The EPSO Oral Presentations are an excellent opportunity to offer information and connect directly to your targeted audience. They are a fantastic outlet to present yourself in the best light possible and make a good impression on the assessors. As many benefits as oral presentations offer, some find it challenging to speak in public and perform with confidence. You will find yourself tested on competencies such as Analysis and Problem-solving, Communicating, Delivering quality & results and Resilience. With the following tips you’d be able to get a handle on oral presentations and impress your audience!
Before any oral presentation, think about what it is that you would like to achieve. Do you need to convince your audience of something or are you simply presenting information? Are you to entertain or educate them? How would you like to be remembered? If you are able to formulate a clear goal, then you would have something objective to work towards and are more likely to be successful.
Even if you are well-informed on the topic you will talk about, do some additional research. This way you might discover new, intriguing facts. More importantly, you will ensure that you are thoroughly prepared for any questions your audience might ask, which will portray you as more respectable and trustworthy. Last but not least, if you are well-prepared your confidence will sky-rocket and nerves will have a hard time settling in.
Even if the facts you will present are interesting, the effect may be lost due to poor organization. Think about the succession of individual facts on how to best tie them together. Also make sure you practice your EPSO oral presentation beforehand and consider the time frame.
Let’s face it – nobody likes to be bored. If you don’t want your assessors to experience this feeling which will be well masked by their professional attitude during the interview, make sure you know what will captivate them. You don’t have to pretend to be one of them, but try to think about what they are interested in, what they expect to hear from you and how formal they would expect you to be. Consider European Institutions culture in order to make sure you stay appropriate.
While some people have a better vocal memory, they remember things they hear, others have a stronger visual memory – what they see remains in their mind. Having a strong visual aid will help captivate your assessors and will certainly enhance your presentation. You won’t be able to use generic slides but you could draw attention by referencing to a relevant paragraph from the papers you received before the interview – try incorporating something more colorful and creative, while staying occasion-appropriate.
Language can be a powerful tool if you know how to use it. Firstly, try not to read off of support papers or to memorize every word of your presentation. Both will likely come off as fake and dull. It is best to sound natural, so have flash cards with bullet points, but paraphrase the information as you go. Use engaging words such as “listen” “look” “imagine” – these expressions help your audience spring into action and pay more attention to you. To keep people’s interest, try to speak loudly and clearly, while avoiding a monotonous tone of voice.
Taking the EPSO oral presentation exam can make you feel very nervous and undermine your self-confidence. Unfortunately, being overly nervous can make you forget information, freeze or act in undesirable ways. This cloud has a silver lining though – there are many relaxation techniques you can use to deal effectively with nervousness. Slow, calm breathing and positive visualization can really help. Try not to think of yourself and the way you might look – instead, focus on your audience and keep eye contact with them.
The EPSO Oral presentations could in the end be a great opportunity to stand out during the Assessment Centre and a fun way to get people to remember you. Although presenting might sometimes be a little stressful, with the tips above you will master this skill and captive your audience!
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