Presentation Skills


The ability to make effective presentations and represent themselves in the best possible light, is a skill that no senior, nor aspiring, manager can afford to ignore.

Whether you’re launching a product at a conference with an audience in the 100’s or just introducing a Powerpoint presentation of next year’s budget figures to colleagues, a planned and practiced approach is essential for success.

This course provides industry-relevant, usable tips and the opportunity to practice and give and receive feedback in a ‘safe’ environment. The short module descriptions provide an indication of the likely content for each module but participants have the opportunity to ‘customise’ the course according to their personal needs and deal with real fears and concerns.

Learning is therefore experiential, with the added benefit of being able to observe effective presenting by the trainer.

Duration: 2 Days
Participants: 6-18
(for more than 12 participants, 2 trainers are recommended)

This is essential to create an atmosphere conducive to constructive feedback. It usually takes the form of an individual mini-presentation and allows the trainer to gauge the language level and communication abilities of the participants.

A session during which participants voice their personal fears and concerns about giving presentations. These form a ‘Wish List’ which drives the programme and is then referred back to for checking at the end of the course.

An in-depth look at the way in which communication works, including encoding and decoding messages, non-verbal communication, use of voice etc. Participant input is solicited and a buy-in achieved for a fully-rounded approach to getting the message across. In some instances it is necessary to explore the role of company culture and demonstrate how the Brand Personality can be leveraged in support of the message, both with internal and external presentations.

This is a pivotal message and explores the need to adjust the presentation style according to a number of demographic and cultural variables in the target audience. Profiling is undertaken, along with some comparison work to determine if there are any gaps between the presenter’s approach and the way in which the information needs to be processed and received.

Most presentations involve an element of persuasion, so a link to communication as a marketing/sales tool, both internally and externally to the company is made. In particular, the role of Benefits against Features in presenting information and obtaining ‘buy-in’ is covered. For a more sales-orientated group it is possible to develop this argument towards the creation of a Value Statement focused on the maximization of Benefits and the minimization of Sacrifices.

A powerful tool based on extensive research which explains how emotional and social needs can be leveraged to make presentations more effective, securing attention and providing strong audience engagement. This framework is further developed through application in the following module.

After some specific coaching on the organization and skills of presenting as part of a group, the participants prepare a company presentation for one of 3-4 target audiences. In this way, the cultural and information limitations are acknowledgednand NASAFS and Six Human Needs techniques are explored, and although the planned presentation is not actually held, the group is nevertheless required to present the plan, thus providing a second practice opportunity with resulting peer and trainer feedback.

As a preparation for the individual presentations to be delivered on the second day, appropriate technical questions are dealt with, as well as the various presentation structures which might be appropriate to meet the understanding needs of the target audience.

Starting with the Roman Rules of Rhetoric, the effective use of language is discussed, with practised examples. The use of silence and other dramatic techniques to enliven presentations is covered, along with practical tips on handling questions and dealing with interruptions and late-comers. Should the organisation’s main focus be on presenting in English, specific linguistic points, such as word-use, grammar and syntax are covered and practiced, along with the use of direct and indirect language for persuasion.

Participants are required to give an individual 8-10 minute business-focused presentation, supported by Powerpoint slides. The trainer then elicits feedback from the group and supplies additional points and tips. On many occasions, a short video is made and the clips reviewed by the group at the end.

With an eye on the organisation’s established format, suggestions are made for improving slide design as appropriate, in particular the consistency and the obtaining and use of appropriate images. The presentation of charts and graphs is also explored, together with practical tips for enhancing communication and avoiding problems.

By returning to the original ‘Wish List’, a check is made to ensure that all points of interest indicated by the participants have received suitable attention. By way of a short questionnaire, participants are then invited to provide feedback on the course and the trainer(s). A summary of these can then be provided to the organization.