How to Make Paper Presentations

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Word processing software
  • Graphics or photo software
  • Printer

Making paper presentations involves communicating information from a writer to reader. Paper presentations require organization, understanding of the reader, and clear representation of ideas, conclusions, and processes. Inserting pictures and graphics often make a paper presentation easier for the reader to understand and assimilate meaning. Good paper presentations are visually attractive and easy for the reader to extract content through the effective use of headers and subheaders, concise writing, captions, lists, and white space.

Gather the information together than supports your paper presentation including background research, data, and notes.

Research your readers to better understand their level of knowledge about the subject on which you are writing, the kind of information readers want or need about the subject, and their level of reading proficiency. Use this audience information to organize content, make word choices, and establish the correct tone of your paper presentation.

Create an outline of your paper presentation beginning with an abstract, thesis, or summary of the key information. Follow the summary with several sections that logically organized the material either in categories or chronologically depending on the subject matter. In a long paper presentation, it helps your reader to tell them the organization at the beginning either through a table of contents or an introduction.

Select a voice for your writing. Personal stories, experiences, and anecdotes can be written in the first person using “I” and “me” or “my”. Friendly articles should be written in second person and educational, business or research papers in third person.

Detail the content of each section of the outline. Make a list of the points you want to make in this section of the presentation and the backup data that will justify your observations or conclusions.

Create visuals or graphics using software such as Photoshop, Microsoft Power Point and Excel. Pictures make an article more interesting, add evidence to support your conclusions, and provide visual breaks on the printed page. Data from research is often easier to understand and remember when it is presented visually in process diagrams, comparative line or pie charts, or in tables with meaningful column and row headings. Captions tell your reader what is important or what should be concluded from studying the graphic.

Write a draft of each section of your presentation. Begin the section with an assertion or conclusion and then use the remainder of that section to prove or justify that statement. Write a meaningful title for each section that ties back to the thesis or conclusions. If your paper presents the outcome of a process, each section should be titled with a major process step. A word processor is useful in creating your draft because it is easier to edit than beginning from scratch each time you want to make a change. Word processors can also check your spelling and grammar which many writers find useful.

Select a meaningful title for your presentation—one that succinctly tells the reader what follows.

Pull the paper presentation together and review the content for flow, compelling presentation, and readability. Print the draft because it is sometimes easier to see problems or errors on printed pages than on a computer screen. If possible, have someone else read the paper and give you feedback on content and presentation.

Edit the paper presentation based on your review and any feedback you receive. Print and read several times to catch any errors of omission or commission in the format, completeness, and flow. Finalize your paper presentation.