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Preparing for a Presentation Interview

Are you preparing for a presentation interview?

Here are five things to consider. When presentations, public speaking or persuasion are part of a job description, candidates may be asked to make a presentation as part of their interview. A presentation interview can test many things about a candidate; the ability to represent and sell an idea, the ability to inspire an audience with confidence and, the ability to organize thoughts and structure an argument. If you want your presentation interview to shine, DON’T do the following:

Ignore Instructions 
Before you begin crafting a 40-minute dissertation, find out exactly what the interviewer is requesting. What is the topic and how long should your presentation be? How many people will be in the audience? What’s the IT and audio-visual setup? Staying on task shows that you can manage your time, that you respect your audience and, most importantly, that you can follow directions.

Use PowerPoint
It’s not 1987 anymore, and Microsoft PowerPoint is an outdated and mediocre format guaranteed to induce yawns. In today’s competitive market, you must think beyond PowerPoint. There are numerous online programs and applications available to help you craft professional presentations.  Using a more current platform also shows your audience that you are committed to keeping your skill set up-to-date with new tools and technologies.

Read your slides
Reading your slides is perhaps the most annoying presentation error thing that speakers commit. When you first display a slide, your audience will stop paying any attention to you and will read what you’ve put up on the screen. Give them a moment to read and when they’ve finished, do not repeat word for word what they’ve just read! Ideally, your slides should contain bullet points or headings that your presentation expands or explains.

Stay seated 
Standing for a presentation exudes confidence and control. Standing as you are speaking enables movement, wider hand gestures; a greater ability to get up close to the audience and, it injects more energy into your presentation. Compelling and persuasive speakers do not sit behind a desk and mumble their notes. Standing will also enable you to breathe deeply which will give your voice depth and volume.

Wing it 
The only way to ace your presentation is by practicing. Rehearse in front of someone who will give you honest feedback. If you are working with a recruiter, they can assist with preparation. Don’t assume that the company’s technology is compatible with your Mac or PC or you may find that all of the beautiful slides you prepared won’t show up on their screen. To avoid this nightmare scenario, take your fully charged laptop, not just the USB drive containing your presentation. Even if the screen is small, it’s a better backup plan than nothing at all. Email the slides to yourself and save them as PDFs, which should work on anything. Finally, print a few copies of your slides and take them with you, just in case.

Let the experts at Collier Legal Search help you put your best foot forward. From the initial contact to the final interview, we work with our candidates every step of the way. We are a full-service legal staffing company that specializes in placing well-credentialed partners, associates and legal professionals at every level in law firms and corporations.

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