You may be asked to deliver a presentation at various stages of your university life and career. This may be done as part of your degree for an assessed exam or coursework or as part of the selection process for an interview. You may be given a topic in advance or be given a short amount of time to prepare on the day. This guide provides top-tips and advice to help you to prepare and deliver professional presentations.
Before you plan your presentation, consider:
Thinking about who your audience are and what they already know about the subject you are presenting on can help shape your content.
If you have a free choice, select something you know about and can talk about confidently. If you are given a set topic, prepare and research as much as you can. It is better to have too much information to work with and have to cut down accordingly, than not enough.
Once you have your information think about the key aspects you want to get across, too much information may lose the attention of your audience. You might want to break it into a set of memorable points that your audience can take away with them.
Timing is a crucial aspect of presenting and you need to make sure that you are able to deliver all your information in the time given. For example, if you are told that you have 10 minutes to deliver your presentation, an employer may well stop you if you overrun.
Supporting materials will help to enforce your message and keep the audience's attention. Handouts, presentation software, music, film... there are many options at your disposal, but remember that too many elements can detract attention.
Presentations need to be straightforward and logical, helping your audience understand your ideas and follow the information you are delivering. It is important that you avoid complex structures and focus on explaining and discussing your work clearly. Like an essay, your presentation should have a clear beginning, middle and end.
There is no such thing as a perfect presentation. Afterwards, acknowledge those parts that you did well and give yourself some praise; only then should you consider the rest and reflect on how you could improve the next time. The more you practise the faster you will develop your own style.
The Careers Service offers a range of presentation support to Manchester Met students and graduates:
For more information visit: mmu.ac.uk/careers
We offer range of support services to Manchester Met students and graduates:
The online careers centre you can access 24/7 to view career resources, advice and tips, career quizzes and information tailored to your sector.
Get online advice through My Career Hub, ask your question at any time and receive support via email.
Book an appointment with one of our Careers Advisors through My Career Hub or call 0161 247 3483.