How do you convert your 3,000 word Case Study into a 10-minute presentation?!

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The Case Study Presentation or,

How do you convert your 3,000 word Case Study into a 10-minute presentation?!

FOREWORD: Please be aware that this post is not an official RICS guidance.

All the advice given in this blog is based on my personal interpretation of the APC Candidate’s Guide 2015 which I have enhanced through many discussions with fellow APC Mentors and APC Assessors.

Sonia Desloges MRICS

Outline Plan of your Presentation

Nobody can possibly read 3,000 words under 10 minutes so there is no point trying to cram everything in your presentation. Based on my personal experience, 1,300 words is a good target to keep within the 10 minute time limit.

You need to focus on the key message that you want to convey to the panel, and this might be by covering only one key issue during your presentation. It is actually common practice for candidates to only present one key issue. If the assessors want to know about your second key issue, they will do it during your 10 minute Q&A session.

So, what is the key message that you want to convey?

I think, in simple words, that you want to explain to the panel that you provided your client with the best possible professional and reasoned advice, that you have learnt a lot from this experience and that you are ready become chartered!!

You need to really focus on your logical reasoning. Do not waste time talking about the project details or what other people did more than strictly required. Remember that explaining is not just about providing information, it is being able to justify how and why things happened. You need background and reasons as well as facts.

One tool that we use to achieve this with our candidates during our ‘Case Study Presentation’ workshops are mind maps, also called spider diagrams. If you cannot attend one of our workshops, you should still be able to find some information on the web.

Suggested Format of your Presentation

The format of your presentation will be very similar to your case study but I have added some indicative durations and word counts for each section:

  • Introduction (30s / 100 words)
  • Background (app. 1min / 200 words)
  • Main body
    • Review of options (3 to 4.5min depending how many key issues / 400 to 600 words)
    • Achievements & lessons learnt (critical appraisal) (3 to 4min / 400 to 500 words)
  • Conclusion (< 1mn / 130 words)

Introduction & Conclusion

All presentations should have a powerful introduction and conclusion!

Your introduction should be brief (30s / 100 words) and only focus on the information that is relevant to the resolution of your key issue;

  • Introduce the problem to be addressed and context
  • State the purpose of your presentation clearly
  • Give the outline of your presentation: Tell them what you are going to tell them.
    • Background, options, outcome of solution applied, lessons learnt

Your conclusion (< 1mn / 130 words) should mirror your introduction and close your presentation without adding any new information;

  • Summarise: tell them what you have just told them.
  • Close:
    • Repeat the purpose of your presentation / key message
    • Show that you have achieved your aim
  • Thank the panel and welcome their questions

Background (app. 1min / 200 words)

The sole purpose of the background is for the assessors to understand how your key issue came to light and which constraints and challenges you had to overcome to resolve it. Remember that they will have already read the finer details in your written submission!

It could include the following elements;

  • Project description – only the relevant bits!
  • Client & contractor’s description if relevant.
  • Project challenges & constraints if relevant.
  • How did you get to the stage when you encountered your key issue.
  • Restate how you identified that there was a key issue(s).
  • Then state the options (between 2 and 4) that you considered;
  • Three courses of action were considered… [one sentence each]


Review of options (3 to 4.5min depending how many key issues / 400 to 600 words)

Review each option one after the other, like in your Case Study;

    • What was the option considered & why
    • What did you do
    • What was your recommendation and why

Do not forget to explain how and why decisions were made and do not hesitate to provide evidence and figures for one or two key points to reinforce your statements.

Achievements & lessons learnt (critical appraisal) (3 to 4min / 400 to 500 words)

One common mistake of candidates is to spend 3 minutes on the background and then fly through the lessons learnt. It is the easy way but not what the assessors are looking for. A decent portion of your presentation should be dedicated to the critical appraisal of your work because this is how you can demonstrate what an amazing professional you are!

  • Your achievements
    • Did your solution change the course of the project?
    • What was the most successful outcome?
    • Or was there any room for improvement?
    • You may provide here an update on the project if anything significant has happened since submitting your Case Study.
  • Lessons learnt (3 main ones only)
    • State lesson learnt
    • Explain why is it important as a chartered surveyor / for this project / client
    • And / or what you could have done better
    • And / or how you could / have applied it in later project(s)

Final words

Remember that if you exceed 10 minutes, the assessors will ask you to wrap up or cut you short, which would not be an ideal start to your Final Interview.

Our best advice is to practice your presentation dozens of times with colleagues, friends, family, in front of your mirror, with your dog, anything!!

Best of luck!


Further help

We have published an earlier blog on visual aids for your presentation. Feel free to have a read here: Visual Aids for your Presentation  

If you need some help to prepare for the interview, we offer APC Questions packs, mock interviews and mini mocks. Please check our interview preparation services here.

Alternatively, we offer face-to-face training for corporate clients across the UK. Please e-mail us at to discuss your requirements.

And as always, we are on Twitter @APCsupport_Ltd and you can send me an invite on LinkedIn if you would like to be notified of our latest events.