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Speak up!

Your science project presentation doesn't have to be a hair-raising, nail-biting, knee-shaking experience. Here are some tips to help you keep your calm.

PREPARE WELL AND EARLY

Start by reviewing any information that will help you explain your project--your experimental data, any notes you scribbled while fine-tuning your procedure, books that you read for background information ... Jot down notes to highlight your main ideas. Next...

WRITE AN OUTLINE

First, state the purpose of your project (what you wanted to find out) and your hypothesis (what results you predicted). Congratulations, you've just composed the introduction to your talk.

For the body of your presentation, describe how you did your research. Then summarize what you consider to be your most important findings. Remember to be brief; you only have three to five minutes. As one teacher we know used to say, "K.I.S.S: Keep it short and simple."

Finally, sum up the points you want the judges to remember: what you learned from your project, how you could make it better, or what you want to study next. That's your conclusion.

Keep in mind that the judges don't expect you to "wow" them with your acting ability. They just want to hear you speak confidently about what you learned by doing your project. So...

PRACTICE!

Rehearse in front of a mirror. Are you looking straight ahead? (It may feel funny at first, but try.) Are you reading from your notes? (Don't. Use your notes to keep track of what you're saying, but tell the audience what you did.) Do you tend to squirm, sway, or hunch? (Try "gripping" the floor with your toes for support. Keep your shoulders back so you stand tall.) Are you smiling? (You should!)

Now tape-record your presentation. Get used to speaking in a loud, clear voice. Do you e-nun-ci-ate every word? (We hope so!) Do you speak too quickly? (Slow it down!) If you hear yourself saying "um" and "you know" a lot, try to pause instead. Your tape will also let you know if you're covering the important points, and if your speech is too complicated or too long.

When the big day comes, take a deep breath and...

BE CONFIDENT

Remember, you're the expert. You've done the work. You know your stuff inside and out. When the judges ask you questions, answer as best you can. If you don't know an answer, don't fake it. It's better to suggest a way that you could find out.

And whatever you do, keep in mind that it will all be over in three minutes. That leaves you about 529,597 minutes until next year's presentation.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes related material; oral science-project reports
Author:Freiman, Chana
Publication:Science World
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:Nov 20, 1992
Words:440
Previous Article:Through the judges' eyes.
Next Article:Accidental scientists.
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