Recruitment specialist in HR, Sales and Operations

Top 5 tips for delivering a winning presentation at an interview

When it comes to Sales recruitment, it is exceptionally rare to see a process where a presentation is not required at some stage in the process. The 3 most commonly requested presentations are to ‘present your 30, 60 and 90 day plan’, ‘present to us on your current product portfolio’ or to ‘present for 15 minutes on a subject of your choice’.

Given that this is an inevitable exercise that you will need to undertake when you look to secure a new role, here are our five top tips to help you nail it on the day.

  • Make it ‘on brand’. The best presentations have been carefully personalised towards the hiring company – use logos, brand colours and where possible link and quote vision, values, mission statements.
  • Keep it simple. You may have heard of Guy Kawasaki’s 10, 20, 30 rules for PowerPoint presentations? (10 pages, 20 minutes, 30 font size). Whilst this was intended for entrepreneurs and for PowerPoint only, it still has a lot of value for any presentation. If your slide show has more than 10 pages its too busy, if it is longer than 20 minutes it is too long, and if your font size is below 30 then your page is likely to be too crowded. Be mindful of attention spans and impact, keep it simple, short and striking.
  • Stick to the requested time: Most presentation requests state a time and in our experience, this is a measured variable. Too short and you lack depth, go over and you lose engagement and lose impact. Put your presentation together with the requested time in mind and practise practise practise practise.
  • Use it as your prompt. Employers want to see your presentation skills and by this they are interested your ability to deliver, inspire, hold attention and communicate to a room. Therefore, your presentation should be nothing more than a prompt for you to do your thing. Make it punchy, with bullet points and striking graphics. Make sure it is not over-wordy, busy and/or messy with detail. It should move you along, help you to capture attention and encourage people to focus on you and not read the screen.
  • Plan for the worst. Employers recognise that this is a stressful situation and they are forgiving. That said (lets face it), if your presentation doesn’t load/ fails on their tech, then Joe Blogg’s presentation which loaded fine will have more impact. Plan for this, send a copy to your interviewer in advance (via your agent if need be), take your laptop with your presentation pre loaded, take it in aswell on a USB and yes, print out some copies too. Great salespeople plan for the worst and if you don’t plan for the worst at this stage, it will be presumed that you will not plan for the worst in their role!

Good luck if your are presenting today or preparing a presentation over the weekend. Get in touch with your thoughts about what makes a good presentation.

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