Guest Post by John Dix, Founder, JMD Partnerships

I’ve done a lot of work with professionals at all levels on presentation skills.

Everything from how to physically prepare for a presentation, to content development, to tips to avoid anxiety, to what to do after a presented to guarantee your next presentation is even better
And I have done exactly the same with professionals preparing for an interview. Same preparation, same content development, same tips and techniques. And that’s because when you are interviewing you are presenting …presenting your “self”.

So I’d like to share with you some ideas on how to prepare for a presentation and an interview:

Get a Theme Song
Len Mozzi of Dramatic Difference ( shared this tidbit with me. Watch any late night talk show and you see the host has a theme song. Every night, every show, Johnny Carson’s theme song begins and he enters the stage, with confidence and energy. So get your theme song, get it in your head, listen to it very loudly in the car on the way to your interview and increase your confidence and energy

Loosen Up
That tightness in your neck, stiffness in your shoulders …that’s nervous energy, that rigid tension. If you walk into an interview with that … it will manifest itself in your speaking. So you have to loosen up those muscles. Find a private place to relieve that tension. Jump up and down, do windmills with your arms and rotate that tight neck.

When I prepare for a presentation, I anticipate those areas of the content that could produce the greatest confusion, that might stir up emotions or that I am less familiar with. I have to anticipate that those hurdles and obstacles may trip up my presentation. On the other side of that, I also look for points in the presentation that are going to be “good news” for the audience. Same goes for an interview. What parts of your experiences are particularly extraordinary in terms of your fit for the position? And where are the gaps, what experiences might you lack to win a job offer. How can you address those gaps?

Critique Your Presentation
So how did it go? Whether a presentation or an interview, immediately following the experience take serious time to review how you did. What would you do differently? What areas tripped you up? How was your body feeling during the interview? Make notes and refer back to them for your next interview.

I always go back to the work I have done with the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and remember their tag line. “Preparation is Everything”, so true for cooking but even truer for presentations and interviews.

John Dix is a creative, enthusiastic, and inspiring facilitator who has brought his talents to clients from Sydney to San Francisco. From Leadership and Organizational Development to Change Management, Communications, and Strategic Planning, John has helped some of the world’s largest organizations elevate their talent. Learn more about John at