As a Premium Plus member, you are expected to work on projects and present them to a mentor in order to be evaluated. In this short blog post, we have decided to talk about these all-important presentations in order to help you prepare for them as best as possible and reassure you that you CAN definitely do it.
Exam stress – it’s something we’ve all been through! It’s something we can’t really avoid when studying. It is, however, possible to make sure you are in the best possible position to prepare you for these “scary” moments. As the saying goes: Forewarned is Forearmed!
First of all, let’s tone down the drama a bit. What does a presentation entail exactly?
- 20 minutes of you talking about your project
- 10 minutes of Q&A
- A constructive exchange with helpful experts (mentors)
- The moment you’re able to show you’ve mastered new skills (and therefore a very positive moment where you can feel proud of your achievements!)
Here are our top tips to prepare for your presentation successfully.
In the last 2 weeks prior to your presentation, rehearse it!
- In any way possible – in front of the mirror; in front of your best friend; by recording it and listening to it on the bus.
- Time it! It’s a great exercise in order to keep track of how long it’ll take. Remember we’re always slower than we think so adapt it with this in mind.
- When you’re ready, you can take a mock exam. Just arrange the details with your mentor and go for it!
One hour before your presentation, put yourself in the best conditions possible:
- Wear something professional. Not too much of course! But it’s still a professional presentation which will be recorded and that could be similar to a real work interview. Put clothes you feel comfortable in.
- Make sure the lighting is right. Avoid background lighting.
- Find a quiet place where the acoustics are good.
- Put headphones on in case your neighbor is too noisy that day and makes it difficult for you to concentrate.
- Drink some water and keep the glass next to you to avoid getting a dry mouth
5 minutes before the presentation, take a deep breath!
- Tell yourself you’re ready for it and that everything will be fine. Remember your mentor thinks you are… which means it’s true! Believe in yourself 😉
- Keep one minute aside to take a deep and calm breath. Try clearing your head as much as possible and focus on positive thoughts.
During your presentation, remember to make a good impression, the way you would at a job interview!
- You’re in front of someone who’s giving up their time to listen to you. Say hi and be polite.
- Introduce your work to them. You might know it like the back of your hand but they don’t, you’ll need to walk them through it.
- Speak slowly and calmly. We tend to go faster under stress but it’s actually the best way to lose someone’s attention.
Do not worry, everything will be fine!
But just in case – what happens if something goes wrong?
- During your presentation:
- We often think it’s not going well but we’re not often right about it. Keep your calm, give it your best and chances are you’ll be surprised by your examiner’s final remarks. For the better of course.
- If you don’t know, say it! You’re not asked to know everything and being humble and honest about one’s knowledge is considered to be a great skill!
- If your presentation is unsuccessful:
- Breathe a little. You’ll be disappointed for sure but it’s not the end of the world. It happens, even to the best of us.
- Let’s debunk the myth – not all students pass their presentation the first time. What’s most important is to have a positive approach when it comes to your studies, learning how to learn and not give up when facing difficulties.
- Every exercise, even if not successful, is an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. As Nelson Mandela rightly said: “I never lose. I either win or I learn”. So if you fail your presentation, it doesn’t mean you’re a complete failure. We forbid you to think that way! Just ask your mentor what you need to work on and improve for the next presentation.
There you have it, you know everything there is to know about presentations. We hope you feel a bit more confident about them now. Remember, this exercise is meant to be constructive and helpful. Make the most of it! Good luck 🙂