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Presentation Tips

Consider the audience. Many do not speak English as a first language:

  • Speak slowly and articulate each word;
  • Do not read directly from hard copy or slides. Your audience can read what you have written there;
  • Use pauses and deliver sentences in a slow cadence;
  • Engage with the audience. Ask a question to get a response, or note something familiar in the audience such as acknowledging a delegation from a country/region you visited;
  • Audiences will remember success stories, case studies, and experiences;
  • Audiences remember activities they experience and how they can apply ideas;
  • It is more helpful to share experiences, lessons learned, and best practices rather than share lots of statistics.

When reporting research to an audience of counselors:

  • Explain the problem and why it is important;
  • Describe the methods and population studied in one paragraph or less;
  • Completely skip the analysis and any statistical tables;
  • Describe your findings succinctly;
  • Explain what the results imply for providing career guidance to your targeted population(s);
  • Ask attendees how this research might apply to their clients.

Designing an interactive workshop:

  • Get feedback from colleagues that your Power Point Presentation is clear and easy to understand;
  • Have enough handouts for the anticipated number of attendees;
  • At the beginning, explain what you hope to accomplish in the workshop;
  • Give clear directions. Ask audience if they understand the directions;
  • Allow enough time for participants to interact and carry out directions;
  • Conclude with a synopsis of workshop goals and what participants did;
  • Allow 5 – 10 minutes for questions/answers at end of the workshop.

Designing PowerPoint slides or visual aids that add value to both the content and entertainment:

  • Compose a talk that has a welcoming start, states the purpose for the presentation, then delivers the content and facts, and closes by reviewing three points for a conclusion;
  • Your PowerPoint presentation should contain only the "outline" or "important points."
  • Slides should include only key points -- the fewer words the better;
  • Restrict yourself to a maximum of 5 points/statements per slide;
  • Do not use clip art to fill space unless it is related to the topic;
  • Select dark or richly contrasting colors to enhance the visual readability;
  • Provide your contact information on the first and last slide;
  • Build a presentation to deliver in the amount of time allowed;
  • Be bold, smile, acknowledge applause, and say thank you.

Practice your presentation:

  • Deliver your presentation to a few colleagues or in front of a mirror;
  • Time yourself and allow 5 minutes for questions;
  • Do not exceed your allowed time. Edit your presentation if necessary.

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