Summer internships are coming to end, and most internships include a final presentation in front of executives. Few things are more nerve-racking than presenting in front of leadership when you have little to no experience in the business world. These 5 presentation tips will help interns and experienced professionals alike to get ahead in their career.

  1. Develop a thesis statement. Before you get lost in the weeds—consider what value you are adding to the audience. Are you giving a recommendation? What are your conclusions? What do you want the audience to take out of this meeting? Once you have a statement in mind, put this forward as the premise and spend your time proving this statement with examples and specific data/evidence.
  2. Make sure to follow an outline. Every good presentation follows a logical outline. There should always be an introductory slide, an agenda, a summary, supporting evidence, recommended next steps, and a final page.
  3. Keep formatting consistent. A poorly formatted slide will show a lack of professionalism and inadequate attention to detail. Before you present, go through each and every slide, make sure font size, color, and type are consistent. Make sure all headers are the same. Make sure page numbers are accurate. The entire presentation should appear cohesive and consistent.
  4. Use visuals. Each slide should have at least one interesting visual on the page. Nothing is more boring than a presentation without any charts, pictures, or visual data. Visuals will help keep the listeners engaged, make your presentation more memorable, and make the information easier to digest.
  5. Practice, practice, practice. Before you present in front of an audience, you should always rehearse your slides. Do not memorize and regurgitate your slides. When you present, you should be familiar enough with the information you’re reviewing that you can explain the data points in your own words—without just reading the slides. Ask a peer or your manager if you can practice the presentation in front of them, another set of eyes and ears will help you correct any mistakes you may have overlooked. Practice will help you be more confident when the time comes to present in front of an audience.

Whether you’re an intern or an experience professional, effective presentation skills will go a long way for  your career success. Presentation skills are valuable in almost any industry which is why it’s so important to develop these skills to get ahead in your career. Follow the steps mentioned above and you will certainly be on the right path to nail your next big presentation.