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Tips on Preparing a Presentation

For management and sales positions, it is common to be asked to prepare a presentation. This enables the employer to assess your organisational, communication and analysis skills. Traditionally, you are given a specific topic and allowed 10 to 20 minutes to deliver it. It is crucial that you demonstrate your ability to follow instructions. In most cases you will be asked to deliver a presentation on a subject matter that you are already familiar with. If not, discuss the content directly with the employer or the recruiter so that you can be confident that your interpretation of the subject matter is correct.

Make sure the presentation relates directly to the topic: Think very clearly about the purpose of your presentation. Re-read your topic carefully and break down the question into small tasks. Decipher your question correctly, and structure your answer logically.

Format: A clearly defined structure not only makes the presentation easier to prepare but will make more sense to your audience. Adopting a contents page will allow you to create a simple clear format that includes an introduction of the topic to be discussed, the main content and a conclusion. 

Attention to detail: In most cases, PowerPoint is the most appropriate presentation tool to use. Make sure you are consistent in the font sizes and colour. Provide brief and simple summaries and reinforce your main message. It may be appropriate to use charts or diagrams.

Go the extra mile: It is likely that other candidates are in the process, you must try to differentiate yourself from these individuals. If appropriate, consider adding a slide where to outline what personal traits you have that make you right for the job supported with keys achievements that are backed-up with facts and figures.

Questions & Answers: At the end of your presentation ask the audience if they have any questions. If you have undertaken your research properly, you should be able to answer most, if not all, of the questions.

Be prepared: Email your presentation to the employer 24 hours before your interview. Save the presentation on a memory stick and print off enough handouts for each interviewee plus a spare copy.