Our last blog looked at the advantages of continuous rehearsal, structuring presentations and seeking out an independent critique. This blog will look at text animation, image to content ratio and ensuring that your presentation can be displayed through any projector.
- Slide Content Animation
If you have more than one bullet point on a slide with no amination the natural tendency for anyone viewing your presentation is to read ahead due to a natural sense of curiosity. This means that your interviewer may be focussing on a bullet point further down the screen when you are expanding on an earlier point. Hence, they are not fully focussed on what you are saying. They are not being intentionally disrespectful by doing this. It is more to do with the natural inquisitiveness of the human mind.
Buy there is a simple solution to avoiding this occurrence. In PowerPoint, you can animate content so it only appears when you click on the mouse button which will help ensure that your interviewer is continuously engaged with where you are in your presentation. It is contained in the top navigation bar of PowerPoint and is titled “Animations”. Simply highlight each line and decide on how you want your text to appear. My personal preference is for the text simply to “Appear” as I find some of the other options, such as “fly in” too distracting. This will ensure that your potential employer will be totally focussed on the point you are making. Not being facetious but someone can’t read ahead when there is nothing there!
Other presentation tools such as Prezi have similar functionality to Animations which will help keep the interviewer focussed on exactly what you are saying.
- Image to content ratio
There is nothing worse for an interviewer that to see a mass of text on a screen with no accompanying images or Infographics. This can turn off some interviewers as the information overload is too much for the mind to process. Also, if you have every word you are going to say on a screen, the potential for boredom is quite high an an interviewer can easily turn off.
Also, a slide without graphics of infographics can come across as quite bland and boring. The expression “a picture tells a thousand words” in true in this situation. The best presentations in my experience, especially in the Sales and Marketing field have 4 to 5 bullet points with an accompanying image. You will hold your interviewer’s attention better as you expand on each bullet point verbally rather than reading script off a screen. Not being flippant but an interviewer can do this themselves and you reading off a screen won’t capture their full attention.
- Laptops v Projectors
This is a source of worry for many candidates. The most common issue is if you are presenting on a Mac laptop and you don’t have the proper adapter for your potential employers’ projector. Other laptops may have an incorrect display resolution for the projector or TV screen and your slides may appear too large or too small for the screen.
A simple tip is to source the correct adapter in case your interviewer doesn’t have one. There are a variety of adapters for the IMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro. Mac Pro (etc.), which can connect to a variety of external displays, such as projectors and TV’s. In addition to this you should always have a copy of your presentation on a USB key. If you really want to fool proof against technical issues, send through your presentation to your interviewer the day before your presentation.
The aim of an interview presentation is that your interviewer will remember the key points that you are making. Having too much text, not adding custom animation and panicking before your presentation due to technical compatibility issues will only serve to lessen the impact of your presentation. I believe the above tips will greatly help to mitigate against these risks.