Coaching for interviews and presentations

Seize the opportunity

Because even scientists have to put on a show sometimes

Are you preparing for an important interview? Perhaps you’ve been invited to speak on television or the radio, “audition” for a new job, or present your grant or fellowship project to the panel of a funding body. You’ve come a long way, and now the focus is on giving that interview your best shot. How? At Mind Your Way, we specialise in offering tailored coaching to help you prepare for that crucial moment in your career.

Body language and mimicry, storytelling and voice projection, dress, grooming, and social etiquette, as well as team dynamics when presenting as a group – each and every one of these indicators can help pave your way to success. Whether you relish the thought of selling your ideas or avoid it like the plague, the outcome of your efforts will undeniably be shaped by how you present yourself. So, a bit of show business is an inescapable reality – you may as well make the most of it!

Impressions are formed quickly and unconsciously. We want you and your team to look both highly competent and likeable! To this end, there is much room to improve on the small but crucial verbal and nonverbal behaviours that influence the rapid judgements others will form of you on the interview day.

Verbal communication

When coaching you on verbal presentation skills, we will take a close look at how you tell your story – is it exciting, compelling, and memorable? We will also discuss voice projection and speed: Can people hear you from the back of the room? Are you speaking so fast that no one can follow? And do you make use of the power of the pause? To prepare you for awkward or difficult questions (you never know what’s coming!), we will help you develop proactive response strategies that are sure to get you out of any corner with dignity and charm.

Nonverbal influencers

Posture, body language, and how you move through space and stand in a room all impact on how others perceive you and your message. The same is true for dress and grooming, the two most underrated influencers of first impressions. Coaching for nonverbal communication is exhilarating and profound if you are willing to play the game!

We take our clients to the hairdresser, or shopping for that interview outfit, and we pause them every two minutes throughout their PowerPoint presentation: “Wait, step forward here for more emphasis, yes. Watch your fingers, they look like pistols – you don’t want to shoot the panel!” We love watching the surprising and inspirational transformation of clients who are committed to the process.

Team dynamics

When presenting as a group, projecting cohesion is vital. For a well-rounded picture, you will want to come across as a strong, unified team, with an emphasis on complementary skills and expertise. Too often, we observe quarrelling (open or covert) among group members, with unresolved issues throwing a spanner in the works of success. If required, we coach team members through any lingering conflict, and ensure that internal antagonism is resolved before the big day.

Even the most harmonious teams benefit from supporting the impression of team cohesion through a range of verbal and non-verbal strategies – from sitting order and dress code, to dialogic strategies that help ensure everyone has a say and speaks to their strengths.

Social etiquette

Some things are so basic and commonsensical that you’d be forgiven for thinking they don’t require coaching for. Etiquette is one of these basics: a code of conduct that outlines what is good form in social interactions. Think a confident, well-measured handshake, a respectful “thank you”, and keeping personal hygiene out of the public eye.

Surprisingly, we often have to coach individuals and teams on these rules of etiquette, and observe a wild diversity of behaviours that look anything from ignorant to disrespectful and plain rude. Be it the suppression of a yawn, the encouragement to smile (at least occasionally!), the reminder not to bite nails publicly, and to keep mobile phones and computers off the table in moments that matter, or the imperative to let others pose their questions uninterruptedly – feedback on social etiquette forms a routine part of our coaching for interviews and presentations.

Are you interested in learning more about this coaching service?

Contact us today to discuss your needs.