Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Failing To Prepare For Presentations Costs


A staggering 78% of CEOs from Standard & Poor’s 500 companies recently surveyed ranked excellent communication as the single most important facet for their Managers to possess.  Hence, when you know you have a presentation to give, no matter how far in the future it might loom, there are many factors that you need to start thinking about.  None is to be kept further at the forefront of your mind than your absolute golden rule – prepare, prepare and prepare even more! 

Some of the most competent presenters learnt this lesson through bitter experience and turned their initial mortification to its best advantage.  If you have ever been in the unenviable position of failing to adequately prepare for a presentation… well, most folks know what failing to prepare leads to.  You probably don’t need any reminding of the embarrassment you suffered as a result of blithering off the cuff.

A lack of preparation costs.  It costs you in ‘face’, pride in yourself and your professional credibility in the eyes of your beholders.  It also costs your audience by unnecessarily robbing them of their precious time - and probably also their wills to live as they are forced to endure your precariously rattling on.  A lose:lose situation that you can’t risk recurring, as the ability to communicate effectively is a highly coveted skill in modern working environments. 

It shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be a lost cause.  High quality presentation training and coaching provides common sense keys to unlocking not only your speaking skills, but also your preparation modus operandi.  This involves guiding you through the way your approach your brief with emotional intelligence, a clear understanding of what is required and how your presentation relates to the audience you will be speaking to.  It also forewarns and forearms you to anticipate when contentious audience feedback might arise and how to engagingly deal with it if it does.

Furthermore, presentation training and coaching assists with the all important visual aspects of your presentation.  Novices to presenting are generally tempted to cram as much text as possible on to each page of their Powerpoint presentations and simply read it all back to their audiences, occasionally adding a few asides.  It is a common mistake for beginners to make if you are nodding your head resignedly.  Yet make no bones that it is not engaging, it is rather boring.  And nothing is more demotivating for relatively inexperienced presenters than noticing their audiences doze off, doodling and switch their attentions elsewhere.

It is not just about what you say or even how convincingly you say it in today’s high tech world where everything is about instant gratification.  Great visuals are known to increase comprehension and ingestion by up to 400%.  When looking at a screen, audiences are able to process visuals 60,000 faster than they can text, regardless of whether images are hard hitting, humorous or simply create mental associations.

At Presentation Guru, our presentation training and coaching services dig deeper than the talking of a good talk, although that is undeniably part and parcel of the process.  We don’t only guide beginner to intermediate levels through presentation preparation.  We also host polishing up sessions with experienced presenters, besides the rehearsal and revision of major sales pitches and Board presentations with senior management teams. 

Notes to editors:

Presentation Guru is a company specializing in providing communication excellence to the executive workplace.
More information on company can be found on www.presentationguru.co.uk
Further enquiries to:
John Davies (Marketing) – 0845 899 1248