Recently we were invited to talk about flexible working at The PA Club’s January Discussion Forum. It was a lively session of PAs and Team Leaders from a number of industries including the legal and accounting sector. It’s great to attend a session like this, particularly when everyone is so passionate about the subject. It
How to create a memorable presentation for interview?
Quite often in the recruitment process, candidates are now being asked to give a presentation. It fills many of us with dread; even if you like the idea of showing off your abilities in such a way, you can easily feel overwhelmed. Creating a dynamic and engaging presentation is no mean feat but remember it is one part of the whole interview process and provides another way for the interviewers to see you in action.
Here are our top tips on how to build a memorable presentation:
- Know your interviewers, the firm and the topic you have been asked to present. Do your research. Who is going to be there? What is the knowledge or expertise of the audience? What will they want to hear?
- Develop a clear structure and consider three key messages you would like your interviewers to remember. This is not about trying to convey everything you know in 15 minutes (or however long the presentation). Use images that demonstrate each point. A picture can say a thousand words!
- Develop a story related to each of the key messages. Depending on the length of the presentation it may be necessary to expand three further sub points that will offer further explanation and depth. Remember, this is an interview so weave in examples of your skills and abilities. It may be appropriate to end the presentation with your vision for the team or department or new and innovative ideas to manage new clients.
- There is no need to have hundreds of, say, PowerPoint slides. ‘Death by PowerPoint’ will not be a good ending. Make sure it is not too long and bullets are readable.
- Consider ways to create credible audience participation or, if more appropriate, to ask for questions at the end. Let them know at the beginning this will be the case or whether you are happy to take questions throughout. Make sure you engage in eye contact with all attendees.
- Learn to channel any nervous energy and remain calm, composed and confident. Silences will feel longer to you than your audience so take time to think about what you say next and talk naturally. Try to think of the presentation as a two-way conversation.
- Have a back-up plan if technology lets you down and / or leave handouts to keep.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. Practice in front of friends or family and ask for feedback.
- Presenting begins before you even walk in the room. So, dress professionally, walk with confidence, give a firm handshake and smile!