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Do You Have To Do Presentations in College?

Through school, you may have had to do several presentations in front of your class. If you’re preparing for college, you may wonder whether you’ll have to continue doing them. Do you have to do presentations in college? 

You may have to do presentations in college if you are taking subjects like law or business. You will also have to do presentations if your teacher prefers presentations as an assessment. But, you might avoid presentations by choosing specific subjects or looking for alternative assessments.

This article considers when and why you may have to do presentations in college. It also has some tips about how to avoid presentations. 

College student giving presentation.

When May You Have To Do Presentations in College?

You may have to do presentations if you take subjects where you need to develop your oral speaking skills. These include subjects like communications, law, business, and education. You may also have to do presentations if your professors use them as a form of assessment. 

The circumstances where you may have to do presentations in college are explored further below. 

If You Are Taking Subjects Like Law, Business or Education

Some subjects prepare you for career pathways that you may need public speaking skills for. If you take these subjects, you will need to do presentations to improve your oral speaking skills. 

Some of the subjects that you may need to do presentations for are: 

  • Law: If you are studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Law, you may need to present cases or debate with your peers. This is to prepare you to present cases in courts, to clients, and other stakeholders in the legal world. 
  • Education: If you plan to get into education as a teacher or administrator, you will likely have to talk in front of classes. As you study education, you may need to present or even deliver classes.
  • Business: If you are looking to run or manage businesses, your college course will include many presentations. This will build on your confidence and your ability to organize your thoughts.
  • Communications: If you are studying for a Bachelor’s degree in communication like PR or media relations, you will need to do presentations in college. 

In some cases, presentations will help you hone your skills and confidence. This will help you do better in your career. 

Source: Classroom

If Your Professor Uses Presentations As Assessments

Some professors design assessments that require you to present information. These presentations may be in front of your whole class, individually to your professor, or recorded. Presentations will require you to tap into your oral speaking skills but also your digital and organization skills. 

Professors use oral presentations as an assessment because they can build on a variety of skills. They will improve your cognitive skills and memory and require you to analyze and organize information to present it in a way. 

In addition, presentations by students can help make the classroom more engaging as students can learn from their peers’ presentations. 

Source: Australian Catholic University

How To Avoid Presentations in College?

You can avoid presentations by choosing subjects that don’t require presentations. You can also ask your professor for alternative assessment arrangements. If presentations cause you anxiety or stress, you may be able to get a medical exemption from doing them. 

Choose the Right Subjects

Some courses and subjects will not need you to do presentations. This is because they call upon other skills like writing or designing. 

Some of the subjects you are less likely to need to present for include: 

  • Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and other sciences: Science subjects require various skills, including the ability to conduct lab work and review research and literature. Your assessments will most likely be in the form of written work. 
  • Computer and information sciences: If you do a Bachelor’s in IT, most of your work will likely be presented in digital format. 
  • Engineering: Most forms of engineering will have assessments in the form of designs, papers, or traditional exams. You will rarely be required to do an oral presentation unless you talk through a particular design or creation. 

Before deciding what subject to study, you should review the subject’s unit guide. This will give you a better understanding of what kind of assessments and requirements the course you are considering will have. 

This way, you can choose courses that do not have oral speaking or presentation requirements. 

Look for Alternative Assessments

Many college courses have different options for assessments. For instance, a professor may give students the option between a presentation and a paper. If your professor hasn’t given you an option, talk to them to see an alternative to an oral presentation. 

Get a Doctor or Psychologist’s Report

If presentations are causing you extreme anxiety or stress, you may be able to get a doctor or psychologist’s letter which states you can’t do a presentation. The letter should state that you cannot do a presentation as it would adversely affect you psychologically or medically. 

Source: The Guardian

How Can You Improve Your Presentation Skills?

You can build on your presentation skills by practicing your content and ensuring you have a deep knowledge of it. You can also improve by identifying your areas of weakness, or you can look for alternatives to traditional presentations. 

Here are more details about how you can build on your presentation skills. 

Know and Practice Your Content

Practice makes perfect in all areas, and presentations are no exception. Make sure that you research your content well and organize it into a structure you are comfortable with. Practice your presentation several times. If possible, try to practice it in front of family or friends. 

Identify Your Areas of Weakness

Your family and friends may help you identify areas that you can improve. For instance, you may be reading off your presentation slides rather than speaking to your audience. Or, you may fill your presentations with fillers like “umm” or long pauses. 

Once you identify your weak areas, you can focus on improving them. 

Source: Forbes

Look for alternatives to traditional presentations. Instead of a traditional presentation where you speak in front of a class, you can suggest alternative presentations. 

These alternative presentations may be: 

  • A conversation: If you are presenting with other peers, you may structure it like a conversation. As this is less formal than a presentation, it may be easier for you to navigate. 
  • A team presentation: Working in a team can help cut down on the amount of time you need to spend presenting. 
  • Record a presentation: Pre-record your presentation and present it to your class. If you need a live component, hold a Question and Answer after the presentation, which can help you present more conversationally. 


You may have to do some presentations in college depending on what subjects you’re taking. You may also need to present if your teacher is using presentations for assessments. However, you can avoid presentations by looking for alternative assessments or choosing not presentation-heavy subjects. 

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