Presentations have been an integral part of my career so far. Having started into professional life as a product trainer, I was thrown right into cold water. Coming from university, I felt not at all ready to speak in front of 6 to 10 people, for the length of as much as a 3 day certification course. After 4 years I probably ended up having done more than 100 courses. Later, I gave speeches on behalf of the company I work for or for the Industry Association I am volunteering for. In some occasions in front of hundreds of people in the audience.
Yet have I only received formal training in the past few years, but always found it extremely useful to receive direct feedback, as opposed to indirect feedback from the audience. And so did I choose to subscribe to Presenting 201, which happened the past two days.
One may argue nothing beats experience, some people may believe presenting is a talent. Which I disagree. Presenting is a skill that can be learned, and therefore trained. Receiving feedback is essential to the process. And the course was a wonderful opportunity to repeat the obvious, and even more importantly, practice and get rid of all the bad habits.
Best practices from presentation guides are, but not limited to: Make your presentation remembered to the audience. Pay attention to details: How you act, where to stand, what to say and how to structure your slides. To pay attention to content. To work out the key message. To make eye contact with the audience. To talk to the audience and not the slide deck.
And practicing helps adhere to these simple rules. And a presentation course is an excellent opportunity to practice and receive feedback.