Good presentation skills require organisation and confidence. If these two essential items are not ticked off, then it’s time you looked at developing presentation skills. This type of personal development work will really assist you to develop first more confidence, which is the key. Then, by you getting organised, well presented and ultimately building self-esteem, those dream jobs will appear and your ambitions will be realised!
Being well presented in the workplace – in a presentation, in a meeting, during a discussion with a colleague or client is essential. If your career matters to you – develop your presentation skills!
A presenter or staff member is given an added advantage over someone who is less than polished in public speaking (i.e. someone who actually avoids it like the plague), when he or she can get up and deliver a well-constructed, confident presentation in front of a group of colleagues.
Superiors notice the confident approach, which translates into other parts of their role. Staff who are highly skilled in their area of expertise, but hate public speaking, will still be appreciated, but they may just get more kudos and more accolades if they can articulate their approaches and knowledge in a more confident manner.
“Being well presented in the workplace – in a presentation, in a meeting, during a discussion with a colleague or client is essential. If your career matters to you – develop your presentation skills!”
Presentation and public speaking skills are “learnt” skills – by working on these skills, the quiet and shy person can learn to present with confidence and evidentially “Find their voice”.
Where do Presentation Skills have an impact in the Workplace?
Presentation skills will help in the following workplace or professional circumstances:
- At interviews, as the interviewer or interviewee
- At meetings, face to face or in a conference call
- At networking functions, meeting new people or getting to know ones you already know.
- Speaking to colleagues and staff
- Delivering a presentation to clients detailing a technical topic or selling a product
- Presenting at conferences
- Speaking at large internal meetings
- Speaking at Chamber of Commerce or Rotary promoting your business
- Speaking with suppliers
- Speaking with clients
- Presenting training
- Attending training
And so on …
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Presentations are Part of the Job
Yes, it’s true. Professionals are expected to give presentations as part of their job. But surely with their education, whether at university or other colleges, delivering a presentation is straightforward? Well, no!
A Gallup poll found that 40% of the population have a fear of speaking in public. It doesn’t matter how big or small the group, there are some people who struggle to give presentations. Does this have an impact on their work? Potentially, yes.
So what are the areas that are important in the workplace, with respect to presentation skills?
“Presentation skills and public speaking are a “learnt” skill – by working on these skills, the quiet and shy person can learn to present with confidence and evidentially “Find their voice””
1. Know Your Audience
Understand what the audience wants to get out of the presentation. You need to be mindful of the people in the meeting or in the conference room. This is so your presentation will meet and exceed the audience’s expectations, and so your audience gets what they came for.
2. Plan your Presentation
Planning the structure of your presentation – and knowing what structure works for your audience – is very important. For your audience to absorb your information, it needs to be delivered in an easy-to-follow format.
3. Make it Interesting
Attention spans are not long, no matter how advanced the audience is. Make sure you’ve included some really interesting points, and vary the type of interest points, as this will help to keep the attention of the meeting.
“A Gallup Poll found that 40% of the population have a fear of speaking in public … Does this have an impact on their work? Potentially, yes”
4. Dress the Part
Your appearance in the workplace matters. Not only are you meant to be a thought leader in your chosen presentation topic, you are also in competition with others wanting to advance. If you are not well presented, with respect to clothes, hair, shoes, paperwork, etc., people will notice and it will have an impact.
5. Show you Care
Your enthusiasm for the topic is essential. If you seem disinterested in the topic you are talking about, your audience will pick up on this.
6. Be Organised
Your audience will appreciate you being organised for a meeting or a presentation. If there are little changes or hiccups, your audience will understand. If you are unorganised and you appear to have not put in an effort, the attendees will not sympathise, and they will get annoyed.
“Make sure you’ve included some really interesting points … this will help to keep the attention of the meeting”
7. Discuss the “Elephant in the Room”
If there is an issue, if something isn’t working, you are experiencing a problem, then make a mention of whatever it is and then move on. If we hold back from discussing something important (which may not have an impact on the meeting topic), then get this discussion done, and then move on. If you don’t, the attendees will be thinking about that rather than the actual topic at hand.
8. Get a Grip on your Nerves
Handling nervousness and building confidence is important – you will struggle to get your message across if you struggle here. Being mindful of how you present at work will really help with your interactions with colleagues and clients. This will ultimately impact on whether you get that important raise, or that desired new job.
Adrienne McLean is the Founder of The Speakers Practice, which offers Presentation Skills training program for business people, individuals, teenagers and groups. Adrienne is an Internationally Accredited SpeakersTrainingCamp Instructor and is a Distinguished Toastmaster. Adrienne has studied marketing with Michael Port the author of the Top Business and Marketing book – BookYourselfSolid.
Adrienne, with her experience of growing up in a family business, working in the corporate and small business sector plus building her own business, gives an enthusiastic and practical approach to the benefits of presentation skills development, learning to promote yourself and building a successful business. She is a regular presenter, blogger and a contributing author in four recent business publications.