Corporate training can sometimes feel like a box ticking exercise. Filling CPD quotas or spending L&D budgets, hoping to satisfy company goals by providing evidence of offering opportunity to employees to grow and develop. However they can add real value to both individuals and the companies they work for.
One area where training is often missed is developing key communication skills. Exhibition training, negotiations, public speaking and presentation skills.
Our focus is in this region, helping people to improve the way they represent themselves, and their employers. What make a good public speaking course?
Some courses are enjoyable, others not so much…
Enjoyment certainly plays a part but we will look at 3 key elements that contribute to a successful course.
Three P’s Practical, Purposeful and Personal training.
Public speaking Is a practical exercise. Like playing a sport or performing any other skill. It is a skill that needs to be practiced and honed, and having a skilled coach developing your strong points and isolating and nurturing your weaker points is essential for improvement.
How many professional sports people do not have a coach to help them refine what they do and work on their weaknesses? None! So why should key skills in business be different?
Choosing the right provider is key to development. Often, public speaking classes are focused mainly on building confidence. Leaving little time to develop actual skills that will help with one’s ability. These courses are little more than empowerment courses. Building someone’s confidence without giving them a solid basis for the confidence, sets them up for either disappointment or delusion. No one wants either.
A person may go away feeling good about themselves and willing to throw themselves into delivering a presentation only to give a substandard talk. The result? A bored and frustrated audience, and no benefit from this new found confidence.
If the person is aware of their poor performance, then the confidence is quickly shot. However, and more embarrassingly, if the person is unaware of how the audience is feeling, they remain confident and willing to keep on doing the same thing over and over again having no clue that they could be giving so much more.
Empowered & Equipped
There are universal principles that make someone a good a or a bad speaker. So, a public speaking class needs to be more than just confidence building. It needs to also include developing these skills that will boost confidence and give substance to their new found confidence. Knowing they have the skills to deliver a high standard presentation will also build confidence.
Skills like how to make the most of your voice, your body language or your emotions. Being able to control your nerves. Learning sense stress and how you compose yourself.
Other skills in writing and developing a good presentation are also important. Practical elements to help a person construct a logical and easy to listen to presentation. Things that can transform a presentation from informative and endurable to memorable and enjoyable.
When skills like these are learned and refined there is a real basis for confidence. The results will be more positive and the confidence will not only be justified, but also maintained.
A good Public Speaking Class needs to provide good practical training.
Every course is made up of 100% unique delegates with differing qualities, personalities and skill levels. Differing styles and a person’s personality will change over time too. A one size fits all approach to public speaking coaching will never work if it is to be a true success.
To make a good Public Speaking Class you need to have a discerning coach, one who is quick to pick up on these personality traits and able to help make the most of what people have. Flexibility in how to approach each individual and harness their skills is important.
Good preparation is also key. Before a course takes place, we contact each delegate, either via email or brief interviews, to find out how they feel, what they have done and what their needs and goals are. Then we prepare something that will be bespoke to the needs of those on the course, we get to know how they feel about their abilities and their own personal learning objectives, and we plan a course around their specific needs.
Another aspect that is unique to each individual is how they learn. Some are visual learners while others learn better verbally or physically. This is another area in which a coach needs to be flexible and aware of what styles will suit the delegates on the course. Having a combination of different teaching and coaching techniques will improve the outcomes. It will also make the course more fun and enjoyable.
As mentioned in the outset many courses can become a box ticking exercise. Employees may attend a course because they have been told to and have little investment in the programme.
Good course instructors will tailor their approach to the individuals on the course and help delegates to find a reason and a use for their training.
Millions of people regularly have to deliver presentations of one kind or another, so helping delegates to see a personal benefit or purpose for their own training will help the class to be successful.
Our Presentation Tool Kit Course is a fantastic course that really focuses on this. We provide an opportunity for delegates to bring in and work on their own presentation. One they deliver regularly or a new one they have coming up, and give it an overhaul. Focusing their learning on this and helping them to see where they can make changes and what they can add to it, to really help it to come alive and breathe new life and energy into it.
A continuation of the purpose is to ensure there is good follow through on learning. Change needs to be implicated and learning objectives need to be set in motion. An application of skills needs to be put straight into action but there also needs to be a follow through to sustain the improvement. Follow up with a 4th ‘P’
One-off courses can be beneficial, and if after the course you have an action plan of how you will implicate the learning and continue to develop the skills in the weeks to follow, this can go a long way to ensuring the course proves valuable.
However, the making of a truly beneficial public speaking course is how you follow up. We provide a schedule of learning for delegates. Giving some exercises to do after the original session, and an outline of progression, how they can continue to move forward.
Booking another session a few weeks or months down the line to Review, Refresh and Refine will ensure that the course is not just good in the short term with a small spike in performance. A second session increases and sustains real growth and development of these very important communication skills developed on the original day. This additional session will give you real lasting results from the public speaking/ presentation skills course and increase the effectiveness of the training.
Why not give us a call or fill out the contact form to see how our professional In-House Coaching options can benefit your company.