I’ve been asked to do a presentation – what do I present?

You have been asked to do a presentation – what should you present? There are two possibilities. Firstly, you may be given the topic. For example, your boss may have asked you to make a report on a specific project to a committee, or an interview panel may have asked you to present to them on a particular subject. If you know what your topic is, then go to No 5: How do I prepare my presentation?

Secondly, you may get to choose your own topic. In this case, it’s best to present a topic that you know. What are you enthusiastic about? Football, cookery, mountaineering, early years learning, how the stock market works? Whatever it is that you know about, you may say that you don’t know enough to give a talk on that topic. However, probably you do know enough, depending on who the audience is and how long you’ve got to speak for.

When you’re asked to present to an audience you must ask yourself the 3 essential questions:

1. Who is my audience?

2. How long have I got to speak for?

3. What is my topic (or my point)?

The answers to these questions will help you to work out what to include in your talk and how to structure it. Either way, you must have more material than you have the time to present. Otherwise, it will look as though you’re not well enough prepared and you will struggle if there’s a question and answer period.

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