Presentation skills are important.
People are called upon to present information and ideas on a regular basis. Beyond knowing the general context of these ideas, the way that information is presented is also vital to a listener’s interest, understanding, and acceptance of the subject.
Technology advances, such as video conferencing, video meetings, video interviews and webinars, are becoming a popular method for people to connect and communicate. With these advances comes an increasing need for effective presentation skills, both as a leader and a participant in a video or virtual communication setting. In the absence of face-to-face contact, more emphasis is placed on the ability to be a good communicator by being concise, confident and able to get your point across.
The mannerism in which we present ourselves in any professional scenario always leaves a lasting impression, whether positive or negative. As video interviewing, video meetings and video conferencing become a fast growing trend, those who can present ideas and information well have a much greater opportunity in the workforce. For example, the initial job interview done by video communication is a convenient alternative for a company to source people globally in an effort to find the best talent. The number of initial interviews done remotely by video has risen to more than 30 per cent today from about 10 per cent two years ago, says Gordon Orlikow, executive recruiter of Korn/Ferry International** .
Although video communication is ‘unreal’, it's still important to come across as ‘real’ leaders or participants who are relaxed, prepared and able to converse effectively with a camera rather than a person or audience.
That being said, the basic communications techniques used in face-to-face opportunities also hold true for virtual presentations. When presenting yourself and your information, keep these points in mind:
· Be prepared
· Be concise
· Be confident
· Dress for the occasion
· Maintain good eye contact
· Practice, practice, practice
If the thought of speaking publicly, to a camera or even at a meeting amongst coworkers, makes you nauseous, try stepping out of your comfort zone by taking baby steps towards the points mentioned above. If you think you are already well skilled, keep at it. Chances are there is still a lot to learn and much to gain from your practice.
Impromptu opportunities to present yourself surface constantly, and with practice and guidance, you can become an excellent presenter.
Best wishes for successful presentations,
** The Globe and Mail, March 2, 2007
* To help serve the demand for effective presentations skills, Northern Lights Presentations offers seminars and private consulting.