Monday, 11 July 2016

The 3 Side Effects of Learning Presentation Skills

Imagine a person is unable to present very well. The body language is not good, the voice is not modulated or even the content does not have a good structure. So you send this person to learn and improve her/his presentation skills. However, in a training program, are these the only points that a person would learn? No!

In more than a decade of experience I have observed that a participant in a presentation skills program learns much more. The takeaways are much higher. In fact, I believe that the other learning points have a stronger impact in the performance of the individual.

Let us look at three key points:

1. Confidence
This is the most important development. The person who corrects her/his body language and voice modulation and also can now build better content in the presentation naturally feels more confident about herself/himself. Secondly, the multiple practices of speaking in front of an audience improve the confidence level of the person and help in reducing fear of public speaking. This confidence then can be applied in other areas of work and life.

2. Teamwork
You might not have thought this could be a learning point in a presentation skills training program. But it depends on the design of the training program. In my training design, for example, I include team presentations. This has a lot of benefits. The individual now has help and support for encouragement, feedback and learning from each other. Teamwork means a lot of different skills like cooperation, communication with each other, working towards a common goal and such others. While preparing and presenting with the team, these learning points are intrinsic and extra takeaways.

3. Networking & Interpersonal Relationship Building
If the audience consists of people from different departments or groups, this is a great opportunity to network and build good relationships. We tend to get a very different perspective on the same point from a person who works in a different field. This is important to help us move out of an uni-directional mode of thinking. Connecting with people from other departments also helps in building better relationships and makes inter-departmental coordination smoother and more efficient and effective.

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