How to Create a Great Interview Presentation for that Final Stage Video Call
The global lockdown and the uncertainty of a post-COVID future has led to a lot of redundancies and career changes for many professionals. Being thrown back into the job market can be overwhelming from updating your LinkedIn, CV and getting back into the swing of writing Cover Letters.
Eventually you will start getting interviews and going through the elimination stages of the job application battle royale for your dream role. One of the most common and anxiety-inducing stages is the presentation on a task or brief provided by the company.
This is a short overview of the steps I take to creating interview presentations for all the marketing roles I’ve applied for in the past (I do have a high success rate).
This can be applied to general Marketing Presentations too.
- Topic Areas You Need to Cover
- Drafting your Presentation
- Best Applications to create your Presentation Slides in
- Presentation Advice from MIT
Topic Areas You Need to Cover
When creating a presentation for an interview you should write out:
- The main objective of the presentation
- Your direct contribution to strategy/plan outlined in the presentation
- Behaviours you need to display throughout
- Summarised version of the job description
- A direct response to the brief
- Sub-topic areas you should cover e.g. SMART Objectives, Strategy, Social Media Calendar etc
- Any other considerations you’ve picked up on from the brief
Once you have a rough draft of the ideas you want to include in the presentation you need to do some general research on:
- Presentations in general — You’ve made it here so that’s a positive sign
- The subject area — If it’s for a social media role then, make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest trends
- Latest industry news
- How the company is performing from a business point of view
At this point, you should have a response to the brief with research to back this all up. But this is where the hard work begins. You need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely your answer in a structured presentation of slides that’s engaging, memorable and well-thought out.
Drafting your Presentation
My approach to presentations is a top down approach. I think as big as possible and refine the details until I’ve covered everything in as much depth as I can. Then I cut away excess details that don’t contribute significantly.
- Draft 1 — Text on each slide of your ideas in a structured manner, no images. Prioritise substance over aesthetics.
- Draft 2 — Add images and diagrams that support your ideas.
- Draft 3 — Run through the presentation in real-time and time yourself. You’ll definitely spot inconsistencies and excess information. Cut it all out.
- Draft 4 — Look at the Contents Page and the Summary Page. Do they answer the brief? Have you covered everything the brief has asked for? If not, make changes, accordingly.
- Draft 5 — Run through the presentation again. You should be within the time limit and it should flow naturally from one concept to the next. Refine and polish accordingly.
Building presentations is a matter of refinement and reflection. It is an art rather than a science of communicating complex ideas to unfamiliar stakeholders.
Best Applications to create your Presentation Slides in
In a professional environment I don’t believe having a flashy presentation adds much value but when it comes to job interviews it’s a totally different approach. You want to be as memorable as possible and a standout presentation design is perfect for this. In my mind, there’s only 3 presentation building applications to consider:
- Powerpoint — this is familiar territory and allows you focus on the content and the delivery but it’s probably too generic and underwhelming if your aim is to leave an impression
- Google Slides is the free version for those without Microsoft Suite and in combination with SlidesGo gives you amazing presentation templates to use FOR FREE.
- Canva has the potential for something special and completely unique to you if you want to utilise infographics, add filters to images and unique colour schemes to your slides.
Once you’ve created your presentation once, it’s very easy to copy and paste the content onto different templates and applications if you suddenly feel the current one isn’t up to scratch. I have done this plenty of times for job applications and at work. For example, I would build a presentation in Slides then realise I like another template in Canva. And all it takes is 20 minutes of copy and paste to satisfy my perfectionism.
Bonus Content: Presentation Advice from MIT
I recently watched a great video on delivering a great presentation and I wanted to share with you the most key points that can be applied to Presentations you’ll most likely be doing over Video Calls, whether it’s Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams.
By the time you’re done creating the presentation you should be able to answer these questions:
- What is the idea I want to communicate?
- Have I built a fence of arguments and evidence around my idea?
- What makes my presentation standout and memorable?
- Does this presentation prove I’m competent?
- Does this presentation show that I’m experienced enough to do the job at hand?
- Do not start a talk with a joke. End with a joke so they remember how you made them feel.
- Start with a promise — Tell them what they’re going to learn from your presentation.
- Cycle around your idea multiple times in order to be completely clear what you want them to take away from your presentation
- Recap at the end so they can crystallise your ideas throughout and see how they all fit the bigger picture.
- Visual perception is the most effective way to interact with listeners. So use diagrams, workflows and images.
- Don’t put too many words on a slide. People cannot read and listen at the same time. Slides should just reflect what you’re saying, not the other way around.
- Keep your slides minimalistic
How to be remembered involves doing the 5 S’s:
- Symbols that associate with your ideas (visual perception is the best way to attract attention)
- Slogan (describing your idea)
- Surprise (common fallacy that is no longer true, for instance, just after you’ve told about it)
- Salient Idea (not necessarily important but the one that sticks out)
- Story (how you did it, how it works…)
Good luck with delivering those video call presentations and hopefully you found something useful in this blog post.