Many of us are called upon to present in the modern workplace, whether it’s a formal presentation to hundreds, a business briefing to your department or simply at a small meeting around a table. Presenting and presentations can take many forms.
Being a good presenter in front of your staff builds your status and garners respect from the team. In fact, being able to talk to groups of people of any size comfortably and with control is a key leadership skills – it encourages people to listen and value what you say long after the speech is over.
Not only that, presenting with confidence and handling the heat of the public glare suggests that you are able to cope with other pressures equally as effectively.
Speaking in front of an audience is exposing, you’re up there being watched, and as an audience member we immediately empathize with those pressures. Many of us have had the recurring nightmare of finding ourselves on stage with nothing to say. The panic which follows is alarming.
By presenting with calmness and clarity to your department or team, even if it is simply a daily briefing to a small group, shows that you are able to work with these fears and navigate smoothly through the minefield.
Presenting well is a genuine opportunity to demonstrate not only how skilful you are, but also to embody qualities which your staff will be looking for in their leadership team.
Consider those generally regarded as successful leaders (whether you like them or not!), and almost all of them are also remembered as expert public speakers from Churchill to Clinton to Thatcher to Blair and onwards.
Consider those remembered less favourably (again whether you like them or not), and almost all of them are also remembered as lacking the basic presentation skills from Major to Bush to Gordon Brown.
Presentation skills and public speaking technique really matters where leadership is concerned.