After my very first presentation skills course I was elated. I felt I’d come out of it well, and now had the tools to make brilliant presentations. Only one problem though. I was like an 18 year old with a drivers licence – lots of enthusiasm and practically no experience – in other words, a hazard unto myself. And so it is with so many of our presentation skills graduates – lots of practical tools, no experience. For some, and I’m referring to those who don’t use the tools, that’s how it stays. Some find or create opportunities to start practising these exciting new skills. Others do not, deluding themselves that having done a course they know what to do. Ah, know and can do. Like the difference between the north pole and the equator.
Yes, they may have learned what to do, but if you don’t practise how to do it and review your performances critically, you’re never ever going to be any good at it. One of our review methods is a follow up session 6 months after initial training to evaluate progress and “fine tune”. It is a simply glorious experience to observe the progress of folk who have spent six months aiming towards a goal.
The tip then is….once you’ve been exposed to the tools, you develop them into skills by repeated use and then habits. Simple, but so effective.