Are your key employees well trained to deliver your company’s high stakes presentations? Are your business leaders great at communicating? Are your sales professionals presenting solidly?
Whether you’re pitching for new business, delivering your value proposition or speaking to investors, your business success depends upon high-calibre presentations. Here’s why investing in proficient communication capabilities is beneficial for you and your organisation.
The recent airing of the local production of Shark Tank on Malta’s national TV station has sparked up conversation on the speaking competence and presentation ability of our youths and our workforce. Following some poorly delivered pitches, a number of business professionals have commented across social media platforms about the need to nurture and develop a strong speaking and presentation ability from a young age.
When this same discussion concerning the lack of adept communication skills comes up in our public speaking workshops, several participants put the blame on the local education system, arguing that it does not prepare students well in the field of debating and in delivering a powerful pitch. I tend to agree, yet, not all is lost. Observing from the assignments of my own kids, who are still in primary and middle school, there seems to have been a few small steps forward in allocating more assignments to students that require delivering a presentation. However, when it comes to real debating and strong pitching, more space for such practice is surely required.
As an HR & Training professional I often come across several gaps in communication skills across ogranisations. This leads several companies to take the route of providing their teams with learning and development programmes aimed at enhancing communication and presentation skills. When investing in the right training programmes, organisations recognise that they will benefit on multiple accounts. These include:
- Enhanced professional company image. The appropriate type of investment in communication skills development enables a company to reach a higher level of communication effectiveness and influence. Learning and development programmes that involve the combination of impromptu speaking together with prepared presentation activities provide the opportunity for individuals and their respective companies to maximise their impact and soar in their influence.
- Competent brand ambassadors. Now that we’re back on track with events, seminars, fairs and conferences, companies need the right talent pool to proudly represent their company at such occasions. Keeping the learning going for your talented performers increases your employees’ comfort level and eagerness to speak and present on behalf of your organisation.
- We are all in sales. When delivering public speaking training programmes I typically ask participants, ‘‘Who here is in sales?” Most of the time, a few participants raise their hand. I pause and then I proceed to asking the question again with more emphasis, ‘‘Perhaps I didn’t ask the question clearly enough. How many people here are really in sales?”. This time round, the majority of the participants understand what I’m really hinting at. Public speaking is, after all, a form of selling too, as the principles that apply to making a sales presentation are many of the same principles that apply to public speaking. This is because the more audience members like you and trust you, the greater the likelihood of them accepting your message. The more they trust you, the more open they are to your influence. When they trust you completely, they will follow your recommendations. Like selling, the purpose of speaking to any one or any group is to persuade people to think and act differently than they would have in the absence of your influence.
- Build strong client relationships. Chances are that other competitors offer a similar product or service offering to yours. So, what is it that impulses clients to do business with you? The answer is that they want to! That usually means they enjoy communicating and conducting business together with you. Trustworthiness and credibility are the bedrock of successful communication. So, when your teams are enabled to communicate strongly to captivate your clients and your key stakeholders, your business is on the road to success.
- Be recognised as an industry leader. You can demonstrate your mastery of a subject by expressing your thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely. In our age of ideas, masterful public speaking is a crucial skill. It’s the most impactful way to show how a professional can share what they care about. Mastering this skill enables professionals to get their message across with impact. Audiences typically equate the messenger with the message. Therefore, if you want to be recognised as an industry leader, your business presentations must go beyond good. They need to be memorable.
Public speaking is the key to stirring excitement, sharing knowledge and insights and promoting a shared dream. Done right, a powerful presentation can electrify a room and transform your audience’s view. When executed brilliantly, a talk is more powerful than anything in the written form. Writing gives us the words. Speaking brings takes it to a whole new dimension. Why risk failing to speak with power and persuasiveness?
This article was originally featured on MaltaCEOS.mt
Michelle Fenech Seguna is the Founder and Director of Speak to Move, offering professional training programmes which enable participants to communicate confidently and present powerfully in business and social situations. Michelle is based in Malta, where she offers executive coaching and corporate group training. To know more about Speak to Move services you can reach Michelle Fenech Seguna on firstname.lastname@example.org
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