Plagiarism and Presenting

Plagiarism and Presenting

When a presenter is asked to speak on a particular topic it is common for the speaker to include quotes, facts, and figures.  These are the types of things that make the presentation seem credible.  In doing so, plagiarism can seem difficult to avoid.  After all, there are only so many ways to present such specific information.  This can create a new challenge for the presenter because the last thing they want to do is fill their slides with citations.  How then, can a presenter avoid plagiarism without bogging down their slides with citations?  Here are a few tips for avoiding plagiarism in oral presentations.


Avoid Text Heavy Slides

One of the easiest ways to give a presentation without countless citations is to make your slides as minimal as possible.  Avoid putting loads of text on your slides that include information requiring citations.  In fact, the best presenters have the simplest slides because they rely more on their own words than the words on the slides.  If you want to present a quote or an exact figure, speak that to your audience rather than putting it on your slide.  You can include a compelling photo or interesting graphic on your slide to supplement the quote you are using.  This allows you to reference the citation orally as opposed to putting it on your slide.


Keep Direct Quotes to a Minimum

There is no doubt that quotes are a great way to capture audience attention, however, including multiple quotes in a presentation can easily become monotonous.  If you do choose to include a quote, maybe do so at the beginning and end of your speech so you are not forced to cite multiple sources throughout your presentation.



Another solution to avoid countless is citations is to paraphrase your content.  Instead of using the author’s exact text, take the information and put it into your own words. You might even introduce the paraphrased material with a simple oral citation such as, “Johnson states that…”  In this instance you are still giving credit to the author but you were able to subtly include the citation orally.


Use Other’s Ideas Sparingly

Remember that this is your presentation.  Your ideas should be the focus of the presentation.  The majority of your presentation should include original content and you should only use the ideas of other’s to support or reinforce what you are saying.  The audience does not want to feel like they are reading a research paper.  Rather, they want to hear an authentic presentation that simply infuses facts sparingly to supplement your argument.