Techniques for a Perfect Business Presentation
Technicalities are all too often to blame for miscues and failures in today’s Business world. How often do you hear about some on not getting a Job because there was a technicality problem with his or her resume? Unfortunately it happens all the time. I plan on presenting the skills and knowledge from start to finish for a perfect business presentation.
Listening is not a skill that most people perform well; on average a person listens at only 25% efficiency (Curtis, 1997), making listening even more important to develop this skill. As human interaction goes, listening is the most important skill in communication. So many opportunities are lost by poor listening skills, not to mention losing valuable time. The importance of listening is immeasurable. Listening is a heavy element of communication, speaking well is not worth anything unless the receiver in a conversation listens just as well. Listening is basically a form of comprehension, if you do not listen than you cannot comprehend what is being said. According to a study by J.D. Johnson (1971) found that listening affects the understanding of a problem, the retention and attention of an individual, and the overall moral of the group (p. 297). As a consequence a good listener has more confidence and is able to have a vision of self-promotion. This is especially important in a job interview, and creates a more positive social environment for ones self. People are always more re4spected when they listen and demonstrate a good attention span. Listening habits are gradually and naturally inhibited over our entire lives. According to Curtis (1997) however, most of these acquired listening habits are undesirable (p. 64). They are generally described as second nature, or performed with out thought of even doing so. Nevertheless, they can be overcome by observing the common causes of such ineffective listening. These causes are: Talking rather than Listening, The entertainment syndrome, giving into bias, Uncritical listening, Giving into distractions, fear of difficult material. Most of these are self-explainable, but some are not. The entertainment syndrome for example is a significant one. It includes the basic need for people to be entertained. If such a speaker does not entertain it is easy for us not to give him or her our attention (Curtis 1997). Giving into bias is the basic difference between you and the speaker such as your likes and dislikes. You could not agree or not share the same thought on the subject and just tune out. Other such reasons for ineffective listening are rather self-explainable such as the distractions or difficult material. This brings us to our next step of listening improvement. There are five steps to improving your listening, first is pay attention, secondly is understanding non-verbal communication, next is to comprehend messages, then analyze and evaluate your information, and finally improve your interpersonal skills. Paying attention is important mainly because it relates directly to the memory. The basis of this is paying attention long enough and well enough to be able to store the information you comprehend into long-term memory (Witkin 1993). Understanding non-verbal communication is accomplished by observing and studying it. Non-verbal communication is any communication expressed by body language rather than words, according to Knapp (Curtis1997). Comprehending the message is more of the listener’s responsibility by sharing different meanings with the communicator. After understanding the meaning of the speaker, or communicator, than analyze and evaluate your information. Finally, improving you interpersonal communication will help with your communication skills that you use with people you work with every day. Interpersonal communication is the communication between you and a loved one, such as your spouse. This improves your capability to communicate with the people you talk to every day in a business setting.
Using Visual aids such as Microsoft Power Point also is a definite skill and advantage in a business presentation. Charts for statistics help both the communicator and receiver in a business presentation. The help the communicator by having the statistics right there in front of them as to not make a mistake presenting them. It also provides a visual aid for the receiver to not only hear but also see the statistics, or other information that is being portrayed.
Of course all of the skills have no effect if you don’t have the knowledge of what you are talking about. Knowledge of your subject is just as important, if not more important. Business presentations need to have understandable facts to enable the communicator to get their point across. Examples of gathering information situations are interviews, questions, and research. Gathering information through interview consists of several steps. The first step is to set a clear purpose for the interview. If you are seeking specific information, gear your questions toward that field. Next step is called “doing your homework”. Dow some research on your topic prior to going into an interview, being smart is more important than actually looking smart. Thirdly, you want to make sure you have sufficient and reliable sources. Nothing is worse than having a falsified, or unknown statement from an inexperienced author. Now it comes to making the appointment. What is meant by this step is making the first impression by presenting a business card or some other professional form of introduction. Next is to schedule your questions. Ask your questions in a form or process of what information you need and making the answers lead into your next group of questions as to gather more information. The final step is the actual interview, being prepared is most important. Also making your questions more of an open format as to induce a more descriptive answer, in other words, you do not want just a yes or no reply. More important gathering information techniques are to simply due the research and prepare you for the topic at hand. Most reliable source of information anyone can have is experience. Experience has to do with being comfortable and being able to answer questions with out having to think about it too much. Experience also promotes improvement and a progress change pattern. A progress change pattern is a process of making thing better. Experience provides you with more solutions to problems and creates a more capable way of communication.
In conclusion, both the skills of communication and gathering information work hand in hand. One cannot be nearly as successful without the other. The combination of skills and knowledge will determine how to get a point across and how persuasive one can be.
Curtis, D. B., Floyd, J. J., & Winsor, J. L. (1997). Business and Professional Communication. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.
Johnson, J. D. (1971). A Survey of Listening Programs of a Hundred Major Industries. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press
Witkin, B. R. (1993). Human Information Processing. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corp.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1992). Survey of Jobs Training Programs (AHCPR Publication No. 92-0451). Rockville, MD: Author.