Presentation Skills – Quick Tips

Presentations offer you an opportunity to persuade people of the strengths of your argument(s). The tips below can also be used in interview situations too – after all, interviews are all about presenting/selling yourself and persuading the interview panel that you are the right man/woman for the job!

BASIC RULES FOR PRESENTATIONS:

  1. Know your subject well. Doing so will ensure you do not have to refer to your notes every minute, thus losing eye contact with your audience.
  2. DON’T spend the whole presentation reading out loud from your notes – your audience can read for themselves.
  3. Keep your presentation short and to the point. If you are using PowerPoint try not to  exceed 6 slides.
  4. Ensure your audience is engaged. Keep looking up and watch your audience and their reactions to the points you raise.
  5. Watch out for the Nods! Are they nodding frequently or smiling in agreement? If so, then you’re on the right track. Are they nodding off? If so, then change tactic quickly before you lose them!
  6. Note which points they smile at or nod to in agreement – this is useful feedback for your focus or next presentation.
  7. Try to start and finish at a set time or find out how much time has been allocated for your presentation and stick to this timeline.
  8. Leave questions until the end. Let your audience know (at the beginning) that you will be happy to take questions at the end of the presentation. Ensure you allow time for this.
  9. SMILE AND LOOK CONFIDENT! By doing so, you immediately put your audience at ease.

PRESENTATION FRAMEWORK

Your presentation should be broken down into three parts as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Development
  3. Conclusion

Using the above framework, in the table below you will see some useful phrases which you can use in your presentation

Introduction (phrases) Development (phrases) Conclusion (phrases)
  1. My name is…
  2. I’d like to start by thanking/introducing myself/my project …
  3. In my presentation, I will discuss …
  4. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them at the end.
  5. Before I start my talk, I’d just like to thank…
  6. I’ll discuss each point briefly and then give you my recommendations.
  1. On this next slide you can see how our results have improved overall/you can see how I consistently exceeded my sales targets …
  2. This brings me to my next point…
  3. This chart gives a comparison of …
  1. Finally, I’d like to remind you that we…
  2. I hope you found my comments useful and …
  3. I will be happy to take questions…

 

Source: (1) Miriam Mukasa (2) Intelligent Business, The Economist (Tonya Trappe/Graham Tullis)

About the Author - Miriam Mukasa, is Founder and MD of AfricaTalentbank.com(ATB), and has over 10 years HR/recruitment experience in the UK. She is a graduate of Sussex University, UK and holds a B.A. honours degree in Economics. Miriam is also a Prince2® UK registered Project Manager and holds Level A certification in Psychometric Testing, which enables ATB to administer and manage (in-house), over 100 online tests from leading international suppliers including: SHL, Talent Q, and Pearson – the world’s leading education company and owners of the (London) Financial Times.

In Europe, Miriam trains members of staff (including department heads) of various multinationals including: Siemens, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and GKN plc – the global engineering group.