Enthral your audience with these easy steps
By Chandler Walter, Humour Editor
A new semester at Douglas, a new group of students fresh out of high school and ready to take post-secondary by storm.
One of the most daunting tasks that may befall you this semester comes in the form of a presentation: standing in front of your peers, explaining the PowerPoint you threw together the night before, trying your best to make it seem like you know something about ancient China, philosophical fallacies, or 1960s poetry.
Fear not, brave souls. The Other Press has your back. Follow these easy steps and you will find yourself with a solid C-, and you can go back to Snapchatting your buddies under your desk while everyone else drones through their own presentations.
Step 1: Volunteer to go first. I’m not kidding. It’s like tearing off a Band-Aid, or mercy stomping a bird that you found your cat torturing (I’ll never forgive you for that, Smudge). And, once you’re done, you can “go to the washroom” and save yourself the hassle of pretending to listen to your equally boring peers.
Step 2: Laugh. But not like, happy laughter. Terrified laughter. Like, “Ahahah I’m just gonna laugh so everyone knows what a good sport I am and that I am not nervous one bit to be up here ahahah.” It reaaaaally makes it entertaining for the rest of us.
Step 3: Read. Every. Single. Word. On. Your. Slides. The whole paragraphs, because you know you’ve got full paragraphs on those bad boys (copy and paste is your best friend). It gives your audience a chance to pretend like they’re in grade one again, having simple English read aloud to them by your soothing, knowledgeable voice.
Step 4: Never face your audience. You don’t want them to see how red you are, or that bead of anxious sweat dripping down the side of your face, like some gross signal saying “None of you should find me attractive, ever.” This step actually goes hand-in-hand with step three, because if you’re going to be reading to them at half the speed they’re reading it in their heads, you might as well just be facing your own plagiarised presentation.
Step 5: When you’re finished, head straight for your desk. If you’re lucky, your professor will forget to ask the class if they had any questions. You probably won’t be lucky. When your professor does ask the class to question you on the miniscule amount of knowledge you have on the subject, give all of your classmates death eyes. Eyes that say “You wanna ask me something, punk?” If someone does ask something, they are not your friend. They are the enemy. After all, it’s a two-way street. Their fate is in your hands at the end of their presentation (you did go first, after all). You can get your sweet, sweet revenge with a question that you know that they don’t know the answer to.
Bonus tip: If it is a group project—and oh boy, is it ever going to be a group project—just stay strong. Someone in your group will crack and do literally everything if everyone else manages to procrastinate long enough. It’s like a game of responsibility-chicken, or Russian roulette, with the person who cares the most biting the bullet.