Guest post by Emma Caron
In preparation for the parallel session, ‘First steps inside the door… student orientation’ I attended the Presentation skills workshop –Essential steps for presenting with confidence and clarity. This two-hour workshop, presented by Dr Craig Slattery, provided a selection of practical tips and techniques to delivering a successful presentation.
The central message that I took from the session was the importance of focusing on what your audience wants to hear rather that the information you want to impart. The first step in designing a presentation is creating a throughline for your presentation. The throughline is the central message that you want to impart to your audience. Everything in your presentation must substantiate the throughline. Craig spoke of the importance of crafting a narrative around the thoughline and sacrificing quantity of information for quality of personal experience, thereby, engaging your audience with your presentation.
Another key piece of advice was, when designing your presentation; look at who your possible audience could be and to aim to the lowest common denominator. What Craig meant by this was, if, for example, potentially your audience could contain people who know absolutely nothing about the subject of your presentation, prepare your presentation so they will come away understanding the message you were trying to impart. Always be mindful of not using jargon.
Presenting can be a very daunting experience and Craig spoke of how the nerves never go away but it’s they nerves that can make us do a great presentation. Use the adrenaline to focus the mind on getting your message across to your audience in an engaging way!