So You Have to Give a Presentation? Here’s How to Get an ‘A’

Last semester, I took a capstone course that required each student to give a presentation at some point during the semester. Mind you, this was a 400-level university capstone course, meaning the it was comprised primarily of juniors and seniors, all of whom were at least 21 years-old. Imagine my surprise when, before his presentation, one student admitted that he had never given a presentation before.

How does that happen? This guy was 20-something years-old, two months from graduating from a four-year institution of higher learning, and giving the first presentation of his life. How. Does. This. Happen? Clearly, the education system failed this student at some point during his education. I digress.

Public speaking, although nerve-wracking, once mastered, is an important and impressive skill. At some point or another, most of us will have to speak in front of a group of people — whether that group consists of five people or five hundred. It’s best to get those nerves out of the way as soon as possible, for the longer you put something off, the bigger your fear for it grows.

Not to brag or anything, but I have received AT LEAST ONE endorsement for public speaking on my LinkdIn profile. So, yeah, I’m pretty much an expert in this topic and many other topics. Here are my tips on how to give an amazing speech or presentation, even if you’re just telling a funny story in front of your friends:

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Confidence

Although probably the most difficult part of public speaking — to be (or pretend to be) confident in front of others while you internally fear that you will say the wrong thing — I believe it is the most important. Confidence carries over into other aspects of public speaking, and sometimes, when you pretend you’re confident, you can actually kill your nerves. Just as it’s best to get the most difficult things out of the way first, I got this tip out of the way from the start!

Practice, practice, practice

Again, if it’s just an anecdote or joke that you want to impress others with later, there is no better way to ensure a smooth delivery than to practice your speech. Practice the timing, cues, and your facial expressions. The more rehearsed you are, the more confident you’ll be in your delivery!

Smile

No one likes to look at someone who looks unhappy, so make sure you will look pleasing to your viewers! Smiling while you talk also makes you sound friendlier, making people more likely to listen to you. (Also a great phone tip, by the way.)

Be authentic

People can sense when others are being fake, so make sure to be as open an genuine as possible while you speak. Take questions, don’t be arrogant, laugh at yourself, be genuine, and have a good time!

Dress to impress

Another tip that can help boost your confidence — dress well! People will be looking at you either way, so you might as well look good, right?

Best of luck to everyone who will be giving a presentation in the coming weeks for midterms! Let me know how it goes on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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Every Emotional Stage of an All-Nighter

At some point during everyone’s four or nine years in college, the inevitable happens — you have to pull an all-nighter. They can be more common for some than others, but everyone is bound to have at least one before they cross the stage on their graduation day. Freshman may even look forward to their first college all-nighter, not realizing the psychological, physical, and emotional torment they put you through. Let’s break down each stage:

7 p.m.

Um, excuse me, when did it get dark outside? I still have so much more work to do…

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9 p.m.

Complete darkness. This is real. I’m studying at nighttime. I did not plan for this. What is civilization doing outside? Are they having fun without me?

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10 p.m.

Still hanging on to that glimmer of hope that maybe I’ll be done soon. Maybe not in time to go out and enjoy the evening, maybe not even in time to enjoy some tv, but maybe I’ll get to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour. Is that too much to ask for?

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11:55 p.m.

WHAT? It can’t already be 11. It’s not even 11:30, it’s straight up 11:55. THAT’S ALMOST MIDNIGHT. How is this possible? Wait, how did I study for almost two hours straight without once looking at the clock? Note to self: maybe these all-nighters aren’t such a bad idea…

12:30 a.m.

These are definitely a bad idea. How was I so much less tired just 35 MINUTES AGO?

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1:05 a.m.

When did 10 p.m. turn into 1 a.m…This is the absolute WORST time to fall asleep. If I go to bed now, not only will I not have finished all my homework, I will be tired all day tomorrow. But if I press through… Well, we know what happens when I press through. Maybe I’ll just see how I feel in 10 minutes…

2:40 a.m.

Welp. I guess there’s nothing I can do about it now. The all-nighter has taken ahold of me. It’s time to give in.

2:45 a.m.

YOOOOO I’LL TELL YOU WHAT I WANT WHAT I REALLY REALLY WANT SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT

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2:47 a.m.

Maybe I’ll just close my eyes for a few minutes…

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2:48 a.m.

Why can’t I close my eyes

3:10 a.m.

Must. Make. Coffee. But. Can’t. Feel. Legs.

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3:40 a.m.

I think that coffee actually made me more sleepy…

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4:01 a.m.

*~wHaT aRe ThEsE sTrAnGe FeEliNgS i’M hAvInG~*

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4:02 a.m.

WHAT WAS THAT I SAW SOMETHING

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4:20 a.m.

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’… keep those fingers rollin’

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4:21 a.m.

Why am I so weird

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4:22 a.m.

What is existence

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4:23 a.m.

Have I had any actual thoughts for the last 60 seconds or was I just staring at the wall?

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4:24 a.m.

Wait am I hungry?

rev up those fryers

4:25 a.m.

Maybe this all-nighter has gotten the best of me. Maybe I really should give in and power nap for just, like, two hours.

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4:26 a.m.

Still contemplating sleep…

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4:27 a.m.

Not sure if still contemplating sleep or actually sleeping…

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4:28 a.m.

OKAY MAKE UP YOUR MIND

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4:29 a.m.

Alright, alright. I’ll set my alarm for 30 minutes. No, 40 minutes. Okay let me just finish this one small thing first…

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6:10 a.m.

Oh. Is that sunlight? I forgot that was a thing. I was beginning to think I was trapped in my own eternal nightmare.

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6:40 a.m.

….Aaaaand I’m finished with my homework! Just in time to lay down and get a full twenty minutes of sleep before my alarm goes off.

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7:00 a.m.

*Alarm going off* Is this real? Is anything real? Did I honestly just fall asleep? Wait, did I really pull an all-nighter or was that just the most elaborate dream ever? Ugh, just five more minutes…

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7:05 a.m.

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Whether planned or unintentional, all-nighters are cornerstone learning experiences in anyone’s college education. Here’s to hoping I never have another one after I graduate!

What are some of the weird things you do during an all-nighter? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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Finals, Freshman Year vs. Senior Year

A lot can change in four years.

When you realize it’s time to start studying for finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Getting ready to go study

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Trying to study in the library

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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LOL NOPE #StudyingAtHome

Fall semester finals

Freshman year:

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via Twitter

Senior year:

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Spring semester finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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This will do.

Not drinking because you have to study

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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While studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Calculating what grade you need on the final in order to pass the class

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Deciding whether or not you should stop studying and just go for the passing grade

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Study in groups

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Your relationship with coffee

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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When you realize how long you’ve been studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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After five minutes…

Trying to balance sleep and studying

Freshman year:

SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK

SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK

Senior year:

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When your mom calls you while you’re studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Trying to find time to relax during finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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After hours of studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Checking in with your professor before the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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How you think you’ll do on the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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During the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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After you finish the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Checking your final grade

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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How you feel when you’re finally done with all of your finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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When you’re a freshman, all you can see are four more years of finals ahead. By the time you’re a senior, however, you already have yours eyes on that sweet, sweet prize — your degree. May 16th, here I come!

Disagree? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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Studying Sucks. This Will Help.

The time is upon us again, my friends, when college students across the nation lock themselves in the library with nothing but backpacks full of textbooks they haven’t opened all semester, and enough packets of instant coffee to give someone a heart attack. That’s right, it’s finals season.

Any seasoned college student knows that the best way to survive finals is to take regular breaks while studying. So, in honor of mentality sanity, I have compiled some of my favorite animal GIFs. Relax, enjoy, and good luck with finals!

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Which GIF is your favorite? Tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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The Unofficial Bucket List of the University of Nevada

1. Participate in Welcome Week events — paint the “N” on the hill with fellow members of the Pack, wolf down some pancakes at midnight, and take pride in your university!

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2. Wake up at 4 a.m. for Dawn Patrol at The Great Reno Balloon Race. The killer Instagram you’ll get as proof will make it worthwhile.

3. Eat at Archie’s on game day and get to know some of your fellow Wolf Pack fans.

4. Stroll around downtown with some friends during the Wine Walk. Don’t forget your glitter tattoo at Five Star!

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5. Pig out on some ribs at the Sparks Nugget’s Annual Rib Cook-Off.

6. Become a part of our university’s legacy by partaking in homecoming traditions such as the undie run, carnival, or the March from the Arch.

7. Fill up on mushroom ravioli and peach bellinis at the Annual Italian Festival downtown. If that’s not a recipe for a good time, I don’t know what is.

8. Regardless of whether or not you join a house, participate in at least one Greek life event, whether it be SAE’s Paddy Murphy or Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash.

9. Show off your Wolf Pack pride by participating in Beat UNLV week — moon our neighbors to the south or make the road trip down to Sin City with your best friends.

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10. Try not to scream at Lincoln Hall’s annual haunted house. Let’s be honest, you probably won’t, but it’s a fun thing to do with your friends around Halloween time.

11. Get in touch with your #basic side while drinking hot cider and picking out pumpkins at Apple Hill in Camino, California. Don’t forget your riding boots and Pumpkin Spice Latte, obv.

12. Get dressed up to get messed up at the Santa Crawl. If you want to be truly original, have your friends dress as Santa and his eight tiny reindeer. Pause, not.

13. Visit Lake Tahoe when it’s snowy — drink hot cocoa at The Village at North Star or ski down the powder at Squaw Valley.

14. Visit Lake Tahoe when it’s sunny — sip on a Wet Woody or party at Zephyr Cove on the 4th of July.

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15. Catch up on current events with the Nevada Sagebrush or a Coffin and Keys newsletter. If you’re lucky, you might read your own name one day in the Sagebrush. If you’re unlucky, you might read your own name one day in Coffin and Keys.

16. Stay through the end of a sporting event and sing our alma mater and fight song. N-E-V-A-D-A you say, “Nevada!”

17. Fill yourself with a bizarre mix of pride and shame as you attempt to finish an Awful Awful from the Nugget downtown. Try not to spill on yourself. Fail.

18. Invest in the refillable tremor mug at Kokomo in Lake Havasu on spring break. I’m no accountant, but I’m fairly certain that by the amount of refills you’ll inevitably buy, you’ll end up saving money in the long run.

19. Take the winding drive up the hill and spend a day in Virginia City. Can you say “cinnamon whiskey crawl?”

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20. Play quarters at the Corkscroo, then head downtown for a little gambling on your 21st birthday. Because… Reno.

21. Party bus your way to the Wal one Thirsty Thursday. Regret it. Swear you’ll never drink again. Repeat.

22. Slap the bag while floating down the Truckee River. Wear closed-toed shoes and try not to pop your air mattress on the rocks.

23. Make a sacrifice to the great and honorable Mackay before final exams. Pretend like that excuses you from studying.

24. Swing dance the night away in the Jack Daniel’s tent at the Annual Reno Rodeo. Spend far too much money on Jack and Diets.

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25. Show your patriotism by enjoying the great American pastime at a Reno Ace’s game.

Whether you spread these events out over four years or seven, just be sure that by the time you cross the stage at graduation, you won’t have missed out on any of the fun things our community has to offer!

What’s your favorite annual event at the University of Nevada or within the Reno/Tahoe area? Tweet me a picture and I might retweet you!

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