by guest writer, Andrew Griffiths
The days of getting by with poor presentation skills are coming to an end for senior executives.
For many senior executives a growing part of their day-to-day role is the requirement to present to a diverse range of audiences across an array of mediums. In the past their presenting requirements might have been in monthly board meetings, or to various internal management sessions and occasionally at larger off site events.
Now presenting covers much more territory and expectations are higher then ever that the person behind the microphone needs to be competent, engaging and entertaining. A big ask in many ways.
Today presenting can be anything from a televised company wide event through to a guest appearance keynote at an industry event. Communication channels have become complicated, technology has stepped in and provided more broadcasting alternatives, workplaces have become generationally aware requiring different styles of communication and as executives climb the corporate ladder, they are being called on to use communication skills that they have yet to develop.
Of course the real issue is that few executives are actually trained as presenters. It is something they have had to do because of their position, it comes with the job, and they simply figure it out as they go, doing the best they can, or mimicking a role model or boss from an earlier time in their career.
This approach tends to create poor presenters, where the audience dreads sitting through their presentations. The presenter themself breaks into a cold sweat every time they have to do their thing in front of an audience. And the overall benefits and results need to be questioned.
In the past we might think that poor presentation skills are just an irritation. If the CEO is not a great presenter, does it really matter? Surely no one expects them to be a great presenter, how they run the business is far more important. Well now the audience, whoever they may be, wants both – high levels of competence and highly developed communication skills.
Take for example the scenario where a CEO is asked to present at an industry wide event. If the CEO delivers a lack lustre, non-engaging, dry, monotone presentation, the company brand can be adversely affected. Being non memorable is an affect – and obviously not a good one.
CEO’s in particular, but all senior executives, need to develop their presentation skills for every scenario. If they are filming a video for a video clip to go out to their staff, it has to engage the audience. If they are sitting on a panel, they need to engage and represent their brand in a positive way. If they are presenting to share holders at an AGM, they need to engage and often entertain.
What this really translates into is the overwhelming need for CEO’s and senior executives to develop their presentation skills now, taking into consideration the diverse range of communication mechanisms and the diverse audiences they are required to present to. This is not only imperative for the companies they represent, it is also becoming increasingly important for their individual career development.
Andrew Griffiths is a leading Author, Speaker and Trainer. He has partnered with Arete Executive and the CEO Incubator to provide a one and a half day training program focusing on his 10 step presentation framework , designed specifically for the senior executive and board member. Executive Speaker Training
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