Good communication is much more than just a good presentation

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Good communication is more than just a good presentation

Good communication and presentation from Think On Your Feet from Holst

Good presentations are examples of good communication, yet good communication is about far more than good presentations.

Two symptoms of the confusion between presenting and communicating are the disproportionate focus on presentation skills (vs good communication skills), and the overuse of visual aids. We’re often asked to help improve the presentation skills of the client’s people. When we ask what the client means by presentation skills we usually hear back words like ‘posture’, ‘tone’, ‘visual aids’ and ‘delivery’. Notice these words are about quality of form or style, not quality of content. When we next ask what percentage of the client’s communication involves a formal environment, with prepared content supported by pre-prepared visual aids, we usually hear numbers like 2%, 5%, and very occasionally as high as 10%. Next we ask, ‘Would there be value in improving the effectiveness of say 80%, or 90%, or even 100% of the communication?’ At that point the client’s interest has been moved from presentation skills to the far more valuable communication skills. The second symptom of the problem is the overuse of visual aids. This problem has increased markedly over recent years, largely because of the advent of tools such as PowerPoint. Instead of being an aid to communication too many people make the visual aids the presentation, or even worse, the communication. The ease-of-use and visually impressive output from such tools has tempted the ‘presenter’ into believing that the visuals will convey the messages. Cast your mind back to the executive who was asked to ‘turn it off and just talk to us’. Also, notice how often presenters need to look at their visuals (instead of the audience) so much that the audience is reduced to the role of spectator. The confusion between presenting and communicating, and the resultant over-focus on presentation skills leads to inadequate attention paid to the discussion skills which are key to informing, influencing and convincing others. Think On Your Feet ®: a communication skills workshop. Think On Your Feet ® is an excellent example of a workshop aimed at improving communication skills . This two-day workshop improves the participant’s skills in communicating with Clarity, Brevity and Impact! Workshop exercises reflect a range of job-related scenarios to ensure that the skills learnt are relevant to all business communications.  These range from one-on-one, ‘impromptu’ discussions through to prepared, formal, one-on-many presentations. Handling questions is a key communications skill in all these situations, so it gets special attention during the workshop. All of the learning exercises are conducted without visual aids until late in the programme. After all, visual aids are for the audience not the presenter, and visual aids are only relevant for a small percentage of communication situations. Who Benefits from Attending Think On Your Feet ®? Any employee who needs to communicate with others to execute their responsibilities (and that should mean most if not all employees) will gain value from attending Think On Your Feet ®. In particular, those with customer-facing, team leadership and/or management positions will find the enhanced skills learned from the workshop improves their effectiveness. [traininglist slug=”think-on-your-feet-2-days”]]]>

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