Why You Need Good Presentation Skills to Successful in the Workplace

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Presentation Skills Training

sales success
Most people will agree that presentation skills are important. But ask them to explain “Why?” and they are stumped. These folks might mumble something unintelligible and proudly declare “Because – everybody knows that it is”.

First, let’s clarify the statement “Presentation skills are important”. What we really mean is, “Effective presentation skills are important”. “Presentation skills” is not a black and white off/on switch. It is a rainbow of colors. Everybody has presentation skills. Some are better than others. The primary goal is for your presentation skills to be better than your competition, whoever and whatever that is. The secondary goal is for your presentations to get better with every presentation that you deliver.

So whenever you read “presentation skills are important” think better presentations are critically important”.

Presentation Skills are Important to Individual Success

For many individuals the first important presentation they deliver might be to the selection committee. It might be labeled as a “job interview” but it’s really a presentation. Success rides on their presentation outshining the competition. The results are black and white but the skills are a rainbow of colors.

In most organizations day-to-day business entails teamwork. That means presenting to your team or on behalf of your team. Career growth necessitates presenting your ideas to others. And if you want to be promoted you need to train others to handle your old job. If you want to fast track your career – volunteer to work on projects and deliver more presentations.

Presentation Skills are Important to Business Success

Having the superior product is never enough to guarantee business success. Apple is acknowledged as offering leading edge technology and Steve Jobbs is often modeled as a superior presenter. If you are not the Apple of your industry just imagine how much better your presentations need to be.

Business leaders are often expected to present their message with confidence and clarity to staff, clients, partners, investors and sometimes the public. Millions of dollars can ride on these presentations.

Presentation Skills are Important to Stress Reduction

The financial cost of stress to organizations is huge. Work related stress can be demoralizing to staff, management and executives. Effective presentation skills reduce miscommunication, which is likely the biggest cause of work related stress. Better presentation skills also reduces the stress on presenters which means they will be more willing to present and more effective with their communication. The principles and techniques of presentations apply to other methods of communication. Become a better presenter and you will become a better communicator.

Presentation Skills are Important to Time Management

Many presentations take too long and thus waste time because the presenter was trying to fill the time period. Better presenters get their message across in less time because they respect time, focus on the message and use the most effective techniques to communicate. Better presenters can deliver their 30 minute presentation in 5 minutes or 90 seconds when needed. Better presenters also save time while preparing because they prepare their presentation more efficiently. They know where they are going and how to get there faster.

Presentation Skills are Important to Leadership

Abraham Lincoln was not only known and praised for his speech at the Gettysburg Address but the fact that his Speech was less than 2 minutes and his predecessor and elder statesman Edward Everette spoke for about 2 hours and Lincoln’s was more noteworthy   because he got his message across in less time. Leadership in your community, association or organization demands effective presentation skills.

Every cause needs a leader. Every leader needs to be able to stand up and deliver a clear and inspiring message. The team and followers will often judge the leader and the cause on the presentation skills of that spokesperson.

Presentation skills are Important to Public Image & Opinion

It might seem unfair, but we will often judge you, your organization and your product on how you, your staff or executive delivered a presentation. We will tend to remember the extremes – really bad or really good. Remember that our perception is relative to how everyone else presented.
With effective presentation skills training, chances are that you may be able to succeed far and above the norm.

 

 

15 Body Language Secrets of Successful People

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Our bodies have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. Your body language has likely become an integral part of who you are, to the point where you might not even think about it.

If that’s the case, it’s time to start, because you could be sabotaging your career.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). These people know the power that unspoken signals have in communication and they monitor their own body language accordingly.

What follows are the 15 most common body language blunders that people make, and emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid.

  1. Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It communicates that you’re bored and have no desire to be where you are. You would never tell your boss, “I don’t understand why I have to listen to you,” but if you slouch, you don’t have to—your body says it for you, loud and clear.

The brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up. Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. It maximizes the amount of space you fill. Slouching, on the other hand, is the result of collapsing your form—it takes up less space and projects less power.

Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement from both ends of the conversation.

  1. Exaggerated gestures can imply that you’re stretching the truth. Aim for small, controlled gestures to indicate leadership and confidence, and open gestures—like spreading your arms apart or showing the palms of your hands—to communicate that you have nothing to hide.
  2. Watching the clock while talking to someone is a clear sign of disrespect, impatience, and inflated ego. It sends the message that you have better things to do than talk to the person you’re with, and that you’re anxious to leave them.
  3. Turning yourself away from others, or not leaning into your conversation, portrays that you are unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable, and perhaps even distrustful of the person speaking.

Try leaning in towards the person who is speaking and tilt your head slightly as you listen to them speak. This shows the person speaking that they have your complete focus and attention.

  1. Crossed arms—and crossed legs, to some degree—are physical barriers that suggest you’re not open to what the other person is saying. Even if you’re smiling or engaged in a pleasant conversation, the other person may get a nagging sense that you’re shutting him or her out.

Even if folding your arms feels comfortable, resist the urge to do so if you want people to see you as open-minded and interested in what they have to say.

  1. Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression causes people to sense that something isn’t right and they begin to suspect that you’re trying to deceive them, even if they don’t know exactly why or how.

For example, a nervous smile while rejecting an offer during a negotiation won’t help you get what you want; it will just make the other person feel uneasy about working with you because they’ll assume that you’re up to something.

  1. Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval. People may perceive your heavy nods as an attempt to show you agree with or understand something that you actually don’t.

 

  1. Fidgeting with or fixing your hair signals that you’re anxious, over-energized, self-conscious, and distracted. People will perceive you as overly concerned with your physical appearance and not concerned enough with your career.
  2. Avoiding eye contact makes it look like you have something to hide, and that arouses suspicion. Lack of eye contact can also indicate a lack of confidence and interest, which you never want to communicate in a business setting.

Looking down as you talk makes it seem like you lack confidence or are self-conscious, causing your words to lose their effect. It’s especially important to keep your eyes level if you’re making complicated or important points.

Sustained eye contact, on the other hand, communicates confidence, leadership, strength, and intelligence. While it is possible to be engaged without direct, constant eye contact, complete negligence will clearly have negative effects on your professional relationships.

  1. Eye contact that’s too intense may be perceived as aggressive, or an attempt to dominate. On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. The way we break contact sends a message, too. Glancing down communicates submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.
  2. Rolling your eyes is a fail-proof way to communicate lack of respect. Fortunately, while it may be a habit, it’s voluntary. You can control it, and it’s worth the effort.
  3. Scowling or having a generally unhappy expression sends the message that you’re upset by those around you, even if they have nothing to do with your mood. Scowls turn people away, as they feel judged.

Smiling, however, suggests that you’re open, trustworthy, confident, and friendly. MRI studies have shown that the human brain responds favorably to a person who’s smiling, and this leaves a lasting positive impression.

  1. Weak handshakes signal that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination, which is just as bad. Adapt your handshake to each person and situation, but make sure it’s always firm.
  2. Clenched fists, much like crossed arms and legs, can signal that you’re not open to other people’s points. It can also make you look argumentative and defensive, which will make people nervous about interacting with you.
  3. Getting too close. If you stand too close to someone (nearer than one and a half feet), it signals that you have no respect for or understanding of personal space. This will make people very uncomfortable when they’re around you.

Bringing It All Together

Avoiding these body language blunders will help you form stronger relationships, both professionally and personally.

By Dr. Travis Bradberry