A common Assessment Centre exercise is giving a presentation. There are lots of things to think about when giving a presentation aside from content – PowerPoint design, body language, interaction with the audience, etc. Here is our insider advice on how to go about presentation preparation, for more about Assessment Centre practice visit our Assessment Centre Presentation page onsite.
Assessment Centre interview presentation tips
1. Structure of the presentationPlan the structure and timing of the presentation in advance. Make sure everything is clearly sectioned and that there are section summaries. Recommended structure:
- Introduce yourself – See 2. below.
- Background – It is important to introduce the concept in a broad and general manner, giving explanations where appropriate.
- In-depth analysis – This is the main and most substantial part of the presentation, you should appoint most time to this section. This is an informative stage.
- Interim summary – One or two sentences which summarise the in-depth analysis.
- Advantages / Disadvantages – In this section, present short, different opinions about the topic. Opinions should be objective and not personal at this point.
- Solution – Suggest solution/s to the problems that were raised.
- Personal opinion – This should be a short section. The presenter gives across his personal opinion on the topic, and the reasons why they chose this topic.
- Questions – Invite the audience to ask you questions.
- Summary – A short summary relating to the background of the problem, and how to drive the next stages plus food for thought.
- Conclusion – Don’t forget to thank the audience for listening.
2. What to say when you introduce yourselfWhen you introduce yourself, it should be short and to the point – maximum 30 seconds. We recommend you introduce yourself in the following order:
- Full name
- Current role
- Previous role (if relevant)
3. Tips for body language
- Stand straight - this is likely to give an impression of confidence.
- Don’t put hands in pockets
- Make sure you are making eye-contact with the audience
- Speak loudly and clearly
- Don’t directly read your presentation off notes (cue-cards are fine).
- Be enthusiastic about the topic
4. Tips for content of the presentation
- Be attentive to the allocated time given for the presentation.
- It is better to speak about fewer aspects of the problem in greater depth, than to talk about more aspects in lesser depth – it is more memorable.
- In order to clarify your ideas, try and relate to the audience as much as possible using examples and analogies that are not topic-specific.
- Do not use generalisations or stereotypes, you do not want to say anything that could insult your audience.
- Title slide – Name of the presentation, name of speaker and the speaker’s role in the presentation
- Slide 1 – Aims of the presentation
- Slide 2 – Contents of the presentation
- Slide 3 – Body of presentation as outlined above Summary slide
- Slide of thanks
- Back-up slide – It is good to have a number of back-up slides with examples or additional information for complicated topics.
- Be consistent with the background colour.
- Write shortly and succinctly.
- We recommend no more than five lines per slide, a maximum of seven words per line, "Arial" font and the size to be between 34 and 56.
- Any topic that needs an explanation should be explained orally and not on the slide.
- Each section should have a unique colour, picture or some other uniform sign so that people know when you have moved on to a new section.
- Humour – It is good to use humour once in a while, but be careful not to embarrass yourself!
- Practice the presentation several times beforehand!
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