The interview process requires solid preparation a chance to highlight your career accomplishments, discuss why you are the best candidate for the position and yes… sometimes a chance for our new employer to evaluate your public speaking skills. YIKES! More and more of our clients are asking our candidates to participate and lead a 60-90 minutes discussion on a modern healthcare technology subject to 20-30 other executives (total strangers) to really understand your public speaking capabilities. You may also be asked to discuss how you will spend your first 90 days as the new CIO.
It’s not the only indicator of selecting the right CIO – but your public presentation skills do matter and shows how you respond to pressure - and how well you rise to the occasion. Don’t panic – develop a few strategies to help you nail your big presentation. Here are a few tips that might help you if you are asked to do a PowerPoint presentation as part of the interview process:
· Bring your own laptop and download your presentation on a memory stick as a back-up in case there are any technical challenges.
· Know your material - and know it well. This is not the time to “wing it”.
· Have an agenda on your topic so your audience will be able to follow your talk.
· Practice your material to make your key points and your slide transition more natural.
· Make your material “topical” by inserting relevant clip-art for each slide. Otherwise it could be “death by PowerPoint” for those listening to your talk.
· Always use complimentary colors for the background and font colors - and always use large fonts so your audience can clearly see your material.
· Time yourself. Make sure your material and your talk allow you to finish at the end of your allotted time.
· Inject some humor into your presentation to break the ice several times during your talk. This could be done by inserting a funny slide (or slides) to help you make your point.
· Never –Never just read your slides (This will be a slow death for you and everyone in the room).
· Make eye contact with your audience by picking someone near the center of the room that you can focus on during your talk – but pan the room frequently.
· Make your talk interactive – this engages your audience and puts you at ease.
· Get someone to give you a “10 minute warning” so you can begin to wrap up in time.
· Ask your audience at the end if anyone has questions.
· Relax and try to have fun!