I am sure that all of us at some point will be faced with the task of writing a large school or college paper, or preparing a speech and presentation, and feel totally overwhelmed by it. There is no need to be though, and here are a few ways how I approach these tasks.
Firstly, I’ll talk about how I prepare a presentation, specifically a powerpoint presentation. This method is what is used all around the world by an organised talk/presentation event called Ignite. Ignite presentations are 5min long. You have 20 slides in the presentation which are set to change to the next slide automatically every 15sec. This results in a presentation which is generally fast paced and rarely boring.
Since you only have 15sec to talk on any one slide, you only need about two sentences of info per slide. So instead of seeing it as a whole 5min’s worth of information you need to gather and learn, it is broken up into 20 x 15sec bits which are much easier to manage. You will find that this will help you, because it is easy to write two sentences about a very specific little point in your presentation and then another two about the next in the following slide and so forth. This is also useful when you have too much information. By having your presentation compartmentlised you can make sure you cover all the points you which to speak about without talking too long on one specific point. This often forces you to pick only the most crucial information to support your point and leave out the lesser, making your presentation more dynamic and effective.
There is enough information on the Internet about this presentation technique so I am not going to go into too much detail. Here are a few links:
How to write long papers:
I recently had to write a 2,500 word paper, and this can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if it is about something you aren’t particularly enthusiastic about. The reason why I first talked about the presentations above is because I use a similar method for writing papers. I start by drawing a bunch of squares on a blank page (similar to the slides of a powerpoint presentation), and then I write in each square the main idea (and supporting ideas) I want to write about for each.
So lets say I drew 15 squares for my 2,500 word paper, that means I only need to write about 170 words for each square/idea I have. Now doesn’t that sound much more manageable?
After writing in each little section you can now place them in the desired order into your paper. It is now important to connect all those ideas so it forms a coherent paper as a whole. So editing and rewriting might be required to achieve this.
So here are the main points:
– Break your task up into small pieces (approx 15)
– Write main ideas for each small piece
– Write a paragraph about each of those ideas
– Join all the pieces back together
– Connect them by editing to form a cohesive piece as a whole
I hope that these few tips on how I write papers or prepare presentations have helped you.
What are your tips on writing papers and preparing presentations?