Improving Your Presentation Skills as an Employee
The thought of giving a presentation at work causes most people to break out in a cold sweat, but there are huge payoffs to be gained from becoming a more confident speaker and these far outweigh the temporary discomfort that comes with learning how to do it.
Here are my top ten.
1 ) Make yourself more promotable
These days, effective presentation skills are an essential business skill. Right from the off – many employers ask candidates to make a short presentation. And those who communicate in a clear and engaging way will score points over those who don’t. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this only applies to customer-facing jobs either. I recently heard an IT recruiter talk on TV, talking about how they now wanted, “geeks that speak“.
2 ) Create a positive first impression with potential clients and employer
Demonstrating the ability to speak confidently to groups is a great way to get noticed in any organisation. By its very nature, most presentations are “one-to-many” communications, meaning you can influence a lot of people in ‘one hit’. Most people admire those who can speak in public. Therefore, by learning how to improve your presentation skills, you are putting yourself on the fast track to success.
3 ) Broaden your circle of influence
It feels good to know you can make an impact on the wider world, whether that is your company, your family or your community. Working on your presentation skills gives you the power to influence more people more quickly. Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” What he meant is – if you lead, others will follow. But you have to live it, not just talk about it.
4 ) Build your self-esteem
Being able to present effectively is a great skill to have from a self esteem point of view. If you know you can stand up and present well, then your confidence is high. And even better when you receive the positive feedback that inevitably comes. It is hugely self-empowering. I have had the privilege of watching people conquer their fear of public speaking. They all say that learning to speak with confidence brings a massive increase in confidence and self-esteem.
5 ) Increase your networking effectiveness
If you are trying to develop new business and new customers through attending networking events, you will certainly need to learn how to present with confidence. Most network groups offer two main speaking opportunities.
First, there is the inevitable 30 second to 2 minute roundtable introduction session. If you create a poor impression when you introduce yourself and your business, you significantly reduce the likelihood of getting much-needed referrals and recommendations. Let me know if a short video on how to create this networking piece would be helpful by commenting below or by emailing me.
6 ) Get your thoughts and opinions heard by a wider audience
You have a unique set of experiences that others would benefit from hearing. Imagine how many more people would get to hear your story if you were able to control your fear of public speaking.
The most impact a speaker can have is on the person whose life resembles their own – or used to resemble it. If you are talking about how you used to struggle with a specific part of your job until you discovered a better way of doing it – someone on your team/in your company/in your audience, who is also struggling with that, will be impacted by your experience.
If you are talking more personally about your life and overcoming some challenges you have faced – there will be others currently facing that challenge who your words can inspire. In a way – if you are not speaking up about things that can help others, you’re almost being selfish!
7) Improve your leadership abilities
Leaders set a clear vision for their team and then communicate that vision with passion and belief. Mastering the art of public speaking is essential for anyone who is currently a manager or leader, or hopes to become one some day.
8. Increase your empathy
Empathy is a skill that isn’t taught in schools, but it is one of the most important trait you can develop in any type of interaction with others. A great speaker will identify with their audience. A great speaker understands that the presentation is FOR the audience and not for them. And a great speaker is able to read the audience, which in turn increases your own EQ (emotional intelligence).
9. Master your topic
It has been said many times that the best way to learn is to teach. And I can agree with that. As well as speaking multiple times in my own business, I have also had the interesting challenge of speaking for and on behalf of others. The best way to learnt their material is to teach it. You prepare differently; you absorb the material differently, and you are challenged and learn from that.
Even when talking about your own topic, you need to keep yourself ahead of the game and therefore you are (or should be) continually learning about your own topic.
10. Bring your company together
One of the many benefits of doing presentations or training in your own company is that it brings everyone together to hear a message. People all get the information at the same time and therefore no-one feels left out, or as if they are working in silo’s.
When people come together it creates a synergy that can’t be replicated by disseminating information by email for example. And a group is always better than the sum of its parts – so make use of that energy in the room to bring your team, your company or your audience together.
As I said in point 5 – let me know if a short video on how to create a short networking intro would be helpful by commenting or connecting with me