Sometimes employers ask job applicants for a presentation on a certain topic, as part of the recruitment process. Just the thought of this may be nerve-wrecking. In fact, glossophobia – the fear of public speaking – is considered one of the most common human fears. It shouldn’t be that scary, though. We’ve enumerated five tips to tap into your intrinsic motivation and bolster confidence for presentation day.
By this stage in your life, you likely have a good grasp of the kinds of things you’re good at, and those you’re not so good at. Use this knowledge in selecting a presentations topic: pick one you’ll be confident in explaining. To help you in the topic selection process, ask yourself the following constructive questions:
- In what topic am I an expert?
- What style should I use to interestingly present the topic?
- What visual aids can I create to help me convey my main points?
- Do I need help during preparation?
- Is there someone I can approach to help me prepare?
As Socrates famously said, know thyself. It’s the first step in knowing – and then showing off – your potentials.
Let the beginner’s mind rule
Zen Buddhism teaches about the “beginner’s mind” – always excited to learn and open to possibilities. No matter how experienced you are in public speaking, preparing for a presentation is always a learning experience in itself. It can lead to profound personal insights that could last a lifetime. At different stages of the process, you will definitely learn something new. Be humble and enthusiastic enough to welcome this new knowledge, as each new bit is a building block to your credibility and confidence.
Practice to perfection
With every aspect of your presentation – your delivery, displaying your slides, and every other element – practice. When you rehearse, your fear lessens as you imagine and anticipate what is to come. Practice prepares you psychologically and physically. Especially for first-timers, those who quiver in front of a crowd and people who lack a flair for ad libs, practice provides a chance to choose your words carefully, organize your thoughts and add or remove unnecessary points. As the cliché goes, “practice makes perfect”, or at nearly perfect.
Cherish the experience
This opportunity may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so go ahead and be thrilled! When work is like play, you feel content and joyful. Remember that you will be talking about something you already know very well, so relax and breathe deep. Don’t take this task or yourself too seriously, but don’t be lazy and sluggish, either. When you come on light and bright, the interviewer will feel your confidence and will have fun interacting with you.
Believe in the law of attraction
Ask for guidance from whomever or whatever higher power you believe in. This boosts your confidence as you psych yourself up for the task. Trust that your best efforts will not be put to waste. The law of attraction maintains that you will reap what you believe in. When you are open to divine presence, your mind becomes inspired, and you will perform naturally well.
When you’re asked to deliver an interview presentation, prepare yourself and fear not! The best resource you have is easily within your reach – yourself! When you know yourself and develop a positive attitude toward challenges, fear will slowly fade away. Don’t let fearful thoughts keep you from trying your best, loving what you do, and showing what you can potentially accomplish in a job.
About the Author
Toke Kruse is the CEO of Slideshop.com, a leading provider of pre-designed PowerPoint templates. Toke is a graduate of Copenhagen Business School and has launched nearly a dozen companies since entering the world of entrepreneurship at the age of 18.