The Surprising Link Between Presentation Skills and Leadership

The Link Between Presentation Skills and Leadership

As an executive, you’re expected to lead and inspire your team through any challenge. One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is the ability to communicate effectively. That skill spans from one-on-one meetings to commanding a room of thousands.

Giving a presentation is daunting for most. But don’t let your nerves get the best of you. Giving a presentation can be one of the best opportunities to establish yourself as a leader in front of your team.

Whether you’re sharing a PowerPoint deck for a small group or delivering an end-of-year company address, it’s essential to master your presentation skills. Not only do presentation skills help you deliver information in a clear and concise way. They can also help you establish credibility and authority with your team.

The Proven Benefits of Being a Strong Presenter—and How Video Can Help

Research has shown that executives with strong presentation skills tend to be more successful in their careers. According to Forbes, 70% of Americans say that presentation skills are crucial to their success at work.

However, 20% of people would do almost anything to get out of giving a presentation—even if that means “losing respect” in the workplace.

It would be a shame to miss out on professional development opportunities due to stage fright. One of the many benefits of video is that it can be a form of exposure therapy for nervous presenters. The camera is forgiving – it wants you to do a second take, try a new strategy, to get as close and personal as you need without judgment.

How to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Standing in front of an audience is one of the most common fears. You can easily get into your head about messing up, even if you thoroughly know the material. So how can you work through the nerves and come out on top?

  1. Understand your audience Just like when it comes to creating a video, it’s imperative that you have a clear understanding of your audience and your objectives before you begin. Is your audience informed on your topic, like a group of investors hearing a quarterly report, or is your audience brand new? Does your audience need convincing, or are they already on board with your ideas? Answering questions like these will help you pare down your message to the most important parts.
  2. Focus on the non-verbal elements. Shockingly, 93% of the impact of any given message is non-verbal. This means that while it’s important to get the words right, your audience will be focusing less on what you say and more on how you say it.
  3. Use video to help you practice. The traditional practice method might involve a mirror or a friend to simulate an audience. Instead, set up your smartphone and record a video of your presentation practice. When watching it back, note where you have room for improvement. Are you too stiff, or do you have a nervous habit? How could you stand differently to convey more confidence? How does the intonation of your voice emphasize your points?

Effective communication is more important than ever. By developing strong presentation skills and embracing video as a tool for communication, executives can establish themselves as effective leaders and drive success for their organizations.

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“It’s one thing to understand the role of video in business communication, it’s another to know how to use video to solve actual business problems. Vern Oakley gets that.”


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