I rest my case – why presenting is a key business skill

parent-and-teenagerThink for a minute about some of the interactions you have with fellow family members:

“Let’s go out to the movies tonight”

“Would you please tidy your room!”

“We should invite the neighbours for dinner next week”

It’s a form of selling. You’re trying to persuade and influence the behaviour of another person, and if they resist you’d better be ready to present a compelling argument!

Of course this is replicated at work where you’re always presenting ideas, seeking buy-in and attempting to persuade and motivate others to do what you want them to do. It’s a form of public speaking – not necessarily the keynote speech variety, but an interaction which requires skilful presentation skills whether to a single person or a group. And because it’s so pervasive, it’s essential to develop this if you have ambitions to progress in life.

In many respects, presenting is like storytelling – it’s got a beginning, a middle and an end.

  • Identify the issue
  • Understand and explore
  • Suggest some solutions

First, if you can identify an issue which affects the audience, you’ll gain their interest and you’re showing empathy (you feel their pain).

Stage 2 is to study the issue more deeply. Here you impress them with your depth of knowledge about the topic, and perhaps provide some insights that educate and enlighten.

Stage 3 provides some potential tools or solutions, giving the audience hope.

These platforms provide a marvelous opportunity to get ahead of the rest. Bosses will often judge the talent and ability of those present in a meeting by what kind of contribution they’ve made in the session. If you’re asked to present something, it’s a public showcase for your skills, talents and knowledge.

It’s also an indication of potential leadership qualities and may well tip the balance in your favour if you’re competing with another for a promotion. And of course in an era of mass marketing and ever-decreasing attention span, it’s a test of your ability to convey thoughts and ideas concisely and compellingly.

Anyone with ambition should consider presenting/public speaking as a KEY part of their skill set – a fantastic attribute in business and life in general.

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