Over the past few weeks, my final year accounting and finance students have been working in teams with the purpose of standing in front of the class to present their research to their classmates. There is no doubt that some of them will take the opportunity as a positive way to learn and master a new skill. On the other hand, a few may not be comfortable with standing in front of their classmates to present their hard-work. Even after many years of me doing this, I find that most students end up ‘enjoying’ the experience as much as I have pride in seeing their hard work come to fruition.
There are many advantages to learning the skill of presenting in front of others. I hope that as future managers and leaders, they will seize the opportunity to learn, watch videos of others and master the act of presentation.
Presentation skill is an important skill that managers and leaders need to learn to communicate, it is not an easy skill, but it is one that anyone can learn and become better at.
There was a story of a group of young entrepreneurs with one of the most innovative ideas, but they were unable to properly articulate their ideas to investors, hence they brought in a presenter after many of their attempts failed, the presenter helped them in return for a share of their company because they had no money to pay him. The presentation was successful and the presenter became part of the company. There have been many instances of great writers who are unable to present their dreams to others. It is a skill that can be learned if don’t want others to tell your story.
Presentation skill is not only about being able to make a speech, it is also about body language, voice, connectivity with the audience and much more. I was an introvert whose dream of teaching would never have been achieved if I didn’t overcome the fear of talking outside of my small group of friends, so I know how difficult it can be, but I also know learning to present has made a lot of difference to my life.
Imagine if the former US President Obama did not make that crucial speech or if he did a bad job at it or the great orator like Martin Luther King Junior presented his ‘dream speech’ in a monotone that was unable to move anyone.
We are offering feedbacks and classes on how to give better presentation. Even the best presenters can have a bad day, but the best way to avoid any misfortune is to practice and practice even more. But once you get used to presenting in front of a large audience, it can be therapeutic to the point of looking forward to your next presentation.
As a teacher, my audience varies and even the same class can need different motivation techniques to connect with them, so being able to read your audience is also important. The first few minutes of any presentation can be crucial especially in front of an audience that you are meeting for the first time.
You must be able to develop the right body language, bring the audience into your world, develop a rapport that allows them to take you into their hearts. Never let the audience know you are nervous, but remember a bit of nerves is not such a bad thing before the start of a presentation. But you must keep it under control, you are the master and people have come to listen to you deliver your masterpiece.
Overall, presentation is really about having fun as well. Relax and tell a great story, everyone remembers a great story. So, tell your own story in your own words, using your own voice and the world becomes a better place for it.
No doubt that good presentation skills helped in the defence of my PhD thesis.
I am going to publish some tips on my YouTube channel, first just using voice and later more visual effects.