Gone are the days when every professor demanded a term paper at the end of the semester. Now, many professors accept or even require you to create a PowerPoint presentation for the the class. Even if you know how to use the software program, it is especially important in college to put on a professional presentation.

Research your topic extensively. Using the Internet can be a good place to start, but you might also want to consult your school's library for more resources. Utilizing a wide variety of resources can ensure that your presentation is well-researched so that you can speak intelligently about your topic.

Write an outline for your presentation that includes all of the relevant information and speaking points you want to include. Thinking through your presentation ahead of time will make it easier to compose your slides. By writing the outline in a word processing application, you can copy and paste directly from your outline into PowerPoint.

Design your presentation in PowerPoint. Choose a professional and easy-to-read style for your presentation. On each slide, you should have a picture, a graphic or a few text points you want to emphasize. You should plan to speak for only 30 to 60 seconds on each slide, so don't try to cram too much information onto any one slide. Also, remember that you are the presenter and that you want your audience to focus on you and not the PowerPoint. The PowerPoint should serve only to enhance the presentation.

Rehearse your presentation. You should run through your presentation at least a few times before you present it for the class. It is important to stand and speak out loud when rehearsing. This helps you solidify what you will say, nail down your pacing and work out your transitions from slide to slide. If you have a few friends or family members willing to listen to your presentation, get them together for a dry run. This can help ease any anxiety you might have about presenting in front of the whole class.

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