Whether it’s mandatory or voluntary, end of internship presentations can be stressful. It might feel like there’s a lot riding on a short 30-minute presentation, and there is.
End of internship presentations have the potential to be extremely beneficial to you and knowing where to start can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll discuss how to get started, how to create the perfect presentation and additional tips for making your presentation stand out.
- Why do an end of internship presentation?
- Who to invite to your end of internship presentation
- Suggested presentation timeline
- How to put together a great end of internship presentation
- Final tips
Why do an end of internship presentation?
There are many reasons why you should do an end of internship presentation. The most obvious one is if your company requires it. Many companies have mandatory end of internship presentations built into their internship programs. If your company doesn’t require it, it is still a good idea to do one, and here’s why:
First and foremost, the act itself of planning and creating an end of internship presentation shows a tremendous amount of initiative and will set you apart from interns who chose not to.
Secondly, the only people who know exactly what you’ve accomplished are the few people on your direct team. An end of internship presentation gives you the opportunity to showcase your accomplishments to a wider array of people. This is especially important if you are looking for a full-time job or return offer from your company. The more people that know about your accomplishments, the greater the possibility someone will think of you when a position pops up.
Who to invite to your end of internship presentation
The short answer is everyone.
When thinking of who to invite to your presentation, make sure to consider anyone you worked with. This includes your team, your manager, senior management, the person who recruited you, HR representatives you know, technicians you worked with, other interns, and any other friend you made at the company. Don’t be shy about inviting people to your presentation, they can always decline!
Nowadays, most meetings are over zoom or teams, so inviting a lot of people shouldn’t be an issue. If your presentation is scheduled to be in person, you can always stream your presentation, or do a second presentation online that allows you to invite more people.
Suggested presentation timeline
You should block off one hour for your presentation. While your presentation won’t be an hour long, you want to leave time for questions and comments at the end. Worst case, the meeting ends a little early (no one has ever complained about that!).
In general, your presentation should be a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 45 minutes.
Here is an example of a general presentation timeline:
|- Thank meeting participants for showing up and talk about how you’re excited to showcase what you’ve accomplished over the course of your internship
- Short intro slide about who you are, what school you go to, your background, ect.
- Agenda slide outlining what you’ll be presenting on
|- Present on your project(s)
|- Key takeaways
- Other things you enjoyed about your time there (friends you made, weekend trips you went on, exploring the area, etc.)
- Thank key members of your team that helped you during your internship and thank meeting participants for their time
|- Open the floor for questions and comments
This timeline serves as a general template for a 30-minute presentation. Don’t worry about timing yourself perfectly. Use this more as a time distribution guide.
How to put together a great end of internship presentation
Now that you have an invite list and a general layout of your presentation, how do you go about creating the perfect presentation? Here is a general outline of what your slides should be:
|Title Slide indicating you’re about to start talking about your projects (optional)
|Title Slide, “Project 1”
|Project 1 – The problem
|Project 1 – The solution
|Project 1 – Results
|Title Slide, “Project 2”
|Project 2 – The problem
|Project 2 – The solution
|Project 2 – Results
|“Summer Fun” slide
|Thank you slide
|“Questions and comments” slide (optional)
*You may need to add more slides to talk about your project solutions.
*Adjust slides to fit the number of projects you had. As a rule of thumb, try not to focus on more than 3 projects. You don’t want to have to rush through your projects.
Now let’s talk more in detail about these slides:
Your intro should consist of 3 slides:
- Slide 1: Cover Slide with your name, internship dates, and title
- Slide 2: Intro slide about yourself. This should be a fun slide! Have little to no words on the slide and focus more on pictures. If you’re at a loss on what to talk about, stick to where you’re from, what school you go to, and what made you excited about this internship.
- Slide 3: Presentation agenda.
The body of your presentation:
You should focus the body of your presentation on your projects. This is the time to showcase everything you’ve accomplished during your internship, and you want to make the most of your time. Here are 4 tips for having a great presentation:
1. Speak in a conversational tone
People are more likely to be interested in your presentation if they feel like they are listening to a co-worker telling them about a cool project they’re working on rather than a lecture about the intricate details of a design that doesn’t really pertain to them.
2. Don’t get bogged down in details – focus on the big picture
Even though the room will most likely predominantly consist of other engineers, don’t assume they will be knowledgeable on your project. 30 minutes simply isn’t enough time to explain every detail of your project and have it make sense. Focus on the big picture. For example, if you’re talking about a design iteration you did, you don’t need to list every single thread type or bolt pattern you changed. Focus on the reason for the iteration, the primary thing you changed, and what it accomplished.
Never talk in detail about the calculations you did. Simply saying “and at the end, I did a mathematical analysis to determine my results were statistically significant” is more than enough. Nobody cares what your mathematical analysis consisted of, and you’ll start losing people the second you start explaining it. If someone is curious about it, they’ll ask you at the end.
3. Limit the number of words on each slide
No one likes a slide with a ton of words on it. People either won’t read it or will be too busy reading it to focus on what you’re saying. Take pictures and videos throughout your internship and include them in your presentation. Think of your presentation as a story you’re telling, and the slides are simply there to provide a visual aid to your narrative.
4. Keep it organized
It can be hard to stay organized during your presentation. Trying to explain your projects in such a short amount of time is hard and you want to make sure people are following along.
To help with this, insert a title slide every time you move on to a new project. When presenting your projects, make sure you have a slide dedicated to describing the problem, a slide (or slides) describing what you did to solve the problem, and a final slide describing your results (as quantitatively as possible). Make sure your headings are descriptive of the overview of what you’re talking about. For example, a good first slide heading would be “[insert name of project] – the initial problem” not putting the actual problem as the heading of the slide. An example can be seen in the table above.
Use your judgment to decide what is important to present on. Some interns have one major project they work on the entire summer while some have 2-3 smaller ones. Neither is more or less impressive than the other.
When it comes to presenting your accomplishments, quality is more important than quantity. If you have smaller things you want to mention, you can always make a slide at the end dedicated to “other projects” where you list smaller projects/tasks you worked on. This allows you to mention everything you did without overwhelming or confusing your audience.
Ending your presentation
Now that you’re done presenting your projects, the hard part is over!
The first slide after you finish talking about your projects should be key takeaways you had from your internship. This can include successes and failures you had, what you would do differently next time, things you liked about your company/role, any realizations you may have had about where you want your career to go from here, etc.
After your key takeaways, you can then move to your “fun slide”. This is where you talk about all the fun you had during your internship. Talk about the things you did, the friends you met, the places you visited. Fill the slide with fun (but still work-appropriate) pictures from your summer.
Finally, you should thank your manager and key people you worked with throughout your internship, reiterate how you had a great internship experience and thank everyone for attending your presentation before opening it up to questions and comments.
Lastly, here are some final tips to killing your end of internship presentation:
Always, always, always make sure you practice the final version of your presentation. Do a dry run, talk out loud, and time yourself. If you can, practice it on someone else too. It is not enough to practice it in your head.
2. Have a friend in your corner
It always helps to have a friend or two in your corner during presentations. Pick someone you trust and put them in charge of laughing at your jokes during your presentation. This is especially useful if your presentation is online. Chances are people will be laughing with their mics off, but you don’t want silence after a joke to throw you off during your presentation.
Similarly, have someone lined up to ask you a question after. You can even give them a question to ask you if there’s anything you particularly want to talk about. This can also help if there’s an awkward silence between questions.
3. Be prepared for some questions
There are some questions that are common during internship presentations. Here’s a list of some questions you might want to think about beforehand:
- So, what now? (As in when are you graduating and where do you see your career going from here?)
- What advice would you give to future interns?
- What advice would you give your team?
- If you go back, would you change anything about your internship/how you approached things?
- How are you going to make sure the impact from your project(s) is carried out/continues to be carried out?
In the end, remember that everyone is rooting for you. Even the most intimidating managers want to see you succeed. No matter what, you accomplished a lot in your internship and you should be proud. Your accomplishments speak for themselves, it’s just a matter of presenting them in the best way possible.