Love them or hate them ….presentation survial


At some time in your life it is likely that you will have to make a presentation, whether work related or for a social occasion, most remain fearful but elated by the success once completed. It is a life skill and if you follow a few simple guidelines can be quite fulfilling.

Presentations are about communicating information so doing the groundwork and knowing your subject will help you to enthuse and if appropriate move your audience to action. It will also make you confident and help steady those nerves.

Understand your audience – Who are you looking to attract and who might attend, make sure your presentation is relevant and think about the skills they may have this will help with your content and also help to keep your audience engaged.

Set up – Always arrive before your audience make yourself familiar with the location and any electrical equipment you may be using, you don’t want to end up showing a picture of Aunt Bessie at last year’s family Christmas party instead of your financial report! Make time to have a quick run through.

Using Power Point and other Visual aids – This is a great way to illustrate or strengthen your point and to follow structure, but don’t get distracted. When making reference to the power point, graph, picture or whatever stand to the side and avoid putting your back to your audience.

Inflection – Change the tone and volume of your voice, smile if you are saying something amusing this will all help to maintain your audience’s attention and interest in your subject matter. Don’t talk to fast, learn to pause and be enthusiastic about your subject.

Eye Contact – Maintain eye contact during your presentation with members of the audience this will give personal emphasis to what you are saying and make them intent on listening.

Structure – Have a clear structure. Have an introduction so people really understand what your presentation is about and what they can expect. Use facts to delivery your message and conclude with a recap and summing up and make all points relevant and avoid lots of unnecessary detail.

Questions – If it is a good question acknowledge that is as it shows they have been interested in what you have been saying. However , don’t pretend to know something if you don’t, If someone asks a question and you really don’t know the answer be truthful and say that you will find out and get back to them , but make sure then that you do .

Chanel you nerves – try to relax, stand rather than sit and move around a little if possible.

Time Management – Time yourself, know how long your slot is and don’t run over. Keep an eye on the time.

Rehearse – Practice will help you feel prepared.

Present your self – Think about what you might wear, something that makes you feel good and give yourself plenty of time to get ready and arrive refreshed. Don’t forget to thank you audience and your host for their time and help, you might want to return.

So bearing the above in mind go out to do the best you can, take a deep breath and stay focused and you never know you might actually enjoy it!

Assessment Centres – Taking a closer look !


You are very excited as you have managed to get through to a Graduate Assessment Centre for an organisation you would really like to work for , but you are wondering how the assessment days’ work and how you can come out on top.

Assessment Centres can vary in content but the idea is to create an environment where you will work alongside other candidates to demonstrate key skills in the areas of teamwork, Leadership and Management, time management; problem solving and decision making, allowing a future employer to assess how you would fit into their organisation. Making yourself familiar with the process, doing some research and following a few simple rules will help you to prepare and give confidence on the day.

The day itself will be generally made up of a mix of any of the following, Group Exercises, Case Studies, In-tray/ e-tray or other practical exercises, presentations and interviews, not for getting that the social side of coffee breaks and lunch are also an opportunity to show off your networking skills

The Assessors on the day will probably have a list of attributes and competencies they may be looking for, if appropriate you could try to find out so that you have an idea of what you will be measured against. Think about your body language and listening skills throughout the day and manage your time. You will be required to read and process information in the tasks quickly, so picking out the key elements and focusing on these will help.

Group Excercises- Look to contribute but not dominate, listen but do not interrupt and make it an inclusive discussion drawing in quieter members of the group. Stay focused on the objectives of the task be diplomatic and be prepared to compromise if necessary. Put your point across in an assertive but not aggressive way and don’t switch off once you have had your say, remaining engaged throughout.

In tray or e-tray exercises – These are normally made up of all the things you are likely to find in your in tray or inbox and will demonstrate how you process information, prioritise workloads, make decision or act on urgent requests. Before you start read carefully what the task is asking you to do then read through items in the tray to establish which relevant bits you need to action. There is rarely a right or wrong answer to these it is more about the skills you bring to the task.

Presentations – You may be asked prior to the assessment centre to present on a certain subject or you may be given the opportunity to speak on a subject of your choice. Whichever it is keep it simple and something you feel comfortable with. Put structure to your presentation so it is easy to follow. Practice eye contact, smiling and alter the tone in your voice from time to time to accentuate different points to keep your audience engaged. Use visual aids to support you, but if using a power point don’t fill it with too much information, only use key points as it will help to keep your presentation on track. If using a flip chart don’t turn away from your audience and talk to it! Stand to the side, glancing at it when making reference to it. Keep to time and practice to help build your confidence.

Interviews – At some point during the day you may have an interview, make sure you are well prepared, have researched the organisation well and understand what the graduate programme entails so you can ask relevant questions.

Above all don’t worry if you feel nervous about attending an Assessment centre for the first time , just be prepared to engage fully in the day’s activities, present yourself in the best way possible and research as much as you can, this will all help build your confidence, be yourself and enjoy the experience!

Good Luck

How Healthy Is Your Network?


We all apparently know 250 people….. some of you may be responding “yes of course I do?” or “really I don’t even know 10!”. Well when it comes to networking it doesn’t really matter how many we do know it is how we manage the connections we do have. It is also important to continually manage your connections in a strategic way to keep your network current and alive.

When was the last time you sat down to take a strategic look at your current network to see if this is in area you need to do some work on. For most people it becomes important when they find themselves job hunting. Suddenly we start picking up the phone or sending emails to people we haven’t connected with for a very long time in the hope they might know of some suitable roles. This is far from ideal.

A high performer (job hunting or not) continually manages their network, keeps connected with everyone but in different ways and in different timeframes. The skilled networker is just as keen to help others grow their networks and put people in touch with each other as they are to make new connections themselves. There is nothing more rewarding than putting two people in touch with each other that can help both people achieve personal or work goals.

When you sit down to strategically review your network do you have any gaps? Do you have people who challenge your thinking, do you have people who you can go to who inspire you?, do you have people in your network who you can contact when things get really tough and you need some advice? Do you have people in your network who have an equally good network when you are looking to hire people or get specific expert advice on a subject?

What sort of person are you in other peoples network? Its a two way street networking when it works well…….

Summer Jobs a chance to develop and grow your future

The summer holidays is a great time to gain some work experience, learn some important basic skills, start or enhance your CV … and of course earn some money. Now is the time to look for that summer job don’t wait until June/July it will be too late!

The secret is to plan ahead, think about what you want, is it local office work, a job abroad; retail or leisure; events or festivals, or working with animals. Maybe if you are a graduate you want to think about an internship (some of these are unpaid) or maybe if it is adventure and life experience you are after some voluntary work abroad maybe just the thing. So where do you start?

The internet has a huge range of website resources covering all sectors, use your school, college or University careers service, newspapers or notice boards. If it is office work you can register with local agencies, or actively approach organisations in person. Make sure your CV is up to date, this is a good time to start it or enhance it, adding work experience and new skills will help later when you start to apply for fulltime employment. Some jobs may require you to fill in an online application and attach your CV, proactively check this websites every week for new vacancies and register for job alerts.

Be flexible – it might not be the job you want to do for life, but it will gain you a variety of potential skills in the areas of customer service , money handling, data handling, team work and general confidence building but to name a few. Take the opportunity to gain a further insight into the organisation, who knows you may see another job or opportunity that you might like to pursue in the future. Don’t forget that your summer employer could also be a potential referee later.

As with all jobs and a summer one is no exception , research your chosen company , prepare yourself for Interview and present yourself in the best possible way , this may only be a summer job but first impressions count and you never no where it might lead.

So enjoy your summer, there are many outdoor opportunities as well as indoor, earn yourself some money, become more independent, meet new people but above all take the chance to learn some new skills that will start to shape where you want to be in the future.

For help with CV, interviews and beyond visit The Kudos Group

Going back to basics to improve performance


How a week’s skiing took me back to basics.

When things are difficult and beyond our control whether it is taking part in sport or at work sometimes just going back to basics can help to re-focus the mind and tweak bad habits, giving renewed confidence and enhancing performance.

Last week I was on the ski slopes and yes I had a fantastic time. I had good equipment and the great company of my friends, however I couldn’t control the weather!

The first day it snowed creating a white out and bad visibility. I have skied for many years but as I came off the first lift I felt vulnerable and unsteady not knowing where I was or which direction I should be going, the snow was falling thick and fast, however one thing for sure was the only way was down and I knew if I could get below the cloud line I would be able to see. This was a challenge, but listening to voices around me I realised I was not alone so taking into consideration everyone’s abilities we formed a snake and keeping close enough so that we could glimpse the next persons brightly coloured jacket we collectively skied down until we came out of the cloud. Very satisfying team work, at the same time as drawing on every bit of knowledge of these conditions I had ever been taught.

The second day the weather was cloudy producing a flat light which created a different problem as the definition of the snow was difficult to read and the piste was thick and lumpy. I had to think back to my ski school days and draw on the basics I had been taught. So keeping the skis running down the mountain , picking my path and planting my pole decisively to make my turn, this gave me rhythm and style and saved me from falling into a heap! So for two days running I had drawn on my ski school knowledge to help me overcome difficult conditions, not wavering from my decisions and using basic skills to prevent me from falling.

I am pleased to say that the rest of the week we had blue skies and perfect snow. My confidence returned and I skied naturally , however the previous days had reminded me about revisiting some of my basic ski school techniques and now that the sun was shining I took the opportunity to practice some of these, to eradicate some of the bad habits I had fallen into, so increasing my performance with great results!

Sometimes things are outside of our control, they knock our confidence and performance, but by revisiting basic techniques or learning skills can help to refocus the mind, lift the fog, remove bad habits and allow us to perform to our maximum ability.

Very satisfy!

Do we ever get used to change?


Building on the theme of the last Kudos blog everyone I meet at the moment seems to be facing some type of change e.g a new IT system, a new job, a new leader or someone key in the organisation hands in their resignation, you discover a health condition you need to manage, something you planned to do is now cancelled…. the list is endless.

How quickly we adapt to changes like these are vital for both our own well being and the organisations or teams we belong too. Change can cause worry and stress but equally it can be the cause of excitement and new challenge.

Some people thrive on change and get bored if things stay the same too long while others love it when everything is predictable, structured and routine. When we talk to people about what motivates them the discussion can go into these two types of reaction and it helps if you recognise which group you belong too.

High performers and those interdependent people, we all strive to be and love to work alongside always have the ability to adapt quickly to changes and embrace new situations.

So if you ever find yourself thinking or saying any of the phrases in the photo above think again. Could you look at the situation differently and maybe the change wont be as difficult as you originally thought. Try it the next time a change comes your way, and it will do very soon !

Changing Jobs – Leaving the Comfort Zone and how a job coach can help


There are many reason why we need to change jobs, a dislike, redundancy, ill health or just a need to take ourselves out of our comfort zone. We like familiar things, we enjoy being surrounded with people we feel at ease with; we like our 10.30 cup of coffee and we like our surroundings, after all it is important that you wake up in the morning wanting to go to work. Whatever the reason if you want to progress you know it is time for a change, so what is stopping you?

It may be a long time since you have been in the jobs market, and although you promised yourself to keep your CV up to date it probably needs a good overhaul to make it more current and truly reflect your most up to date skills. Most of us use social media these days and many recruiters will check out your online activities, would yours be update, or maybe you don’t have a social media presence at all. Then there’s thoughts of attending an interview, maybe you haven’t done that for some time or since leaving school! For those who suddenly find themselves in this situation through redundancy it can be quite frightening, and for those stepping outside their comfort zone it is a daunting prospect, but what of the opportunities you may be missing.

A fresh challenge, meeting new people, reminding yourself of what you are good at, personal development and reward has a real feel good factor. So how can using a job coach help? We understand how terrifying it can be to leave a job, some people jump without a plan in place, but a more strategic approach would give you a revitalized sense of purpose. Using a job coaching service will provide you with a good source of help, confidence, inspiration, and feedback and can help you to present yourself in the best way possible to help you secure that job. A job coach can help you identify gaps, overview you’re CV, help with mock interview techniques, focus on social media and more….

So when it comes to getting outside your comfort zone think about putting a solid plan in place, this will renew your confidence, highlight all those things you are good at and have probably forgotten and help you to present yourself in the best possible way . This will help you to adapt to the market place and help you to secure that all important new job.

For more information- kudos My job coach visit