Another year has passed, and we are fast approaching Hobsons University EMEA 2017. This will be our seventh year hosting the conference in London.

This will be my fourth year attending HU EMEA and I have seen the gathering grow larger and larger each year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be reunited with clients from around the world, meet new faces and network.

Last year’s conference was especially significant to me as I co-presented with my colleague Ryan Long. Our presentation was split into two sections: Ryan focused on email templates and best design practice (he is one of the most talented Front End Developers I know) and my segment focused on social media, specifically, the platforms that are growing within the core market of 11 – 20 year olds thinking about higher education.

Presenting in front of an audience of 60 clients was incredibly nerve wracking but it is something I consider an achievement. If you are thinking about presenting, I would highly encourage you to do it. I’ve put some pointers together below that may help you prepare.

1. Choose your topic wisely.

It’s important to choose a topic that you are interested and familiar with. Having a natural interest or connection to the topic will already put you in good stead to present. It’s hard to relax and come across “easy going” when you are nervous. But having a connection to your topic will help relieve your nerves because you will know your stuff! Let the passion for your subject shine through.

2. Remember your audience.

When you are planning your presentation, always remember your audience and the value they will get out of their time spent with you. In my presentation for Hobsons University, I made sure the facts and statistics were looping back to higher education and student engagement. This made it relevant for the whole room, regardless the size of the institution.

I further added value by discussing details of good social media platforms and what types of information students were looking for on social media platforms.

I showcased Instagram and Snapchat accounts from other universities to provide appropriate examples. This was great for me as the attention was redirected, but also great for the audience as they were able to visually understand the message.

3. Practice, practice, practice!

Preparing and practicing will give you the extra boost of confidence when it comes to presenting. Personally, if I practice and refine, I know that once the initial nerves are shaken off, I’ll be okay because I am knowledgeable of all presentation facets.

Practice in front of your relatives, colleagues, and even your bathroom mirror until you are happy with the content of your presentation. Feedback is also valuable, so be open to comments and apply where appropriate.

We sometimes forget that preparation isn’t just about the information, but also requires an element of mental preparation to deliver a successful presentation. Enjoy the amazing feeling afterwards and be proud of the work you put in.

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