Final Assessment Focus - Perfecting Your Presentation

Posted on 23 / 08 / 17
by jenLemenHogarth

Final Assessment Focus - Perfecting Your Presentation

Building a better you 

This blog article will focus on your final assessment - specifically about how you can perfect your case study presentation. 

If you are sitting your RICS APC this Autumn, then why not consider:

  • Ordering a RICS APC question pack based on your final assessment submission
  • Booking a RICS APC mock interview (BristolManchester and 1 slot left for London, other locations/dates by contacting 07491 252 025/jen@property-elite.co.uk) 
  • Booking a place on an RICS APC revision conference in Bristol, Manchester or London

Why is this relevant?

A key component of your RICS APC is the final assessment interview. 

The interview lasts 1 hour and is structured as follows:

  • 3-4 minutes - introduction by the chairperson
  • 10 minutes - your case study presentation
  • 10 minutes - case study and presentation questioning
  • 25 minutes - assessors' questioning
  • 10 minutes - chairperson's questioning, with a focus on mandatory competencies, ethics and Rules of Conduct
  • 1-2 minutes - chairperson closes the interview, including your opportunity to go back to any questions - you have the last word!

In this article, we will focus specifically on your case study presentation. 

Future articles will look at other aspects of your preparation and final assessment interview elements.

We will consider:

  • What is the case study presentation?
  • What are the assessors looking for?
  • How long do I have?
  • Can I use presentation software?
  • Can I take in visual aids?
  • Can I take in cue cards or a script?
  • Can I take in an iPad or laptop?
  • What should my presentation include?
  • How do I structure my presentation?
  • How do I present effectively?
  • How can I improve my presentation skills?
  • Property Elite's top 10 presentation tips

What is the case study presentation?

This is the first main element of your final assessment interview. 

What are the assessors looking for?

  • Level 3 reasoned advice across more than 1 competency
  • Good presentation skills
  • Professional presentation (written/verbal/non-verbal)
  • Effective communication
  • Logical structure
  • A competent surveyor in front of them!

How long do I have?

10 minutes, no more and no less. 

If you go over the 10 minutes, the chairperson will stop you. There's nothing more off-putting than being stopped mid-sentence, so read on and we'll help you to perfect your presentation...

The most important thing to do is practice, practice and practice even more. Prepare your presentation and practice giving it to anyone and everyone you know - make sure you use a stopwatch each time to check how close you are to 10 minutes.

By the time you come to sit your assessment, you should be a natural at giving your presentation within 10 minutes. Remember on the day to take your time to speak calmly - it's easy to rush if you are nervous.

Can I use presentation software?

Simply put, no. There are no presentation facilities. You do have other options though...

Can I take in visual aids?

Yes! These are great. Consider taking in an A4/A3 flipchart or one page handout for the panel. If you take the latter, make sure you have 5 copies (3 for your panel, 1 for you and 1 spare in case you lose/ruin one of the others).

Keep the visual aids relatively simple. 

Things you could include are:

  • Location map
  • Photo of your property
  • Table of comparable evidence
  • Other table or photograph to support your presentation

Some tips for presentation of your visual aids:

  • Make sure that any text is large enough to read and in a visible colour and font style
  • Print in sufficiently high quality and make the formatting as professional as possible
  • If you include text, use bullet points and keep the text as concise as possible
  • Don't use comic sans...

The visual aid is a great opportunity to show that you can communicate effectively in written and graphic/image format, so ensure that you make the most of it.

Can I take in cue cards or a script?

We love cue cards, we really don't like scripts. 

Cue cards can help to keep you on track and jog your memory if your lose your place. Keep them brief and to the point and make sure that you can read your own writing. Even better, print them out if you prefer.

You shouldn't need a script if you have prepared thoroughly - it doesn't look professional and won't inspire confidence in the assessors. You have plenty of time to prepare so there's no reason for your presentation being anything less than amazing.

Can I take in an iPad or laptop?

No - we don't recommend doing this.

You won't have access to a power socket and generally if something can go wrong with IT, it will (and usually at the worst possible moment). 

Screens are also generally small and hard to read from across the table.

In all honesty, there's no real reason you would need to take an iPad or laptop into the interview - focus on being the best you instead. 

What should my presentation include?

Your presentation should demonstrated your reasoned advice, i.e. level 3 competencies. Try to cover at least one, if not more, in your presentation.

The assessors will already have read your case study in full, so we recommend focussing your presentation on one of your key issues. This will enable you to go into further depth on an interesting or challenging issue, which will add to what the assessors already know.

Also remember that you only have 10 minutes and there's no way you could cover everything (all 3,000 words) in this short time period. It's likely that you'll only be able to cover c. 1,200-1,400 words within 10 minutes.

For example, a case study on a lease renewal could translate into a presentation which focuses on the key issue of assessment of rental value (i.e. comparable evidence and valuation) or negotiations including serving notices and/or interim rent advice. 

Your visual aids should, of course, be relevant to the content of your presentation.

How do I structure my presentation?

Tell the assessors a good story about your case study. 

This means that you'll need to introduce your case study, include the main bulk of content and then end by discussing your achievements and what you learnt from your involvement.

A good introduction (c. 1 minute) will run over the key points from your case study, e.g. what was your role, what was the instruction and an overview of the property/instruction/project. Make the background details relevant and avoid using up your 10 minutes on too much general information - just discuss enough context to make your key issue relevant.

You could also update the panel on any advancements on your project or instruction since submitting your documentation.

The main section (c. 5 minutes) will focus on your chosen key issue. It should include evidence of achieving level 3 in the related competencies - how and why did you provide reasoned advice to your client. 

Make sure you know the detail of your case study so you don't trip yourself up on any challenging or complex issues. 

The concluding section (c. 4 minutes) should discuss your achievements (perhaps focus on 2-3 points) and then what you learnt from your involvement with the case study (again 2-3 points). 

The above timings are approximate, but do provide a guide as to how to structure your content accordingly.

How do I present effectively?

  • Be aware of your speed of delivery - it can be easy to rush if you are nervous
  • Make sure you speak clearly and coherently
  • Keep your body language positive or, at the very least, neutral - it's often the first thing that people are aware of, even before they hear and interpret what you are saying. For example, don't fidget (put your hands in your lap or on the table if you're prone to this), don't put your hands in front of your mouth, gesticulate if it's natural to you but don't be too wild...
  • Ask for honest feedback when you practice your presentation in front of friends, family and colleagues. Even better, video yourself and analyse what you see. It's tough, but it's worth it to put across the best you
  • If you are prone to nervous shaking, don't hold your cue cards. Put them on the desk and flip them over when needed

Property Elite's top 10 presentation tips

  1. Practice, practice, practice
  2. It's natural to be nervous, just try to be calm and use your preparation to give you confidence in your ability
  3. Use your nerves to feel positive, enthusiastic and ready for the interview - a bit like Usain Bolt before the 100m sprint
  4. Watch other presentations (on anything, not just the APC) - look at what you find effective and replicate this in your presentation. You might also notice things that you wouldn't want to do in your presentation
  5. Visualise - it might sound a bit soft, but run through the case study presentation in your head. Imagine what could go wrong and run through the various scenarios to work out how you'd deal with them
  6. Remember that the panel want to listen and want you to succeed - you have a sympathetic and interested audience. Make the most of it
  7. If you feel too nervous at any time, take a deep breath and count to three. Collect your thoughts and carry on
  8. Smile - this is a sign of confidence and can kick your nerves out of touch
  9. Think about your posture - don't slouch, sit upright and look as professional and confident as you can
  10. Keep things simple - focus on presenting a clear and coherent message to your audience

How can I improve my presentation skills?

We really like some of these resources. Just remember that this is a professional presentation and you have to present within the confines of the APC requirements.

  • Some great TED talks on how to present effectively
  • Public speaking via TED talks
  • How to give a killer presentation
  • Presenting like a pro
  • Advice from UWE Bristol on giving presentations
  • Talk to us about your concerns - we offer a free 30 minute consultation to all RICS APC candidates (just call Jen on 07491 252 025)

Want to know more?

  • Order a RICS APC question pack based on your final assessment submission
  • Book a Property Elite mock interview (BristolManchester and 1 slot left for London, other locations/dates by contacting 07491 252 025/jen@property-elite.co.uk) 
  • Book a place on an APC revision conference in BristolManchester or London

Stay tuned for our next blog post to help build a better you