I’ve been running workshops for the NT Department of Trade, Business and Innovation to help people apply for NT Training Awards.The Awards are the annual premier event recognising training excellence and achievements by Northern Territory.

We’re focusing on how to talk about yourself without feeling weird, what makes applications stand out and how to break down questions to make sure your answer is the strongest it can be. 

Here are some of my top tips for these sorts of applications:

  • Start by building yourself up: lifting your self esteem before doing these sorts of applications will ensure your most confident self is presented.
  • Spend time preparing: before you even tackle the questions get all your content, timelines and information together. It’ll make sure you get into a flow when you’re answering questions and reduce the stop/start trying to check things.
  • Make a marking framework: go through the selection criteria and work out what the judges are looking for. Then use this marking criteria to keep yourself accountable and clear on your answers. You want to be able to prove these criteria to a judge so it would also help to get an outside human to read over your answers to see if anything is missing
  • Ask why: This is my most important piece of information. As you read over your answers make sure you ask the question why. If you say “I chose to study this course” the next sentence should answer “why?” Why is a brilliant question, it gives more than the information it uncovers the underlying motivations and gives judges a sense of who you are and what you value.
  • Keep it concise: word limits for answers are one of the more challenging parts of any application. Make sure you’re ruthless with the words you use, if they don’t add anything valuable to the answer cut them. Keep it concise and to the point. And remember you don’t have to use fancy words – everyday speak and clear, short sentences are the best at getting your message across.
  • Reward yourself: applying for an award should be a positive experience and not a stressful one. You are taking a moment from your busy life to acknowledge your hard work, to pat yourself on the back, so make sure you reward yourself for completing the application and really take a moment to feel proud – there is nothing boastful or wrong with being proud of your achievements.

Amiable Communications is always happy to help with applications and suggest edits or feedback. Please get in contact if you’re looking for assistance.

Amy Hetherington

Amy has a jack-of-all-trades tool kit of communications skills and heaps of energy. She offers services including content creation, videography, photography, publicity, community engagement, social media and MCing and comedy to help Northern Territory people connect with events, organisations, causes and celebrations. Amy is passionate about creating content and sharing stories in a fun, enjoyable and amiable style. She’s heavily involved in the NT community and would love to add some fun and engagement to your next project.