We live in a world dominated by public speaking except that it goes by another name – presentations. From class rooms to war rooms to board rooms, presentations are everywhere. A 2012 article in the Bloomberg BusinessWeek estimated that an average of 350 presentations are delivered every second of every day. It would not be entirely incorrect to claim most of them are mind-numbing, dull and boring.
It does not have to be so. Presentation Excellence is the coming together of content, design and delivery. The program impresses upon the participants why is it important to think beyond text, to think visually and communicate through images? And it also tells them How?
It was comprehensive yet simple enough to understand and implement into my everyday practice.
For nearly 30,000 years, since the first cave paintings were discovered, telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods. When we hear a story, not only are the language processing parts of our brain activated, but also parts that we would have used if we had personally experienced the events of the story being narrated. Stories really light our brains up.
You cannot reach a person’s head without first touching their heart. The best way to make a heartfelt connection with your listener is through storytelling.
It is now a well known fact that the writing style and structure developed in school doesn’t work as well in the business world. According to a survey published in the Harvard Business Review, 81% of business professionals feel that poorly written material is frequently ineffective because it’s too long, poorly organized, unclear and imprecise.
How many business decisions have gone awry because of bad writing is something that cannot be arrived at. The need for clear, crisp and actionable written communication is higher today than ever before.
Communicate with Confidence
George Bernard Shaw, the famous author, and co-founder of the London School of Economics, once famously said that the biggest challenge of communication is the illusion that
it has taken place. Communication has never been faster or easier than it is now. But an increasing number of workplace conflicts today are attributed to poor communication.
The objective of communication is quite simply to create, maintain, and/or develop a connection between and amongst people. In that sense, effective communication is far more than what we say.
Data is the new oil, some say. It would therefore not be entirely incorrect to say data is the new currency of business. And this currency thrives in visualisation. Effective data visualisation lubricates and accelerates understanding and helps the audience to make connections that are otherwise not possible. Newspapers, magazines, and websites all use visualisation to attract audiences and tell complex stories. The new age word for these is infographics.
And the new expectation from presentations is to deliver the same level of sophistication and visual appeal as professionally designed graphics.
Young Managers today have the right blend of experience and qualification. However they need guidance and development that helps them excel in their roles as managers and leaders. To be able to effectively manage a team of professionals, some of the prerequisites are – leading self and others and collaborating with key stakeholders. And these skills are far from intuitive and common-sensical.
Excellence is achieved when we deliver results that are way above the ordinary in more than one discipline of work. Managerial excellence is no different.