There are a lot of similarities between giving a speech and going on a job interview. In both situations, you're on show. Your aim is to convince your "audience" of something (like, you're perfect for the job). And you know the audience is watching and judging your every move.
Here's some great advice from some of the country's most popular speakers, which applies equally whether you're in front of one person or a hundred.
1. Research your audience.
Guy Kawasaki, the famous guru of business presentations, once showed up to give a speech in Vancouver dressed in a Canucks jersey, and opened with a personal story that related to the sponsoring organization's mission. This is a great example of playing to the audience/prospective employer's interests and needs; and he couldn't have done it without prior research.
2. Be clear about your message.
Narrow down the points you want to get across until they are crystal clear in your mind, says bestselling public speaking author Carmine Gallo. Only then will you be able to communicate them to your audience/interviewer. Not sure you've got it right? Rehearse with a friend who's unfamiliar with what you do.
3. Bond with your audience.
This might be hard to remember, but interviewers are not the enemy. They WANT you to effectively show what you've got, so they can make the right decision for their company. Try to find some common ground, ideally a problem the company has that you can solve. And make sincere eye contact.
4. Look on the bright side.
No one likes a downer. Imagine sitting in the audience at a concert and having the performers tell you they're jetlagged and won't be at their best, or apologize for every wrong note. No matter what's going on in your head or your life, your audience/hiring manager should only see that you're confident and capable of performing the job above and beyond their expectations.
5. Be appreciative.
Remember that the time and attention of your audience/interviewer is a gift, says Simon Sinek, the third most-watched TED Talks presenter of all time. Always say thank you at the close of an interview, and in your follow-up letter.
With these pro speaking tips on your side, you'll be well on your way to a successful interview experience.