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What are presentation exercises? How are presentation exercises assessed? How to prepare for assessment exercises? If these are questions on your mind, then this is the guide for you.

In this text, we go into depth about presentation exercises in an assessment centre. We discuss what a presentation exercise is, give examples of presentation exercises in an assessment centre, and learn how presentation exercises are assessed.

Our website provides a complete package of assessment centre practice tests that could be used to prepare for presentation exercises in the recruitment process. Start your practice to prepare for a presentation exercises.

Wondering whether you should be practising to prepare for your presentation exercises? Around one third of employers use assessment centres in their application process.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD, 2020)


  1. What are Presentation Exercises?
  2. Why are Presentation Exercises used at Assessment Centres?
  3. What Industries use Presentation Exercises?
  4. How are Presentation Exercises Assessed?
  5. Presentation Assessment Example
  6. Top 7 Tips to Prepare for Presentation Exercises
  7. Presentation Exercises FAQs

What are Presentation Exercises?

Presentation exercises are most commonly used in assessment centres by employers to evaluate the skills and abilities of candidates during the final stages of the recruitment process. Applicants are often given a candidate brief beforehand and are required to prepare to present on a given topic related to a company or industry.

Good to know: If you are applying for a sales role where you are likely to present to clients, then this would be a likely exercise to expect in an interview or assessment centre. This is because a presentation exercise helps the employer assess the skills and business acumen required for a sales position.

Presentation exercises look at how well you communicate your ideas to others, whether these are clients, fellow co-workers or managers. For the sales example mentioned above, excellent communication skills will be key for the salesperson to pitch their idea effectively to their client.

What happens during a presentation exercise?

  1. During a presentation assessment centre test, you are placed in a room with other candidates applying for the same role.
  1. You will be given a strict time limit to prepare your presentation based on your analysis of the topic and instructions provided.
  1. You are also likely to have access to appropriate stationary materials such as markers and flipcharts.
  1. The assessor will then take you into another room where they will conduct the presentation to an assessor. Often, only one or two assessors will be present.
  1. There will be a fixed time limit to present, after which there will be time for questions.
  1. Ensure not to exceed this set time limit and give it your best shot when engaging with questions!

Good to know: Presentations can also be conducted virtually as well. Similarly, candidates will be required to prepare a presentation online using PowerPoint through Zoom, MS Teams, Google Meet etc. Candidates will still be assessed on their spoken language, tone of voice, and how they present slides.

Assessment centre presentation
Assessment Centre Presentation
Source: FreePik

Practice assessment centre presentations to improve your performance and impress your employers. Develop your presentation skills with full assessor marking guides through practising Assessment Centre Exercises prepared by experts.

Now that we know what presentation exercises are, let’s take a look at why they are commonly used by employers.

Why are Presentation Exercises used at Assessment Centres?

The main purpose of assessment centre presentation exercises is to assess your ability to communicate your ideas and topic effectively. Recruiters most often use presentations to further sift out candidates before a final interview.

Good to know: Employers can get a more thorough picture of a candidate’s skills, competencies, and appropriateness for a job through assessment centres exercises. Often assessment centres also include: role play scenarios, group activities, written exercises or in-tray simulations

Employers can use presentation exercises to predict a prospective employee’s ability to communicate to their clients effectively and demonstrate the skills necessary to succeed within a particular role. 

What do presentation exercises measure?

Although the specific skills measured may vary depending on the role and the employer, the majority of presentation exercises assess candidates for the following skills:

  • Communication: Effective communication and the ability to adapt to your audience is key. Consider when to be more succinct and how technical to be with your choice of words.
  • Planning and Organising: Pulling together your ideas on the basis of the instructions and topic give assessors an insight into how well you can translate ideas into action.
  • Critical Thinking: Employers want to see you interrogate the information provided. Can you think critically to come up with meaningful recommendations?
  • Problem Solving: A pragmatic approach to the topic or problem at hand will be looked for. Adopt a ‘can-do’ attitude and weigh up which solutions may be better than others.
  • Creativity: Think outside of the box and bring your own unique perspective to the presentation. Innovation and thinking beyond the norm is welcomed in an ever-changing world.
  • Customer Excellence: The topic may involve some element of customer interaction, particularly for more customer-facing roles. A rule of thumb is to put yourself in the shoes of the customer to truly understand and put them first.

Overall, presentation exercises provide companies a useful chance to evaluate an employee’s communication skills and capacity to show off the abilities required to be successful in a given profession. 

But which companies use presentation assessments? Keep reading to find out!

What Industries use Presentation Exercises?

You can find examples of presentation assessments across virtually all industries. Some of the most common industries that use presentation exercises to assess their employees’ ability to perform well are:

  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Sales
  • HR
  • Customer Service
  • Government and public administration
  • Law
  • Healthcare
  • Education

These industries often require employees who have strong communication skills. Therefore, assessing these skills through presentation exercises can be an effective way to identify top candidates who are confident and can effectively express their ideas.

Flipchart presentation exercise
Flipchart Presentation Exercise
Source: FreePik

Additionally, presentation assessment centre exercises may be used to gauge confidence, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Did you know? Assessment centre exercises such as presentations are most commonly used for candidates applying to graduate and internship positions. However, some professional roles will also include presentation exercises to assess key skills.

Which employers use presentation exercises?

Here are just some of the companies that use presentation exercises as part of their hiring processes:

MicrosoftRolls RoycePwC
NestleMcKinsey & Company

In PwC’s recruitment process for example, notice that they have many layers and tests in the hiring process, including game-based assessments. However, many roles at PwC require candidates to take a presentation exercise as part of the Career Focus assessment centre.

For those applying to PwC, check out our dedicated employer guide here!

So how do recruiters assess candidates using presentation exercises? Continue reading as we cover this below!

How are Presentation Exercises Assessed?

Presentation exercises are often assessed using slightly different marking criteria by employers depending upon the specific requirements and objectives of the job role and the company. Typically, you will be assessed on the following areas:

  • Content: The use of visual aids throughout, does the structure of the presentation flow well?
  • Preparation: Is it clear that the candidate had developed a plan and prepared the presentation in a timely manner?
  • Timeliness: Does the presentation flow well and comfortably finish within the time limit? Has the candidate rushed through?
  • Engagement: How well does the candidate interact with the assessor/audience? Are all of the audience questions answered?
  • Confidence: Is the candidate convincing in their pitch? Are they enthusiastic about their topic?

Good to know: The assessment criteria will depend on the particular setting and goal of the presentation exercises. For example, a sales presentation might place more emphasis on the appeal to the target audience and the ability to sell the product. The marking criteria is likely to place emphasis on the areas most relevant to the role, so make sure to brush up on your research beforehand.

Communication within Presentation Exercises

A key competency that presentation exercises always look for is how well candidates communicate during the presentation. Communication is key for any presentation exercise as assessors seek the best candidates that can confidently discuss a topic to clients or fellow co-workers on the job.

Keep reading to discover our top hints and tips below on how you can ensure to demonstrate your communication well. We also cover how you can show the other key competencies for presentation exercises such as Problem Solving or Planning and Organising.

But first, check out this 1 minute video to find out all you need to know about competencies and how they are examined in a presentation exercises assessment.

What is a Competency? (Get Ready for SJTs & Interviews) #shorts

Practice assessment centre exercises with GF to prepare for your role play assessment. Use our candidate and assessor briefs to know what best performance looks like.

Presentation Assessment Example

Here is a short presentation assessment example of a mock presentation as a Social Media Manager that is often used during presentation exercises in an assessment centre:


You are a social media manager for your company, while you are asked to improve its social media presence. You have been asked to give a 20-minute presentation to your colleagues explaining them the importance of having a social media strategy.


As the manager, you will create a strategy to present to your team in this presentation exercise assessment. Outline your proposed social media strategy, including the platforms to use, tracking and analysing metrics to determine the effectiveness of the social media strategy, content creation and engagement tactics.

  • Content: You must demonstrate a clear understanding of the company, its values, and the target audience. The presentation should clearly detail the proposed social media strategy, including the key objectives, messages, tactics, and metrics used.
  • Delivery: The presentation should be engaging and well-structured, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The presenter should use appropriate language and tone, and should speak clearly and confidently.
  • Visual Aids: Slides and any handouts used in the presentation should be clear, relevant, and effective in supporting the social media strategy pitch.
  • Time Management: The presentation should be delivered within the allocated time of 20 minutes, demonstrating effective time management skills.
  • Engagement: You should be able to engage the assessor, maintain their attention, and respond to questions in a clear and concise manner.
  • Professionalism: You must conduct yourself in a professional and ethical manner, and demonstrate an understanding of the social media industry.
  • Impact: The presentation should be memorable and leave a positive impression on the audience and demonstrate that the presenter has the ability to lead the social media strategy.

Here are some tips for this presentation assessment example:

  • Keep your presentation simple and easy to read (usage of images, charts and bullet points on the presentation slides)
  • Practice your presentation to develop a natural way of communicating your ideas.
  • Use examples to support your points, such as facts and figures from the candidate brief.
  • Show enthusiasm through confident speaking, subtle hand gestures and relaxed eye contact.
  • Encourage your audience to ask questions and participate in your presentation.

Did you know: Body language has a very significant effect on how you are scored in presentation exercises. Aim to maintain relaxed eye contact with the assessors during your presentation. Using hand motions can help you grab the audience’s attention, however avoid moving around too much or fidgeting as this can be distracting.

Other common examples of assessment centre presentations

These presentation assessment examples will vary depending on the industry that you are applying for. We found that the top 4 most commonly used examples to presentation exercises in an assessment centre are as follows:

  • A Sales Pitch: This is a common scenario used by recruiters to test communication and confidence. You must persuade a stakeholder such as an investor or customer to purchase a product or invest in a project.
  • Report Delivery: If you are applying for a role where you may be required to deliver a report on a given project, employers will look to assess your findings and recommendations from a given report brief.
  • Project Highlights: Similar to report delivery, candidates may be tasked with discussing an ongoing project’s progress, key achievements within a team meeting, and to propose the next steps.
  • Training sessions: Presentations are often used for training sessions on a specific topic, such as software or workplace safety, to a group of employees present in the company. You may be required to present a training session at the assessment centre.

So how do we ace these presentation exercises in our assessment centre? Read on below to find out!

Top 7 Tips to Prepare for Presentation Exercises

Below are our 7 key tips that you can follow when preparing for a presentation exercises in your assessment centre:

  1. Improve your delivery: Practice and improve your delivery to improve your confidence in your presentation. Gain feedback from your friends or family to improve how you communicate ideas.
  1. Know your facts: Once you are provided with the topic and candidate brief, make sure that you use all the provided information such as any reports and data to ensure that your presentation is accurate and informative. 
  1. Record and time yourself: Use your phone to record and time yourself giving the presentation.Time yourself and make sure to address any areas that need improvement. Presentation exercises usually last about 10-20 minutes. Be sure to manage your time and stay on track.

Alternatively, you can record answers to questions and refine your spoken communication skills using our Video Interview Preparation Tool and share it with others to receive feedback and guidance on your performance.

  1. Practise with visual aids: Try to work with your slides by making them simple and unique with pictures and flowcharts. Familiarise yourself with the timings of your visual aids. This way you will have plenty of time to speak on the actual day and you will be better able to adapt to the audience.
  1. Be confident and professional: Be positive throughout the presentation and convey confidence and professionalism. To get your message across effectively, make relaxed eye contact and display confident body language.
  1. Dress appropriately: Dress in appropriate business attire to demonstrate professionalism and respect for the assessment process. Although it may not be an interview, impressing the assessor still counts!
  1. Involve others: Before you start, you could ask if the assessor is looking for anything specific. At the end of your presentation, it can be useful to check if they have any questions or even to provide feedback on your performance.
Presentation Interview Practice
Presentation interview practice

Discover more quick answers for all you will need to know some of the top questions people ask about presentation exercises in your assessment centre with our FAQs below:

Presentation Exercises FAQs

How to prepare a presentation for an interview?

Research the job role beforehand to gain an understanding of the competencies a company is looking for. Consider how they are doing commercially and how they fare against other competitors. You can then use this knowledge to understand the type of scenario you are likely to face at work and the kinds of recommendations to suggest based on fit to the company’s culture.

What is the assessment procedure of presentations?

Here are the key steps of a typical presentation assessment in an assessment centre:

  1. Applicant is provided a candidate brief
  2. Review the information and prepare presentation
  3. Present topic under a fixed time limit
  4. Answer assessor questions and receive feedback

How do you start an assessment presentation?

Give your presentation a clear beginning, middle, and end. Start with a friendly welcome and an introduction. Present your thoughts and arguments at the end of the presentation. Cap it off with a question, thank your audience for their time and attendance.

How do you give a good presentation in an assessment centre?

To give a good presentation and to impress your assessor in an assessment centre:

  • Pick up on the key facts
  • Use smooth hand gestures and don’t fidget
  • Manage conflict and remain focussed on your presentation
  • Keep an eye on the time
  • Involve the assessor

Practice and Register with GF to ace your presentation exercises first time

Do you want to pass your presentation assessments, first time? Sign up for tools offered by GF, the only assessment practice test experts that provide tests to over 100 UK universities and their students, and also across Asia and continental Europe.

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