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Why Are Presentation Skills Important?

Most people will agree that presentation skills are important. But ask them to explain "Why?" and they are stumped. These folks might mumble something unintelligible and proudly declare "Because - everybody knows that it is".

I've been studying and teaching presentation skills for over a decade so I've had the opportunity to think about this question.

First, let's clarify the statement "Presentation skills are important". What we really mean is, "Effective presentation skills are important". "Presentation skills" is not a black and white off/on switch. It is a rainbow of colors. Everybody has presentation skills. Some are better than others. The primary goal is for your presentation skills to be better than your competition, whoever and whatever that is. The secondary goal is for your presentations to get better with every presentation that you deliver.

So whenever you read "presentation skills are important" think "better presentations are critically important".


Presentation Skills are Important to Individual Success

For many individuals the first important presentation they deliver might be to the selection committee. It might be labeled as a "job interview" but it's really a presentation. Success rides on their presentation outshining the competition. The results are black and white but the skills are a rainbow of colors.

In most organizations day-to-day business entails teamwork. That means presenting to your team or on behalf of your team. Career growth necessitates presenting your ideas to others. And if you want to be promoted you need to train others to handle your old job. If you want to fast track your career - volunteer to work on projects and deliver more presentations.


Presentation Skills are Important to Business Success

Having the superior product is never enough to guarantee business success. Apple is acknowledged as offering leading edge technology and Steve Jobbs is often modeled as a superior presenter. If you are not the Apple of your industry just imagine how much better your presentations need to be.

Business leaders are often expected to present their message with confidence and clarity to staff, clients, partners, investors and sometimes the public. Millions of dollars can ride on these presentations.


Presentation Skills are Important to Stress Reduction

The financial cost of stress to organizations is huge. Work related stress can be demoralizing to staff, management and executives. Effective presentation skills reduce miscommunication, which is likely the biggest cause of work related stress. Better presentation skills also reduces the stress on presenters which means they will be more willing to present and more effective with their communication. The principles and techniques of presentations apply to other methods of communication. Become a better presenter and you will become a better communicator.


Presentation Skills are Important to Time Management

Many presentations take too long and thus waste time because the presenter was trying to fill the time period. Better presenters get their message across in less time because they respect time, focus on the message and use the most effective techniques to communicate. Better presenters can deliver their 30 minute presentation in 5 minutes or 90 seconds when needed. Better presenters also save time while preparing because they prepare their presentation more efficiently. They know where they are going and how to get there faster.


Presentation Skills are Important to Leadership

Winston Churchill was praised for his inspiring presentations that helped England fight back against Nazi Germany. Leadership in your community, association or organization demands effective presentation skills.

Every cause needs a leader. Every leader needs to be able to stand up and deliver a clear and inspiring message. The team and followers will often judge the leader and the cause on the presentation skills of that spokesperson.


Presentation skills are Important to Public Image & Opinion

It might seem unfair, but we will often judge you, your organization and your product on how you, your staff or executive delivered a presentation. We will tend to remember the extremes - really bad or really good. Remember that our perception is relative to how everyone else presented.

Better presentations don't guarantee you success but they give you a better fighting chance of success. Almost everything you want to accomplish is a fight. Why not gain a powerful edge in your favor? Improve the presentation skills of you and your team.


© George Torok is a presentation skills trainer, executive speech coach and keynote speaker. He helps business leaders deliver million dollar presentations. Tap into your free presentation skills tips at http://www.torok.com Arrange for presentation skills training or speech coaching at http://www.SpeachCoachforExecutives.com For media interviews call 905-335-1997