5 Reasons to Give Presentations in College

Leah Elkins practices her public speaking and leadership skills on campus
Leah Elkins presenting on “Social Media: Benefits to the Outdoor Industry.” at the 2018 Colorado Outdoor Educators Symposium (COES).

5 Reasons to Give Presentations in College

by Leah Elkins, Outdoor Recreation Leadership student and Residence Assistant

Giving presentations is an invaluable learning opportunity. Whether in-class, out-of-class, at a conference, on the job, at an event you should be giving as many presentations as possible. The lessons you’ll learn will be valuable for your future career and success.

I won’t pretend like I wasn’t nervous with my first conference presentation. In fact, I told my professor I was terrified… but looking back, I’m so glad I went for it!


Try New Things

Even if presenting at conferences isn’t new to you, like perhaps you’re a public speaking guru of sorts, there are always new conferences, events and new challenges for you to consider. Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the most valuable parts of education. Open your mind, face any hesitations you may have, and experience something new! You’ll never know how it may affect you for the better until you go for it.


Learn How to Teach

As college students, we’ve experienced various teaching styles in our lifetimes. We all have different styles of learning and instructors have different styles of teaching. What’s your preferred learning style? Do you know your style of teaching, too? Are you good at engaging your audience and giving them relevant information? Are you better teaching hands-on lessons or at illustrating abstract concepts? Find out by preparing various presentations. You’ll use those skills throughout your life.


Practice Public Speaking

Leah practices her public speaking skills while leading a workshop on the 7 Leave No Trace princples
Leah practices her public speaking skills while leading a workshop on the 7 Leave No Trace princples

Some of us get nervous in front of crowds and some of us don’t. No matter where you are, you can always get better. Practicing is the only way to get there. Start small and work your way up! Prepare for in-class presentations and take each opportunity seriously. Take small steps to practice public speaking and work your way up to large ones! I’ll see you on TED Talks one day.


Make New Connections

You’ll meet tons of people at conferences, and even more when you’re presenting at them. Having those connections can be instrumental for future opportunities – you never know who you’ll meet and how they can influence your life! Add them on LinkedIn if you’re committed to nurturing those connections.


Learn to Self-Evaluate

Prepare your research and practice your presentation. Over and over and over. Get feedback from others and revise your work. When you finally present to an audience, standing in front of that crowd with confidence and passion, you’ll be perfectly prepared to self-evaluate your own presentation skills. Did you do it just as you practiced? Did you try something new in the moment that worked really well? Is there something you wish you’d done differently? How can you improve? Learn how to self-improve!


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