When was the last time you were required to give a presentation? Can you remember? Presentations are not limited to groups of people sitting around a speaker — they’re part of your everyday life. Each time you pitch an idea, discuss solutions with a client or interact with colleagues, you are presenting. Delivering a low-quality presentation can drive away potential clients, limit promotional opportunities and waste time.
Here’s how mastering the art of giving excellent presentations can propel your career forward.
You’ll Gain More Self-Confidence
As you hone your presentation skills, you’ll captivate and engage a more significant portion of your audience. Your confidence will naturally begin to grow as you rehearse your presentation and become more comfortable with the subject matter. Eventually, you’ll relax when speaking in front of larger groups about your ideas. This confidence will then carry over to other areas of your life, such as communicating with co-workers or pitching solutions to a client.
The next time you sit for a job interview or apply for a promotion, you’ll have the speaking ability you need to sell yourself as the best candidate. Interviews are another form of presentation. Your potential employers will be attracted to your confidence, and you’ll increase your odds of landing the job you want.
Your Articulation Will Improve
Successful presentations immediately grab an audience’s attention. If a speaker takes too long to set the stage for their thoughts or pitch, the audience may lose interest in the topic. Once an audience checks out, it can be difficult — if not impossible — to get them back. Rather than risk this pitfall, practice stating your ideas in a concise matter. After you’re familiar with getting down to the point of what you wish to say, you’ll avoid going off on tangents or rambling.
As you improve your articulation skills, you’ll naturally improve your communication skills. You’ll have an easier time conveying your point of view to your co-workers. Clients will better grasp your recommendations and supervisors will appreciate your direct approach.
You’ll Become Better at Reaching Your Target Audience
Part of delivering a quality presentation is having a firm grasp on your target audience. Before you begin to develop a presentation, take a moment to reflect on who you will be presenting to. Is the presentation for internal co-workers or external clients? Will you be speaking at a conference where the audience has a firm knowledge base? Evaluating your audience will help you determine the subject matter they will find the most relevant.
Learning to read and assess the information most relevant to your target audience is an invaluable skill. Chances are, your clients are busy people. Instead of wasting their time — and yours — you’ll be able to provide them with tailored services or products that best meet their needs. Investors, supervisors and co-workers will also benefit from this approach, as you’ll be able to provide specific, relevant information in their areas of interest.
You’ll Be Seen as an Expert
Think back to the last presentation you heard. Did the speaker talk confidently to the audience, or did they stumble over their subject matter? To be seen as an expert, you must speak like an expert. The more time you spend practicing your presentation skills, the easier it will be to speak naturally with more confidence and to articulate your ideas better. Your audience will begin to see you as an expert.
Coming across as an expert has advantages with current and prospective clients, too. Everyone wants to purchase products, services or take their advice from an expert — ideally, an expert who is confident in the capability of what they are offering or discussing. Being passionate about your subject area doesn’t hurt, either. Enthusiasm is contagious. Speak passionately during your next presentation, and you’re more likely to achieve your goals.
You’ll Improve Your Communication Skills
Strong presentation skills will carry over into your everyday life and improve your communication skills. Think back to the last time you attended a speech. Did the speaker actively engage with the audience and try to answer their questions thoroughly, or were they dismissive and short? Failing to engage an audience can turn them away from you or your company. Actively listening to and addressing questions from your audience will pique their interest and grow their trust.
Active listening is a critical component in excellent communication. Practicing this skill during the question-and-answer session of a presentation will help you listen more fully to your clients. In turn, you’ll be able to address their needs more accurately. Co-workers also will also benefit from active listening. You’ll reduce the amount of time spent in meetings and improve your relationships.
The skills you develop while delivering a presentation can carry over into other aspects of your life. Take the next step in launching your career by developing the skills to give a quality presentation every time.