Presentation Tips

Activities and Tips to help your presentation

Activity 1 - Climbing the Stairs

Sometimes when presenting a particular topic, the tone of our voice has a drastic effect on our presentation. Addressing problems versus discussing solutions to these problems should have different tones.

When addressing problems, our tone should become more serious, and when presenting our solutions we should present them in a happier and more cheerful way.

The activity climb the stairs allows us to do this. For a happy and inspiring script, imagine that with each word you are saying you are climbing one step of the stairs. So each word is a bit ‘higher’ than the other.  For a serious, and a sadder script we ‘climb down the stairs’, each word is a bit ‘lower’ than the other.

TRY THIS OUT with a few excerpts of newspaper articles underneath:

“Climbing up the stairs”

The Gates Foundation talked to engineers to figure out how we could use technology to tackle these issues. Peter Janicki, CEO of Janicki Bioenergy, developed a machine that converts sewer sludge into clean drinking water, electricity and pathogen-free ash in a matter of minutes.

The processor can help developing countries both by providing clean water and energy, as well as employing entrepreneurs to run it in the regions where it's needed most.


“Climbing down the stairs”

The inequality crisis is worsening. 82 percent of the wealth created last year went to the richest one percent of the global population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity got nothing.

Our broken economy is widening the gap between rich and poor. It enables a small elite to accumulate vast wealth at the expense of hundreds of millions of people, often women, who are scraping a living on poverty pay and denied basic rights.


Activity 2 - How Do I Sound?

This is a very simple activity, where you record a voice recording or a video in order for you to see how you sound. Be aware of moments you speed up, or stumble into words. Highlight the parts of the script that these moments happen in order for you to be more prepared when the actual presentation comes. Recording yourself will also give you an average idea of how long the presentation takes, and how long you will have for questions and answer. There are several ways to record yourself, here is a website that provides this service:


How do I overcome anxiety or becoming nervous? It is normal to be nervous, or be anxious. The best way to minimize this is by practicing and becoming familiar with the material that you will present.  

Eye contact makes me nervous how should I go about that? Try finding a few people in different parts of the room that are constantly smiling, people who are giving you positive feedback. Look more at these people, who will make you more confident and less nervous.

What to do if I don’t know the answer of a question? Be honest, and tell the person that you will look into the question and let them know later. This is better than giving incorrect information, or just avoiding the question.

How can I practice for the Q&A period? We provide a page of frequently asked questions for all the different topics. You can try out by having someone ask you the FAQ questions (before you look at them and their answers). This way you will see if you are prepared for the usual questions you may be asked.

Overall what makes a good presentation? A good presentation is clear and concise. The main message to your audience is clear. Remember to enjoy the presentation, have some fun, smile and take deep breaths. If you are familiar with the topic you will do a great presentation!

Networking & Volunteer Opportunities

Networking & Volunteer Opportunities Script, Activities & FAQ

Slides for the script can be accessed here.

Slide 1: Introduce yourself (name, school, job, position in Catapult) and the topic

Slide 2: Introduce today’s agenda:

  • Networking and its benefits
  • Networking Do’s
  • Networking Don’ts
  • Benefits of volunteering
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Activities
  • Questions

Slide 3: What is networking and what are the benefits?

  • Networking: Interacting and connecting with people to exchange information and develop contacts
  • Benefits of networking: Sharing information: learning from other people’s experiences and knowledge
  • Connections: expanding your opportunities and meeting contacts
  • Promotion: promoting yourself and/or your business, which will help launch your career
  • Credibility: improving your reputation
  • Self-esteem: giving yourself confidence to talk to others and promote yourself

Slide 4: Networking Do’s

  • Attend networking events (volunteering opportunities, local newspaper, company events)
  • Build a social and business-networking profile on LinkedIn
  • Dress for success - always check the dress code beforehand
  • Research the company, employer, job opportunities and qualifications; If possible, find out who is attending the session and complete background research on them
  • Have a purpose. Before you arrive at an event, ask yourself what you are hoping to achieve (job, meet clients, socialize, etc) and what you need to do to achieve it
  • Prepare questions before-hand for discussion. Ex: What are some of the things you are looking for in this job? What are some of the tasks that are expected of me in this role? How is your experience in your role and organization?
  • Have good and open posture (head up, don’t cross arms or legs, don’t look down.)
  • Shake hands with people and practice a firm handshake before you go to the even
  • Introduce yourself to people - try to introduce yourself to at least 5 people
  • Smile! This conveys happiness, openness, and confidence!
  • Prepare a 30 second biography (elevator pitch) including: work experience, background/origin, skills, hobbies, languages you speak - This will help you answer the common question: What do you do?
  • Bring business cards to the networking events
  • If you are interested in a position, ask for an email or business card to contact them later. Make contact within 72 hours of the event; name the event that you met them at to help them remember where they met you!
  • Immediately after the event, take notes on what to do next time, what you learned, some tips for yourself, etc
  • Message your connections to meet for coffee, where you can discuss job openings, learn about their experiences, learn about the company, etc
  • Reach out to people you already know or have been introduced to.

Slide 5: Networking Don’ts

  • Don’t be late
  • Don’t ask about the person’s salary
  • Don’t be nervous
  • Don’t be shy - business people are at the networking session to network too!

Slide 6: Benefits of Volunteering

  • Connections: you can meet other people and make valuable connections
  • Skills: develop transferable skills that can be used in future jobs
  • Resume: volunteering shows dedication, willpower, and determination on a resume

Slide 7: Where to look for opportunities

Other opportunities - email


  1. Name some of the things you should do at networking sessions.
  2. Name some of the things you shouldn’t do at networking sessions.
  3. Is this an example of something you should or shouldn’t do? Act out slouching or having good posture
  4. Give an example of a bad/limp handshake versus good handshake


1. If it is past 72 hours, should I still message the employer?

  • Although sooner is better when it comes to messaging employers, it is still acceptable to reach out later on
  • Don’t message them after two weeks

2. How often should I volunteer?

  • Try to volunteer at least one hour a week
  • Don’t take on a crazy about of hours - ease into it; Add one hour of volunteering when you feel comfortable with it, so you know that you are on top of your work as well as volunteering

3. If I am late to a networking session, what should I do?

  • Depends on how late you are. If you are only a few minutes behind, you can simply act like nothing happened - most people will not ask
  • If you are an hour late, explain your absence to the registration desk and enter the event as if nothing happened - most people will not notice

4. How do I know how to dress for networking sessions?

  • Normally, the event will have a dress code. You can find examples of ways to dress by searching it up on google
  • Example searches: business casual women, business dress code men

5. How should I decide where to volunteer?

  • Volunteer at a place that relates to what you want to do in the future
  • If you want to become a veterinarian, volunteer at the Toronto Wildlife Centre, or similar places