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Making the Crucial Connection – the Key to Presentation Success

If you need to sell your skills to an employer or present your employment solutions to a client, being able to connect with your audience effectively and build rapport is crucial to your success. Here are our top 3 communication tips.

Whether you’re a recruiter or a candidate, we always have to be aware of how we’re perceived by our audiences. For all of us, our reputation and therefore success is built on our ability to build rapport. This article is not about going back to sales 101, but rather a reminder of how brand perception is crucial if you are to win a client over or secure that dream job. Any agency recruiter will tell you the importance of how you come across when presenting, whether it be an interview for that elusive role or a white paper presentation to a client, your chances of securing your next career opportunity or winning new business, may well rest upon it.

Know Your Audience

Preparing effectively is the number one most important thing you can do. But why start your due diligence at the interview stage? Or why try to wing the client meeting you have managed to book? Solid research is something you can begin from the moment you become aware there is a glimpse of interest from your audience.

As recruiters, we have a wealth of material at our disposal to help us inform our clients of important market changes and trends. However, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the details, when we need to be cognisant of time. Our clients are often very busy people, who have given up time in their active diaries to accommodate a meeting in the first place. Be wise and tailor the meeting so the client finds value in that time. It will be critical to your success.

Find out everything you can, look at their page on the company website and check out their social media presence to find out more about their background and interests. This will also help you to cherry pick statistics that you think will best suit the client’s needs, which is a far more impactful approach than just citing numbers!

As a candidate, finding out everything you can about the role and the company before you send in your application, will give you a better idea of what they’re looking for and whether you’re a good fit for the organisation. It will also equip you with a wide range of knowledge should they pick up the phone and want to talk to you – this will help you stand out! Once you have a face-to-face interview confirmed, find out everything you can about the interviewer – who they are, what their background is and what their interests might be outside of work. LinkedIn is a great tool for this.

Show, Don’t Tell

Although research and enthusiasm are a strong foundation for any job seeker trying to impress, or any recruiter trying to signal credibility, the key point you have to communicate to your audience is how you’re the solution to the problem they’re facing. People love talking about themselves, so let them do that! For recruiters, our clients want to find out how we can help them, so letting them tell us about themselves and their situation is a great way to lead into the solution you can provide.

Getting conversational also demonstrates genuine interest in them individually and the business and most of all it shows that you are approachable. If a client feels like you’re trying to sell them on something, you’re already fighting a losing battle. Your presentation is a unique opportunity to serve your audience and to show them how you can solve the problems their business is facing.

For candidates, employers can be more discerning than ever when hiring, and providing examples of your work or personal stories to make your answers more relatable will give a personal touch. That’s what will stay with them and help you the most. Be careful not to overdo it! Identify what your audience needs to know and give them what they’re looking for, as overwhelming them will come off as self-serving and cause them to switch off.

For both recruiters and candidates, presentations may come with an aid of a tablet or as a hard copy. Whether you’re presenting ‘what the first 90 days in your role would look like’, or ‘the latest market report on organisational culture’, try to resist the urge to read it all out in the presence of your audience. This is a non-engaging approach that can be perceived again as self-serving but inevitably will be viewed as boring (yawn!). Instead, break the content up and sprinkle it into conversation every so often by using examples or personal stories. These touches can bring even the driest of content to life, and help to really engage your audience.

Be Yourself

Yes, this is an extremely common piece of advice for many different types of situations, including job interviews. The biggest key to successfully communicating your value is to form a genuine connection. Although this is certainly easier said than done, it can’t be done at all if you don’t put your genuine self forward. You are unique, that is your biggest strength – play to it!

Remember, nobody wants to be sold to. An employer or client’s main concern is how you can help them, so everything you say and do needs to be geared towards achieving this. Need more advice? Feel free toget in touch today.


Tags: Contracting
OCG Consulting

OCG Consulting

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