Did you hear that popular anecdote floating around – the one about more people having a fear of public speaking than having a fear of dying? Can you believe that? In theory that means that it terrifies people more to be the person speaking at a funeral than to be the person whose funeral it actually is! I can’t speak for how true this quote is, but I do know that many people I speak to find communicating in public a really challenging task.
The fact is in this day and age, the ability to communicate effectively is an essential part of every job, and something that can no longer be avoided. Presentation and communication skills are highly valued by companies and organizations across the globe. It’s something so simple and easy to learn that anyone and everyone can improve their skills, you just need to know the right tips and tricks first.
As information professionals we are used to hiding behind the scenes, but more and more it seems we are required to have the skills to deliver good presentations, communicate ideas effectively, or sell our value to our company/organization. With all departments competing for resources, information management and privacy needs to be seen as an essential business service. To achieve this and make it work in your favour you need to be able to sell yourself and your ideas to the business and market the value of your ‘product’.
Tell a story
When I think about the most effective or memorable presentations, there is one thing that they all have in common. The ability to weave a story into their message.
Story telling moves people from one side to another because it’s relatable and the audience can find areas to identify with. Human beings naturally want to tell each other stories. Cognitive psychologists describe how the human mind, assembles the bits and pieces of experience into a story. This is the mind’s attempt to understand and remember. Stories are how we remember things well; we will often forget lists and bullet points, but stories stay with us for much longer.
My advice to people wanting to improve their presentation and communication skills is to find a story that aligns with the message you’re trying to communicate and build it up from there. This not only helps you to communicate effectively, but it also helps to reinforce your own personal brand.
Three tips for telling a good story
- Keep it relevant. Make sure the story relates to what you are trying to communicate. There is no point telling a story that doesn’t match the message.
- Keep it concise. You don’t need to go on and on, you just to need find something your audience can relate to.
- Practice makes progress. Perfection is overrated, but practicing ensures you keep getting better.
How much time and effort does it take to get good at presenting?
Becoming a skilled presenter or communicator isn’t an overnight thing, it’s something people must put time and effort into if they want to get good.
Start by doing a training course, watch and learn from others, and you’ll continue to grow and improve.
Attending a Presentation & Communication training course isn’t just an investment from a career perspective, but it will also help to build your confidence in your everyday life and will help you to feel comfortable speaking in front of groups, or networking with new people.
Presentation skills are vitally important for both the information management professional and the profession of information management. The work we contribute to an organisation is too valuable for us not to communicate it effectively.
Learn more by doing a Presentation & Communication Skills training course
If you’re keen to improve on your presentation and communication skills in the workplace and beyond, then you’re in luck as we at Leadership Through Data offer a Presentation & Communication Skills training course that is perfect for information managers or any other job function for that matter.
Here’s just some of the benefits and topics you’ll learn from our Presentation & Communication Skills training course.
- Builds confidence
- Redesign your messaging strategies
- Group work to share and create innovative ideas
- How to design and create your presentation slide deck
- How to craft your story telling skills
- Craft your own story
- How to open and close your talk with memorable techniques
- The use of presentation aids makes for a much more interesting talk
- How to plan and prepare for your talk
- How to deal with nerves pre/during/post presentation
- The three Ps of public speaking: Plan, Practice, and Performance.
Find out more about this course by clicking on the country below that most closely matches your time zone: