Sometimes, the only thing that stands between you and the next rung on the corporate ladder is a winning presentation.
Just ask Vagelyn Tumbaga Federico, the multi-award winning HR director of Dusit Thani Dubai.
“To be successful in any walk of life, a person should have good communication and presentation skills,” Tumbaga Federico told Piktochart.
The self-confessed farm girl turned girl boss whose life inspired a TV feature now moves in a circle that includes sheikhs, officials, celebrities and tycoons.
When she steps on stage, everyone is a captive audience. She is often invited as a resource speaker in the UAE and abroad, talking about a range of topics from leadership to game-changing career moves.
“I always talk from my heart so my presentation goes with the flow naturally,” she said.
From zero to hero
Keeping her life an open book, Tumbaga Federico has no qualms admitting that it was only 15 years ago when she was down on her luck in the UAE.
Reaching the end of her stay in the country without any job prospects in sight, she was forced to exit to a nearby island where she worked odd jobs just for scraps of food until she could return to the UAE on a fresh visa.
Her silver lining came after she landed a job as a hotel secretary. “I had zero experience in the hotel industry then, but I was willing to learn so they gave me a chance,” she said.
With her strong work ethic, she quickly made her way to top management and was appointed the youngest General Manager at the age of 28.
“I was given a chance, so I didn’t waste it,” the head honcho said. She continues to use her skills in communication and presentation to share her message of hope to anyone who needs it.
Tumbaga Federico said her most memorable experience as a guest speaker was at the Annual Business Conference for CEOs.
“All the top executives in hospitality industry were there to listen to my thoughts,” she recalled, adding that it was a humbling experience.
When creating her power presentation, she begins by composing her thoughts.
She prefers to personalize her presentations by adding “visual arts and graphics to convey the message and story”.
“Communicate complex information in simple and interesting ways to keep the audience engaged,” she said.
She shares her top tips to creating a winning presentation:
1. Choose a font that your audience can read from a distance.
Choosing a simple font style, such as Arial or Calibri, helps to get your message across. Avoid very thin or decorative fonts that might impair readability. Also, try to avoid using font sizes smaller than 18 points.
2. Keep your text short and simple.
You want your audience to listen to you present your information rather than read the screen, so make sure you minimize the amount of text on your slides. Use bullets or short sentences, and try to keep each to one line.
3. Use graphics to help convey your message.
Use graphics to help tell your story. However, don’t overwhelm your audience by adding too many graphics to a slide.
4. Make labels for charts and graphs understandable.
Use only enough text to make label elements in a chart or graph comprehensible.
5. Make slide backgrounds subtle and consistent.
Choose an appealing, consistent template or theme that is not too eye-catching. You don’t want the background or design to detract from your message.
6. Pay attention to color.
Unless there is a particularly good reason for using brightly colored texts, don’t use them. You are better off sticking with white or light beige text on a dark background or black or dark colored text on a light background. This will make your presentation look more professional.
7. When using gradients, simplicity is your friend.
Stay away from gradients in text unless the words are large and intended to be primarily decorative in nature. Limit the number of colors, and, whenever possible, try using combinations that are readily found in nature for maximum appeal.
8. Check the spelling and grammar.
To earn and maintain the respect of your audience, always check the spelling and grammar in your presentation.
9. Check your presentation.
Don’t assume that your presentation will work fine on another computer. Don’t forget to hold a test run and rehearse your presentation.
10. Make it fun.
People are listening to you to learn something, but it doesn’t have to be boring. You can inject some pizzazz into your presentation with interesting graphics, and even funny images or quotes, which also show you’ve got personality!