Interviews are quite a stressful experience for a to prepare for, no matter who experienced you are. Although certain selection processes are lengthier than a single interview, the ones which require presentations always stand out
Whilst an interview is an opportunity for your abilities and experience to be assessed by your prospective employer. A presentation allows you to showcase your public speaking prowess, ability to remain calm, and the depth of your knowledge.
The other side however, is that a poor presentation can have significantly consequences on your chances of being selected. This then begs the question: how do you ensure your presentation is flawless?
The aim of this article is to provide you with tips to ensure that your interview presentation is a success.
When asked to conduct and deliver a presentation, you should ask the interviewer a couple of questions.
Try to find out more concerning the presentation topic, the amount of time allocated, and if you’re able to use any technological aids.
It’s especially important that you find out whom you will be presenting to. Ask about the expertise or knowledgeability of the chosen audience. Is the audience going to be made up of prospective colleagues, clients, or bosses?
When you are able to ascertain your target audience, you will be able to better tailor your presentation, understand and apply the most appropriate tone, and where to focus your point of discussion.
As soon as you’ve identified the key message and purpose of the presentation, you can then begin to create its structure.
Developing a well thought out structure helps you keep to your points and ensure your target audience remain engaged. While it is important to maintain fundamental components such as a captivating introduction, content that displays a convincing perspective, and a notable conclusion, you should also remember that this is still part of a selection process. One where the outcome will be determined upon your ability to impress.
Ensuring you add clear visibility of your individual knowledge and skills of the topic into the body of the presentation is important. You should also look to include recommendations on how you would handle the topic or problem, if you were employed by the organisation.
Whatever it is you do, ensure that you connect your skills to how they can benefit the prospective organisation. A great presentation is one that is able to seamlessly tie it all together.
You could be the best public speaker in the world, however that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from a little help.
Help in this sense comes in the form of a presentation aid such as Prezi or PowerPoint. These tools can help you highlight the important aspects of the presentation. That being said, you should not completely depend on these tools, as doing so could cause participants to become focused on your lack of individual knowledge on the topic.
A great point to remember is that each slide has to be treated like as a signpost, this means it should have only sufficient information to grab the attention; any more than that may cause distraction.
You should also consider creating handouts for the attendees, as this further imprints your ability to plan, prepare and deliver. Just as with slides, the handouts should direct readers to the main points and concepts, helping them grasp the key information that should be remembered.
While it is great to have a presentation that is written and structured, you should still take the time to practice it.
Ensure that you rehearse your presentation prior to the interview, and in front of others where possible. This helps you gain a better understanding of any nuances and how best to deliver particular sections of it. Feedback of course is especially important, as it highlights any areas of the presentation that could be improved.
When practising, watch out for nervous tells and pauses, such as saying “um” and “like”. You should also look out for movements that show you are nervous. Fidgeting, for example, causes your audience to become nervous on your behalf. Additionally, while it is not important to memorise the entirety of your presentation, it is best if you go over it a couple of times to ensure that you are comfortable presenting it, without any of these nervous habits taking over.
For you to deliver your presentation in a manner that ensures you are memorable for the right reasons, you have to take into account everything before the presentation. This means you should treat the presentation like you would treat an interview.
Dressing professionally, exuding quiet confidence, and putting a smile on your face should be automatic.
You should also pay close attention to body language, especially yours when giving the presentation. When speaking you should stand up.
An excellent way to ensure that you are remembered by the interviewing committee is to not hide behind the desk or podium when giving your presentation. Step out in front so that your audience can clearly see you, the stance you make, and your gestures.
When giving the presentation, you must speak with authority and confidence.
Make and maintain eye contact with members of your audience in a bid to entice them and have them engaged in what you are saying. Do not forget to take a few breath pauses at certain points. doing this will ensure that you are calm throughout. It will also slow you down a bit as the majority of candidates tend to talk rapidly during a presentation.
Presentations can be quite nerve-wracking; however, you should remember that your audience wants nothing more than for you to do well. You can present because you were invited, and you were invited because the hiring personnel believes your skills and knowledge might be a great fit for the company.
All you have to do is follow the steps to ensure that your presentations are successful.
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