Why Are Presentation Skills Important?

Most people will agree that presentation skills are important. But ask them to explain “Why?” and they are stumped. These folks might mumble something unintelligible and proudly declare “Because – everybody knows that it is”.

I’ve been studying and teaching presentation skills for over a decade so I’ve had the opportunity to think about this question.

First, let’s clarify the statement “Presentation skills are important”. What we really mean is, “Effective presentation skills are important”. “Presentation skills” is not a black and white off/on switch. It is a rainbow of colors. Everybody has presentation skills. Some are better than others. The primary goal is for your presentation skills to be better than your competition, whoever and whatever that is. The secondary goal is for your presentations to get better with every presentation that you deliver.

So whenever you read “presentation skills are important” think “better presentations are critically important”.

Presentation Skills are Important to Individual Success

For many individuals the first important presentation they deliver might be to the selection committee. It might be labeled as a “job interview” but it’s really a presentation. Success rides on their presentation outshining the competition. The results are black and white but the skills are a rainbow of colors.

In most organizations day-to-day business entails teamwork. That means presenting to your team or on behalf of your team. Career growth necessitates presenting your ideas to others. And if you want to be promoted you need to train others to handle your old job. If you want to fast track your career – volunteer to work on projects and deliver more presentations.

Presentation Skills are Important to Business Success

Having the superior product is never enough to guarantee business success. Apple is acknowledged as offering leading edge technology and Steve Jobbs is often modeled as a superior presenter. If you are not the Apple of your industry just imagine how much better your presentations need to be.

Business leaders are often expected to present their message with confidence and clarity to staff, clients, partners, investors and sometimes the public. Millions of dollars can ride on these presentations.

Presentation Skills are Important to Stress Reduction

The financial cost of stress to organizations is huge. Work related stress can be demoralizing to staff, management and executives. Effective presentation skills reduce miscommunication, which is likely the biggest cause of work related stress. Better presentation skills also reduces the stress on presenters which means they will be more willing to present and more effective with their communication. The principles and techniques of presentations apply to other methods of communication. Become a better presenter and you will become a better communicator.

Presentation Skills are Important to Time Management

Many presentations take too long and thus waste time because the presenter was trying to fill the time period. Better presenters get their message across in less time because they respect time, focus on the message and use the most effective techniques to communicate. Better presenters can deliver their 30 minute presentation in 5 minutes or 90 seconds when needed. Better presenters also save time while preparing because they prepare their presentation more efficiently. They know where they are going and how to get there faster.

Presentation Skills are Important to Leadership

Winston Churchill was praised for his inspiring presentations that helped England fight back against Nazi Germany. Leadership in your community, association or organization demands effective presentation skills.

Every cause needs a leader. Every leader needs to be able to stand up and deliver a clear and inspiring message. The team and followers will often judge the leader and the cause on the presentation skills of that spokesperson.

Presentation skills are Important to Public Image & Opinion

It might seem unfair, but we will often judge you, your organization and your product on how you, your staff or executive delivered a presentation. We will tend to remember the extremes – really bad or really good. Remember that our perception is relative to how everyone else presented.

Better presentations don’t guarantee you success but they give you a better fighting chance of success. Almost everything you want to accomplish is a fight. Why not gain a powerful edge in your favor? Improve the presentation skills of you and your team.

For the reasons above you can see clearly why presentation skills are important to you and your success.

© George Torok is a presentation skills trainer, executive speech coach and keynote speaker. He helps business leaders deliver million dollar presentations. Tap into your free presentation skills tips at http://www.torok.com Arrange for presentation skills training or speech coaching at http://www.SpeachCoachforExecutives.com For media interviews call 905-335-1997

Why Are Presentation Skills Important?

Presentation Skills Articles

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.

Keep Your Speech Interesting By Being Present Yourself

What happens when you keep your speech more interesting? Your audience will listen attentively to your words. People will think about your message. Your listeners are more likely to act on your call to action.

When those three things happen you know you delivered a successful presentation. So how can you keep your speech more interesting?

First you must realize that making your speech interesting is not something you do one time. You must keep injecting interesting moments throughout your presentation – much like adding spice to your cooking. If you want to make your meal more interesting you will include a variety of flavors and textures that stimulate the palate of your guests.

Delivering an effective speech is similar. You want to stimulate the minds of your listeners. So, what can you do to make your speech more interesting?

You can deliver more interesting and effective presentations by being present when you speak. What does that mean? Your audience must feel that you are there in the room with them – body, mind and soul. They must feel that you want to be there, that you are listening as well as talking and that you truly care about their best interests.

How can you demonstrate that?

Transform your speech into a conversation instead of a lecture. Think of how you might feel when the speaker is lecturing at you. That might feel rather cold. Lectures are often delivered by parents to children. Neither party enjoys them. They tend to be a one way communication. The listeners are usually made to feel small.

Use these techniques to be present when you present.

Ask questions of your audience and listen to their answers. Acknowledge and respect their opinions and perspectives especially when they differ from yours.

Encourage questions from your audience. Listen carefully to their queries and answer as best as you can. Look at the person asking the question and allow others to offer their comments.

Make eye contact with your audience while you are speaking. Don’t speak to a spot on the back wall, your slides or the floor. Look at your listeners and talk to them. Connect with people for a few seconds and then move your eyes to another person. Talk to every person in your audience one person at a time.

Be human. Admit a personal flaw, mistake or failing. Nothing says “I’m real” like sharing an embarrassing moment. Pretending to be perfect will offend your audience. Just don’t admit to all your flaws in one speech.

Laugh. Ha! Inject some humor into your presentation. Laugh when you make a mistake and laugh when something funny happens in the room. When you make a mistake be willing to allow people to laugh at you.

Be aware of what is happening in the room. When someone sneezes, say “Bless you.” When a cell phone rings, make a comment. If there is noise from outside, acknowledge that. If the mood seems to be dragging, either take a break or finish early.

Tell stories. Most people would prefer to listen to stories over lectures. Just ask your children. Include stories in your presentation that connect with your audience and illustrate your message.

You can keep your speech more interesting by demonstrating to your audience that you are fully present in the room.

© George Torok helps business presenters deliver million dollar presentations. Get your free Power Presentation Tips at http://www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com Arrange for presentation skills training or coaching at http://www.Torok.com For media interviews call 905-335-1997

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Tell me your strengths and weaknesses

What should you say, in a job interview, when asked to state your strength and weakness?

First, get your perspective right. You are there to sell yourself for the job. You are not there for confession or to be a clown.

Think about the perspective of the person interviewing you. They want to discover if you are the best person for this job. Every question they ask you is intended to help them decide. Therefore the perspective you take is to translate every question into “Why should we hire you for this job?”

Second, prepare. Do your homework before the interview. Look at each question and think about them. Then prepare a list of at least ten attributes for each question. Some things might even fit on both lists. If you can list more than ten, do it. This is the brain storming stage. Don’t judge yet.

Then ask five people who know and like you, “What do you see as my three key strengths?” and “What do you see as three weaknesses?” Remind them that only honest answers will help you. Some might need time to think about those questions, so give them the time. Don’t judge their replies and don’t defend. Thank them for their help. Tell them how this is helping you prepare for interviews.

Study the lists. If your friends are telling you things that you didn’t list it’s probably something you have overlooked.
For both questions pick the top three answers that are most relevant to the type of work or type of organization that you want. Remember your purpose.

For each write a short paragraph describing that attribute with an example. Then explain how that strength or weakness is a benefit for this job. Edit the paragraph to make it as short as possible and then rehearse saying it out loud.

When asked these questions in the interview, you could smile and start with, “I’m glad that you asked that question.” Pick the most relevant of your top three. Then deliver your prepared answer. Remember your purpose is to answer the real question which is, “Why should we hire you for this job?”

George Torok

Presentation Skills Training

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.


How do you know if you gave a successful presentation? Video

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.