Why Presentation Skills Are Important For Career Success

Visibility and profile building are essential for career success these days. If people don’t know about you or what you can do, how can they put opportunities your way? There are several ways to build a profile. Having a properly completed profile on LinkedIn is a start – this is no longer just a platform that you join if you are looking for a new job. It’s a place where you can be seen and showcase your interests and experiences. Taking opportunities to speak in meetings or seminars for example is another way to increase visibility.

A good presentation can be a very powerful way to communicate an idea or message. Becoming a skillful presenter will raise your profile and enhance your personal brand.

Presentation skills are important in the workplace both for individual success and business success. In the competitive world that we live in, it is no longer enough to have the necessary capability to carry out your job. You need to be able to communicate effectively as well. It’s a skill that is highly valued and is one that anyone can improve upon.

It doesn’t matter what career or industry sector you’re in, we are all in the business of selling. Whatever roles you take on along your career path, you will need to sell an idea or concept in order to get buy in from others - colleagues, managers or clients.

When we think about presentations we often conjure up images in our mind of formal speeches in front of a large group. In reality we present and influence every day through our daily interactions at work and in our personal lives. Even if you don’t have to give presentations as part of your job right now, you might have to in future.

As you gain seniority your levels of responsibility increase and you begin to manage others. Understanding how to get the best out of your team is incredibly important – as a leader, you need strong communication skills. Honing your presentation skills will help you chair meetings, motivate team members and communicate more effectively with colleagues. You might be asked to speak at short notice, for example to step in for a colleague. Speaking at conferences or giving interviews to press or media to share expert opinions are opportunities that could help raise your profile and that of the company.

Today there is huge global competition for jobs. The traditional career pathway where employers sponsor your education is gone. There is an expectation now that you hit the ground running and can bring more to the party than your fellow applicants. You need to develop a competitive advantage and being able to communicate with your audience persuasively gives you that edge.

You could be the best expert in your area of work but if you can’t articulate what you have to offer and engage your audience then no-one will know how good you are or what you can contribute.

Taking charge of your brand and improving your presentation skills helps boost your confidence and prepares you for all kinds of situations. The confidence that comes from feeling comfortable speaking in front of groups has a knock on effect in other areas of your life.

How will you plan to include more speaking opportunities as part of your professional development?

Jay Surti is the author of “Ultimate Presentations” – a comprehensive guide to mastering presentations and becoming an engaging speaker. Ultimate Presentations is available at Waterstones, WHSmith and Kogan Page.

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