Presentation Skills

Success in an interview often comes down to how well you can present yourself and your material. You may also find that for more senior posts you are expected to give a presentation - which could be on any subject from the company's last fiscal year to the first 5 years of your life! Here are just a few tips and hints to help you get over presentation jitters.

  • Know yourself and your material. If you have to present about a company then know about that company. It's fine to have reminder cards but you really need an intimate grasp of what you are talking about – only then can you communicate well. Make sure you practise before the presentation. Even better, get a friend to watch you.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. Make sure you know where you will be presenting. Don't spend hours preparing a PowerPoint presentation unless you know there will be a computer and projector available. If you do a PowerPoint make sure you have back up slides and handouts (you just never know).
  • Look at people when you are presenting and remain calm and relaxed, don't shout but project your voice. If you feel nervous focus on a spot across the room instead of mumbling into your chest. Take your time but don't labour a point. If you make a mistake just carry on - chances are most people will have missed it.
  • Make sure you have prepared for questions at the end. Don't be afraid to paraphrase the question - this makes sure you have understood and gives you valuable thinking time.

Remember your audience throughout your presentation - their needs, wants and attention span. If you keep focussed on them and are well prepared you should sail through.

You can get training to improve your presentation skills from Presentation Skills Workshop.