I remember my very first group presentation that I had to do as a fresher at university; I hated it. However, as part of my business degree, I had to do many more group and individual presentations and I am not quite sure when it became all very natural! Although there is a difference between academic and interview presentations, I strongly believe the basic points are same.
Being a successful media recruitment agency in London, we deal with countless recruitment processes where a presentation is used as a selection method. In a way, for interviews and presentation both involve the same techniques. You need to do your own research and be well prepared for interviews, and the same rules apply for a presentation too. So, what makes a recruiter use presentations during recruitment selection process? Not all job roles require a presentation to identify the right candidate. A recruiter will want to see the presentation skills of a person for vacancies which are customer facing, heavily focused on team work or management briefing, selling products or services to existing/ prospective clients, doing a high level of networking, public relations etc. for example, if you are looking for conference producer jobs, PR jobs, sales, digital or marketing jobs – it is very likely that you may be asked to do a presentation as part of the recruitment process. Here are some important tips to help you prepare for that winning presentation!
1. Be well prepared, and always have a plan B!
This is a very important – plan and structure your presentation. Are you going to do this presentation in person or virtually? Is the employer is expecting you to take a laptop? I always recommend people save their presentation on portable storage and also in their emails. Do you have handouts for the audience and is it already printed (this is not mandatory, but if you prepare any handout, make sure it is printed)? Check the route to the venue so that you don’t turn up late!
2. Research and understand your topic
Make sure you understand the purpose of your presentation. Typically a recruiter will try to understand your communication skills, how you interact with people, how you deliver information and of course how well researched your subject is. A presentation made with limited preparation can be disastrous no matter how well your CV looks or how highly skilled you are for the vacancy. Therefore, make sure you know what you are talking about and make others understand it!
3. Know your audience
Whether you are dealing with the employer directly or via a recruitment consultant, make sure you know the audience of presentation – as detailed as possible. For example how many people will be on the panel, their position/ expertise within the company etc.
4. Plan and display your presentation
It is natural to become a bit nervous during a presentation, especially if it is about getting your dream job! However, a good, structured presentation can help you overcome this problem and gain confidence. Your presentation should have an introduction; tell the audience who you are and objectives of your presentation. Depending on what topics you have been given to present on, make sure the PowerPoint slides are neatly designed. You should not use too many words or just an image. Each slide should contain precise information, using big enough fonts to make slides easily readable.
5. Look smart, relax and speak clearly!
It does not matter how good your presentation slides look but everything will be spoiled if the presenter is not dressed professionally! So look smart and deliver your speech very clearly (not too fast or not too slow!). Your tone of voice should be relaxed and welcoming.
6. Maintain good eye contact and interact with your audience
The most boring and ill prepared presentation is where a presenter reads line by line of their PowerPoint slides to the audience! So, please prepare your own notes. Show enthusiasm, smile and interact with your audience.
7. Manage the time and take good preparation for Q&A
All presentations should be time managed and you should save few minutes for Q&A. This is part of the planning process, and I always recommend practicing the presentation on your own and timing yourself. This is the best way to adjust your time and contents accordingly.
We are one of the top media recruitment agencies in London, our consultants help candidates who are looking for jobs in PR, Marketing, Sales and Events. All of these sectors may require an applicant to conduct presentation to prospective employers. Therefore, should you need our assistance, please get in touch with one of our experienced consultants on 0207 359 8244 or email [email protected]
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