Presentation Skills

The ability to convey information and ideas effectively to an audience

Behavioural indicators include:-

  • Design and deliver the ideas / information in a manner appropriate for the audience and the location.
  • Use a good structure and sequence to get the message across.
  • Establish a rapport - smiling, eye contact.
  • Use positive mannerisms - open body gestures, changing stance, nodding and smiling.
  • Speak at an appropriate speed, volume, tone and pitch.
  • Use words and phrases accurately.
  • Break down explanations of complex processes, rules, or situations into manageable 'bites' of information.
  • Use relevant and interesting visual aids and verbal illustrations.
  • Maintain the interest of the audience.

Do I Have This Skill?

You'll need to be able to prove to employers that you actually have the skills they want for the job. In applications and interviews they will ask 'competency questions' that begin with phrases such as 'tell me a time when ............. ' or 'give me an example of .............. ' Your answers are the evidence that you have what it takes.

To find out how well developed your skills are already you could try this simple exercise:

Rate yourself on each of the behaviours:

  • 1 = I do this very well. I am consistent and successful in it
  • 2 = I am good at this. With some practice I can make it perfect!
  • 3 = I am getting better, but still need to work on this a bit more.
  • 4 = I am not particularly good at this - yet!

Revisit this exercise several times through your years of study - you'll want to have as many skills as possible at 1 and 2 before you apply for graduate jobs.

And, think about all the life situations you've been in - university, work, leisure, travel, social - and identify incidents and examples from them that show that you have already used the skill.