Catch up your presentation skills to your career
It’s time to catch up
As people progress in their careers, most of the focus on developing their capabilities is in the area of their technical skills (e.g. generating revenue, managing costs, meeting productivity targets, innovation in service delivery, ensuring technology supports the business, etc.). Presentation capabilities develop organically - by observation of people around them or their leaders. Which inevitably leads them to copy their mistakes. By the time people reach leadership positions, and they need to inspire others to perform at their best, there is a significant gap between the technical skills they are respected for mastering, and their skill in presenting those to others.
Think about when you were starting your career. There were some basics that you were expected to get your head around and show competency in to prove you were ready to handle some of the more complex responsibilities. Unless your role required you to present often, you didn’t develop competency in the basics of presenting in line with becoming competent in the basics of your role. It’s quite likely that if you did have to present at this stage of your career, like many others, you felt the “fight, flight or freeze” response kick in.
Once you demonstrated that you could handle the basics, you were given (or took) more responsibility, more complex work, more challenging problems. You broke free from historical and traditional methods and tried new things – your ideas, or ideas from outside the organisation that you thought would be effective to free some of its potential. You developed your individual style of leading your area of the organisation and started to get known for it. Your presentations, though, remained with the standard “tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them” style.
Now in a leadership position, you have been able to set the direction for the organisation (or your part of it), set goals, objectives, targets, performance expectations and accountabilities. People know what they are meant to be doing. You have effectively informed them. And if that was enough, they would be performing at required levels (or better). However, what you’ve created is drones. You’re informing their minds, rather than inspiring their action. They will follow orders because you’re their superior. Leading, however, is having people choose to follow you.
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