In 12+years of working full time, I somehow have managed, until this day, to get away with never doing a single presentation for an interview. I’ve always hated presentations, and I have a particular distaste for mock presentations where everything is fake, but everyone involved has to pretend it is all real. I’ve always thought that because I didn’t enjoy presentations that I wasn’t actually good at it. My friends and colleagues, though, who have all seen me present, have said that watching me, they would never have guessed I hated it, and that it appears that it comes naturally to me. I guess fake it until you make it? My former colleague and now friend made a good point to me, though: “There’s a difference between hating something and actually not being good at it. You may hate the process of putting the deck together or the delivery of it, but no one else has any idea at all because your delivery is good.”
So I gave a presentation for about 45 minutes today to a panel of six participants. And as I suspected, a couple people decided to throw in some curve balls to throw me off guard to see how calm and collected I could be under pressure. What I always remind myself in these tense situations is to a) breathe, b) think about the question before I speak, and c) as a result of b, do NOT use stupid filler words like “um,” or “uhh,” and instead, pause and use silence as my time to think, as that will actually make me come across as more thoughtful and deliberate.
It seemed to work. The recruiter emailed me a few hours later and said that all signs were quite positive post presentation.