*POST UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2017*
How could YOU benefit from improving your presentation skills?
There are huge payoffs to be gained from becoming a more confident speaker and that 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. Many interviewers now require candidates to make a short presentation and give preference to those who can communicate clearly and engagingly. Note: This doesn’t just apply to customer-facing jobs either. I recently heard an IT recruiter talk on TV about how they now wanted “geeks that speak“.
2 ) Create a positive first impression with potential clients and employers
Demonstrating the ability to speak confidently to groups is a great way to get noticed in an organisation. By its very nature, most presentations are “one-to-many” communications so you can influence a lot of people in one hit. Most people admire others who can speak in public so by learning how to improve your presentation skills you are putting yourself on the fast track to success.
3 ) Broaden your circle of influence
We all would like to feel that can make an impact on the wider world, be it our company, our family or our 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.”
4 ) Build your self-esteem
Being able to present effectively and receive the positive feedback that inevitably comes is hugely self-empowering. I have had the privilege of watching people conquer their fear of public speaking. They all report 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 40-60 second 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.
Secondly, most groups offer a limited number of longer speech slots where members can present to the group for between 10 and 30 minutes. These provide is a fantastic opportunity to give examples of what you do, how you do it and who you can help. Many networkers never take up this opportunity because they are too afraid of public speaking and that slows down their business growth.
Secondly, most groups offer a limited number of longer speaking slots where members can present to the group. These provide a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, but many networkers never take up this opportunity because they are too afraid of public speaking.
6 ) Set a great example for your kids:
Believe it or not, your children will pick up a lot of their most powerful beliefs unconsciously, by copying you. Do you want your offspring to be shy, retiring wallflowers who are petrified of public speaking? Become a positive role model by learning how to express yourself in public.
7 ) 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.
8 ) Get paid to speak in public
If you are one of those people who avoid public speaking like the plague, the thought of getting paid to do it may seem like pure fantasy, but it is possible. There are thousands of people who have developed the confidence to tell their story and who earn good money sharing it with audiences around the globe.
9 ) Give a great wedding speech or eulogy
Even if you don’t want to or need to speak at work, you may well be asked to do so at some sort of family occasion. Of course, you may be able to get out of it but think how much better you will feel if you do it and do it well. Whether it a best man’s speech, father of the bride speech or even a funeral eulogy, let your voice be heard.
10) 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 will allow you to be a better leader, whatever the context. Writing memos isn’t enough. Your team need to see and hear your passion!