Careers Service

Presentations

You may be asked to give a presentation as part of your assessment centre, either on a topic you've been given in advance or you might be asked to prepare one on the day itself. Get tips on preparation and how to perform well here.

Delivering an effective presentation shows your ability to research, understand and communicate information in an intelligible and appropriate way to an 'audience'.

It is likely the assessors will be looking at your communication skills, time management and body language, plus your ability to think and deliver under pressure, including responding to any questions which may follow.

If possible, practice delivering your presentation in front of others beforehand to get feedback on your body language, content, delivery style and time management.

Watch a presentation exercise

This short film (8m 30s) produced by AGCAS (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) shows a presentation exercise at an assessment centre.

Presentation exercise  (EASE login required)

Top tips

The following tips will help you in your preparation and delivery:

Content

  • Think about what key messages you want to get across.
  • Give it some structure - have a clear introduction, middle and summary.
  • Make sure it is tailored to the audience, at a level appropriate to their prior knowledge (if known).

Delivery and body language

  • Speak clearly, succinctly and confidently. Nerves can slow you down or speed you up so try to deliver your presentation in a calm voice at a steady pace.
  • Make eye contact with different members of the audience to engage their attention; avoid turning your back on the audience to look at the screen.
  • If possible, talk from notes rather than reading from a script, to give a more conversational style.
  • Deliver in the allocated time, making sure you have enough time to cover all the material without rushing your summing up.

Use of visual aids

  • Visual aids should be clear and easy to read - don’t have too much written information on one slide.
  • Make them interesting - graphs, pictures and diagrams can be more effective than lots of writing.
  • Make them relevant - visual aids should relate to what you are talking about.

Want to find out more?

Our useful resources on assessment centres have more information and advice to help you prepare for assessment centres, including presentations:

Assessment centres: Useful resources

The Prospects website has a section dedicated to making presentations:

Prospects web: Presentations

Target jobs offer useful advice about preparing for and delivering a presentation at assessment centre:

TargetJobs: Presentations