Here is the link to my job interview Prezi
And here is the link to my Grad Trainee Prezi
Presentations used to absolutely terrify me! Especially when I first started at university. I remember doing really badly in one presentation and then I hated them. Standing up in front of people and speaking is an understandably scary thing for many people and unless you are the most confident person in the world, you are bound to be nervous.
The key thing to presenting I’ve learnt is to prepare like crazy! It is very obvious to the audience if you haven’t prepared and I guess the thing that is the scariest about presenting in front of people is not being able to speak confidently about something. If you have really prepared and practiced then there is no need to worry (apart from the normal nerves of course).
Since university I have done my fair share of presentations and I think you only get better with experience. Uni is the best time to practice presentations and become confident when doing them. You have a sympathetic audience but it is also quite high pressured and nerve-wracking at the same time but the best thing is that you get feedback on how to improve. If you are no longer at uni and you have a presentation you need to prepare for, I would recommend boring a friend or partner with it. Rehearse it in front of them and ask them to critique you honestly. Going over the presentation several times helps you to look more prepared on the day. Practice makes perfect as they say!
Many job interviews nowadays include a short presentation assessment as part of the process and in my opinion these are the worst kind of presentations but then again, I prefer them to the actual interviewing part. If you prepare and do a memorable presentation you’re halfway there to securing the position. If you can come across as confident and friendly when speaking in front of the interviewers you are going to impress them. I was very worried when I was told I had to do a presentation in front of the entire library service at Bradford University at the end of my graduate traineeship: I remember thinking I’d made a terrible mistake in accepting the position! In reality it was the best experience and now I’ve done that I think I would be happy to attempt an even bigger audience… a conference even!
My top presentation tips:
- Prepare – seems obvious but make sure you know what you are taking about inside out. Don’t just learn what you are going to say because you may be asked to elaborate on certain points or asked tricky questions after the presentation is over.
- Practice – Reading from your notes is never a good presentation look… Learn what you need to say and practice. Use your notes as prompts rather than reading from them. If you have presented it over and over again, this should be fairly straight forward.
- Don’t put too much information on a slide and definitely don’t overload it with words. People want to listen to you, they don’t want to have to read! Use the information on the slides as key points on which to elaborate and build upon. Quotes are good though, everyone likes a good quote right (just make sure the person you are quoting actually said it/ you know where the quote came from).
- Make eye contact – speak to your audience but don’t pay too much attention to what they are doing. Don’t panic because they are making notes.
- Try something different… PowerPoint presentations can be a little boring. My manager was so pleased when I did a prezi instead of a PowerPoint at my interview.
- Have some water handy in case your mouth gets dry
- Prepare a backup plan! What happens if your presentation is on a USB stick and you lose it on your way… Email it to yourself, store it on Dropbox… anything!
- Don’t worry and enjoy it!