Improving Your Presentation Skills Can Yield Significant Dividends

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a bit that he does on public speaking. In setting up the bit, Seinfeld quotes a research study that says that the number one fear that people have is public speaking. The second biggest fear is death. From this, Seinfeld cracks, “This means to the average person, if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but certainly, we can all agree that speaking in front of a group of people – even a smaller group at your place of work – can be a stressful situation.

But it doesn’t have to be. The secret, of course, is proper preparation that inevitably leads to better organization of your thoughts, and confidence in your ability to effectively communicate.

Good presentation skills are important to both individual success and business success. There is no better way to confirm your authority and mastery of subject matter than by presenting information clearly, confidently and effectively. Interestingly, as we become more and more dependent on electronic communication in life and business, solid in-person presentation skills take on an even greater importance. And they are required in almost every field.

Now I could go through a whole litany of “tips” for how to properly prepare for a public speaking engagement. In fact, I’m pretty sure that my SEO-focused colleagues would encourage that, and to make this blog post into what has come to be known as a “listicle.” But that’s not my purpose here.

My purpose is to remind you that everyone can and should be a better presenter. And now comes the shameless plug: R&J offers presentation training as a service to our clients, preparing them for not only public speaking engagements, but also for small-group presentations, business meetings and media interviews.

We recently had the privilege of hosting a day of presentation skills, media training skills and social media training skills with our client, the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association. Working with a group of roughly 20 veterinary professionals, R&J presented a hands-on workshop that started with general presentation and public speaking skills, and then proceeded to cover media and interview training skills and tips, and finally, it wrapped up with a session on how to enhance your visibility, effectiveness and presence on social media.

From the responses we received on the follow-up surveys, the training was very well-received and was viewed as being extremely valuable to each participant. More importantly, they felt that they could (and would) be implementing many of the strategies in the course of their work-related responsibilities.

Being able to effectively present yourself and your ideas in the workplace – in a presentation, in a meeting, or during a discussion with a colleague or client – is an essential skill, and one that the most successful people have worked hard to master. So if you are the boss in your business, it behooves you to take this to heart, and to constantly work on your presentation and persuasive skills. Moreover, if you are the boss, isn’t the ability to effectively present and persuade something that you want to encourage in your employees?

Providing presentation training to employees has been shown to improve employee satisfaction and morale, and to yield dividends for the company in multiple areas. An investment in training shows employees that they are valued, and that the company cares about professional growth.

If you are interested in elevating the presentation or media interview skills of you or your staff, then perhaps you should consider giving me a call.


About John Lonsdorf

John is a recognized leader in the public relations and marketing communications fields and a 2019 inductee into the New Jersey Advertising Hall of Fame. He founded R&J in 1986 and has led the firm through several strategic re-brandings while building the agency into one of the region’s leading strategic communications consultancies. John has authored numerous articles on brand building and the role of public relations and the importance of integrated marketing, and has been a speaker and presenter at national conferences and symposia, in addition to sitting on several industry and not-for-profit boards. John impacts each account at R&J through his laser focus on strategic direction and his drive to provide clients with the maximum returns on their marketing communications investment.

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