6 Useful Tips on How to Make an Interview Presentation Stand Out
A post from our Presentation Skills blog
Written by Ashley Andrews
Interview presentations are possibly the most important parts of the recruitment process, and they can cause your application to succeed or fail, depending on how you present your material. There are many young hopefuls, straight out of universities, who seem to recognise the importance of these presentations, and they dedicate a significant amount of time to preparing for them and practising their content.
They know that they don't have much by way of experience, so they must showcase their skills to the best of their ability. However, there are many who still haven't grasped the importance of interview presentations.
The truth is, recruiters don't just focus on your CV anymore. They want to see active evidence of your skills and a presentation is a perfect way to showcase that. With a little bit of effort and creativity, however, anyone can give a stellar interview presentation that would impress the panel of recruiters.
But what do you need to pay attention to and what exactly do you need to include in your speech to impress recruiters? Here are my top 6 tips on how to make an interview presentation stand out.
1. Plan your content
Planning your content is perhaps the most important aspect of your interview presentation, and something most people struggle with. Planning an interview presentation is a nerve-racking process because you know how important it is not to make mistakes here. One of the best ways to ensure you get the right content is to bounce ideas off your friends and family.
If you have people in your circle who've recruited others before or are business owners, you can ask them for suggestions. You should also make sure to plan your presentation's structure and keep in mind that the information should flow smoothly and in a concise manner.
Planning your content in steps might make the process a bit easier. When writing your speech, always include the following:
Introducing the subject matter and your aim
Description of the subject matter, including insights on your research and methodology
Conclusion and summary
Question and answers
This is just a very basic structure but it can give you an idea of where to start. Presenting your content like this, in an organized way, will make it a lot easier to understand.
2. Talk naturally
Talking in stilted, overly formal tones will get you nowhere. In fact, your audience might become bored or frustrated by it. Instead, make sure to allow your natural self to shine through, and speak comfortably. There are some people who think that talking in a certain way would be more impressive than their natural way of speaking, but this is not true.
For example, if you're a person who likes to be mobile when speaking, moving your hands and expressing your thoughts through your body, you shouldn't restrain yourself and lock your body in one place. If you feel like you gesticulate too much, try to mute the gestures slightly instead of shutting them down completely. The more comfortably and naturally you speak, the more attention you will get from the panel.
3. Shed the nerves
Speaking of gestures, one of the reasons why people tend to gesticulate too much and move about restlessly is because they are nervous. As they say, too much of anything is bad, and being too mobile is a very clear indication of nervousness.
Nerves are no doubt the biggest challenge you will have to face, but if you manage to keep them under control and be natural, you'll impress your audience. If you start to feel anxious, take a moment to draw yourself back and focus on the subject matter. Don't let nerves get the better of you. Try to find ways to tackle it before it becomes a hindrance and adversely affects your presentation.
4. Rehearse thoroughly
One of the best ways to make your presentation stand out and be able to present it confidently is to be completely familiar with it. If you're comfortable with the subject and know it well, you'll speak naturally and appear confident. Make sure to rehearse your presentation regularly. Find a technique that works for you and stick to it.
If you walk into the room unprepared, it's going to be very apparent. However, if you're familiar with your content, you'll be able to improvise even if you forget something. That's why rehearsal and preparation is very important.
5. Make eye contact
Making eye contact is the biggest indicator that you're a confident, honest and forthright person. People who are uncomfortable or intimidated rarely make eye-contact, and are too unnerved, which also makes you disconnected from your audience. For example, if you're looking beyond your audience instead of at them, they'll feel like you're talking to them instead of communicating with them.
This disrupts the flow of information and makes people uncomfortable. By establishing eye contact with your audience, you involve them in your presentation. You're engaging their interest and showing that you value their attention and opinions. Recruiters are more likely to respond positively to you if you occasionally meet their gaze.
6. Use the right software
Using slides and projectors is very common for giving presentations. However, always use a program that you're familiar with. If you're more comfortable with using PowerPoint, then don't try to use Apple's Keynote – and vice versa. It's important that you use something that you can operate effortlessly and that won't demand much of your attention.
However, if you want your presentation to stand out, you can choose other presentation software. PowToon, for example, allows you to use animated presentations. Prezi is another great option, and it allows you to use 3D open canvas in your presentations.
By following these steps, you can deliver an engaging, comprehensive presentation and make it stand out from the rest. If you plan it carefully at the beginning, you'll also increase your likelihood of getting the job.
Do you have any other tips on how to make an interview presentation stand out? Tell us in the comments below!
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