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How to Use SmartArt Effectively for Your RICS APC Presentation Visual Aid

Updated: Oct 28

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What is this week's blog about?

In this week’s blog, we look at how you can use SmartArt to produce an effective visual aid for use during your RICS APC final assessment interview.

Why do I need a visual aid?

As the first part of your RICS APC final assessment interview, you will be required to present on your case study for 10 minutes. It is highly recommended to accompany your presentation with an effective visual aid.

This will help to demonstrate strong communication skills (i.e., part of the mandatory Communication & Negotiation competency), as well as your ability to produce high quality client-facing material.

What should the visual aid look like?

Head to the Free Resources section of our website to download a copy of our visual aid template and user guide (you MUST read this in tandem with using the template!). This gives an example of what you could use during your presentation.

We recommend preparing your visual aid using Microsoft PowerPoint (or other presentation software), as this will give the best viewing experience possible for your assessment panel.

How should I structure my visual aid?

As you will note from the template, we recommend splitting your presentation and visual aid roughly into:

  • Introduction (2 minutes / 1-2 slides)

  • Focus on one or more key issues (6 minutes / 3-6 slides)

  • Achievements, reflection and conclusion (2 minutes / 1-2 slides)

These are not absolute requirements and you can structure your presentation as you wish. However, book ending the middle content with an introduction and conclusion is advisable.

You can choose whether to present just one, two or all of your key issues – we recommend presenting on perhaps the key issue(s) you are most confident to discuss or those that you find most interesting. You can also add a little extra detail to the key issues, as you may have been limited in providing this given the relatively limited case study word count.

Again, there is no absolute requirement over the number of slides – however, we think that up to 10 is appropriate and avoids being overly reliant on a visual aid.

How can I make my visual aid interesting?

Now onto the focus of today’s blog! We love the use of SmartArt in Microsoft PowerPoint to make your visual aids look professional and interesting.

SmartArt is simply a Microsoft tool to make text visual. You can find out how to create SmartArt on the Microsoft website.

The symbol you are looking for is:

There are a variety of different layouts you can use, such as Venn diagrams, flow charts and boxes, which you can choose to most accurately portray the information on your slide or to enhance simple bullet lists.

An example of SmartArt is below, showing common uses and related categories of SmartArt:

You can also adjust the colour, font type and font size of your SmartArt to match the rest of your presentation. Have a read of this article to find out more.

How can we help?

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

N.b. Nothing in this article constitutes legal, professional or financial advice.

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