When you're a dietetic student or intern — or doing anything, really — preparing for a presentation builds confidence not only in your public speaking skills, but also in your overall knowledge on the subject. Whether the topic is food and nutrition or something else entirely, here are four tips on how to prepare a successful presentation.
Know Your Audience
Maybe it is obvious who your audience is or maybe it will take some research. If you don't know, consider these questions: How many people will be in attendance? What is their age range? What is the average level of education? Sometimes you cannot get these answered easily. If this is the case, don't panic. You can learn about your audience at the beginning of your presentation by asking questions.
Give Yourself Time to Create Materials
Think about what kind of software you want to use to present. Establish objectives for your presentation and build it starting with an outline. Once you've created your first draft, ask a friend to review it. Give yourself plenty of time for additional editing, revising and practicing to ensure you are meeting your presentation objectives.
It Never Hurts to Start with the Basics
Regardless of the group you are presenting to, it is never a bad idea to review the basics before diving into more complex topics. This will vary depending on your topic, but a few minutes of review can engage your audience and give an introduction to your topic.
Get the Audience Involved
Nutrition is exciting and your goal should be to get the audience excited as well. Having built-in discussion questions are a good way to get your audience thinking and participating. Adding links to videos can help break up the presentation so it's not only you talking. You can even consider having the audience break into small groups for a few minutes of discussion before reporting back.
After you've got your presentation ready, take a deep breath and good luck!