Regardless of your role within a company, you can almost certainly benefit from presentation coaching. Slipping back into bad habits is incredibly easy to do. We firmly recommend putting aside time to think carefully about what your presentation needs to achieve and how to best connect with your audience. Salesworxs can guide you through this thought process and teach you how to create and deliver impressive, engaging and effective presentations.
Even the most senior of corporate executives can learn a lot from thinking critically about their presentation style and habits. In fact, the more senior you are, the more crucial excellent presentation skills become. As dramatic as it may sound, the future success and direction of a business can often hang on the reception you and your presentation receive, whether it be to the Board of Directors or an important potential client.
Presentation Coaching for your Unique Scenario
Not all presentations are the same. The tone and content of a sales pitch can be radically different to reporting to the Board or delivering a motivational speech. In each situation, the desired outcome is different so the approach should be as well. That’s why we tailor our presentation coaching to your specific scenario and material, as well as your current ability to deliver compelling presentations.
When it comes to presentations, there are a lot of variables to consider:
- The audience – The main challenge of a larger audience is holding their attention. There is anonymity in numbers and people can easily switch off. With a smaller audience, you can make eye contact with everyone and more accurately gauge their level of understanding and interest by interacting with the audience. However, in a smaller group any feedback and questions may be less ordered, with multiple people getting involved in a discussion, piggybacking off each other.
- The venue – Never underestimate the impact of a venue layout on your presentation, especially if you are using visual aids. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference a podium makes, both in a good and bad way! If you’re up on a stage or platform, there may a temptation to hide behind the podium which isn’t always best practise. Walking around is perfectly fine but consideration needs to be given to how you’ll interact with your visuals as well as your audio if you have a large audience.
- The tools available to you – For some presentations you might have supporting material, such as a PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi or a flipchart and pen. These can provide presenters with guidance and reassurance but you should be cautious about becoming overly reliant on them. You don’t want a death-by-PowerPoint situation. Remember your job is to add value not repeat what the audience can already read on your slides. We can coach you on how to speak confidently with or without a script or slides. Remember your visual content should be designed to engage your audience and help them remember your key messages, interacting effectively with these visuals can be key to an effective presentation.
Prior to any presentation coaching session, we’ll ask for some information about your upcoming presentations, your presentation experience and your confidence levels. Remember that a confident presenter doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be an effective presenter. This pre-training communication will enable us to tailor the session more closely to your personal situation and desired outcomes.
Presentation Coaching That Builds on Your Strengths
For a lot of people, presenting can make them feel anxious and uneasy. To help combat this, we prefer to focus on your current strengths and teach you the principals of effective presentations and presentation delivery. For most people, it takes regular intervention over a medium to long period of time to change habits and soft skills, however with some quality coaching and teaching in the principals of effective presenting, you’ll quickly become a more confident effective public speaker, with or without visual aids.
With presentations, practice really does get you closer to perfect. You should spend more time on practicing the delivery of your presentation as you did preparing it, we typically suggest at least ten full rehearsals prior to delivery, especially to a large audience where you are more likely to be nervous and drift off message. The more comfortable and familiar you are with the material itself, the more confidently and smoothly you will present it. When you’re confident in your content, your passion for the subject comes across more forcefully and it becomes easier to connect with the audience rather than shy away, it also gives you the freedom and confidence to adapt the delivery specifically to audience questions and feedback.
The most successful presentations are those which are well-structured and push a clear underlying message throughout, leveraging pneumonic presentation delivery techniques to help the audience remember your message. Often, when you’re completely immersed within a project, it can be hard to distil all the available information into a few crucial points. From an outside perspective, we can help you strip back the waffle and more clearly articulate your central argument.
Typically, a presentation will be followed by questions. These can be just as anxiety inducing as the presentation itself, or more so, thanks to the unpredictable element. We can coach you on how to maintain your composure and spin your answers so that they reinforce one of your key messages. In addition, we’ll draft some questions that are likely to arise and help you devise and practice answers.
Presentation Coaching- The Practicalities
All our presentation coaching sessions can take place at a location of your choosing. Some people like to practice at the venue where the actual presentation will be delivered, such as a board room, whereas others prefer to get away from any possible distractions. We can either work on a one-to-one basis or in small groups. Depending on your confidence levels and time constraints, we can offer a one-off session or a series.
To learn more about practical yet highly personalised approach, get in touch today.