Presenting Powerfully

As part of your interview process you may be asked to do a presentation.  Here are some handy hints for you to keep in mind.

Visual Aids / Multi-media

Always keep presentations simple,  easy to understand and fun.  You want your audience with you all the way, not confused otherwise they’ll lose interest.   If you’re using slides on a laptop, and want to impart lots of information it would be better to split it across a number of slides. Don’t be afraid of white space.

Anecdotes and Personal Stories

A good way for your audience to remember what you’ve said is to include some personal examples. If they can relate to what you’re saying they are more likely to stay engaged and retain the information; or even passing it on.

Know Your Audience

Make sure that you pitch the presentation at the right level.  Presenting to a Board of Directors is not the same as presenting to your colleagues.  Formal  language or informal language; relevant statistics or interesting facts?  Understand who you’re presenting to and what they expect to hear.  You want  them to leave with the right information.

Create a Triangle

Create a triangle between you, your audience and your presentation (PowerPoint, or Whiteboard).  All three should be working together.  Don’t just stand in one spot, move towards your audience, keep eye contact and draw them in to what you’re saying.  Make them part of the presentation.

Remember to Breath

Take a moment before your presentation to get your breathing in check.  Breath deeply and exhale.  Don’t speak too quickly, there’s no rush.  Everyone is there is listen to you and want to hear what you’ve got to say so take it slowly. If you feel yourself rushing, breath and start again, slowly.

The Lights Are On …

Some presenters like to have the lights switched off if they are using a screen so that the presentation shows up better.  However, a warm room with lights off might just induce the wrong effect – sleepiness.  Keep the lights on and the room fairly cool, but not uncomfortably so.  The right ambience helps to maintain an engaged audience and a successful presentation.