Before you present, you’ll need to prepare presentation material, such as a Powerpoint or digital slide deck, speaking notes, or a poster. Below are some tips you can consider as you prepare.
Have a clear message
Picture your audience. Jot down a few key details about them, such as what they might already know about your topic and any context or jargon you might want to explain.
Think of the main message you want to communicate and try to summarize this in 1 sentence. This will help you keep your content on track as you put together your presentation. Your audience will only remember a fraction of what you say, so you’ll want your message to be clear and focused.
Develop your topic in a clear and organized way. With the purpose and message in mind, create a structure or roadmap. Not all presentations need to be told chronologically. You can follow the typical story structure: set up the plot, introduce the problem or challenge, share how your team tackled the issues, identify potential solutions, and finish with a resolution which can be a list of recommendations or next steps.
Prepare an agenda
Introduce your topic by giving the audience an overview of your presentation.
By listing the topics you will be covering, your audience can better focus on what is at hand, rather than wondering what is to come.
You can further develop your points by providing real-life examples, such as quotes or testimonials, data or statistics, and even images of your work process. By giving examples, your content will be easier for your audience to understand.
Do your research
If you share facts or details, make sure to cite all your sources accurately. Nothing weakens your credibility more than misstating information for your audience.
Make a conclusion
Much like a written paper, your conclusion should connect back to your introduction. Highlight your key points and consider your message or a takeaway that you want your audience to leave with.
If your presentation has moved slowly, condense this section but don't eliminate the conclusion. Your presentation may appear to lack direction if you don't offer closure for your audience. Finally, be prepared for questions. A friend or colleague may help you anticipate and practice answering possible questions.