Whether you’re new to being a presenter or an old hand at this typical business meeting activity, there are reasons to consider training to avoid a boring and too-long presentation or speech. Don’t believe us? Think about some of the presentations you’ve sat through. Do most of them make you remember something positive or negative? Our guess is the latter because we’ve all sat through too many uninspired meetings, speeches, and presentations. You, of course, want to be the person people remembered for all the right reasons! Let’s look at five quick reasons to consider presentation training.
Handouts and PowerPoint slides can be confusing. Your message shouldn’t be (and your visual tools shouldn’t be either). A professional outside of your work world will have a fresh point of view since what you’re presenting is new to them. Can you make them understand what you’re talking about? If not then you’re in good hands with a trainer. If you leave your audience feeling confused, you’ve lost them, and the confidence they had in you.
Speaking of confidence, presenting to 1 or 1000 is daunting to some. Many feel intimidated yet everyone wants to project confidence. Do you tend to pepper your conversation with crutches such as, “I think this could be a good opportunity…” That sounds fine until you realize taking out, “I think,” and “could,” is stronger. Now you state confidentially, “This is a good opportunity.” If you’re recommending something, be sure to know how to back up your reasoning. Your trainer will watch for those sneaky phrases that creep in to hedge your ideas.
Not everyone is a natural comedian and we aren’t saying you have to become one; however, it’s a good idea to not take yourself too seriously. Things go wrong. The projector won’t connect with your computer, or you knock over someones bottle of water. It happens, not that we’ve ever had the water incident (yes, we have). If you’re not used to laughing at yourself then a trainer can help you through some unexpected or ill-timed scenarios. You can either laugh, cry, or get angry. We like the first reaction best.
Your presentation is finished and now you’re panicking at the thought of answering questions. Did you leave enough time for this or did you drone on too long? Do you know how to take questions and not let one person dominate the conversation? A trainer can walk you through this mine field, because there’s always “that” person in the audience who’s going to comment on everything. And their comments often aren’t pertinent or helpful. “That” person works everywhere.
A trainer wants you on guard – not in the fencing sense but rather in the “be prepared for the unexpected” situation. Remember “that” person? Often times they provide the questions out of left field you hadn’t expected or prepared for during this meeting. No need to panic, there’s a way to get through it and your trainer will guide you through different scenarios.
Once you’ve had a successful presentation you’ll find the joy in standing up and sharing with others your ideas, viewpoints, and maybe, just maybe, a joke…or two. Or not. Baby steps.