Businesses around the world have invested in presentation skills workshops to support their overall success. Presentations are a crucial part of business, whether it’s to pitch new clients, communicate with C-level executives, or inspire employees to align with a new vision.
Effective presentation skills can have a serious impact on your company’s bottom line.
Since not everyone is born an amazing communicator, presentation skills workshops are one way to enable your employees to develop this critical skill.
In fact, there is an entire industry dedicated to improving communication and presentation skills. What should you and your organization expect from a great presentation skills training workshop?
What’s In It for Them?
Employees are often nervous about going to a presentation skills workshop, because they know that they might need to get up and actually present in front of a group. At the same time, many participants also appreciate what they have to gain from a workshop. Just like any great presentation, and great workshop should start with what’s in it for them, such as increasing their ability to:
- Deliver presentations with confidence and poise
- Design their message in a way that is clear and compelling
- Get their audience’s attention from the first word and keep it throughout their presentations
- Answer questions with succinct, well-formulated responses
As the workshop continues, participants see their presentations improve and they realize that they have just developed one of the most useful skills of their career.
How Do Workshops Improve Presentation Skills?
If you’ve never attended a presentation skills workshop before, you might be wondering how presentation skills workshops actually work.
How can someone go into a workshop in the morning a terrible presenter and come out in the afternoon a good presenter?
A great presentation skills workshop will follow a proven method for developing presentation skills. Here are some of the workshop components that BRODY uses:
1. Baseline Presentation. Recording a baseline presentation enables participants to see where they are now, and what they need to improve. Watching themselves on video raises their self-awareness and also clues in the facilitator on areas of focus.
2. Platform Skills. After viewing their recording, one of the main areas of focus should be platform skills. Also known as delivery dynamics, your platform skills encompass your visual, vocal and verbal expression. We’ve all heard the expression, “It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it!” Platform skills focuses on what you say and how you say it. This includes:
- Visual signals: Posture, movement, gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions
- Vocal signals: Pitch, speed, volume and fillers
- Verbal signals: Word choice, power robbers, and industry jargon
3. Organizing a Presentation. Without a strong organization, any presentation will fall flat. The audience may become confused, distracted and disengaged due to a poorly organized message. A great presentation skills workshop will provide a step-by-step process for organizing your information, including your:
- Purpose, Audience, and Logistics (PAL™)
- Powerful opening
- Main topics to be covered
- Supporting information (but, not just facts and figures)
- Transitions between topics
- Memorable closing
4. Participant Presentations. Once participants understand how to organize their presentation and deliver it effectively, they have an opportunity to put everything they learned together into a mini presentation. These should be recorded as well, so participants can see the improvement they’ve made in just a few short hours!
5. Coaching. A well-known adage is “practice makes perfect” – but only if you’re practicing the right way. A great presentation skills workshop needs a great presentation skills coach, who can both reinforce successes and identify specific areas for improvement moving forward.
Ideally, a presentation skills workshop should be a full day in length. Shorter workshops will cut into your time on either learning new skills or practicing them. At the same time, you can shorten the workshop if you have fewer participants.
For example, a session with the maximum of 10 participants will take a full day, but with 5 participants, you could shave off a couple hours from the practice time.
Selecting a Workshop
Now that we have seen what goes into a presentation skills workshop and what you can expect, how do you select a great presentation skills workshop?
With so many options available in the marketplace, it can be difficult to understand what sets apart one provider from another.
Our advice is to find a provider with an experienced team that is also familiar with your industry. Your provider should spend time up front understanding your business, the roles of the people attending, their specific presentation skills challenges, and how they will be applying the skills they learned.
When you invest in a presentation skills workshop for your team, you want to ensure that the end result translates to tangible business goals. That means the session will be tailored so that it meets your specific objectives.
Are their presentations formal or information? Seated or standing? Ten minutes or an hour? Delivered to senior leaders or individual contributors? Are your presenters in sales, marketing, IT, operations, or leadership? What are they looking to accomplish in presentations?
A provider that asks questions to truly understand your needs should be able to tailor a presentation skills workshop that is right for your team.
If you’d like to learn more about presentation skills workshops or if you’d like to discuss the specifics of your own situation in more detail, please contact BRODYpro today. We have been in business for more than 35 years and have a team of expert facilitators capable of understanding the unique dynamics of your organization.