How to apply

The Individual Presentation

If your application has attracted interest you might have to do an interview and give a presentation. This article will show you what organisations require from presentations.
Stay calm in your presentation
Stay calm in your presentation

There are different types of presentation. Some organisations want you to give a self-presentation about your skills and experience, while others are on a specific topic. The preparation time that is allowed can also vary.

How should I present myself?

You will usually be expected to give a 10 minute presentation following five minutes of preparation time. Throughout you should appear flexible, structured and confident. And remember all the other candidates will be nervous too. Nerves show how important it is to you to receive the scholarship. Sometimes you will be asked questions during your presentation. If this happens try to stay calm. Also, it is important to try to finish in time. If your presentation is too short you will leave the impression that you don’t feel confident talking about your achievements. A presentation that is too long will leave the impression that you are not good at summarising your arguments.

Choose the content wisely. You should pick a creative and interesting opening as it will help the interviewers remember you. After the opening, present the most important parts of your CV. Focus on your experiences and achievements that relate to the goals of the scholarship. If you are applying to an organisation that values social involvement, you should talk about how you have direct experience.

If flipcharts or blackboards are available you should use them if possible. They allow you to visually support what you are saying and make it more memorable. You can use pre-drawn graphics when sufficient preparation time is given, or show the content visually on a blackboard or a flipchart while you are talking. This is one way to show that you are professional and dynamic.

What should I pay attention to when giving a presentation on a specific topic?

Instead of giving a presentation about yourself you might be asked to talk about a specific topic. Usually you will be given the topic before the presentation which will allow you to prepare and structure your thoughts. You might get an assigned topic before the selection day so you can prepare at home. Or you might have to prepare in a very short period of time while at your interview. In the second case you will be rated on how well you can perform under pressure.

When presenting on a topic the interviewers will want to see how well you can put your case across and structure your arguments. At the end of your presentation you should give a conclusion. Even if you are given an emotional topic you should present the issue in an objective and structured way.

How do I prepare myself best for my presentation?

If you have to give a presentation about yourself make sure you prepare at home in advance. If you are given a topic on the day of the selection spend as much time as you can gathering information and arranging the main arguments. If you are worried about forgetting something you should write your main points on index cards or note paper. Make sure your notes are easy to read, and avoid using A4 sheets of paper. Even if you don’t have much preparation time you should concentrate on making the opening as good as possible. This will help you get people’s attention from the start. And at the end of your presentation you should ask if there are any questions, then close by saying thank you.