Expert interview,  phdtalk

#12 Mark: Presentation skills

What does it mean to be a presenter and how can we feel better about being one?

Mark is a consultant at and co-owner of Global Denmark, a company that offers proofreading and editing of English texts and that coaches people in becoming better at communicating – be it in presentations or in writing.

What is a presentation?

  • A piece of communication, where the presenter is the leader.
  • Consider yourself as a leader, when preparing for and giving presentations.

What is best for the audience?

Think of your audience, when preparing a presentation: What is relevant for them to know?
Make sure you know what you are responsible for – this will make the task manageable.
Show interest in what you talk about – be interested and thus interesting.
Show interest in the people you are talking with (not to :D)

You can ask yourself the question:

How can I stimulate, inspire, inform and lastly educate my audience in a way that brings across my message?

Adjusting own expectations:

Remember that you only ever deliver a taste of what you know. Your presentation is more to stimulate people to talk to you after your presentation, read your research articles, or give them a reason to maybe want to work with you.

Personal touch

Presentations are about the person giving the presentation more than about the topic – if it was the topic only, we could just hand out papers or send links to each other.

Personal leadership

  • When preparing and presenting, you aren’t just a leader with regard to the audience but also with regard to yourself.
  • Being loyal towards yourself and having a positive inner dialogue helps you calm down and feel better about being on stage

‘Everybody on this planet is an interesting person and everybody deserves to be listened to.’

Speaking English as a non-native

  • View speaking English as a service.
  • You are not expected to speak perfect English – you are expected to be good at your subject – your English only needs to be understandable
  • Practice difficult words, put them on the slides and make sure that the audience gets a chance to catch them
  • If you are worried about your accent, let people know where you are from so those who have heard an accent like yours before can tune into it more easily and be prepared for it. Instead of having to do the guesswork of where you might come from – this will only draw their attention away from the content of your presentation

Ending presentations:

  • Sum up your key messages – wait for them to sink in – Thank you audience for listening (loud and proud) – smile and enjoy your applause – Give room for questions

Taking questions

Avoid 1:1 conversations with single people in the audience; try to involve everybody

This can be done by:

  • Repeating the questions (also to clarify whether you got the question right)
  • Openly reflecting on the question and let the audience know how you plan to answer
  • Answering the question

If you would like to connect with Mark check out LinkedIn.

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