Do you need help in preparing a presentation in Firefighter recruitment process? It’s something that causes a lot of stress for applicants! Despite being confident about taking on every other aspect of the challenging application process and role, people are often filled with dread at the thought of standing up and speaking in front of a group of people.
Why do I need to prepare a presentation?
As part of your role as a Firefighter, you’ll be expected to communicate efficiently with those in the local community.
This could take the form of home visits or fire safety checks, or community or school talks. Therefore the recruitment team want to know that you can get the point across clearly, and answer any questions your audience might have.
When will I have to start preparing a presentation in the Firefighter Recruitment Process?
Usually this will be at one of two points – either as part of the Assessment Day or in your one to one interview.
Don’t worry though – you’ll be given full instructions on how to prepare, and the topic!
Depending on the service you apply to, and the social restrictions in place at the time, you may be asked to do the virtually over a video call.
The presentation will normally be short – around five minutes. Although we know that this can seem like a very long time when you’re the one doing the talking!
Will I have to answer questions?
You may have to answer questions on your presentation from assessors ‘role-playing‘ as the appropriate audience for your topic.
The assessors might use a set list of questions applicable to all candidates, or make up ones unique to your presentation. On the other hand, they may just take notes, and ask no questions at all!
You should be told in advance whether to expect questions, but It’s a good idea to be prepared, just in case!
Preparing a Presentation in the Firefighter Recruitment Process
Preparation is one of the most important parts of a good presentation!
- Think about your audience and their background to decide on how you deliver your presentation.
- Be realistic about how much material you can cover – it’s important to keep within the time limit.
- Remember that the presentation is telling a story, and that this needs to be logical to the audience.
- Learn as much about the subject as you can to help boost confidence in your delivery. It also improves flow and helps with questioning.
- If you’re reading from notes in your presentation, use key words and phrases in your notes to jog your memory rather than sentences.
It’s important to structure your presentation too. Usually, oral presentations have three main stages:
- The introduction
- The body (the presentation itself)
Practise at home by rehearsing in front of a mirror or members of your family, and try to think about any questions that you could be asked.
A few tips to remember in the presentation itself are to:
- Smile and make eye contact!
- Begin by introducing yourself. State the topic clearly and give an outline of what you will cover.
- Face the audience as you speak.
- If you get nervous, take deep breaths and use natural pauses in the content to calm yourself. The recruitment team will understand if you’re a little ill at ease!
- Don’t rush – speak slowly and clearly.
- Vary your tone of voice by changing volume, pitch and intonation – don’t speak in a monotone!
Finally, if you are asked questions, try to answer simply and directly. And importantly, if you don’t have the answer, say so – don’t try to ‘waffle’ or blag your way out of it. Offer a helpful solution like “I’ll have to check the details on that and get back to you”.