Presentations

You may be asked to prepare a presentation in advance (usually between 10 – 15 minutes long) which you will need to present to the employers and sometimes other candidates. You may be able to use visual aids such as PowerPoint, Prezi, handouts or flip-charts. If it is not clear, you can ask.

This is your chance to show prospective employers exactly why you’re the right person for the job.

The selectors are looking to see how you:

  • Organise and use information
  • Whether you can communicate effectively 
  • How you cope under pressure.

The presentation may be on a specific topic given to you either on the day (with a short time to prepare) or before the assessment centre (in which case you will be given a brief in advance).

If you know that you will be required to give a presentation but no specific subject/topic has been given, it may be worth having a topic of your choice worked up into a presentation framework beforehand.

The Presentation Framework

The presentation framework has four basic factors that affect the overall impression you make on your audience: These factors are:

1.   Structure and content     2. Delivery     3. Handling of questions     4. Visual aids

 

Find out as much as you can beforehand. Don’t be afraid to ask. Your presentation should have a logical structure. Make sure you have researched and understood your topic and that it is at an appropriate level to your audience.

Introduction – include your name and subject of presentation

  • Briefly introduce your presentation and outline the content

Main theme – be clear about your main points

  • This should develop logically, addressing the audience’s needs.
  • Make distinct points - not more than about five points in a 15 minute presentation. 
  • Use examples to illustrate what you are saying and involve the audience if appropriate.

Conclusion – summarise your main points, prepare a good ending.

  • It is important that you finish the presentation clearly so use a concluding sentence or two.
  • Try to finish on an important note or leaving the audience with an interesting question / thought - make sure they are thinking about your positively even after you have finished.

When practising your presentation, think about your delivery. No matter how good the structure of your presentation, the way in which you put it across is the key

1. Stand where the audience can see you and your visual aids

2. Use visual aids to illustrate your points 
Make sure you know how to operate any visual equipment before you start
Any slides should support the spoken presentation - Highlight key points, but don't overload 
Save a hard copy of your presentation in case of any technical problems (this happens a lot, so have a backup plan)

3. Speak clearly and loudly enough so that everyone can hear 
Slow your speech down - there’s a tendency to speak more quickly when nervous
Use pauses to allow yourself time to gather your thoughts and for the audience to catch up
Use language appropriate to your audience – avoid being too technical or patronising

4. Rehearse as much as possible, and remember to time yourself 
Practise in front of a friend or a mirror. This can help build your confidence in your material and help you with your timing.

5. Try to relax, smile and be positive. 
Avoid fidgeting or fiddling with hair, clothing or jewellery

6. Make eye contact with your audience in a friendly way 
Take in all the audience as you speak 
Be careful about telling jokes – not everyone may appreciate your sense of humour

7. Know your presentation well enough to be able to use prompt cards
Do not read your presentation - the audience can do that for themselves and it can sound very wooden (and boring). 
Use prompt cards if necessary, but don’t read from a script.

8. Prepare a strong start and finish and remember to smile
End your presentation with a closing message that you want the audience to remember
Hand-outs are a great way for them to remember you after your presentation

Last modified: 
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 13:43