Presentations……”yay!” Nobody particularly likes having to give presentations but we all have to do it at some point and you will almost definitely be asked to prepare one for your PhD interview. So Dr. Neo and I have a few tips to help you prepare.
So there are 3 different things you need to think about:
- What you are presenting
- How you are presenting it
- How are you presenting yourself
What you are presenting.
-Research what you are going to talk about.
– Have you narrowed the area down to the relevant bits? Nobody wants to hear the whole history of something (unless that is literally what the title of the project is – but even then you need to focus on the main bits).
-Put your own spin on it. Make sure that your point of view is expressed (with evidence to back up your opinion of course).
How are you presenting it?
– Tone of voice. Keep it appropriate to the subject but make sure it shows your enthusiasm. Also if you tend to have a monosyllabic voice try to work on this. It is likely to make any topic sound dull and that you are not that enthusiastic about it when you rally are.
– Choice of language. Colloquial terms are not appropriate and if you are going to use abbreviations explain them first.
– Posture. Stand tall and face the interviewers. This will demonstrate that you are confident and that you know what you are going to say. Try not to turn your back to the interviewers for long periods of time when you are explaining graphs etc
– Are the interviewers straining to hear you or are you too loud? Practice with some friends to get a feel for how loud you need to be.
You also need to think about your presentation slides:
– Are they clear?
– Too many words on each slide?
– Appropriate images / graphs /tables etc?
– Logical flow e.g intro à main body à summary
How are you presenting yourself?
You may think that this was all covered in the previous bit but there is more!
You also need to think about what you are going to wear. You may think that this is not really that important and that you have more important things to be thinking about, but you do need to put some thought into it. How you physically present says a lot about you as a person.
– Without a doubt you need to dress in smart clothes. This means guys really should be in suits with a tie and guys should wear a smart shirt and skirt / trousers or dress.
– Think about patterns and colours. This applies to girls and guys! If you wear colours that compliment each other and you haven’t put lots of different clashing patterns together then it shows that you have thought about your outfit and that you are a “well put together person”.
– Make sure that no matter what you wear that it is clean, it actually fits you and that you have ironed it.
So to sum up my tips:
-Research your topic.
-Practice your presentation.
-Think about how you are coming across as a person.
“Prepare to fail, don’t fail to prepare!”