience. If you pre-program your slideshow to switch screens automatically, you're allowing your slideshow to control you.  

    16.  Unless you're doing a humorous presentation, don't use sounds to signal a change in bullets or a change in slides.  Use sound only as an integral part of your presentation (i.e., audio clip.)  

    17.  Animation is visually interesting, but make sure that it's appropriate. For example, it would be cool if you were talking about mythical creatures, to have an image of the Loch Ness monster appear "to swim" into the slide.  If you were talking about the Civil War, however, it would be creepy (or really, really irreverently funny) to have the head of Lincoln appear "to float" into the slide.  

    18.  Unless your topic lends itself to a showy presentation, use the same sort of "edit" from slide to slide. For example, if you use a left-to-right wipe to move from your first slide to your second slide, use a left-to-right wipe or a right-to-left wipe to move from your second to your third screen. Try to avoid using a left-to-right wipe for one transition, a slow fade for another, & a swirly dissolve for yet another.  

    19.  Don't make a habit of gesturing with the remote. If you can, put the remote down in between slides. If that's not convenient, just monitor yourself while you're speaking.  

    20.  If there are sections of your speech that don't have slides, create a slide with an image only or a blank slide.  Don't leave up a slide that no longer applies, & don't move to the next screen.   

    21.  Make sure you know how to back up & advance your slideshow before you start speaking. Things happen.  The remote is not your friend.  

    22.  Test your slide presentation (by clicking through the slides) on the machine that you intend to use before you begin your presentation.  We suggest that you check out the equipment at least a day in advance.  Based on our experience, we'd say there's about a 15% failure rate (i.e., inability to get slideshow to work) because of incompatibility of software versions.