Job Applications – The Content of Your Presentation

The content of your presentation will be based on a simple formula, one I’m sure you’ve come across in many contexts. The basic format is simple and is always the same:

Tell them what you’re going to tell them

Make your points

Tell them what you’ve just told them

In other words, an introduction which gives an overview of the presentation, followed by a short talk based on the points listed in the overview and to finish, a summary of the points you have just covered.

How you present the material will depend on the audio visual aids available and which you feel most comfortable with. Let’s say you choose Overhead Transparencies (OHTs).

Your overview will be an OHT with a list of topics to be covered.
Then you will have one or two OHTs to illustrate each point.
You can use the first OHT again to summarise, or if you feel it is more appropriate, a new one which sums up the conclusions you have come to in the talk.

Some Tips for using OHTs

Make sure you use the right sort of OHT – there are different OHTs for use with laser and inkjet printers and so be sure to get the type which matches the printer you’ll be using. Otherwise the result could be smudged or blurred.

Font size – don’t use anything under 24 points as this will be difficult to read.

Don’t put too much information on each OHT. About 6 well spaced out lines of text is enough.

Check the Overhead Projector before you begin and make sure you know how it works.

Use a pen or pencil and point to the actual OHT and not the screen onto which it has been projected.

Leave each transparency up long enough for everyone to read it, but if you are talking quite a bit in between OHTs, switch the projector off. This may not be necessary in a very short presentation. Use common sense.

Using Notes

If you have practised in advance and are familiar with your subject, notes should not be necessary. Use the OHTs or other visual aids to prompt you. If you are asked to do a longer presentation and feel you can’t do without notes, keep them brief and leave them on the table for emergencies. Remember, your presentation should never be a reading of your notes. You can read a quotation or figures which you might not be expected to remember, but never, ever simply stand there and read your notes from start to finish. Notes should be a prompt, used only if nerves get the better of you and cause you to dry up.

Prepare to do without Audio Visual Aids

The more technical the aids you use, the more likely they are to go wrong. So always be prepared to do the presentation without them. If you are using PowerPoint, print out your slides and make sure you have a copy for each member of the panel. If using OHTs, a whiteboard or a flipchart make some sort of handout to illustrate your points. It’s not only technology which can go wrong – interviews can be moved to a room without a whiteboard and people can forget to provide a flipchart.

Handouts

A professionally produced handout is a good way to round off a presentation. It gives you a chance to show that you know your subject or have done your homework on the company. Don’t make it too long or use dense text. A short, illustrated and relevant handout will make a good impression and if it’s touch and go between you and one other candidate, might just tip the balance in your favour.

© Waller Jamison 2005

Sheryl Sandberg’s Timeline: Past, Present – And Future

She’s a blazing star in every sense of the word. At 43, Sheryl Sandberg’s life story reads like a bestselling novel. Now that Sheryl joined the billionaires’ club when Facebook went public earlier this year, what will her future bring?

Timeline, Facebook’s life story feature, received a lot of attention when it debuted in 2012, but it only covers the past and present. Does Sheryl’s own timeline include a future element? If so, how does she plan to invest her time, energy, and passion among the big buckets of work, family, friends, education, and service?

If Sheryl mapped out her work and service lives, from when she graduated from college in 1991 to her future senior years, it might have looked like this:

Life Title: WOMEN LEAD THE WAY

First Twenty Years – Ages 1-20 (1969-1988) – Laying the Groundwork

Grew up in Florida, always at the top of class. Attended Harvard College, majoring in Economics. Met professor Larry Summers, who became mentor and thesis advisor. Graduated from Harvard in 1991 and awarded Phi Beta Kappa.

Second Twenty Years – Ages 21-40 (1989-2008) – Building Public and Private Sector Foundation

Public Sector – Work at World Bank from 1991 to 1993, concentrating on health projects in emerging countries. Work as Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers in Clinton Administration in Washington D.C. from 1996 to 2001.

Private Sector – Graduate from Harvard Business School in 1995 at age 27 as a Baker Scholar, the highest distinction. Work at McKinsey for one year as a management consultant. Leave private sector to work in White House for several years. Return to private sector in 2001 to join Google in Silicon Valley as Vice President of Online Sales and help start Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org. Hired by Mark Zuckerberg to become chief operating officer at social media giant Facebook in 2008. Mentored Mark. Became national spokesperson for women in business.

Third Twenty Years – Ages 41-60 (2009-2028) – Putting It All Together

Help take Facebook public in 2012. Become a billionaire on paper at age 42. Facebook stock tumbles after the IPO. (The facts so far – now for the future imagined… ) Orchestrate a successful online advertising strategy that leads to strong revenue growth and a stock recovery. Leave Facebook in 2014 to create Women in Politics think tank. Write a memoir/activist book about women in business at age 46. Run for U.S. Senate in seat for California vacated by Barbara Boxer in 2016 at age 48.

As U.S. Senator, champion landmark bill to integrate solar panels into rooftops for all new housing construction. Run for President in 2024 at age 56. Become the first woman President of the United States. Pass Equal Pay Act to remove final institutional barriers to equal pay for equal work. Put Elizabeth Warren on the Supreme Court.

Fourth Twenty Years – Ages 61-80 (2029-2048) – Redefining the Post-Presidency

Second term as President of United States from 2029-2033. Pass Education Act to revamp K-12 public education to global leadership standards. After the presidency, start a foundation for encouraging women to campaign for peace in the Middle East. Travel the world to encourage and support women running for political office.

Fifth Twenty Years – Ages 81-100 (2049-2068) – Life Re-Imagined

Become an American Association of Retired Persons advocate for aging well through lifelong learning. Focus on use of virtual classroom training to foster global learning communities.

Graphic of Sheryl Sandberg’s Timeline

For some people, it’s easy to predict what their future will bring based on looking at their past and present. For others, it’s not so clear. One thing’s for sure; people who are able to imagine and articulate a positive future for themselves are far more likely to make it happen. What’s on Sheryl’s private life map? She hasn’t told us, but we bet that if she does put the U.S. Presidency on her life map, she just might get there.

3 Ways to Make Sure Presents Arrive on Time

Everyone should write Santa letters each year – after all, how do people expect to get their presents if they don’t? Santa won’t know where to stop his sleigh! And you never know, you might get letters from Santa back! So what other reason do you have to not write to Santa and get what you want?

While this is an ideal situation, unfortunately it only works for children. Sorry adults! You have to rely on my traditional methods of transportation to get your presents to each other. Have no fear though, with a bit of careful planning and some thought, your presents will arrive in one piece and on time before the big day arrives. There’s nothing worse than having to wait for presents to arrive after Christmas, so here’s some ways you can ensure their arrival.

The most conventional method for most people at this time of year is to use the postal system. While there’s been a lot of stigma surrounding the postal system for a while, there are ways and methods to do things that will ensure your presents arrive and that you know about it. For example, you can use things like Recorded Delivery or Special Delivery, which basically just means that the person receiving the package has to sign for it or show identification. This way you know your presents have been received.

Another method is to use special delivery companies, such as ParcelForce. They’re a very big name and are trusted with (usually) much bigger or more expensive purchases than your everyday postal system. There are other companies who deliver the same methods and transportation, but you would need to look for them yourself. Have a look around and see which company can offer you the best service. Some of them will even collect from your home to avoid you having to find the time to send them, which is the most common cause of presents arriving too late for the big day.

The other way, and perhaps the most favourite but least used due to time constrictions is delivering them yourself. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” better than your loved ones turning up on your doorstep with an armful of pretty presents. Also this way you know for absolutely definite that your presents have been delivered and have arrived safely and on time. You don’t get any more assurance than that! However, obviously this is a very busy time of year and this option isn’t always viable for many families unfortunately, but if you can find the time and the spare cash for travel, then don’t rule it out!

Presents arriving on time and in one piece is the biggest worry for most families, but if you put some care, attention and planning into delivering your gifts, then your Christmas should go without a hitch.