The King’s Speech recently swept the Baftas, winning seven awards including best film and best actor for Colin Firth. Without ruining the movie, it got us thinking about the importance of public speaking and presenting.
The traditional interview format is changing. Many organisations are now opting out of the traditional competency-based interview and going for the less orthodox approach of the presentation-based interview. Many candidates are now asked to present their skills and experience in a lively and original presentation.
Following the recession, where there were hundreds of candidates to a job, it’s not hard to see why some organisations chose to give candidates a chance to really stand out and test their presentation skills and self-confidence early on. If you’ve been asked to put together a presentation about you, here are a few tips to make sure you’re a hit!
1. Come up with a brilliant idea! You’ll want something that’s innovative and shows you can think outside the box, but isn’t too wacky and still shows off the best of you. Think about what defines you professionally and personally – and then make sure you’re memorable for all the right reasons.
2. Check your idea with someone objective and trustworthy. You need to make sure your presentation is palatable to any audience and that might require a second opinion – don’t be afraid to take criticism if it pushes you towards your end goal.
3. Work, work, work. The more you put into a dazzling presentation, the more likely you are to bag that job.
4. Make sure you have everything you need. It sounds obvious, but if your presentation requires a CD player, a laptop or even a book stand, bring it with you! Don’t rely on the interviewers having set up for you – chances are you’ll be left stuck.
5. Leave it alone for a few hours and come back to it later. You’ll probably spot a few howlers – plus things you’ve missed out. In order to be thorough you need to step back for a while.
1. Make sure you’re relaxed, smiling and natural. Try not to memorise or overly rehearse your speech, or be too theatrical. Yes, you’re presenting, but you’re also trying to get who you are across.
2. Have a metronome in your mind reminding you to slow down whenever you feel the need to rush.
3. Make eye contact and address everyone in the room – they need to feel a connection with you while you’re speaking.
4. Pronounce all of your consonants clearly – it will make it easier for everyone to understand you and will remind you to keep a good pace.
5. Have fun – the best presentations are witty and engaging – make your audience believe it!
You may not win any Baftas for your performance, but you may just win the job of a lifetime, so get in front of that mirror and get practicing – speech might just be the key to your dream role!