Presenting

You'll probably need to do a presentation at some point, whether as part of a group project on a module, during a job interview or in the workplace. It might be an in-person presentation or it might be done remotely, either way  there are some key things to remember.

Top tips

1. Less is more

Try not to fill your presentation with paragraphs of text, the audience will be too busy reading what is on the slides to focus on what you are talking about. It is much more effective to create a more visual (and memorable) presentation with a few key words that you can talk around.

2. Grab their attention

Consider using some different types of media in your presentation to catch your audience's attention, from adding charts and videos in Microsoft PowerPoint, to more interactive elements such as photo stacks in Microsoft Sway, you can set yourself apart by having some interesting visuals on screen. Learn more in the Designing presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Sway online course.

3. Practice makes perfect

Make sure you run through your presentation a few times so that you can get your timings correct, and so that you know what you're going to say without reading off the slides - it will make you look much more confident and professional. A good trick is to have a glass of water ready so that you can take a sip if your throat gets dry and it's a good opportunity to collect your thoughts if you get nervous.

4. Manage expectations

At the start of the presentation have a chat with your audience, and tell them when and how you'd like them to participate - like raising their hand or asking questions in chat at the end of the presentation. If you want to include any interactive elements such as online Microsoft Forms quizzes, be sure to let your audience know what they'll need to be able to take part!

5. Professional presentations, even online

Just because you're doing an online presentation doesn't mean you can't make it slick and professional. Dress appropriately, get your lighting set up, turn on your camera and hide the mess behind you with a virtual background if you want to! It's a good idea to do a test run of your presentation with a friend first to check they can hear you clearly and see what you're sharing first, and then in the presentation mute the audience microphones so there are no distractions.