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Presentations - Don't fail to prepare

Posted by
28 May 2015
There are a number of legitimate reasons why candidates pull out of an interview but when I got the call this morning I couldn't believe what I was hearing… "I can't attend…I haven't prepared enough for the presentation.”

As Benjamin Franklin once said, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

I understand that interviews themselves are stressful enough but now, more and more organisations are requesting presentations as part of the interview process. Presentations aren't the be all and end all but they are significant and certainly require preparation and thought ahead of you attending.

Here are some key tips to help you get through those crucial 10-15 minutes.

1. Give yourself time to rehearse

If you have to do a presentation, you'll be given plenty of time to prepare in advance, and it's essential to make the most of it. Write the presentation out, learn it and time it. Unless they tell you otherwise, a job interview presentation shouldn't last more than 15 minutes.

2. Dress to impress

They say first impressions are everything and when you're presenting in front of an interview panel this really is going to be key. Make sure to dress smart.

3. Presentation Structure

Structure is the most important thing to get right if you want to keep the interviewer's attention;
  • Overview - Give a brief overview of what the presentation is about.
  • Key Points - Follow it up with the main points of the topic you're talking about. Include bullet points to give the presentation structure
  • Summarise- Finish off with a short summary and conclude concisely
4. Annunciate and pace yourself

I understand you'll be keen to get the presentation over as quickly as possible but resist the temptation to talk too fast. Pace yourself and speak clearly.  

5. Keep it visual

Talking directly at an interview panel for 15 minutes will no doubt cause them to switch off. A number of recommendations are to print off and provide hand-outs of your presentation for them to read, use a PowerPoint presentation, use open body language and maintain eye contact. Make sure you keep everyone engaged with what you're saying…

6. Prepare for questions

Make sure you include a Question & Answer section. Be prepared to answer any question and make sure you know your presentation inside out.

If you require any further support with presentation preparation, why not contact me on 0161 834 2223 or via email
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