Some FRS are starting to use presentations as part of their promotion assessment process. The format of these isn’t standardised i.e. there wasn’t a presentation exercise in the national assessment process which current exercises can be modelled on. Therefore, how the exercise works can vary.
The good news is that a presentation exercise is unlikely to contain any huge surprises.
- You may be given a topic before the assessment to allow you to do some pre-preparation.
- You may be given the topic heading on the assessment day and a short amount of preparation time before you begin.
- You may be given a selection of information to evaluate and decide what you need to focus on in your presentation.
- You may present to assessors who will make notes on your performance but not interact with you
- You may present to the assessors who will then ask questions (either from a set list of questions applicable to all candidates, or unstandardized ones unique to your presentation).
- The assessors may ask these questions either as themselves, or playing a specific role (relevant to the scenario)
- You may have role-players to question you on your presentation, completely separate from the assessors
The good news is that your scenario will be explained before you begin the exercise, so don’t worry too much about the specifics.
What might the presentation topics cover?
Any presentation is probably going to be relevant to the role you are applying to. Even if your FRS is using exercises set in a context external to the FRS the type of topics will seem relevant to a post of an equivalent level.
Topics may be knowledge or technical based or more interested in your perspective or opinion relevant to the organisation and your role.
- Crew/ Watch Manager – prepare a presentation on how xxx FRS has improved safety and wellbeing with reference to a specific community group in your area in the last 6 months
- Station/ Group Manager – prepare a presentation on how your organisation can meet its new annual targets in 4 key areas with reference to the performance data supplied
- Area/ Brigade Manager – prepare a presentation on the key challenges facing the organisation over the next 5 years and how these can be successfully overcome
What will be assessed?
Presentation exercises give assessors the opportunity to assess aspects such as:
- Confidence and credibility in front of an audience
- Leadership on the topic and ability to inspire
- Communication of summaries and ideas in an accessible way
- Use of data, facts and wider information
- Prioritisation and next step planning
- How engaging and influential you are
- How well you cope with pressure
- Flexibility in handling unexpected questions
- Ability to adapt to change and/or understand wider factors
Difficulties with the presentation
- accurately identifying what needs to be included
- overcoming nerves and anxiety
- staying focused and concise
- conveying information in an accessible way
- creating and sticking to a suitable structure
- summarising and forming conclusions
- building on your initial content in response to questions
The only way to fully prepare for this type of exercise is:
- Gain access to key strategies and tips to help you avoid common mistakes
- Practice using supplied information to put together a practice presentation
- Present the information to an experienced but impartial audience in a mock exercise
- Have your performance professionally evaluated and feedback given
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