Winning Business with the Right Presentation Skills
Throughout life, many of us will take every opportunity to avoid being in the spotlight. Who wants to be picked first to read out loud at school, or to host the company's annual Christmas raffle, after all? Presenting to a group of people singles you out for potential embarrassment, humiliation and even ridicule. No wonder so many people find it difficult.
There are those few people, of course, who take to presenting like a duck to water, and the rest of us mere mortals try not to be jealous of this fact. These people, who are effective communicators, have useful presentation skills which can make even the dullest of subjects sound fascinating. However, not everyone is so lucky.
Thankfully, employers can take certain steps to help their workers to improve their presentation skills. Not only can good presentation skills help us when we need to give presentations to a room full of people, but even when we're talking to customers, pitching clients or simply explaining a new idea to our colleagues. If you think about it, we are presenting ourselves in some way more or less all of the time while we are at work.
Creating Positive Impressions
You wouldn't go on a first date in your scruffiest clothes, mumble all evening and never make eye contact, would you? It sounds obvious, but good presentation skills make a positive impression on others. This rule applies whenever you converse with other people, who may be your customers, your colleagues or even your prospective employers.
Even job interviews are a sort of presentation, as is the moment you meet your co-workers for the first time. In an interview you will sell your skills and aim to communicate the reasons why you would be good at the job in as clear a manner as possible. This may seem far-fetched at first but when you give it some thought, it makes perfect sense. You are presenting and hoping to sell your services to this group of people. You will take pains over your preparation, strive to make the best impression, hope to communicate the worth of your product clearly and memorably and you will be prepared to answer any questions afterwards. Thus, effective presentation skills are very important. They can get you a job, they can win you friends and more importantly, win you clients.
Are you a go-getter, a goal-setter, a rampant ladder climber? If you are keen to get ahead in the working world, your presentation skills will help you greatly. Presentation skills, when well used, will bring you to people's attention. Even when you are presenting on behalf of your team, you are in the spotlight.
If you present effectively, chances are that promotion will follow. In addition, effective communication, which is the heart of the presentation, is a two way process. If you communicate well with your team and other members of staff then you avoid misunderstandings and confusion. They are thus better able to do their work.
Having good presentation skills also gives you the ability to summarise what you need to say as succinctly as possible, thus saving yourself and your audience vital time. Yet this does not just mean that a good presentation is free from waffle and jargon. A good presentation is both clear and memorable. The viewers leave it with a full picture of what they have been told and they will be more inclined to remember it. Not only does this save confusion, but the audience will not need to have the information explained again at length. Such a situation has clear advantages, both for presentations involving clients and those involving colleagues. After all, you want your audience to remember the information you have so painstakingly researched, don't you?
Which would you, as a client, prefer to see: a dull and uninspiring lecture which fails to imbibe you with any salient points, or a bright, sharp presentation which gives you all the information you need in a timely manner?
It is a sad fact that people truly are influenced by appearances and often the whole image of a company rides on its presentation. This may seem facile and unfair but many do judge books by their covers and there is no point complaining about this. Instead, you need to accept it and ensure that your presentation is as attractive and as enticing as possible.
The fact that the main benefit of good presentation skills is its effect on business should be obvious enough. If you make a presentation that is clear, concise, interesting and memorable then your audience is far more likely to purchase your product or service, invest in your business, or to take on board the new working methods that are being proposed. So much of effective business practice is a matter of effective communication. If you present well then you are communicating well. People will listen to you, remember what you said, and will be far more likely to act on your words.
It was Shakespeare who made a famous comment that men and women are merely actors on a great stage. His idea certainly makes sense when we consider how presenting affects our relationships with others and our success in life. Remember that in some ways you are always presenting, whoever you talk to and wherever you go.
Good presentation skills help a company to run efficiently and they are crucial to your personal success. Most importantly, good presentation skills can win business for your company. Overall, they are certainly worth investing in.
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