Presentation tips

So you have an interview for a new scientific job but you have been asked to do a presentation, or maybe you just have to do a presentation as part of your current job. Here are some really useful tips to help you:

Follow the 10-20-30 rule:

This rule states that your presentation should have no more than 10 slides, last no longer than 20 minutes and the text should be no smaller than a 30 point size font.

Stick to this formula:

1. Start off by telling your audience what you are going to be talking about.
2. Then, tell them.
3. Conclude by telling them what you have just told them

Keep it simple:

Which ever medium you are using, whether it be Power Point presentations, posters or charts, make sure you keep your visuals short and to the point. Remember, the interviewer isn’t really interested in reading your slides, they are there to listen to what you have to say.

Look at your audience:

Try not to focus on one person, instead try to make eye contact and connect with a number of people around the room. This will ultimately help you engage with your audience.

Talk TO your audience, not AT them:

There is nothing more annoying than being talked at. Make a real effort to engage and interact with your audience. A great way to achieve this is to ask them questions and get them talking to one another.

Don’t go overboard with your preparation:

By over preparing you run the risk of sounding too rehearsed and not natural. Of course you need to go into the presentation feeling prepared, but be aware that by overdoing it your presentation may sound memorised.

Be animated:

Don’t just stand still. By making some hand movements and walking around the stage every now and again, you will engage your audience and make them feel that you are passionate about your subject.

Make your audience laugh:

This is a great way to keep your audience alert. By adding a snippet of humour into your presentation you can also show off your personality and add a real personal touch that other candidates may be lacking.

Slow down:

Really try to make a conscious effort to slow your speech down and pause after points which you want to give more emphasis to.

Don’t read:

This may sound obvious but it is a common mistake. By simply reading from a script you are essentially demonstrating to your interviewer that you don’t understand your topic and you will no doubt sound bored.

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