Presentation skills

Introspection would lead us to recognize if there is room for improvement in the way we handle speaking opportunities. This course helps build this very essential skills -Presentation.  

Now Introspect

Are there certain things that they are doing that make us feel that our objective in listening to them was well served? What is it that makes us feel that listening to them is less tedious than to many others?

Despite personal variations, are there any common features of such speakers that are different from those who leave us cold?

  • Yes
  • No

Need to work on Presentation skills.

It is estimated that over 75 percent of the time of an executive goes into spoken communication. Meetings, Presenting, Discussing, Counseling, making Calls, Training etc. Our professional lives revolve around speaking and presenting opportunities.

So what holds us back from becoming the best speaker/ presenter in our personal and professional lives? May be Anxiety, 80% admit this to be the root cause. Is there a way out: Experts say YES and by the way it is not hyper-intention, the way is saying yes to yourself, saying YES I am anxious so what?    

Are you the best version of yourself, yet?

Speaking is a powerful way to impress others with our ideas and personality. Our relationships with others pave the path of our success; these relationships are largely based on the way we speak with others in our everyday interactions with them.

People are constantly forming ideas about our intelligence, levels of awareness, depth of knowledge, originality of ideas, integrity, levels of involvement, and much else from what we speak and how we speak.

Our desire to get our ideas and feelings across to others is the starting point of the journey of communication. The desire needs to be combined with that for being recognized and appreciated, so that we take responsibility for improving our communication skills.   

Plato famously said:

‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.’

Executive Presence

If we gauge by our own responses in interaction with others, we would agree that an aggressive, blunt, and rough style is a big turn-off and is interpreted as showing little respect for the listener.

Standing upright to indicate energy and confidence, or sitting in a manner indicating enthusiasm and interest in reaching out to our listeners, leaning forward, reducing the distance between listeners and ourselves, standing still when coming to a crucial point, are all ways in which we may use our posture and movement to add to our effectiveness. 

When we speak to people in a comfortable and easy manner there are many positive messages about ourselves that we give out. We show that we are willing to step out of our concerns and extend ourselves. We show friendliness and an easy, relaxed attitude, and that we don't feel threatened or vulnerable so as to retreat in defense.

Finally, As Shakespeare wrote,

‘the apparel oft proclaims the man’

Any conversation loaded with technical jargons and delivered with haste is _______ .

  • Not appreciated
  • appreciated

Are we prepared to critically analyze our effectiveness in speaking situations?

  • Yes
  • No

Attributes of effective speaking

Attuned to the listener. Clear and concrete. Structured presentation of ideas. Engaging delivery, Involving the listeners. Increased effectiveness of message through multiple sensory cues.

To master these, we need to be aware of the importance of each one of these and, knowing that it is not possible to achieve these by mere good luck or chance, we need to have a structured approach to our speaking/ presenting opportunities

Listener first and all the way

Listener will listen attentively only when;

1.The speaker has something to say that is interesting and useful to him in some way 2.The speaker has a style that makes one feel involved in what they are saying 3.The mannerisms and body language of the speaker are not jarring, but actually seem to complement what they are saying 4.The speaker seems to possess authority on the material they are talking about 5.The speaker seems to care about getting their ideas through to you 6.The speaker presents ideas in a structured manner that makes it easy to follow.

It would do well to keep in mind that the listener may be obliged, in a number of formal situations, to hear us, but no listener is ever obliged to actually listen. They will only do so if they find the talk engaging and valuable. After all the listener also spends much in terms of time and effort for decoding and if they see no value in it for them, they do not see the worth of this expense and tune out.  

Presenting with the spoken word

Energy and Sincerity . Vocabulary. Effective body language,

Energy and Sincerity

The potential to connect with the audience is one of the biggest strengths of spoken communication. Make them part of the dialogue, let them feel your eagerness to speak to them, to connect with them, and to share your ideas with them. 


Vocabulary

Building up a rich and deep reservoir of vocabulary through listening and reading and making it ours by absorbing it into our own communications is the most basic preparation for translating our ideas and thoughts into messages to be conveyed to others.

Effective body language

The receiver is more likely to continue to trust the speaker- including their intentions and their material- if they see a connection between the words and the unconscious cues that accord higher credibility to these. 

Facial expressions, Eye contact, Voice, Tone, Pace, Pauses, Gestures and Appearance are all as important, if not more important, as the spoken word. 

Telephone

Its easy when I can see the other person however over phone I become ineffective

•Greet appropriately

 •Introduce self

 •Listen to the caller

 •Delegate to other (if req.)

 •Answer appropriately

 •Confirm understanding

 •Thank the caller

Caution:

Studies have shown that audio only conversations were more depersonalized, argumentative, and narrow in focus compared to face to face conversations


Willingness to listen to others which is an important component of all conversations and dialogue, is a quality that we need to develop in ourselves as much as possible by taking genuine interest in others views and feelings, in respecting others as individuals, and in controlling our self-focus and impatience that prevent us from listening to others. 

Presentations

A useful formula for structuring a presentation in a way that we take our audience along is: Tell them what you are going to tell them (Intro) Tell them (Body) Tell them again what you told them (Conclusion)

A mistake commonly made by many speakers is to pull out the same set of material regardless of the audience, if the topic remains the same. 

Introduction 

This is the stage where we grab the audience’s attention to:

 •Strike a rapport •Relate to them by bringing in awareness of their needs •Establish our own credentials and of our material •Provide a sense of direction for the presentation through sharing our structure, agenda or plan [if ppt]• 

To achieve this, we may start with a startling fact, a brief and relevant anecdote, or a humorous icebreaker.

Body 

This is the stage where we deliver on our promise made during introduction:

 •Provide focused data and facts and logically supported assertions. •Examples should be from the experience base of the particular audience so that they serve to exemplify the point rather than further confuse. •Avoid disjointed ideas that do not get built upon. •Attempt should be to provide a smooth flow so that the ideas build on each other and serve to take the audience along to the conclusion we have in mind.  [if ppt]• 

In long presentations, it is advisable to recap crucial points at the end of each section.

Conclusion 

This is the stage where we recap and seek confirmation of understanding and may be commitment from audience:

 •Conclusion is where the promise of the introduction in sharing useful information, or making useful recommendation, or arguing in favor of a position gets crystallized. • A strong opening and equally strong conclusion provide a satisfying sense of promise delivered. •Remember to end with strong, memorable closing statement. [if ppt]• 

We may use slides to help keep the audience on track

with where we have been, where we are,

and where we are headed.


Reflection and conclusion

Remember, the value of your information is not absolute; it should relate to the audience and their ‘ What is in it for me?’ outlook.

•Listeners need to relate the sounds received by their ears to the literal and contextual meaning. •If we keep hurrying from point to point, or from assertion to assertion, or keep heaping fact upon fact without pause, we may build a processing backlog that may become so big that the listener may give up trying to deal with it. •Providing a little break in the pace of speaking serves the purpose of an underlined or bold text in writing.  •Preference rule 

     Peak End with Negative bias

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Be patient with yourself Self growth is tender, it’s holy ground So invest in your growth, and stay the course Stephen Covey