PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

A few days ago I spoke at a networking program.

I offered tips for succeeding in a group interview.  The plain vanilla title was “Presenting Yourself.”

After my talk I was given the opportunity to sit in on a meeting that featured personal “elevator” speeches from approximately three dozen people.  They each took a couple of minutes to tell the group about their professional experience and job-search focus.

I observed that the best messages shared two, closely-related characteristics. 

First, they emphasized what distinguished the person from others with similar career stories.  The best messages emphasized just two or three significant distinctions.  The speaker didn’t try to stand out by resume length.

Secondly, we didn’t just hear what the person’s experience was; we also heard the benefit that experience would bring to an employer.  As the sales adage goes: features tell, benefits sell.

 Saying as much as possible with the hope that something will make an impression is not an effective strategy.  Focus on dominant distinctions and most-valuable benefits.

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