In the series of question and answer articles, our readers asked The Presentation Doctor about presentation ideas and topics. Covered here are job interview presentations and topics for short (five minute) presentations.
Question from Laura
I have a problem with my coming interview presentation which is next Wednesday. I can understand some techniques but I still couldn’t chose my topic of presentation, can you help me?
I can choose any topic about hobbies, interests and extracurricular activities. My interviewer is a banker, and I was applying for trading in Fix Income in an Investment Bank. I want to have something impressive and also show my passion about trading or my capability to do trading, without making me sound very boring. Could you please help me to make the presentation topic?
Response from Andrew Gallaway
If you have a passion for trading – then this is a good topic to present on. Basically if you are passionate about a topic this tends to come across in your tone of voice. Passion is contagious and gets people excited. People tend to buy when they get excited and in recruitment terms, that tends to mean that they appoint passionate people who excite them.
So how to pick a topic about trading… Here are a few ideas.
- The best trade I ever did (careful not to be arrogant)
- My most challenging trade (pick one that came out all right in the end – this topic will show humility and perseverance)
- Black Wednesday
- The US stock market during the Great Depression
- High Street Market Trading (describe the scenes and characters at selling fruit an veg at the local market). – This is a great one to take a digital camera along to.
- The dot com crash (could talk on your experiences or about why it happened)
- A historical bubble (trading in Tulips or Nutmeg)
- Wall Street
- The Barings collapse – could it happen again
- The experts guide to Bloomberg/ Reuters screens
- A history of Reuters
- What drives the market – fear, apathy and greed?
- The real secret in any of these is to make the presentation visual. Use pictures and a few graphs. If you use visuals, then your message retention will increase. I hope this provides a few pointers.
Question from Sarathy
I have a minimum 5 minute presentation to do and I have no clue what to do it on. I thought about making something, but nothing is coming to mind.
I want an interesting topic that will educate my audience and I will be able to use body language. I am going to present this topic to my peer university students. Ideally I want a topic that will show my audience what gestures mean.
Response from The Presentation Doctor
Why don’t you do some research on ‘basic etiquettes’ and make a presentation on it. It will always be useful to the audience. You actually be appreciated for it. You could even be a bit cheeky and make a presentation on the body language of being a good audience, or how body language makes you a good talker.
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