This summer we’ve been running our Summer Talk Series with topics that will help you succeed in your internship journey. These talks are delivered by our amazing industry mentors and include some legendary pro-tips. Today’s focus is (drum roll please)… How to Deliver a Kick-Ass Presentation!
Here’s what we learned from Kate Pearce, Head of Security at Trade Me. Kate knows her stuff – She’s delivered everything from boardroom presentations to Kiwicon keynotes (featuring actual fire!)
1. What is the purpose of this presentation?
Why am I standing at the front of the room? Why are these people watching me speak?
The best way to make sure that you’re delivering what’s expected is to stop and actually write down the answers. This way, you can stand before your audience with purpose.
Construct a story out of your presentation. People think and learn through storytelling. By answering the questions above, you’ll be able to create a story that is engaging to your audience. Even in science, we present our findings as a story – from hypothesis to conclusion. It’s more captivating that way!
2. What are the three main points you want people to remember?
People can only remember a small amount of information. Avoid delivering topics like ‘50 Steps To Getting an Internship’.Your audience might remember the first step, the last one, and a couple in between – but they’re unlikely to remember more. Stick to between 3-5 main points. When explaining them, use vivid and interesting examples or explanations that people will remember. People are far more likely to remember a story about you spilling water on yourself because you were so excited about getting a job role, compared to simply stating ‘I got hired on the 20th day of December.’
It’s also a great idea to repeat your main points. Once you’ve gone through your main points, touch on them again and add some more examples. Don’t be afraid of changing the wording of the point around. This will help your audience – they may need to hear the point in a couple of different ways before it sinks in. When you think they’ve got it, repeat it again!
3. Is this a presentation, a publication, or both?
When constructing your slides, you might ask yourself this question. Here’s what you need to know:
A presentation is something that will only be delivered once. The slides are only there to reinforce what you are saying. The slides are usually lighter on the explanation and heavier on the speaker notes. It’s the speakers’ job to provide the information and guide the content flow.
A publication is a document that will live on past your presentation of it. People often come to these to hear you speak and learn about something but will need to refer to the document later. When you’re making a publication it’s important that your slides can stand on their own. They shouldn’t need a presenter to get the key points across. When delivering a publication, slow down and let people read all the good stuff on your slides.
Homework – A checklist for a great presentation
Still not sure? Here’s Kates’ super handy checklist to make sure your presentation is totally top-notch. If you want some more tips you can check out her slide deck here.
My overall goal and message is clear
The key 3-5 points are clearly stated
The flow tying it together makes sense
The slides are structured to tell the story
The slides have a reasonable word count
The slides aren’t unprofessional
The slides don’t counter my message
Someone else has proofread my slides
I know my overall message (without notes)
I know my 3-5 key points (without notes)
I have practiced at least once in front of a camera or another person
I repeat my main points
I am happy for every word to be quoted in an all-company email… CCing in my family
I am speaking so slowly it feels a bit awkward
Thank you Kate for your presentation! Best of luck to the interns who will be presenting at the end of the summer – we know you’ll smash it.