Former basketball coach and Hall of Famer, Bob Knight, once said, “Everyone wants to be on a winning team, but no one wants to come to practice.” That’s probably true with regard to presentation skills as well. Everyone wants to be a good presenter, but few people are willing to do the work it requires, and the endless demand for presentation tips reinforces that conclusion.
If you are serious about developing your presentation skills, you need to move beyond tips and tricks. You need training. What’s the difference? A tip is a useful hint or idea, hopefully from an expert. Training is a systematic process of acquiring knowledge, skill, and ability. It’s obviously the better way. So why are so many people looking for tips instead of real training?
Well, tips are appealing because they are easy. But presenting isn’t easy, even though good presenters make it look easy. You’re got to work hard and struggle a bit if you’re going to learn effective presentation skills. Training happens at the edge of your comfort zone. It will teach you how to perform well even under pressure.
Presentation tips are appealing because they are simple, but presentation isn’t simple. It’s a highly complex task requiring a wide range of skills. Relying on a tip is like bringing a pencil when the job requires a computer. Training gives you a comprehensive set of presentation skills so you can perform successfully in a variety of circumstances.
Tips seem to offer a quick way to improve, but effective presentation skills aren’t acquired quickly. No one masters an instrument in 15 minutes. All skill development takes time. Training provides time for you to learn and integrate new skills, to replace old, ineffective habits with new ones, and really, in terms of time invested, what is one month—or even six months—in the context of your entire career?
Tips are appealing because they are free, but you get what you pay for. Presentation tips can’t make you a great speaker any more than learning some tricks will make you a good magician. Training costs more, but it’s exponentially more valuable in terms of increased sales, promotion, and earning potential. Be willing to invest in yourself and in your future.
Tips are appealing because they are easy to find. Hundreds of them are just a mouse click away, but they are random, generic, and not always reliable. Good presentation skills training is very systematic and customized to address your unique requirements. It’s worth going the extra mile to seek out and work with an expert presentation skills coach.
When you want to develop a new skill, you probably ask yourself several questions. How important is this to me? How much time will it take? How much effort will be required? How much will it cost? And will it deliver the results? At first glance, relying on presentation tips and tricks might be tempting. They are simple, plentiful, easy to understand and implement, and they are free, but a systematic and comprehensive presentation training program with an expert coach will always deliver better results. Moving beyond presentation tips and committing to training will provide you with a reliable set of presentation skills. Training will continue to serve you personally and professionally for many years to come.
For more training to enhance your speaking skills, visit voiceandspeech.com and enroll in the free video mini-course, The Sound of Success.