I was recently interviewed for a podcast, and I’d like to share with you the top 5 tips that I found to be most important while preparing for that interview. These tips can be used for any type of presentation or interview that you may be preparing for.
1. Plan your answers in advance
For an interview, this is usually easy as long as the interviewer gives you the questions. So be sure to ask for them if they aren’t offered. For other types of presentations, anticipate the most likely questions and prepare your answers. This may even help you discover something critical that you left out of your presentation.
2. Know your audience
Take time to put yourself in the mind of your audience members. What do they like? What will help them the most? What will resonate with them? When preparing my interview answers, I knew that my audience was CEO’s, small business owners and entrepreneurs. This led me to offer my knowledge of running a business and suggestions of things that other business owners would benefit from.
3. Find the passion in what you’re discussing
It’s imperative that you know the heart of why you’re discussing your topic, whether for an interview or a presentation. When you truly connect with the topic and clearly portray that passion, your audience will instantly see your expertise. They will feel like they heard something special, and you will feel great about how you came across to them. For me, the passion was in sharing what I have learned with other business owners. I love that by telling others what has worked for me and what mistakes I’ve made, I can help them to grow faster and avoid those mistakes in their own business.
4. Be clear and concise
No matter what you discuss in an interview or presentation, be clear about where you are headed and what you plan to talk about. And when you are covering your topic, be concise and to-the-point so that you don’t lose your audience.
5. Use stories
Whenever possible, illustrate your points with stories. People are far more likely to remember what you said if there was a story attached to it. Speaking about how I kept an open mind about big business changes and had the opportunity to start a partnership has more impact than telling someone to be open to big changes.
6. Prepare for (and expect) technical difficulties
Right in the middle of my interview, the video call dropped, and we couldn’t immediately reconnect because of internet issues. Although I was upset that it happened, I didn’t let it phase me. Once we were up-and-running again, I jumped right in where we left off. No matter where you’re speaking or being interviewed, get familiar with the technology being used and know what could go wrong. For example: What cords could be missing? Bring them! Is there a backup technology if the platform being used fails? Ask the interviewer! Can you give the presentation without your technology? Figure out how you can! If you’ve planned for most scenarios, you’re less likely to lose your place or get overly flustered.
Although there are sure to be some nervous jitters, know that you are the expert, and you are making a positive impact on the world with what you have to say. Good luck as you prepare for your next interview or presentation!