Choosing the Right Presentation Training: Presentation Mistakes Executives and Managers Make

You’ve opened this article, which probably means you are either a manager, a team leader, or an executive. So, first, congrats! You search for ways to become better at your work, which we always respect, and we love to help people just like you.

But even if you’re not in a leadership position, don’t be shy to share or forward this article to your managers. This could help your whole company.

Now let’s get straight to the issue we’re all here for.

In a series of articles, we’ll take a closer look at the three most common presentation mistakes managers make. There are so many missed opportunities because of those mistakes, that the losses are immeasurable. You never know how much better it could be if you take the three presentation work elements – training, time, and collaboration, seriously.

We’re going to look at the first of the three mistakes: failing to choose the right presentation training for your team. You may not agree with everything we say, but at the very least, consider it — it’s all for your benefit.

Failing to choose the proper training

Imagine that your team’s training is not what your team actually needs – you are missing the opportunity to make your team members better communicators in the ways they need and improve your business results.

How is presentation training usually organized?

The manager, your HR, or your Learning and Development Manager searches for a provider of something called presentation skills training, right? We know how it goes – we deliver presentation skills classes for many brands daily, and we have some things to share with you, so you can watch out and get more out of any training you book for your team.

A few months ago, we received a request from a big IT organization for presentation skills training. Their request ended with something along the lines of that they would love to talk and discuss with us directly over the phone what we can offer them. Brilliant! Right?

An hour after the email, we were already talking. They wanted to organize a presentation skills training for their salespeople so that they can speak more effectively in front of their potential clients. So far, so good! We have to train their sales teams.

But when we asked them to define presentation skills, to check what they had in mind for the training, they said body language, handling Q&As, or interruptions, and keeping the clients engaged. Well… there is way more to it than those few things. This is just one side of having excellent presentation skills. You see, that is only one of the three things that make a presentation truly effective.

What are your thoughts, dear reader? Think of the best presentation that you have ever seen. What was it about the presentation that made it so special? Was it because of the design? Was it because of the story? Or was it something stated or done by the speaker?

Here is the answer: the story, the design, and the delivery are the three components of an effective presentation, not independently, but together.

The HR from that company had the best intentions and the right motivation – to book the training for the sales teams to improve their skills and the company’s sales. But improving only the delivery part is not enough.

Improving only the presentation delivery is not enough

We always ask for presentations that our clients have previously created to identify where they need to improve since there are some things that they can’t notice on their own. And, yes, when we saw several of their team’s presentations, we noticed that their delivery might be better. They did, however, need to work on their storytelling and presentation design as well. In the end, we built a personalized training for them that touches on all the aspects they needed, mixed with practices after each session. Voila!

The outcome was fantastic. They even informed us that some clients were so amazed by the salespeople that they inquired about how they prepared for the meeting and how they managed to do everything so well.

So, why are we sharing this?

Because we want you to request the appropriate training for your teams.

If you think that only the presentation delivery needs improvement – great. But you have to understand that truly effective sales, marketing, or tech presentations, are not made by just a brilliant delivery. The story and the design play a role, and your people need to be trained on them, as well, if you want better results.

They can be the best presenters in the world, but if what they say doesn’t resonate with the audience and their images don’t assist them in communicating the message, the delivery cannot make up for it. A presentation like that cannot get you the outcome you want.

Moreover, you know that the world has changed dramatically in the last two years. Everybody presents virtually with the help of tools like Zoom, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, BlueJeans, and so on.

Online presentation skills are a must

Virtual and hybrid meetings are here to stay, so consider asking the trainer to provide training on this as well – presenting virtually.

The story you have to tell online is different from that in person. How are your visuals and your Prezi Video going to look, for example? Are you using the tools to their full potential? What tech setup do you need? What microphone, camera, lights? Those things need to be taken care of. Many people think that presenting virtually is easier, but in reality, it is more challenging, especially if you want to do it right. Do not forget that the digital world is a different medium that you need to know the specifics of.

Your best bet would be to look out for a trainer or training agency that has already done successful virtual presentations for big brands, and if they provide training on it – go to them. Nothing compares to firsthand experience.

Bonus advice:

When you organize a training for your team, free up their calendar. Allow them to absorb all the information from the course without worrying about daily responsibilities for a bit.

Also, do not push having the practice sessions on the same or the next day! People need more time than that to test and implement everything they learn than one day or, worse, a few hours. Make sure that your team can focus their energy and learn long-term skills.

Keep an eye out for the second and third articles of this series. You can also see the Prezi Video presentation created by Boris Hristov, the founder of 356labs and a presentation specialist.