Did you know most people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of dying? Although that’s probably a bit irrational it’s a very common fear. As human beings there is a natural tendency to want to avoid being judged. Even so, employers want to know that you can give a speech when needed and that you’ll be confident enough to speak up if you have a great idea.
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a recent successful experience in making a speech or presentation?
You may be asked to give an example of a time you gave a great speech. The good thing is that unless the speech is on YouTube, the employer will not be able to verify that the speech/presentation actually was “a fabulous success.”
This gives you an opportunity to brag about yourself. But remember – try to share qualities that make you a great employee. Talk about things like:
And, make sure you share details to give the story some depth. A good answer would sound something like this:
“Last year, I was asked to speak to our investors about X. I created a colored handout so that the listeners would not be bored, but found that most were very engaged in the speech. We spoke of Tool X, Y, and Z, and when I opened the floor for questions, most of the questions indicated that investors had become very interested in the products. It is always a good sign when the listeners are more interested in learning more from me than clarifying anything that I said.”
Here you’re talking about the presentation, you’re giving details, you’re showing why it was successful without being too full of yourself, and you’re making it look like you’re willing to speak in front of a room easily. You may not have an answer this in depth, but if you think back to your work history you are likely to be able to come up with a presentation you can spin in a way that makes you look like an effective speaker. Also, read up on how to show you can present complex information in a simple way as this will often follow a question about presentation skills. They need to know you can confidently present information in a simple, easy to understand way.
How are you as a public speaker? I find that practicing my presentation at home out loud helps a lot. You get used to hearing your own voice. I also find if I learn the first 3 slides really well I can get my breathing under control quickly. Do you have any helpful presentation tips to share?