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Headteacher Interview - Presentation

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Seashellhand, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Hi,

    I have got a Headteacher interview next week - 2 days of interview. Day one is basically a walk around, chat with school improvement officer, chair of govs. Day two is the formal part of the procedure - interview with school council, interview with gov. body and a presentation.

    I am fine with the informal section and the interview itself - it's the presentation that is worrying me.

    I have done loads of presentations in the past but I am not sure how to pitch this one. I have to give it on how I would steer the school following its inspection (which is fine) but its how to present it. I have been told that I can have access to OHP and Digital projector. I would also print everything out as a handout incase of technology melt - down! Do they want my personality to come through this presentation or generic raising standards? How jargon led should it be?

    I know this sounds like a stupid question (even as I am typing it I am thinking I must be going daft) but I want this to be right.

    Any help would be gratefully received!
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    'Generic raising standards'?
    I'm afraid you're way off target there.
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Body language is important. Standing, walking or moving about with appropriate hand gesture or facial expression is preferred to sitting down or standing still with head down and reading from a prepared speech. Use audio-visual aids or props for enhancement if appropriate and necessary. Master the use of presentation software such as PowerPoint well before your presentation. Do not over-dazzle your audience with excessive use of animation, sound clips, or gaudy colours which are inappropriate for your topic. Do not torture your audience by putting a lengthy document in tiny print on an overhead and reading it out to them.

    Speak with conviction as if you really believe in what you are saying. Persuade your audience effectively. The material you present orally should have the same ingredients as that which are required for a written research paper, i.e., a logical progression from INTRODUCTION (Thesis statement) to BODY (strong supporting arguments, accurate and up-to-date information) to CONCLUSION (re-state thesis, summary, and logical conclusion).

    Do not read from notes for any extended length of time although it is quite acceptable to glance at your notes infrequently. Speak loudly and clearly. Sound confident. Do not mumble. If you made an error, correct it, and continue. No need to make excuses or apologize profusely.

    Maintain sincere eye contact with your audience. Use the 3-second method, e.g. look straight into the eyes of a person in the audience for 3 seconds at a time. Have direct eye contact with a number of people in the audience, and every now and then glance at the whole audience while speaking. Use your eye contact to make everyone in your audience feel involved.

    Speak to your audience, listen to their questions, respond to their reactions, adjust and adapt. If what you have prepared is obviously not getting across to your audience, change your strategy mid-stream if you are well prepared to do so. Remember that communication is the key to a successful presentation. If you are short of time, know what can be safely left out. If you have extra time, know what could be effectively added. Always be prepared for the unexpected.

    Pause. Allow yourself and your audience a little time to reflect and think. Don't race through your presentation and leave your audience, as well as yourself, feeling out of breath.

    Add humour whenever appropriate and possible. Keep audience interested throughout your entire presentation. Remember that an interesting speech makes time fly, but a boring speech is always too long to endure even if the presentation time is the same.

    When using audio-visual aids to enhance your presentation, be sure all necessary equipment is set up and in good working order prior to the presentation. If possible, have an emergency backup system readily available. Check out the location ahead of time to ensure seating arrangements for audience, whiteboard, blackboard, lighting, location of projection screen, sound system, etc. are suitable for your presentation.

    Have handouts ready and give them out at the appropriate time. Tell audience ahead of time that you will be giving out an outline of your presentation so that they will not waste time taking unnecessary notes during your presentation.

    Know when to STOP talking. Use a timer or the microwave oven clock to time your presentation when preparing it at home. Just as you don't use unnecessary words in your written paper, you don't bore your audience with repetitious or unnecessary words in your oral presentation. To end your presentation, summarize your main points in the same way as you normally do in the CONCLUSION of a written paper. Remember, however, that there is a difference between spoken words appropriate for the ear and formally written words intended for reading. Terminate your presentation with an interesting remark or an appropriate punch line. Leave your listeners with a positive impression and a sense of completion. Do not belabour your closing remarks. Thank your audience and sit down.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Great work to get this far! But beware of thinking that Day 1 is not an interview.
    Anybody walking or talking with you anywhere is interviewing you . . .
    I remember one candidate, who after the interview as I was courteously walking with him to Reception, said: "Well I'm glad that's over! And you didn't even ask me the question I was dreading!"
    "Oh!", I said. "What question was that?"
    Best of luck.
  5. Wow thank you all for your support!

    Presentation is up and running and hopefully I wont make too much of a fool of myself on the Day One walk around!

  6. Sorry to ask this, but are you really ready for headship if you are coming on here to ask for advice on a presentation? As a governor and Head of Faculty, who has been on several headship interview panels in the past 12 months,I can tell you that what the Governing Body (and reps from Childrens' Services, I assume) is looking for is a response to the task set. No waffle, no unrealistic promises, no false smiles......they will see right through it.........I've seen it happen. Your personality should come through at all stages of the interview process and should, in reality, have started to come through on your application. Do not be sarcastic; do use any data carefully; don't try to be smart or clever; use some humour but remember that you are not a stand-up comic and above all, show that you know where the school is now and where you think it should it be going AND how YOU would take it there. In all the interviews I have been part of, the candidates were not allowed OHPs etc and were given the presentation taks at the end of the first day, so you are lucky in that respect.
  7. I am totally fed up with people patronisingly asking others if they are ready for headship just because they want support from colleagues. Maybe people who are heads now forget what a big step it is to take. Most people don't want to be given the answers they just want to know they are on the right lines. So Nick 1966, I don't think for one minute you're sorry to ask if someone's ready for headship and you're advice was laughable. Don't be sarcastic, don't be too smart or clever. WOW - I would never thought of that!!!!
  8. Well said Jab being good at interviews and being a good headteacher are not necessarily the same thing. Infact some unhelpful posters seem rather naive in that dept. When would anyone be sarcastic at an interview and expect to get it. You might as well have advised 'Don't tell the chair of governors to *** off' or don't hit a child.
    Come on some of you people up your game a little.

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