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Presentation Tips

When preparing a presentation for the APCDA Conference, here are some tips to keep in mind.


Consider the audience. Many do not have English as a first language:

  • Speak slowly and articulate each word.
  • Do not read directly from hard copy or slides. Your audience can read what you have written there.
  • Use pauses and deliver sentences in a slow cadence.
  • Engage with the audience. Ask a question to get a response, or note something familiar in the audience such as acknowledging a delegation from a country you visited.
  • Audiences will remember success stories, case studies, and experiences.
  • Audiences remember what they did and how they can apply it.
  • It is more helpful to share experiences, lessons learned, and best practices rather than share lots of statistics.

When reporting research to an audience of counselors:

  • Explain the problem and why it is important.
  • Describe the methods and population studied in one paragraph or less.
  • Completely skip the analysis and any statistical tables.
  • Describe your findings succinctly.
  • Explain what the results imply for providing career guidance to your targeted population(s).

Designing an interactive workshop:

  • Get feedback from colleagues that your Power Point Presentation is clear and easy to understand.
  • Have enough handouts for the anticipated number of attendees.
  • At the beginning, explain what you hope to accomplish in the workshop.
  • Give clear directions. Ask audience if they understand the directions.
  • Allow enough time for participants to interact and carry out directions.
  • Conclude with a synopsis of workshop goals and what participants did.
  • Allow 5 – 10 minutes for questions/answers at end of the workshop.

Designing Power Point slides or visual aids that add value to both the content and entertainment:

  • Your Power-Point presentation should contain the "outline" or "important points."
  • Slides should include only key points -- the fewer words the better.
  • Restrict yourself to a maximum of 5 points/statements per slide.
  • Do not use clip art to fill space, unless it is related to the topic.
  • Select dark or richly contrasting colors to enhance the visual readability.
  • Provide your contact information on the first and last slide.
  • Build a presentation to deliver in the amount of time allowed.
  • Compose a talk that has a welcoming start, states the purpose for the presentation, then delivers the content and facts, and closes by reviewing three points for a conclusion.
  • Be bold, smile, acknowledge applause, and say thank you.

Practice your presentation:

  • Deliver your presentation to a small group of colleagues or in front of a mirror.
  • Time yourself and allow 5 minutes for questions.
  • Do not exceed your allowed time. Edit your presentation if necessary.
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