Presentation Magazine

The Need for Presentations Training

Before you ask, yes, I know I’m biased. I’m a presentation skills trainer, so of course I think it’s important to be trained in giving decent presentations. I’d like to think that I’ve got sufficient integrity to mean I’d not do it if I didn’t think it was important, though. And it seems I’m not the only one. The 2014 survey of recruiters (who were looking at recruiting MBA) reported on the GMAT website ( is pretty clear. Communication skills are critical (according to the 6000 recruiters surveyed). In fact, it starts to look as though they’re about twice as important as things we think of as traditionally important – management skills. Now there’s obviously a grey area here, because you need to know what you’re talking about before you can talk (unless you’re Donald Trump) but the pattern seems pretty clear. (Thanks to @StaceyHankeInc for drawing my attention to this survey, via Twitter, by the way.)

How important are the soft skills? Looks like they’re about twice as important as technical skills!

And then there’s working coming out of Australia too… (Thanks to Antoinette Oglethorpe for the reference, which is unfortunately behind a paywall at no less an august body than the Australian Financial Review. The better news is that there are other reports, such as this Facebook photo of the report… The headline is (as all headlines are) a bit of a simplification, but it’s basically sound…

So with all that behind the need for better presentation skills, the questions is why so few people decide to invest in better presentation skills! There’s no science behind what I’m going to list here – it’s based on our experience and the responses to our marketing – but what do you all think?

  • It’s never occurred to us/me that this is something there was training for. Well yes, as it happens there is 🙂
  • My presentation skills are better than average already. Yup. In the same way the 90% of the men in this country think they’re better than average drivers. Just a thought about the mathematical impossibility of this…
  • My presentation skills are so bad that I don’t want to be trained because I’d have to admit that to myself and expose those skills to others. And besides, I’m too lazy to work it it. Okay. Fine. Let us know when you’re ready to grow up 😉 (Actually, I’ve got a lot of sympathy for this one.)
  • It’s acceptable to be bad at presenting. Everyone else around me is the same as me, so it’s no big deal. Fair enough. If they were all morbidly obese would you be happy to be the same then? 😉
  • It’s too expensive. Despite the fact that a typical business presentation costs the company up to five thousand dollars in lost time and productivity, it’s not worth spending a few hundred on solving the problem.That’s about as sensible as saying you don’t have $5 to buy a plug to stop your $50000 boat sinking.
  • I don’t have time. I get this one. But you can take the training when it suits you, you know. It’s hard to find time, but for the benefits, I’d think it was worth it.

Do I sound frustrated as you read the list? Well spotted! 😉

The killer question is what to do to help people out when they’re caught in those traps 🙁

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Simon Raybould – View the original post .


Published On: 7th Jun 2016

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