Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the transcript at any time.
Before you watch
We suggest you do the vocabulary activities below before you watch. Then watch the video and do the task to check your understanding. You can read the transcript at any stage if you want. Finally, have a look at Task 2, which contains some business notes and a further vocabulary activity on adjectives which are commonly used to describe jobs.
When asked to give a presentation as part of a job interview it’s a good opportunity to showcase your skills especially if giving presentations is actually part of the job. It’s also an area where you could make mistakes if you are not well prepared.
Basic Guidelines For Designing Your Presentation
List and prioritize the main goals that you want to accomplish with your presentation. For Sarah and Daniel these would be to show an interest and understanding in the work that WebWare does and in the position that is being offered i.e. sales director.
They also need to demonstrate that they have the particular skills needed for the job. In the video, Daniel has obviously set the wrong goals for his presentation where he talks mostly about himself and his achievements in a rather egotistical way. In contrast, Sarah shows that she has given some thought to WebWare’s business and how she feels she can improve it in the future.
It’s important to set the right tone for the presentation. Daniel’s presentation was more of a performance as he strode around confidently, gesticulating and even attempting to play a song on his harmonica. He was far too casual and the tone he set was not one of professionalism.
In contrast, Sarah appeared relaxed, well-prepared, serious and business-like.
Allow time for questions and answers at the end. Sarah asked the interviewers if they had any questions, whilst Daniel merely asked if he had got the job!
If you're speaking to a small group then try to accomplish eye contact with each person for a few seconds throughout your delivery. Don’t look at your materials or notes all the time.
Speak a little bit louder and a little bit slower than you normally would do with a friend. A good way to practice these guidelines is to speak along with a news anchor when you're watching television. Also try to vary the volume and rate of your speech. A monotone voice will send your audience to sleep!
Daniel: When I was asked to do a presentation on ‘Where WebWare is going, and what I can do to help it get there,’ my first thought was simple: me!
As you’ve already seen, I’ve got a lot of skills, and the right kind of personality needed to do a job like this... Here’s a slide I made! You see that – that’s my sales team – they love me! Certainly going to be sad to see me leave...
Outside the box thinking – that’s what I’ve got...!
Sarah: Ok. To start with, I did a careful SWOT analysis using the data I had available, which is obviously only partial. I looked at aspects such as competitors, online visibility, changing technologies and R&D... On the basis of this, I believe WebWare should carry out some careful market research, strengthen its brand awareness in secondary markets, and improve the flexibility of its offer. If this produces positive results, I think it should be possible to maintain the premium pricing policy...
Daniel: Here’s the sales figures for the last job I did – all down to me! Blue sky thinking! Finally, to finish my presentation, I’d like to play you a song I wrote...
Philip Hart: Ok, Ok... that’s enough. Thanks Daniel...
Daniel: Great! So does that mean I’ve got the job?
Marcia Boardman: Erm, we’ll be in touch over the next five days to let you know...
Daniel: OK great, thank you.
Sarah: This is how I’d predict a sales pattern would go. I have to emphasise these are only speculative results at the moment.
The key words are: caution, adaptability, and consolidation of main product lines – WebWare’s “cash cows,” if you like. It’s important to be flexible, yet reliable. Oh, and another thing is you need to improve the delivery times on your online orders! I hope all that’s clear. Do you have any questions?
Philip Hart: No, thank you Sarah – that’s all very clear – you’ve given us quite a lot to think about there!
Marcia Boardman: Yes, thanks a lot Sarah. We’ll be in touch over the next few days to let you know about the appointment.
Sarah: Thank you both for your time. It’s been a pleasure meeting both of you.
Philip Hart / Marcia Boardman: Bye!