Talking about your professional background is a nerve-wracking exercise, whether it’s in an interview or when presenting to a large audience. You can make this process much more exciting by telling your journey as a story.
A story that contains facts, figures, anecdotes and other stories to illustrate your knowledge, experience, expertise, conflict resolution techniques and ideas. Here’s how you can harness the power of PowerPoint to present your professional journey in the form of an engaging story:
1. Ask the right questions
Before you start creating your presentation, you should have a good idea of the content you are going to include in it. You can write bullet points that serve as a game plan or ask yourself relevant questions. What kind of questions should you ask yourself? Here is a list to get you started:
- Who is my target audience? recruiting teams, college/school students, job fair attendees, or working professionals?
- What is my goal with this presentation?
- What professional events, stories, incidents and information should I include?
- What professional stats, tips, and highlights should I mention?
Your presentation can go in very different directions depending on your answers.
2. Draw a content flowchart
Now that you have a good idea of what to include, it’s time to organize that information into a flowing story. Draw a simple flowchart or diagram to show what goes where. This is the storyboard stage, where you will order the content and hone the details down to the last fact and figure.
3. Choose content format and media
Once you’re done with the “what” and the “where”, it’s time to tackle the “how”. How can I present my professional background in the most concise way possible? Every part of your journey doesn’t need a slide with elaborate textual content. You can use charts and timelines to depict career trajectories and time spent in different roles. Use bold numbers with labels or SmartArt and graphics to highlight critical statistics.
A short video can explain your work methodology with animations and voiceover. Concept images, tag clouds, and simple sketches can convey information more concisely than a slide full of text. Once you’ve decided how each part of the flowchart will take shape on the slides and the media content is ready, it’s time to launch the PowerPoint application.
4. Choose the right model to tell your story
Searching for story-based templates brings up many options on PowerPoint that have different slides for highlighting stats, showing graphs, charting growth, inserting video, and more.
You can insert your information into the appropriate slides, clone those that need repeating, delete those that don’t match your story, and insert slides from other presentations that suit your needs. Just be sure to change the theme of this slide to match the main template.
Use a predefined template to prepare a professional presentation. You won’t have to waste time choosing fonts, colors, themes and manually inserting charts and graphs. You can also download or purchase presentation templates from online resources such as crystal graphics Where SlideUpLift. These sites offer custom templates for showcasing career paths, with creative slides to present information in a concise way.
You can also use PowerPoint’s Slide Master feature to create a custom theme for your presentation.
5. Design your PowerPoint presentation
It’s time to execute your vision. Use as many slides as needed without worrying about the length of the presentation. Here are some quick PowerPoint tips to help you present your career path in a stellar way:
- Use high quality images, videos and graphics.
- Just use the theme fonts—highlighted above the Fonts drop-down menu, to maintain a professional look.
- Use the Design feature to change the universal color and font scheme of the presentation with just one click. These are combinations of predefined fonts paired with expertly created harmonized color palettes to create stunning slides.
- Use custom images, brand logos or themes with Gradient Fill or Image Fill or Texture options to create a unique background.
- Use animations and transitions sparingly.
- Use the Registration feature to save your presentation. Use the Save as show the option to share it as a presentation, or the Export to video possibility to insert it in your slides to show your daily operations. Learn how to use PowerPoint screen recorder to engage your audience.
- Click on the To draw tab and use the tab From ink to math Where shaping ink features to insert snippets of code, mathematical formulas, chemical equations, financial calculations, etc. in your slides.
- Use Presented View mode to check how your slides look, keep an eye on your notes, and edit them if necessary.
- Use Section Divider slides for pop-quiz questions to create an engaging presentation, engage with your audience, and reinforce your arguments. You can also use free third-party PowerPoint add-ins to make your presentation more interactive.
6. Polish your stories
Your career path would be incomplete without highlighting your professional growth and maturity, lessons learned and knowledge gained. Use the STAR—Situation, Task, Action, Results method to avoid ramblings and keep it short and simple.
When telling stories, describe the situation or conflict you were facing, what needed to be done, what was done, what you learned from the experience and how it impacted your decision-making process of decision. The STAR method addresses all the crucial details of a learning incident, allowing you to tell more stories in fewer words.
7. Edit your slides
Now you need to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Look at each slide critically. Think about the value each slide adds to the rest of the presentation and decide whether it stays or goes.
- Check for repetitiveness, grammar and syntax errors with the Exam characteristic.
- Use the SmartArt, Charts, and 3D Objects features in PowerPoint to merge two or more slides with better visual aids.
Are all your stories useful and necessary? Are your statistics really accurate? How long will it take you to go through the whole set? Use these and other relevant questions as markers to reduce the number of slides.
8. Deliver with insurance
Giving a great presentation is only part of the description of your career path. The other part is being a good storyteller. Use the PowerPoint Speaker Coach to improve your presentation skills. Memorize your notes, pay attention to your hand gestures, make eye contact, and don’t read the slides. Practice with a stopwatch until you can present it in the precise time allotted to you.
Showcase your career path with Aplomb
Research online behavioral interview questions and how to nail them before you sit down to create your career path presentation.
It will help you channel your nervous energy into telling a good story with a presentation. Learn more about creating engaging PowerPoint presentations to enhance your story.