If you get invited back for a second interview, you may have to deliver a second presentation. So let’s look at a few key points that you need to bear in mind.
Know Your Audience
- Who is on the panel?
- What is their level of responsibility?
- What knowledge do they have?
Create a profile on the interviewer or the interview panel to find out as much as you can beforehand. For example: number on the panel, level of responsibility or level of expertise, any other specialist knowledge. Do they know you or each other? This will help determine the material examples and the amount of detail you can use in your presentation.
One Key Message
Summarize everything in one powerful presentation
There should only be one key message in your presentation! This message will act like a spinal cord for the presentation and will hold everything else together. So summarize this in one powerful sentence and keep it foremost in your mind throughout the presentation.
The Power of 3
Restrict your presentation to three main sections. This helps to keep a strong focus to your speech. Three tends to be the magic number that people remember things in. More than this and you will start to lose clarity in the presentation. Each main section is like a mini discourse. It should have a beginning, middle and end. This makes it easier to follow and makes the audience remember the message and its speaker.
It’s really important that you make a strong opening at the start of your presentation. This is the time when you want to grab audience attention. There are many ways of doing this, for instance you might start with a question, or a quote, or an important fact trying to arouse interest. It’ also very important that your opening it’s succinct and clear. This will set the tone for the rest of your presentation.
Learn it all by heart. Practice your opening in the mirror, many times, so that it really becomes part of you. This will give you an added confidence when you begin your presentation and it will help you to avoid the classic “umm”s and “err”s which are very common when people are nervous or hesitant. When you practice in the mirror, smile at yourself and see how it feels.
Quite often, you will need to use a visual aid. This may be a flip chart or an OHP, but most commonly it is PowerPoint. Address the interview panel at the beginning of the presentation before starting the slide show. This will help you to build a relationship with the panel from the start and it will also create the impression that it is YOU who is controlling the presentation.
Take your time to change slides. Pause and allow the panel to take in what is on the screen before speaking. They need time to assimilate what has just been said and to absorb the information on the new slide before you start to speak again. It will also give you time to gather your thoughts before you begin to speak.
Remember to direct your delivery to the panel not the screen. Avoid referring back to the screen for prompts. If you do this your voice will trail off as you turn your head away from the audience and this will reduce the impact of your message. Instead, use your laptop, arranged carefully in front of you, or use notes of prompt cards to give you the necessary information.
Finally, ensure you have tested the equipment before the presentation so that you are not thrown by any technical hitches that might occur.
Last but not least, it’s very important to have a memorable ending. A good ending leaves the audience with a final thought upon their own. This may be done through a quote, a question to the audience, or a provocative statement. And when you finish, remember, be prepared to take questions.