PRESENTATION SKILLS

Written material

Regardless of how your message reaches a recipient, from your CV and emails to networking websites, each medium showcases your grasp of spelling and grammar, amplifying any errors that are made. Spell checking by versions of English used and, where necessary, translation from one language to another ought to be a routine part of any written communication you undertake. Not only do these efforts best represent you, but in many cases they will also represent your employer or organisation(s) of association.

Superfluous and deictic terms are unnecessary. Be concise and say what you need to in as few words as possible, then review and edit your own writing.

Importantly, many written communications are by their nature emotionless and there are countless cases where text has been misinterpreted. Never respond in writing when you are angry.

Emails, text messages and other written documents, like diamonds, last forever.

Verbal

A calm confident voice says a great deal about the person. A common scenario worth considering as example is one where you receive a phone call without warning. Treat it like a first interview and always answer your phone with a happy positive greeting, regardless of the tone or matter the caller presents to you. If you do not know what your voice sounds like, play back your personalised voicemail message and always be mindful that other people may be on the line, or later listen to what you have had to say and how it has been said.

Use simple clear language and do not rush. Even in a complex technical industry like mining, industry abbreviations and terminology can be difficult to follow and easily misunderstood. Abbreviations can also mean different things in different regions and industries.

Countenance

Putting thought into your appearance ought to be a matter of pride and professionalism. Clothes and accessories should be clean, fit for purpose and with no need for repair, regardless of budget or occasion.

Body language

Small adjustments can make a big difference. Walking, shaking hands and maintaining eye contact with confidence are three simple steps to doing this. Other common mistakes include bad posture and nervous habits.

Homework

Having sent out many CVs, it is important to not lose track and convey a level of interest and understanding when a recipient company makes contact with you. Always be prepared to ask informed questions about the person interviewing you and about the company, without getting personal or overly bullish.

Make a list of basic points to ask during your initial conversation(s). Not only had you ought to convey interest and intellect, but there are important details you ought to seriously consider before progressing an opportunity with a potential employer. You are interviewing them while they are interviewing you.

Control your attention

Introduce yourself and take note of the other person’s name. Do not be afraid to ask them to spell it for you.

If you are one of the many individuals liable to doodling rather than making notes in meetings, or constantly checking your phone, remove all social props and distractions from reach.

Listen to questions and discussions carefully. Those interviewing you will be well-prepared and may even ask surprising or out-of-context questions to see how you react. If a conversation proves tiresome, don’t despair. Ask questions which will help to guide participants back to the matter in hand, and afford them the time to do so.