Preparation

When preparing for a presentation, there are a number of stages you are likely to go through.

Understand the task

Do you know exactly what you have to do? Whether it is a presentation in a workplace context or an assessment at university, it is essential that you are clear about your brief and what you are expected to deliver.

Consider the purpose

Why are you giving this presentation? Is it to inform, persuade, pitch, demonstrate evidence or knowledge? Defining your main aims at an initial point is useful and will be the first stage in helping you achieve them.

Consider the audience

Will you be speaking to senior managers, colleagues, partners, visitors, classmates and tutors? Adapt your talk according to the audience you expect and remember that the content and focus should be interesting and relevant to them.

Research the topic

How and where will you obtain information for the presentation? Will your sources be online, from books or other literature, from colleagues or other places? Make sure you select and use appropriate sources and reference accordingly.

Plan and design the structure

How are you going to organise the information you want to communicate? Decide what content you are going to place in each of the main sections (introduction, body and conclusion) and in what order.

Plan detailed content

What specific information are you going to put in each section? Divide the main body into sub-sections and key points as necessary and plan exactly what details you want to include in each part.

Practise and revise as necessary

What can you do in terms of rehearsing? Practise delivering your talk – record it, self-evaluate, seek feedback from peers, friends or family members. Revise the content and/or delivery style and practise again until you feel confident and ready to deliver your talk.

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This article is from the free online course:

What Makes an Effective Presentation?

Coventry University