If asked, not many people will declare a love of pubic speaking. Surely you have heard the adage, “imagine the audience in their underwear,” to overcome anxiety and feel more in control. Despite the fact people prefer going to the dentist over public speaking, society has become enamored with people who perform TED Talks. Thanks to TED Talks, society now embraces public speaking, both as the listener and a speaker. There are TED Talks on virtually any topic you can imagine.
Did you know that most TED Talk speakers plan and rehearse their talks as far as six months in advance? They trust that practice does make perfect. Interviews are no different. You are speaking to someone you haven’t met before and are likely on their home turf, not your own. You have your audience’s undivided attention; it’s your time to shine.
According to Chris Anderson, curator of the thought-provoking TED Talks, knowing your material is key. The good news is that in an interview, YOU are the material. Your talents, accomplishments, and abilities are the subject matter. Keep it interesting. If your topic is not generally considered “interesting” such as AR/AP, the presentation of your knowledge still should be. Engage your audience with the value your expertise offers; focus less on the nuts and bolts of debits and credits, and more on how your approach will improve the current process for the prospective employer. Cite examples of savings your approach has garnered in the past.
Many public speakers like to rely on Power Point presentations to drive their talks. Although this is not the worst idea, did you know that the most popular TED Talks do not have multimedia at all? Be mindful of this interesting tidbit and try not to repeat your resume line by line during an interview. Do not use your resume as a crutch. The interviewer will likely be using it as the framework for his questions so you will want to give him more than what is already in front of him. Remember, he chose to interview you based on your resume or you would not be sitting in his office. Your resume has introduced you to the interviewer, now is your opportunity to connect the dots, display your personality, and acute problem-solving capabilities. Remember, the employer has a problem…he needs your talent/expertise/skills and YOU have the answer.
Whether you’re practicing for an interview or scripting your very own TED Talk, rehearse with people who support you. Get their feedback. Seek out different perspectives to hone your improvisational skills. You will feel more in control, the more you prepare. Relax. You got this! For a list of often asked questions by interviewers, feel free to reach out. I am happy to be a sounding board