5 Thing I Learned About Standing Out! Professional Presentation Week 2022

Hannah Davis and Hitesh Sharma present to students and staff over zoom

Original blog post by CSE Career Captain Kajol Awasthi MSF’23.

The CSE recently held its annual “Professional Presentation Week” and it was a huge success! From Career Captains providing their presentation tips on our Instagram page to the “Small-Talk Challenge” with students & faculty, the events provided us with great insights on how to ace the art of presenting yourself during formal events. “Standing Out with Hitesh and Hannah” was an informative session where our proud alumni shared their experiences and tips on the importance of presentation skills and ways to master it!

The Panelists:

  • Hitesh Sharma MSF’21 | Analyst, Private Investors at Blackrock
  • Hannah Davis ‘20, MA’21 | FLDP Associate Financial Analyst at Johnson & Johnson

Here are my 5 key takeaways from the discussion: 

  1. Dress to impress!

Looking sharp and dressing appropriately is very important when it comes to presenting yourself. “Dress for success and your smile is your best accessory” mentioned Hannah when highlighting how to visually create an impact on the target audience. I personally believe it creates a comfort level between the presenter & the audience and eases the nerves built up with the power of a simple smile!

  1. Practice makes you perfect!

Not everyone is a born presenter…and that is okay! Brainstorming and rehearsing the structure of your presentations gives you clarity and a good grip over the content of your presentation. “If you have limited time to prepare, you want to be concise and pick relevant information” advised Hitesh.

  1. Oops! Mistakes happen

We are all human and are sometimes bound to make genuine mistakes. Being calm and acknowledging the error is always better than ignoring/lying about it. People will be more appreciative of you owning up and moving along with your presentation. “Be transparent and own up to things” shared Hannah as it really helped her improve her presentation skills at her current job.

  1. Lightheartedly yours!

Certain level of informality helps you engage with the audience and avoids making it monotonous for them. “I also always try to make my presentations a little more informal, if I can, so I tell people, please interrupt me if you have questions” said Hannah. Chime in on a funny anecdote, ask for similarities and just generally try to have an informative “conversation.”

  1. Read the room!

Understanding who you are presenting to helps you maintain a positive demeanor. Briefly monitor the mood and act accordingly to make the most out of it. “Reading the crowd and being a good listener, reciprocating along with asking relevant questions is helpful” said Hitesh.

These were some of the points I believe are extremely helpful to keep in mind when presenting. Your confidence, preparation and a strong belief in yourself overall will help you prosper! Being a part of this amazing Brandeis community enables us to learn and grow from each other’s experiences. Relating your experience to that of alumni can help you be more efficient and identify areas you need to work on better. Former Career Captains Hitesh and Hannah have contributed greatly to our community during their time as students and continue to do so! The panel was moderated by our wonderful Senior Career Captain Stephanie Borr who conducted herself so well throughout it all! Be on the lookout for more great resources to help you throughout your academic and professional journey at the Business School. Good luck!

This event recap was brought to you by CSE Career Captain Kajol Awasthi. You can find a recording of this event in the CSE Recorded Events library

By Kajol Awasthi
Kajol Awasthi CSE Career Captain