Tips for a great presentation

Welcome to Career Academy. At The Nottingham, we believe in driving young people’s aspiration for the future. Moving from education to employment is an exciting journey but one that can require a lot of skills to reach your full potential. 

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Presentations are often used as part of a recruitment process to test your knowledge in a particular area, your approach to a task and also your skills in delivering information to an audience. If you are asked to do a presentation, you will normally be given a brief on the task and told what format and materials are required. For example, using an application such as PowerPoint or some handouts. You’ll also be told what the time limit is and whether you need to submit anything such as visual aids in advance via email. 

A presentation is your opportunity to showcase your communication skills – both written and verbal – and also how you can perform under pressure! Here are some top tips for great presentations. 

  1. Take your time in deciding what content you will cover. This includes deciding how you will cover it, who your audience will be and what you want to achieve with the presentation. 
  2. Always use visual aids as a reference but try and keep the word count down. You can use them to add structure to your presentation and engage your audience. Try not to fall into the trap of just reading any visual aids word for word, these should support your presentation, not be the main focus.
  3. If your presentation is about a business problem, perhaps use the company’s logo or use on-brand colours to make it look corporate and professional. 
  4. Once you are happy with your presentation remember that practice makes perfect! Run through your presentation to ensure it flows, covers all the main points you need to and that it matches the timings you want. Think about how you will deliver your presentation. Using pauses, pointing to your visual aids and asking the audience a question are all good ways to engage and make your presentation interesting. 
  5. There is nothing wrong with using prompt cards to help but try to learn your presentation as much as you can so that you are not relying on your cards. Relying on reading your script changes the direction of your voice and reduces eye-contact which are both really important in keeping your audience’s attention. 
  6. Always ask someone to check through any visual aids looking at layout, formatting, spelling and grammar , they may also be able to give you feedback on your delivery too. 
  7. Finally, have a practice with the technology and have a back-up plan arranged for the day. If you have emailed content in advance, check it has been received; if you are delivering it on your own device, email it to the recruiter or yourself in case you are unable to connect. If you have saved it onto a memory stick, check it on another device to ensure you can open it; and finally, take paper copies as an ultimate back-up so no matter what happens, you will be able to deliver your presentation effectively. 

There we have it, seven ideas to prepare a presentation for an interview perfectly! Check out the rest of our Career Academy to hear from some of our team members about a day in their life whilst working in financial services.

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