Develop a #Winning Presentation

It’s time to leave your fear of public speaking behind. The ability to communicate well is essential in any career path. So don’t let your public speaking fears stop you from winning over an audience or articulating your great ideas. In fact, everyone can do it with the right mindset.

My internship recently organized an Intern-A-Palooza, where selected interns have the opportunity to present their summer internship experience in 5 minutes. The “battle of the interns” are vying for the coveted chocolate trophy (a drinking glass filled with an array of chocolates and etched Top Intern title) for Top Intern in three categories: Best Presenter, Best Content & Research, and Crowd Favorite. The intern presentations are judged by three senior employees and the Crowd Favorite category is based on votes from the audience.

I won the Top Intern for Best Content & Research and here are my tips on how you can develop a winning presentation:

Top Intern and Top Intern Manager

My amazing supervisor has won the “Top Intern Manager” title consecutively for two years. I couldn’t have done this presentation without her and her input helped me tremendously.

It’s Not About Me, It’s About You. The first piece of advice my supervisor gave me was “know your audience”. Think about what they would be most interested in and what kind of presentation style they would respond to. For example, since my internship largely works on environmental policy and developing solutions, I focused on how my project is developing a web application that impacts Indonesia’s environmental policies. Since we have a relaxed organization culture, I presented in a more casual manner.

Do Your Homework. Delivering your presentation is one part of developing a winning presentation. Content matters, so do your research on your topic. Having solid knowledge of your topic helps increase confidence in your presentation delivery. Also, keep in mind of time restraints. I had to present my project in 5 minutes, and while there were many things I could talk about, I focused on what’s most important and possible in the time frame.

The Oldie but Always a Goodie: Practice Makes Perfect. Rehearse aloud in front of your family and friends, colleagues, stuffed animal…make sure you hear yourself and watch your body language. Emphasize on the main points, pause for added effect, and use appropriate body language. Revise and practice until you feel prepared for your presentation. Also, time yourself with a stopwatch if you’re under time restraints.

Take Each Experience as a Learning Experience. Refrain from over-analyzing your presentation afterwards. Presenting in front of an audience is not easy, and props to you just for presenting. Prepare for feedback and keep in mind of what you learned from the experience.

I hope this post has been useful to you and here’s to many winning presentations!