Talking about your career journey is a nerve-wracking exercise, whether in an interview or presenting to a large audience. You can make this process much more exciting by narrating your journey as a story.
A story that contains facts, figures, anecdotes, and more stories to illustrate your knowledge, experience, expertise, conflict resolution techniques, and insights. Here’s how you can harness the power of PowerPoint to present your career journey as an interesting story:
1. Ask the Right Questions
Before you begin creating your presentation, you need to have a good idea about the content you will include in it. You can write down bullet points that act as the deck outline, or ask yourself pertinent questions. What kind of questions should you ask yourself? Here’s a list to get you started:
- Who’s my target audience; recruitment teams, college/school students, job fair attendees, or working professionals?
- What do I aim to achieve with this presentation?
- What professional events, stories, incidents, and insights should I include?
- What statistics, tips, and professional highlights should I mention?
Your presentation can go in widely different directions based on your answers.
2. Draw a Content Flow Chart
Now that you have a good idea about what to include, it’s time to organize this information into a seamlessly flowing story. Draw a flowchart or a simple diagram to indicate what goes where. This is the storyboarding stage, where you’ll order the content and fine-tune the details to the last fact and figure.
3. Choose Content Format and Media
Once you’re done with the “what” and “where,” it’s time to address the “how.” How do I present my career story as concisely as possible? Not every part of your journey needs a slide with elaborate textual content. You can use graphs and timelines to depict career trajectories and time spent in different roles. Use bolded numbers with labels or SmartArt and Charts 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 in the flowchart will take shape on the slides and have the media content ready, it’s time to launch the PowerPoint app.
4. Pick the Right Template to Tell Your Story
Searching for story-based templates brings up lots of options on PowerPoint that have different slides to highlight stats, show graphs, depict growth, insert a video, etc.
You can insert your information in the appropriate slides, clone the ones that need repetition, delete the ones that don’t fit in with your story, and insert slides from other presentation decks that cater to your requirements. Just make sure to edit the theme of this slide to match the main template.
Using a premade template to prepare a professional presentation. You’ll not have to waste time deciding on fonts, colors, themes, and manually inserting diagrams and charts. You can also download or buy presentation templates from online resources like Crystal Graphics or SlideUpLift. These sites offer custom templates to showcase career journeys, with creative slides to present information concisely.
You can also use the Slide Master feature in PowerPoint 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 you need without worrying about the length of the presentation. Here are a few quick PowerPoint tips to help you present your career journey in a stellar way:
- Use high-quality images, videos, and graphics.
- Stick to using the Theme Fonts—highlighted on top of the Fonts drop-down menu, to maintain a professional look.
- Use the Design feature to change the presentation’s universal color and font scheme with a single click. These are preset font combinations paired with harmonized color palettes put together by experts to create beautiful slides.
- Use pictures, brand logos, or custom themes along with the Gradient Fill or Picture or Texture Fill options to create a unique background.
- Use Animations and Transitions sparingly.
- Use the Record feature to record your presentation. Use the Save as Show option to share it as a presentation, or the Export to Video option to insert it in your slides to show your day-to-day operations. Learn how to use the PowerPoint Screen Recorder to engage your audience.
- Click on the Draw tab and use the Ink to Math or Ink to Shape features to insert pieces of code, mathematical formulas, chemical equations, financial calculations, and more in your slides.
- Use Presented View mode to check how your slides look, keep an eye on your notes, and edit as needed.
- Use Section Divider slides for pop-quiz questions to build an engaging presentation, interact with your audience, and reinforce your points. You can also use free third-party PowerPoint add-ins to make your presentation more interactive.
6. Polish Your Stories
Your career journey would be incomplete without highlighting your professional growth and maturity, lessons learned, and insights gained. Use the STAR method—Situation, Task, Action, Results to avoid rambling and keep it short and straightforward.
When narrating 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 has impacted your decision-making process. The STAR method touches upon 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 step into the shoes of your target audience. Look at every 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 Review feature.
- Use the SmartArt, Charts, and 3D Objects features in PowerPoint to merge two or more slides with better visual aids.
Are all your stories helpful and needed? Are your statistics factually accurate? How long will it take for you to walk through the entire set? Use these and other relevant questions as markers to cut down the number of slides.
8. Deliver With Poise
Making a kick-ass presentation is just one part of depicting your career journey. The other part consists of 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 do not read from the slides. Practice with a timer until you can deliver it in the precise amount of time you’ve been allocated to present.
Present Your Career Journey With Aplomb
Look for Behavioral Interview related questions online and how to ace them before you sit down to create your career journey presentation.
It will help you channel your nervous energy into telling a good story accompanied by a presentation. Learn more about creating engaging presentations on PowerPoint to improve your story.