Have a team that needs to build communication skills as a group? Well, just as an FYI, business presentation training is quite different from university-level public speaking classes or what you might pick up at a tasting club. For instance, a good presentation that you deliver for your friends or coworkers may actually backfire if you deliver the presentation to senior executives.
In this post, I’ll cover a few best practices for organizing fantastic business presentation skill training classes. Effective presentations don’t happen by accident. And, when you get a bunch of “Type A” personalities who all have experience leading presentations trying to work together to organize a single speech… Well… Let’s just say that the results can be a little frustrating.
Different personalities have different strengths. So, when you organize corporate presentation training sessions, you want to make sure to help each participant maximize his or her strengths. But, you also have to help your presenters create a clear message that is focused on the same outcome.
Here is a checklist of a few of the best ways to deliver presentation skills training for a business team:
- Start with Presentation Skill Training for the Entire Team (at the Same time.)
- Next, Focus on Creating Fantastic and Compelling Presentations. (If the Presentations suck, it doesn’t matter how skilled the presenters are.)
- Encourage Your Team of Presenters to Focus on the Needs of the Audience.
- Your Business Presentation Training Must Build Self-Confidence in Each Presenter.
- The Team of Presenters Must Practice Together.
1) Build Effective Business Presentation Skills in Your Team with Proper Training.
Every business presenter must have strong presentation skills to build credibility when they speak. By the way, it isn’t just being confident (we’ll cover that later.) A good presenter is a good communicator. She must be able to read the audience and make adjustments to the presentation along the way. This is a skill that takes time and practice to develop.
An engineering firm once hired me to help their team deliver sales presentations. In the past, when customers looked for their services, their executives delivered the presentations. However, once the executives presented and won the contract, the customer never saw them again. Instead, they saw the project manager, superintendents, foremen, and workers every day.
They wouldn’t get to meet their team until after all the contracts were signed. So the customers began requiring the project manager, superintendents, and foremen to deliver the sales presentations. These people were highly skilled workers, but none had ever delivered presentations — of any kind. They didn’t have the years of presentation practice that the executives had.
So, we organized a custom business presentations course for them. It allowed them to develop their presentation skills in a controlled environment. Of course, it also shortened their learning curves. They gained these presentation skills much faster than their executives had through trial and error.
This process is similar to going to a medical specialists. If you have a cold, you probably just want to go to your family physician. However, if you get cancer, you want to go to a specialist. Developing presentation skills is similar. If you just present in staff meetings, almost any presentation skills training will do.
But if you have a lot riding on the presentation, you might consider hiring an expert in designing and delivering business presentations to help.
2) Presentation Training for Business Professionals Starts with Creating a Compelling Presentation.
“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” Somers White.
One of the hardest things to do as a good speaker is to deliver a poorly designed speech. One of my class members was a high level account manager for a huge company. The company hired her (and her coworkers) because they were smart and autonomous workers. They were problem solvers for their customers.
Eventually, some of these account managers began overpromising to these customers. This created really problems internally. To fix it, they created a single all-encompassing PowerPoint Presentation that the account managers were required to use. (It had over 400 slides.)
The class member, desperate for help, asked me, “How in the world can I deliver this presentation to my clients?”
I had to answer her honestly. “You really can’t.” It was a terribly designed presentation. They could have hired Chris Hemsworth to deliver the presentation. And even with an Australian accent, the presentation would still be a terrible presentation.
So a big part of your business presentation training should include how to design presentations. Here are a few important ideas. First, be concise. You can’t cover everything. So focus only on the most important things that the audience needs to know about the topic. Next, include lots of examples and stories. Examples are always more clear than wordy explanations. Finally, add in some energy and showmanship. Make your business presentations interesting.
For additional details, see How to Design a Presentation.
3) Determine What Your Audience Needs and Wants Before Creating the Business Presentation.
Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of making your business presentation training about your team. Sure, we want to help them improve their presentation skills. And sure, we want to show them how to design and deliver a fantastic speech. However, before you start to design this fantastic speech, determine the audience’s needs and wants.
Think of your business presentation as a first date. The more you talk about yourself, the less the audience will like you. Focus on them. Focus on their problems and how you can help them. If you do, your business presentation will be stellar.
I recently met a young lady from Toyota who supplied cars to dealerships. Since demand is so high for their vehicles right now, supply is very low. She was looking for a way to help her dealership solve this problem while also solving problems for their customers.
A couple came into a dealership looking for a Sequoia. With a baby on the way, Dad wanted Mom to have more space. But the wait list for that vehicle was quite long. Because of the long delivery time, my class member had a Sequoia sent to the dealership for test drives.
The family’s sales rep had the mom take the car out. She was a little overwhelmed with the size and how difficult it was to get in and out of. (And that’s without a baby in tow.) So, the sales rep also showed them a Highlander. It was the perfect size for what they wanted. So, my class member’s suggestion helped both the sales rep and the family solve a problem.
Organize your business presentations so that they solve problems for your audiences. This is the absolute best way to capture and hold the audience’s attention.
4) Spend Time Building Self-Confidence in Each Team Member.
“People judge your competence by how confident you appear.” — Doug Staneart
A big part of creating a fantastic business presentation coaching session is to focus on building self-confidence in the individual presenters. Different personalities have different strengths. They also have different weaknesses. So trying to teach every presenter how to do the exact same things will always backfire.
My first presentation coach in college was an analytical detail-oriented person. She encouraged me to use a ton of facts and statistics in my presentations. This made the presentation much more difficult for me to deliver. (Adding a ton of data and statistics to my presentations wasn’t a strength of mine.) The more she coached me, the worse I got.
I got an “A” on my first presentation, a “B” on my second, and a “C” on my third. This process killed my confidence as well. Most people get better the more they present. However, I seemed to be getting worse.
Years later, another presentation coach told me I had natural enthusiasm. She helped me develop this strength. She didn’t try to force me to do things that were uncomfortable for me because those things helped her. Instead, she was more interested in helping me develop my natural strengths in front of a group. It worked like a charm.
Your business presentation coaching should help the individuals on your team maximize their strengths as well. You’ll help them create that executive presence when they deliver speeches!
5) Make Sure Your Presentation Team Practices Together.
So once you help your team develop presentation skills, create great presentation that are audience focused, and develop their strengths, there is one final step. You have to get the entire group to (1) create the speech themselves and (2) practice together.
Another big mistake that group leaders make is designing the presentation first. Then, delivering the presentation and PowerPoint slideshows to the presenters.
“But Doug, I’m just trying to make it easier for the team. They don’t have time to create the presentation.” Hogwash. Most often, the things we do to make thing easier actually make things harder. Let the presenters create their own presentation. That way, the speech will be in their words and with their focus. (If you have followed steps two and three, this should be a piece of cake for them.)
Get the whole team in a room and help them create the presentation. Dale Carnegie once said, “People will support a world that they help create.” So let them create this world.
Then, as they begin to put the business presentation together, give them a chance to practice. One of the absolute best reason we suggest organizing a private corporate presentation class is that is creates a controlled environment for the team to practice.
This step is critical in the process. Your team will do better if they work out the kinks at the office than in front of a big customer!
Want to Organize a Private Session for Your Team?
A private presentation coaching for a group at your office is the most cost-effective way to train the group. You can help your entire team gain confidence and learn presentation skills. They will learn how to design fantastic presentations focused on the audience. And, they get to practice as a team so everyone is on the same page!
For details, complete the form below.