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Training Course Outlines
Assertive Communication Skills
Creating a great
What You Must do to Have an Effective Presentation
Most of us have had the experience of being assigned a presentation at work. Whether you regard this as good news or bad news may predict how it comes out for you! Seriously, many, many people are uncomfortable about speaking in public; so if you are as well, you are certainly not alone. So how in the world do you ensure that this presentation assignment results in a positive outcome for you rather than a disaster you'd rather not remember? Rest assured, there really are ways to guarantee you deliver a great presentation.
First, consider why the presentation is to be made. Are you explaining your bargaining strategy with your represented employees to your lead team? Are you making a pitch for the purchase of a new piece of equipment? Are you charged with convincing your managers that they really do have a lot to gain by having regular performance conversations with their employees? What theme do you see in common in two of three of these examples? (Hum the "Jeopardy" theme song….) Time's up! You are almost always trying to convince your audience of a particular point of view when you do presentations at work. Sometimes you are simply informing, like the presentation about bargaining strategy. But most often you are actually selling an idea. Are you conjuring up the image of "selling" to include smarmy, slimy, used car salesmen? Many people do. But that's not really what it's about. Your task is to explain why the road you are advocating really is the best road to take.
Once you understand your mission, consider your audience. Do you anticipate resistance? Fear? Acceptance? Well, the latter is not usually what you see first. Your audience wants to know why you are advocating what you are advocating. Is there an environmental regulation you will be meeting? Will this new piece of equipment save money? Will this new system result in better performance and profit? Get ready for this one. Your audience has every right to understand why they should get behind your idea, particularly if it requires effort from them. Be ready to make sure they understand the "what's in it for me" component of your idea.
Third, you have some homework to do in how you actually present the information you have for your audience. Is your audience composed of accountants? Well, you'd better be ready with the "bottom line" information. Are they Human Resources professionals? You probably need to be able to explain the impact on your population. How about manufacturing types? Well, they will certainly want to understand how this change may impact production and efficiency. This really is a critical point for you to consider. If you are not speaking the "language" of your audience, they simply will not hear you. Really.
The good news is that you really do have an opportunity to make an impression on your audience as long as you consider the perspective of your audience, how your audience thinks, and how best to position your information for this audience.