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How Would They Be Remembered Without Their Presentation Skills?

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Tgirl speaking resizedhe first time I remember doing a presentation I bumped into the wall getting to the front of the room; and I’m sure no one understood a word I said.
I was 11 years old in Grade 5.  I’d won an essay contest and had to read it at a dinner event to celebrate the winners.   The audience was all parents and teachers; so, they applauded anyway.

It got better; but not great.  Where I finally learned how important presentation skills are was in a board room presenting to the president of the very large, well-established company I was then working for.  I took enough missteps that my boss stepped in to save me several times.  Worse, the president was sympathetic when we met later in an elevator.  That was humbling.

Then that same company gave its managers presentation skills training.  What a difference that made!  In all of us. I first noticed how improved a colleague was.  He used to appear to be both disorganized and possibly quite inebriated when he presented.  Then he became lucid (always good in a presentation or speech), clear and engaging.  When I turned the observation lens on myself I realized how much better I was too.  From there I gave numerous presentations in that company and I could see my stock with colleagues, direct reports and executives rise consistently.

I went on to take jobs in other companies where doing presentations was a key element.  Instead of being afraid of presenting, or making a mess of it, my presentations helped me develop a very positive reputation, I won awards, and I was promoted consistently.  That direct correlation between presentation skills and career image continued into other positions.

Did presentation skills alone get me some very nice career moves?  Nope.  But they played a very significant role.  I had to be good at what I was doing and work hard / smart; but without the ability to present well it would have been much tougher.

I’ve taken many courses since those early days.  I’ve had a lot of great experiences presenting, and more than a few learning experiences.  The information I share here is the result of all those experiences.  I hope you enjoy the information; and, more importantly, I hope you find something you can use to improve your presentation skills and maybe even your career.


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