How to present well - Present in front of an audience of your peers
“Being asked to present in front of an audience of your peers and a tutor can be a terrifying experience. So how to not be terrified?”
A key part of university study is being able to develop new skills. The art of presenting is key for students studying business or law degrees. Dr Tim Harris is Dean of Academic Programmes at Kaplan Business School.
Being asked to present in front of an audience of your peers and a tutor can be a terrifying experience. So how to not be terrified?
First of all, remember that the audience is likely to be friendly and will want you to do well – remember it’s your classmates who will be wishing you well and the tutor who wants you to reach your potential. It’s not like you are an Arsenal player stepping out onto the turf for an away game at Manchester United. So no worries on the audience front! Then if you plan for success and deliver for success it will go well.
Get the purpose of the presentation clear in your head – what are you trying to achieve with your presentation? Off the back of this, what are the key points and messages that you want to get over? Resist the temptation to stuff the presentation with masses of info. If you have a 5 minute presentation slot then 50 slides is not practical – perhaps 4 or 5 slides would be better?
The next step is to structure the presentation. Remember, a good presentation will tell a story – it will have a beginning, middle and an end. Once you have the structure think about the design of the slides – how much info are you going to put on the slides? Again less is probably more. Two or three brief bullets are better than two or three paragraphs in size 6 font that nobody can read.
Practise the delivery. What are you going to add to the slides? Don’t just read out what is on the slide – you know that doesn’t work from the times your teachers have done it to you and you get bored in 30 seconds. So what is your chat/patter/script around the slides? Don’t wing it – plan it. Make sure you rehearse a bit too even if means practicing at home, talking to the goldfish in the bowl or the wall paper. If you are presenting as a team make sure the team spends time practicing together. Finally, make sure the version of the software you are using is compatible with the version in the room where you will be presenting!
Look the part – if you are delivering a business presentation then have a wash and brush up beforehand, take off the Thrash Metal T-shirt that hasn’t seen the inside of a washing machine for a month and put on business-like clothing. Now you look and feel the business and will do the business!! Be confident. Look at the audience and not the screen. If you are really nervous pre-arrange for a friend to sit close to the front. Talk to them and get them to smile at you. Don’t speak too quickly but make sure you speak up – lots of students turn the volume down when they present which is a mistake. If the technology goes wrong just apologise and start again.
Finally expect questions – if you don’t know the answer be honest and say you don’t know but you can find out.
This article about presentation skills was put together by was put together by Peter Edge of the Schools and Colleges Liaison team at Kaplan Business School who works with many institutions every year, helping students with their university applications for courses such as business school
Author - Lynsey Calver
Tags - business school, london business school, business schools, business school london, Business, llb
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