Career connection

Are your presentations persuasive?

Hint: It’s not about your PowerPoint slides

The ability to make a good presentation is a key skill for fraud examiners looking to advance their careers. How you convey your ideas is important. Here are some practical ways to present your thoughts, and it’s not just about putting together a visually appealing PowerPoint. 

As fraud examiners, we’re often expected to do more than just comb through balance sheets, review evidence or interview witnesses. Like most professions, fraud examination includes an element of presentation, ranging from pitching your services to prospective clients, providing anti-fraud training to colleagues or revealing the results of an investigation. Whether you’re presenting to management, board members, clients, conference audiences, or district attorneys, your persuasion strategy starts with knowing the outcome you want to achieve. What do you want the audience to do, feel, believe or decide? And how do you get started?

Let’s first address the elephant in the room: PowerPoint design. We’ve all struggled with creating presentations using PowerPoint or some other visual presentation tool. Without some foreknowledge about information design, the results are usually terrible. The problem is most begin with PowerPoint when it should be the final touch to any presentation that’s designed to move an audience to take some action. When you understand your goals for the presentation, you can work backwards with content development, finishing with how to visually convey key concepts using PowerPoint or a similar presentation tool.

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