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Legal Skills and Research: Presentation Skills

Information and resources on legal skills and legal research techniques.

Further online guides

Mulitmedia - images and video resources

Below is a number of sources for images and videos to use in your presentation and handouts.  You need to be careful about copyright restrictions and other licences that you may need . Always check the source for information on how you can use it.

PowerPoint

PowerPoint is a Microsoft Office Tool which allows you to create slides for presentations.  This has been developed over the years to allow for animation, embedding of other media and customisation. It has become the main visual aid for presentations.

Is Your PowerPoint Presentation getting you down? (Scribendi)

Prezzi

Prezi is an alternative to using slides for your presentation.  Rather than using linear slides Prezi has different facets (like a Mind Map) and you can zoom in and out of different areas in whatever order you wish.

The Ultimate Guide to Prezi

Presentation Tips

There are many resources to help you with your presentation, below are some basic things to think about when planning your talk and the box underneath gives some guidance on presenting research in written work.

Purpose

One of the main things to think about it why you are doing a presentation.  What are your aims and what do you hope to achieve?  Is it to teach the audience something that they did not know or is it to demonstrate your knowledge of a subject or to persuade the audience?

Audience

Who are you presenting to, is it people who already know about the subject, people who would not know anything at all, people who are likely to be supportive or those that would seek to debate?  Thinking about this will help you prepare for questions and set the tone and level of the information you present.

Content

What do you hope to include in your presentation? It is better to have a rough idea of content to start with as this will affect format and any visual aid you will use. 

Time and Timing

How much time have you got to make your presentation.  This is a big factor and will impact on most other things such as content and format.  Always make sure that you leave plenty of time and try not to cram everything in, it is better for the audience to finish too early (to make time for questions) than over run.

Also think about what time of day you are going to be doing the presentation.  Is it first thing in the morning, after lunch or are you the last speaker.  This has an impact on the audience and may affect what format and what visual aids you use.  There is plenty of guidance in the resources on the left that will offer suggestions for different times of the day.

Format

Try and think about the format of your presentation and this is likely to be affected by your purpose.  If the presentation is part of an interview or exam then the format will be already set for you and is likely to be just you talking.  However for other presentations you may wish to include audience participation via questions or quizzes.

Room/Equipment

Do you know which room/space you are using?  If so think about the size and layout of the room and where you and your audience will be and how that may affect the format of your presentation.  What equipment will be available?  For most locations you would expect a projector and/or laptop but will you need access to the internet for live demonstrations?   Is there a whiteboard/flipchart available. Check beforehand (if you are not asked) what is available and what you can use.

Visual Aids

Think about what visual aids best support your content.  Don't just presume that PowerPoint slides would be best because that is what people will expect.  If other aids such as flip charts or flash cards would suit the content, format and audience then use these instead or as well as slides.  If slides are best then think about what you put on the slides.  Try not to cram in to much text, let the slides support not replace what you say (remember the focus should be on you not necessary the screen), use pictures as a different way of getting a message across or if equipment allows then maybe a video or other mulitmedia.  See the box on the left hand side for resources for visual aids.

Disaster Planning

Although you can not plan for everything, try and plan for things that may go wrong.  For example if you are using the internet live then make up slides with screen shots just in case the website is down or the internet connection is lost.   Try and send a copy of your presentation to the organisers beforehand just in case your laptop breaks or can not connect or you can't access your presentation on your USB.

Presentation of research

Once you have done the legal research you need to be able to present it well.  The below is a list of tips to help.  There is also information under the Presentation, Citation, and Reference Management tabs

Tips for presenting research

  1. Organize logically

Try and think about the purpose of the research and organise the research in a way that answers the task or question you have been set


 2. Use good layout structure
Keep the structure clear and well thought out, use clear headings, paragraphs, numbers and bullet point to distinguish different sections


 3. Use correct spelling/grammar/syntax

Remember to proofread your work and if you can get someone else to read it through as well as a second pair of eyes will pick up on things that may have been missed.  Don't just rely on spell check software.


 4. Summarise and paraphrase and attribute correctly

Make sure you use quotations and footnotes well and fully reference any use of other sources


 5. Apply law to the facts

If you are researching for a problem question then make sure you have the right balance between the facts in your case and the law.


 6. Provide clear advice or conclusion

If you have to provide an answer to a legal problem then make sure you do this clearly


 7. Acknowledge materials cited 

Make sure you list any sources used