Classroom presentations are among the most difficult tasks for middle school students, as they have to memorize information -- or at least the steps of the presentation -- and face a live audience of their classmates. The audience can quickly lose interest in an ordinary lecture, despite the fact that it is students -- not teachers -- presenting it. For this reason, students need to come up with compelling presentation ideas.
Instead of ordinary pictures, include caricatures or any other kind of funny images. Make sure they are relevant to the topic, instead of using them just for comic relief. You can find such pictures on Microsoft's Clip Art if you have Office applications. You can also download them from the Internet or even draw them yourself. Such pictures will make your classmates laugh, but will also focus them more on the presentation to learn why you included each specific picture.
Make the audience part of the presentation, by asking them questions and waiting for the answer that will allow you to move on. For example, when you are speaking about the United Kingdom and want to talk about the constituent countries, ask the audience if they know what those countries are. When a student mentions Scotland, start speaking about it. Separate note cards for each part of the lecture will come in handy in this type of presentation.
Instead of just speaking about cars, games consoles, clothes or anything tangible, bring them into the classroom. You can use them to show comprehensively how each object functions, or what it's made of. Your classmates can also get to hold the objects and familiarize themselves with them. When the presentation is not about objects you can have at home, such as a rocket or a spaceship, use your craft skills to create models of the objects yourself.
If your presentation is about a historical figure, make a mask of his face and speak to your classmates in the first person. Download a picture of the figure's face from the Internet, edit it to resemble your face size and then print it. Open holes for the eyes and mouth with a pair of scissors, and punch two holes on the side to tie an elastic piece of string. Your classmates will have fun fantasizing the famous person narrating his story to the class.
Tasos Vossos has been a professional journalist since 2008. He has previously worked as a staff writer for "Eleftheros Tipos," a leading newspaper of Greece, and is currently a London-based sports reporter for Perform Sports Media in the United Kingdom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media from the University of Athens.