Formulate a display and practice presenting it before the actual event (where you would stage it to competitors and examiners). Subject areas are difficult to ascertain and might include Client-Consumer Relations, or Market Trends, depending on the sector and position you have applied to/for. Secure as much information as possible to be best prepared.
Getting started is easy. Answer the questions below and you are already there.
- What are my aims with this display?
- How much is the time limit?
- What is the target audience and how much is their awareness of the topic I have been asked to present about?
- Is there an appropriate word range that I should use, any jargon?
- What mediums and resources can I use to aid my presentation: PowerPoint, Poster, Laptop?
- What format am I best at presenting with and what format suits the subject’s requirement?
The Organisation of Material
Make sure to sequentially display your content with a beginning, middle and end.
- Beginning: Acquaint the audience with a summary of who you are, as well as the major theme, the sub-topics being covered, when questions can be asked, etc.
- Body: Choose discrete elements to discuss. Do extensive research on the subject and collaborate the overlapping and prominent information.
- Ending: An outline of the details that you covered.
Make sure to speak keeping in mind your audience’s capacity to engage. If they are experts, it can be more technical. If not, try to avoid condescension. Describe relevant anecdotes to better illustrate elements of your presentation. Most importantly, greet the listeners and familiarise them with yourself.
80% of the message from your presentation is down to body language.
- Keep calm and composed. Be gracious and exude alacrity.
- Stay focused. Do not get distracted by your clothing and appearance.
- Make sure that your presentation and personage are visible to everyone.
- Maintain a constant spread of eye contact throughout the crowd.
- Choose clothing that fits the occasion – formal- but is comfortable so that you don’t feel the need to fidget.
- Memorise the primary points in your speech and keep index cards in case you forget anything (but do not read off them or the presentation material directly, glance at the cards briefly for prompts).
- Maintain a constant rate of dialogue, taking breaks to compose yourself and allow the audience to soak in the material.
- Practice your overture in front of a friend/family member, or rehearse in front of the mirror, timing your presentation to make sure it is adhering to the time limit.
- Reconfirm the tools you are allowed to incorporate into your display.
- Be prepared for any malfunctions – your laptop crashing, your visual aids tearing/getting damaged, etc.
- Have a backup plan for any potential obstacles. Be able to conduct your presentation without your laptop or materials.
- If you would like to share pamphlets/physical copies of your presentation/key elements, do so only if necessary, and decide when they will be provided, announcing so to the viewers.
- Make sure your presentation is succinct, with focused slides that encapsulate the essence of your display.
- Alternate between text and illustrations to keep in interesting without redundant information: try to keep to a seven-lines-limit.
- Anticipate potential queries from the audience and make sure you are prepared to answer them.
- Do not worry if you are unsure about an inquiry. Ask for a further explanation.
- Paraphrasing the question and repeating it allows you space to think out your answer.
- Parsimony is always the best answer.
- Remember your humility if you are not sure of the solution and say you will double check. It is better to do so versus giving a pretended answer.
- Oratory skills are a cultivated skill and require development. A pinch of nervousness is acceptable and important because it signifies your body is preparing for the challenge (sweating, a dry throat, shivers, etc.) are all fight or flight activation.