The medical affairs interview process can be a daunting experience, especially when it comes to the presentation phase. Whether you’re a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience or a newcomer trying to break into the field, the task of compiling slides and delivering a presentation can induce stress and anxiety. However, with the right approach, you can navigate this challenge successfully.

The Challenge of Presentation Preparation

The most common concern among candidates is not the actual delivery of the presentation, but the time and effort required to compile the slides. Overthinking the presentation, especially for a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) job interview, can lead to excessive analysis, self-doubt, and constant reworking of slides. The desire to make a strong impression can sometimes overshadow the need for clear and concise communication.

5 Key Components of a Successful Presentation

A successful medical affairs presentation should focus on at least five key components:

Format: Journal club format presentations generally perform best in MSL interview presentations.

Delivery: Your presentation is an opportunity to showcase not only your expertise in the topic, but also show your future teammates your presentation style and provide an example of how you will conduct presentations during HCP meetings as an MSL.

Content: The content of your presentation is paramount. It supports the narrative you want to convey and can either enhance or undermine your credibility.

Audience: Understanding your audience is crucial. The more you know about them, the better you can tailor your presentation to their needs and expectations. For instance, if you’re asked to present as if you were addressing a specific audience (e.g., Key Opinion Leaders, General Practitioners, patient advocate groups), consider how you would adapt your presentation for other audiences.

Design: The design of your slides should support your message and be visually appealing to maintain your audience’s attention. Creating a compelling “delivery experience” is essential.

Overcoming Anxiety and Delivering a Stellar Presentation

Remember, the goal is not to create a perfect presentation, but to communicate effectively and demonstrate your understanding of the role and the field.

Don’t let the desire to impress lead to over-analysis and self-doubt. Instead, focus on delivering clear, concise, and relevant content. If you feel there are many “eyes” on you that are making your nervous, use your body language to redirect the audience to the presentation, rather than on you.

You can learn more about presentation body language here: https://pharmaccelerator.net/presentation-body-language/

As you prepare for your presentation, keep these tips in mind. With careful preparation and a focus on content, audience, and design, you can navigate the presentation phase of the medical affairs interview process with confidence and success.