Gaining an Edge: Presentation as a Package vs. a La Carte

So what’s the big deal about strengthening your presentation skills? A lot, if increasing your influence with the hiring managers and creating a reputation as the “go to” person for recruiting is important to you. This is a description of presentation that goes far beyond the old interpretations of platform skills such as poise and dressing for success. While personal presentation and effective speaking are important elements of your presentation, there are several other elements that are equally potent though less conventionally addressed.

When faced with hiring managers who are busy (and some less interested then they should be) and with the best candidates shopping options, like it or not, how you present becomes as important (we would say more important) than what you present.

While brevity and fact-based presentation are key today, if what you present is a recitation of the facts about a candidate, ranking them using some algorithm, this can be, quite frankly, boring. How do you get the hiring manager to not only want to meet with you, but also to listen to you, seek your advice, and respond? It’s in your presentation. For example, when you start working with a hiring manager and as the process continues:

  • Are you fearful about bothering them in approaching them with your concerns or questions?
  • How responsive are you? Are you slow because you are seeking the “perfect candidate”?
  • How good are you at building relationships?
  • How focused are you on the hiring managers’ issues and needs? Have you inquired as to their key priorities for the role?
  • Are you interesting to talk to and meet with? Do you bring energy, knowledge, and value-add ideas to the discussions?
  • Do you conduct yourself like a peer or subordinate?

These questions reflect the “intangible” elements of presentation. Many recruiters we meet believe that their value is predominantly in identifying and bringing good candidates to the table. Yes, this is certainly their role, though only a part of their potential value. And strong presentation will help you expand your value.

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Start acting like a peer, bring distinctive and useful knowledge to the discussion, demonstrate beyond what is expected, look and be impressive, and you will be seen differently. Presentation is a package, and the ol’ a la carte approach will only take you so far.

The Techniques for Highly Effective Recruiters pre-conference workshop we’re giving at the Fall Expo will address these issues and more to help you increase your effectiveness and impact as a recruiter in your organization. And yes — it’s in your presentation.

Tony Kubica and Sara LaForest are co-Founders of Kubica LaForest Consulting. They are management consultants, business performance improvement specialists, and executive coaches helping businesses and individuals accelerate their growth and adapt to the changing needs of the marketplace.