Commanding The Stage: How Media Training Can Improve Your Presentation Skills
Updated: Feb 25
First impressions matter in any environment. Whether it is meeting someone casually for the first time or going to a job interview, how you conduct yourself during these social interactions can leave a lasting impression. As a matter of fact, it only takes seven seconds to make a good first impression, according to LinkedIn.
In the business world, making a good first impression is crucial as it can influence your future success as an individual or a company. Presentation skills improve your people skills and can help you secure a profitable client or build your company’s reputation. It’s all part of the art of persuasion and helps your key stakeholders better understand your ideas and get excited about them.
Stakes are high when it comes to making a positive, lasting impression. The American Psychological Association cites multiple studies that explain the impact of first impressions. The association notes that one of the most stressful aspects of first impressions is that you only get one chance! People are constantly assessing and evaluating the people they see and the quality of the interaction - positive or negative - can set the tone for the future.
This is where strong presentation skills come into play. Presentation training can be helpful in understanding the factors that affect perceptions of you in first-time interactions.
WHAT ARE PRESENTATION SKILLS?
Having a solid grasp of presentation skills is important in the workplace. An article by Forbes, cited a study which found that 70 percent of employees, who’ve received training, believe presentation skills are critical to their career success.
Presentation skills are a combination of skills that an individual needs in order to deliver an effective and engaging presentation to any number of audiences, as defined by the University of British Columbia. Though one may think that these skills are only limited to presentations, these skills are incredibly useful as they can be transferred and applied to a myriad of interpersonal interactions.
Below are some of the foundational skills that are essential for individuals to have in order to present effectively.
Communication is the cornerstone of a powerful presentation. Being able to communicate effectively is an in-demand soft skill in any industry. As a matter of fact, McKinsey noted that communication is one of the most desirable skills to possess and one of the top three skills that many job candidates lack. In the context of presentations, communication is key to delivering a clear understandable story to your audience. Communication is not just limited to the words that are being spoken, but also the intonation and body language that an individual uses to deliver their message. So having awareness of your own body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice is important.
Leadership is another skill that acts as an important pillar in effective presentation skills. Being comfortable in front of an audience is just the start. Having all the information and the ability to simplify complex ideas can be underscored with a cool, calm, assertive presentation style. According to Adecco, leadership is one of the most sought after skills in the workplace. Think about it, those who have senior positions in a company such as managers and directors are expected to lead by example during turbulent times to raise morale. During presentations, it is important to demonstrate leadership. It helps you persuade, makes the message believable and builds trust.
Charisma is often mistaken as a personal trait that someone is born with, but it is actually a skill that you can develop, as explained by The New York Times. According to the article, one of the main facets of charisma is warmth. This refers to the idea of being able to come off as being friendly and inviting, to the point that people would be delighted to listen to what you have to say. For presentations, being charismatic is important, as it is this charm that allows an individual to relay their message with ease. An example of charisma is seen in master speaker, Barack Obama. Even in the most challenging times, Obama is effective in promoting a sense of confidence through his calm, confident demeanor and speaking style.
IMPROVING YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS WITH MEDIA TRAINING
The communications and public relations professionals at Bulletproof are experts who possess many years of experience working with the media. The ability to effectively communicate with journalists is rooted in strong presentation skills and smart strategy. The methods used in media training can be applied to presentation training, useful in any business interaction. Bulletproof experts help clients take anything they want to talk about and turn it into a compelling story that will resonate with audiences. By understanding the principles of strategic communications, media training teaches individuals the best practices and how to adapt the narrative to the audience to get the best reaction. Through these lessons, individuals increase communications expertise and confidence to become more persuasive presenters.
Here are three examples of what media training can do to improve your presentation skills.
Through media training, individuals will get an understanding of how they should choose their words when delivering a message. A study by Kelton Global, found that 41 percent of people said stimulating dialogue kept them interested during a presentation. Bulletproof experts help determine the content you should focus on and how to position it in the most interesting and engaging way.
Speaking With Power
The content that you share with your audience is important, but what is equally important is how you deliver your message vocally. By strategically adjusting your pitch, pace, volume and tone, you can appear to be more confident, as reinforced by a study in Harvard Business Review. Being monotone during your presentations can lead to your audience tuning out your comments. With media training, you can learn how to control your voice to capture the interests of your audience and make your presentation a more engaging experience for the audience.
As explained by Muck Rack, it is important to understand how journalists and members of the media will respond to you and the information you are sharing. The experts at Bulletproof can help you take a media-first perspective. You will become familiar with what journalists care about most. This helps you tailor your comments to them. At the same time, Bulletproof learns about your business objectives and marries these two, sometimes competing priorities, together -- so that the needs of both the journalist and your business are addressed in the communications. PR is often used to motivate action. To that end, understanding your public audience and what is motivating to them helps further define your narrative to motivate your audience to take positive action.
Bulletproof is a communications agency that provides media training services, presentation training, and effective communications strategies to help individuals and organizations achieve their objectives. Our team consists of strategists, trainers, and journalists who understand the media, and the importance of public relations and communications to obtain desired goals.
Bulletproof media training is led by Tara McCarthy who has over 20 years of experience in building reputations of blue-chip clients with award-winning PR programs. She is an expert in strategic communications, public relations, and media training. The Bulletproof team of veteran strategists and trainers can teach you or your company how to present effectively to advance your objectives.
If you or your company need an expert in presentation training, please do not hesitate to contact Bulletproof, where services are available in English and French.