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What tools can you use to create your presentation?

This article discusses different ways & tools that you might like to use to present your research. Your spoken word alone can be equally as good.
© University of Southampton


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There are a number of different ways that you might like to present your work. A lot of people do like to present using presentation software of some kind, though you do not have to use any tool necessarily.
The important thing to think about is how you can use something in addition to your own voice that will complement your presentation. There is no point in trying to use something that is fancy and complicated just because it looks good if it doesn’t actually add anything to your presentation.
Below are some of the ways in which you might like to enhance your presentation. Make sure that you are confident in using them if you’re going to include them, and that they are relevant to what you’re saying. Some might need a little more patience and playing around with than others, but all can be excellent tools if used in the right way.

Microsoft presentation tools

Microsoft PowerPoint is a particularly popular form of software. You can do some very basic things using PowerPoint and you can also create some very interesting and complex presentations, all depending on what lends itself to your project.
This tutorial from Microsoft will help you guide you through creating a simple presentation in PowerPoint and printing out handouts and notes.
Sway is the very latest Microsoft tool which can help you to create interactive, web-based presentations.


Prezi follows a similar idea to PowerPoint in that you create slides or frames which you navigate through. Prezi does give you a little more artistic freedom and it is specifically designed to allow you to zoom in on particular ideas which might be useful when trying to illustrate your thought processes to an audience. It doesn’t however have some of the functionality that PowerPoint has.
Prezi’s You Tube Channel contains many different videos of how to do things at different skill levels.
As you will have realised in completing this course, most of the elements of a research project need research themselves. Learning how to present and what you use to present is no different.
If you do not like the idea of using either PowerPoint or Prezi, there are plenty other tools out there that you can use. You will need to find them, master them and work out if they are going to be useful to you.

Engaging with your audience

Social media

You may want to use social media in your presentation, if you are hoping to have audience participation. You could perhaps include a hashtag on Twitter if you would like people to comment or ask you questions as you go along, in the same way that we have encouraged you to use our hashtag #FLcuriosity.

Polling systems

There are other methods for having an audience engage with you, and your research or subject area – they might even contribute to your findings as a result!
If you have access to TurningPoint, which uses polling built into a PowerPoint presentation, you can poll people in your audience.
There are other polling systems which require less formal technology and allow your audience to vote using their smartphones. Here are two links that might help you with that:
Again, work out how you want to engage with your audience and select the appropriate tools to help you.
If you feel your presentation is best through only your spoken word then that is equally as good.

Do share your thoughts and experiences so far in the comments below. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ and respond to other posts.
© University of Southampton
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