Dr. Hinson’s Tips and Tricks on Presenting Information (Research) to Different Audiences

Dr. Hinson’s Tips and Tricks on Presenting Information (Research) to Different Audiences

Possessing effective presentation skills is an essential trait of a successful businessperson or academic. Whether your research has carried you into postgraduate work, or your first professional job requires regular presentations to your superiors, most career paths expect potential employees to be able to present information in an effective and engaging manner.

While most of us gain necessary experience in presenting through some form of education, it is vital to be able to transfer these skills outside the world of academics. In short, this blog post will provide professional advice on how to present information or research to a range of different audiences.

To start, here are some key questions you should be able to ask and answer before preparing your presentation:

  1. Who is the target audience?
  2. What is the subject(s)?
  3. What are the desired goals of your presentation?
  4. What are the potential outcomes from your presentation?

Once you have asked and answered each of these questions, you will be better positioned to organize and write your presentation. Understanding your target audience will greatly influence how you present your information. For example, presenting to colleagues or superiors would indicate your presentation should be sharply focused, use language appropriate to the field/profession, and include information geared toward achieving your goals. Similarly, if you are presenting your research to a public, non-academic audience, your presentation should draw on broader themes, use language which is accessible and informative, while including more introductory information on your specific topic.

Dr. Hinson presenting her PhD research at a recent conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Particularly within academia, it can be difficult to synthesize your research into smaller and broader parts which would suit a non-academic audience. However, the skill of summarizing, synthesizing, and submitting information is necessary in most professional settings and thus mastering it early in your career can enhance your future prospects. Thinking through the questions listed above will help you to identify the best methods and styles when approaching a presentation in any professional circumstance.

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