Often senior leaders represent their organizations at different external events, either as panelists or speakers. The expectation here is to add your precious thoughts and leadership insights on topics that matter and can potentially add value to the success of these events.
The communicator here isn’t responsible for creating content for marketing or branding purposes. Instead, it is about engaging the audience and creating a trusting environment through communication and knowledge sharing. It is more about sharing your incredible journey with the audience using effective presentation.
Now see, there are many factors at play when presenting as an executive in front of a crowd. From understanding the context to researching and delivering it with sheer confidence, every element seems to be an essential aspect to consider for future engagements.
But with success always comes hurdles that many do not talk about. Challenges build your path to success. So, even as an executive, you might still come across multiple issues while delivering your presentation to the audience.
Sometimes, you might concentrate on the presentation and lose out on connecting with your audience. Or, sometimes, you might also fail to complete the entire presentation within the allotted time. These are petty common issues that you still might face during your presentation.
What’s the solution? If you do not want to make these mistakes, you need to update your game more. That means you need to identify these errors and strategies that can help you develop your presentation skills as a high-level executive.
Before diving into these strategies, let’s take a quick look at these essential presentation skills and their importance in business communication.
What Are Presentation Skills And The Types?
To become a successful executive, you need to demonstrate excellent presentation skills. Therefore, one of the critical skills for any successful leader is crafting a persuasive presentation and delivering it with utmost conviction.
So, in layman’s terms, your presentation skills are those abilities that enable you to connect and interact with your audiences and transmit the messages with sheer clarity. You lead the entire presentation by stating, interpreting, and letting your listeners understand the underlying messages hidden within your presentation.
Therefore, your presentation skills are responsible for putting forward your ideas and messages to your audiences and enhancing your winning powers. In addition, developing these presentation skills will help you convince your employees about the mission and vision of the organization.
So, how to improve your presentation skills? Knowing a little more about the types of presentations and appropriate skills to utilize can help you get a fair idea about the same. Since you have been handling such presentations for some time now, you have mastered the essential skills for execution. However, here are some of the points to consider:
Being Informative, Crisp & On-Point Helps
One of the skills to master here is sticking to your presentation brief. You might be tempted to share more information with your audiences, but in the case of a strict timeline, you need to keep it short and crisp.
Be informative about the topic and start your presentation directly stating the facts. Be logical; explain things relevantly while sticking to the objectives of the display. However, always break down any complex data into simplified forms to help your audiences digest the informational content smoothly.
Instructional Ones Require Full Participation
In any instructional presentation, you are asked to give orders to the assignees. So, there is a chance that your presentation might require some extra time. Here you need to cover the topics thoroughly while imparting knowledge about a particular skill or issue to the listeners.
Be clear about the programs’ skills, worth, and learning objectives to the audiences. Demonstration along with proper explanation can be helpful in this regard. Moreover, you need to communicate with your listeners in such presentations directly.
Therefore, let them ask you questions and also ask them to offer you feedback. Having participants verbally contribute to your presentation can only help you conduct the session successfully.
Story-Telling Helps You Connect More
Another skill to master here is your story-telling capabilities. In an arousing presentation, your purpose is to gain attention with your story-telling capabilities to illustrate the problem to your listener.
With utter sincerity and enthusiasm and using vivid language, you can give your audiences a directive that is crisp, clear, and easy to understand. It is one of the best presentation skills examples that require your attention. The more you master this skill, the better you communicate your thoughts to your audiences.
Being Persuasive To Sway The Audiences
Another way to convince your listeners about your outlook is through a persuasive presentation. Start with a clear introduction to your topic that immediately seizes your attention. Then, disclose the problems or requirements of your presentation and entice the audience by discussing the advantages of solving them.
Creating a desire to agree with your points, thereby filling their real needs, can show some of your strong leadership traits to the audience. Finally, you can choose to close the presentation with your conclusion or ask for feedback as per your decision.
Strong Decision-Making Skills For Motivating Audience
Lastly, as an executive, you can motivate your audiences as per your suggestions, ideas, and even arguments. In that scenario, it is essential to showcase your decision-making skills to tell the audience what to do and perform it.
Involve your audiences, if required, to show them your perspective, knowledge, and why your decision is the ultimate solution to the problem. However, always leave room for your listeners to share their views and feedback about your presentation.
Importance Of Presentation Skills In Business Communication
While you have been through the entire content above, you must be thinking, how relevant are these presentation skills for an executive? Of course, being an executive, you do not always have to conduct meetings or such presentations.
But working on your presentation skills can do wonders for you, no matter what rank you hold right now. First, it gives you the power to motivate your audiences to look and think according to your ideas and thoughts. It gives you the authority to become a dominant voice during distinguished business gatherings.
So, here are some reasons for understanding a little more about presentation skills importance:
Helps In Building Morale
You do not want to see that dissatisfied look on their faces when conducting a meeting or presenting your business aims and visions. You need to do it in the right way that impresses your audiences and helps them see it through your outlook.
So, presentation skills help you convince them better and help you grow your network. Also, with such success, it allows you to boost your self-confidence.
Employee Retention Becomes Easier
Many companies include presentation skill development as their organizational skill-building exercises. Why is it profitable for the business? That’s because it helps your employees communicate appropriately with the clients and helps the company increase its retention levels. So, all-in-all it helps your business ROI to multiply.
Reduce Miscommunication While Building Trust
As a professional, working on your presentation skills helps you win and works in favor of your organization. It enables the executives to expand the business with ease. With that, you also minimize the occurrence of miscommunication with your team players.
It matters whether you can seamlessly communicate with your teams as an executive. So, better presentation and communication skills will help you reduce the stress of miscommunication and thereby increase efficiency and effectiveness within the teams.
Being a leader is about motivating your teams and voicing inspirational messages to your audiences. Proper presentation skills help you charm the audience and establish your authority.
Levels Of Presentation Skills Needed For An Executive
Primarily, there are three levels of presentation skills that can help you make smooth business transactions. Business presentations, public speaking, and excellent communication are essential leadership qualities that you need to develop on formal and informal levels. While you might not utilise them constantly, they can play significant roles in shaping your future as a leader.
Your presentations may or may not require public speaking. But most essentially, they happen during those one-on-one conversations.
During such presentations, you need to showcase your influencing skills while convincing your clients to sign on to your brand’s products or for other business purposes. Sometimes, it might be about collaborations with established brands or mergers. Even the negotiations also fall within this business presentation category.
Public Speaking & Communication
As an executive, you already had the experience of interacting with a large group of listeners. It can be a workshop or an expo to communicate with your audiences while establishing trust. As a leader, showcase your excellent presentation and communication skills while sharing information across cultures, time zones, and other organisations. You cultivate relationships and expand beyond your networks when speaking openly with empathy.
But it doesn’t end here. Instead, your people skills, decision-making abilities, creativity, flexibility, confidence, conflict management, and more skills are required to dominate the crowd while presenting your ideas and thoughts. So you might want to identify these qualities as some of the essential traits that make you a successful leader.
How To Study Your Audience And Deliver For Them
Intrigued to know how to develop these critical presentation skills to help you become a leader?
The first thing you can do is start with studying your audience. Knowing a little more than the usual attributes of your audiences can help you prepare your presentation correctly and even help in communicating with them directly. However, knowing the basic demographics is not enough to study your audiences.
So, how do you plan to study your target audiences? Maybe start with these:
Data Analytics Can Be Useful
You already have sufficient data about your audiences. What you need to do right now is review them and study the patterns. Data analytics can be a helpful tool here that can highlight both requirements and the challenges on a deeper level. Data analytics can be an effective tool for you if you are keen on understanding more about presentation skills and how to update them as per your audience requirements.
Create Tailor-Made Surveys
If you are keen to know more about your audiences, you need to create surveys that can help you gather information on a deeper level. Of course, creating personas can help you understand the requirements of your audience. But, along with that, you need to start asking them more than the basic questions and feedback. Let your audiences convey their experiences, expectations, and more that can help you understand them and thereby update your presentation skills.
You might also want to learn from your superiors. As an executive, you can refer to the previous achievements of people who inspire you to be a leader. Looking at their examples, strategies, and presentation skills can give you a fair idea about identifying your audiences.
Also, experimenting with new strategies will always help you. Of course, you might fail, and then you get to learn more about your shortcomings. But think how much can you gain when your experimenting strategies work in your favour?
How To Make Eye Contact With The Audience And Move With Purpose?
How do you manage to grab someone’s attention during your presentation? Maybe you can start your conversation while making eye contact with your audience. It is one of the best strategies to update your presentation skills and reach out to the audience.
So, how do you establish eye contact? By following these:
Practice Makes You Perfect
Yes, you already know how practicing your communication skills can help you interact in a better way. But, you also need to practice making eye contact with people around you.
As a leader, when you present your thoughts or pitch to the other company’s professionals, you need to come across as pretty determined, focussed, and strong-willed. Although you can conduct the session successfully, you still need to practice to master your soft skills.
Let There Be Enough Space
If both the parties involved in the discussion are pretty comfortable, you can definitely lean slightly towards them while maintaining eye contact. However, if it is someone not very familiar with your presence, let there be space between both of you. The added space can balance the greater eye contact and let the receiver be comfortable in your company.
Focus & Switch Frequently
When conducting a session, start making eye contact with the ones sitting close to you. However, do not get stuck at any point as that can make the receiver slightly uncomfortable and make others lose interest in your topic. Instead, always move around and make contact with others smoothly while you interact with them.
Also, never overdo it. Make eye contact, but only up to a certain point. You do not want to lock your eyes with only one person throughout your conversation. If there is only one person in the room, you might want to include the person in the discussion and sometimes break the gaze horizontally.
How To Confidently Answer The Questions During The Presentation?
While working on your business communication skills, focus on your confidence while answering your audiences. As a leader, your audiences would be interested to know more about your ideas, thoughts, and practices that make you successful in your life. Sometimes, preparing beforehand might not be very useful during the session. Therefore, practice some of these strategies to answer their questions confidently:
- Lean directly into the question, even if it makes you slightly uncomfortable. No stepping back highlights your confidence and being in control of the crowd. Try it.
- Do not let fight or flight mode kick in. Although it is a natural human tendency, consider that you might not have discussed this question yet. Take this opportunity to acknowledge and channelise your thoughts and energy in answering the same. If required, take a deep breath and a moment to think and get back to your audience with your reply.
- Keep firm eye contact with your listeners. It definitely helps. It helps you to retain rapport with your audience, which ultimately can help you in confidence-building.
- Always be open to learning. Your audiences will definitely love and acknowledge your character if you are honest with them. Understand that you are a human, and it is practically impossible to know it all. So, if it is too difficult to answer, let your audiences know and be open to learning from them as well.
- Try involving more listeners while you answer the question. It helps you involve and directly communicate with your audiences while you get some moments to prepare your reply.
- Be crisp but let your listeners know that you can respond to that question in detail. Then, ask him back if he needs a detailed explanation of his question. It helps you to understand the audience’s requirements and also saves time.
Why Building Confidence Is An Integral Part Of Leadership Quality?
Confidence happens to be an essential leadership trait. If you cannot believe in yourself, how can you motivate others to follow you or your thoughts? If you want to earn their trust, you need to start believing in yourself first. Remember, it is a quality that you can never fake before your employees or audience.
Building confidence can:
- Help you become fearless. The courage gives you the power to become a leader who can do the right things without hesitation or anxiety.
- It helps you to communicate confidently with people around you. As a result, you always feel secure when interacting with anyone and let them know your ideas and thoughts. In addition, self-confidence helps you use the right set of words at appropriate places at the correct time.
- With proper communication and self-confidence, you can work with your teams properly. You let them know about your creative ideas, thinking, and views regarding a particular topic and be willing to listen to their feedback and grievances.
- As a leader, it helps you grow when you can prioritize presenting your business ideas to your team without any hesitation.
- Another benefit of self-confidence is self-assurance. You have high levels of confidence and faith in your skills that help you seamlessly fulfill your job requirements.
If you need to work upon this trait, you can always refer to presentation skills training that can help you build confidence and thereby help you optimize your capabilities. Remember, your self-confidence lets you accomplish your goals in life. And that is your ultimate key to happiness and gratification.
Personality Traits That Make You A Great Leader
What makes you a competent leader? Skills, confidence, and self-belief traits make you a potential leader. These are the primary ones that can help you become the ultimate leader of your team. Want to know some more? Here are a few to learn more about personality development:
- Integrity happens to be an essential leadership trait that can help you make countless decisions for your company
- Your delegation capabilities can effectively establish you as a leader among your teams. Your ability to delegate helps you provide autonomy, facilitate teamwork, build trust, and make better decisions.
- Communication and better conversions help you to connect with your teams and make sure that they listen and follow your morals for the company’s benefits
- Being focused and self-aware about your capabilities can motivate people who work with you. So, be careful about understanding your strengths and weaknesses before you see yourself as a leader.
- Gratitude leads to higher self-esteem and reduced anxiety. In addition, being thankful for your life and achievements make you an appreciative boss that people genuinely love to work with.
- Be a learner and show your teams how you can be agile in learning new things in life
- Be convincing emotional while being cooperative if you aim to gain your employees’ trust and build a rapport with them
- Empathy is an essential personality trait that helps you create a better workplace for your employees and peers
- As a leader, you need to be courageous and be open to both criticism and constructive feedback
Above all, treat people with the utmost respect and create a trustable environment for your teams. Appreciate their involvement and contribution to the growth of the company. Being a team player can ultimately make you a better leader.
The Importance Of Non-Verbal Communication Skills
I have been talking about your presentation skills, communication skills, and many more and how they can make you a successful leader. It is time to shed some light on the role of non-verbal communication skills and public speaking skills that have immense significance in establishing you as a leader:
- Your first impressions will always be crucial for you. It is easy to label someone, especially from their body language. Therefore, you need to be careful about it while presenting yourself in front of a crowd. Whether it is about greeting a client or stepping onstage, make a conscious choice about your current attitude.
- Smiling is a positive attitude that you can often use to show your welcoming nature to the audience
- Making eye contact shows your self-confidence and interest in the crowd
- Always be careful about your posture as it can deliver different messages to the observers
- How do you speak and maintain your pitch throughout the presentation? Your articulation, tone, pitch, pausing, rate, volume, and many such factors require proper consideration if you want to conduct a session successfully.
Remember that nonverbal behavior can shape the ways people see you. So if you want to become a leader, start working on your non-verbal skills and presentation skills communication.
How Presentations Are An Integral Part Of Business Communication?
As already highlighted multiple times above, communication is the key to a successful business. And the best way to communicate with your clients or audiences is through presentations. Why? Here are some reasons:
- It offers you the chance you personally greet your clients and convey your business proposals while highlighting the USPs and profits
- You get to engage your audiences through such presentations. A theatrical presentation can definitely help you to communicate with your audiences and motivate them to follow your ideologies. Business communication can often significantly impact the audience and your potential clients.
- It’s a versatile communication tool that helps you to reach out to a broader audience, thereby expanding your business globally
- Creating a proper presentation can help you to create a framework for your employees and help them work in a structured way
So, overall, utilize your presentation skills to encourage your teams to perform better while you pitch a better proposal for a merger.
Etiquette Lessons From TEDx Speaker
TED talks seem to have an immense impact on every individual’s life. These TEDx videos are viewed more than two million times every day, according to the stats. Therefore, every speaker has loads to share and helps you to learn every day. Some interesting etiquette lessons to know are:
- Always choose a passion, which will lead to forming the foundation of a fantastic presentation. But, unless you can motivate and inspire yourself, you will fail to inspire others. So, being a leader, you need to learn to unleash the master within yourself.
- Stories, straight from your heart, can always help you connect more. No one is interested in formal talks and boring discussions. If it is about a business proposal, stimulate and engage them with your story-telling capabilities. You see, people like to connect with you more than just a mere business proposal.
- Practice relentlessly as it helps you to master your skills. Being a leader means motivating others to follow your path and thoughts. So, be a master of your skills first.
- Never compromise with your beliefs. That is what makes your presence worthwhile in front of the crowd. You might want to work on image consulting to know how your strong perceptions and beliefs can pave the path to becoming a successful leader.
- Be humorous as no one likes to attend a serious discussion anymore. If you want to engage, be ready to add a little humor to it and not get stuck telling jokes. Even with business presentations, be prepared to convey your messages but with a bit of wit.
- Be focussed, stick to your timeline, and always welcome constructive criticism from your audiences. The more you know about your shortcomings, the better you develop your leadership skills.
You are already doing a great job motivating people around you as strong leaders. However, you always have room to learn and update your presentation skills to become a dynamic presenter. Start working on identifying the traits that require slightly more strategy updates. It’s time to focus on them and learn more about incorporating these changes to master these skills. Are you ready to work on your presentation skills today?