Why most of presentation and communication trainings are not effective?
The key to effective presentations trainings
Traditional presentation and communication trainings as can feel dull and unengaging, making the topic less interesting and many times leading to little or no knowledge transfer, even if the subject was covered and the information was delivered. The same happens when making a presentation. Gaining—and keeping—the interest of your audience is paramount in any successful training program as well as in any presentation itself.
While leading successful training sessions, workshops and effective presentations for the biggest organizations worldwide in English, Polish, Spanish and Portuguese we discovered 4 reasons why most of presentations trainings in organisations are ineffective:
1. Presenter oriented approach
Ironically, the majority of presentations trainings are ineffective due to the fact that they focus on the presenter. Most of bad design advices and tools e.g. presentation structure that doesn’t deliver the core message across, 7 bullet points per slide, bullet points slowly revealed one at a time, 3D charts, showing lots of data or only showing pictures have been developed to make the presenter feel safe and “professional” rather than to engage and benefit the audience. Those are bad advices that actually reduce the audience’s interest in message and their ability to understand it.
2. Lack of structure and applicable methods
Ineffective presentations trainings are based on general communication skills, slide design and body language clichés. They lack structure and clear methodology. For trainings to be effective they must be presented an easy to follow, step by step guide to build presentations starting from the audience, goals, core message, storytelling structure to slide design and finally presentation delivery that makes an impact. Ineffective trainings lack a broader view of the subject, and forget essential part, which is building a story and structure of the presentation that gets the message across and delivering it in an engaging and interesting way.
3. Not engaging the audience
The stand-and-deliver method of training, in which the trainer talks and the trainees listen, is ineffective and only serves to bore the audience. The most effective is learning by doing when participants practice methods and techniques hands-on based on their own presentations. Creating and fostering an informal ambience to learn, keeping the interaction, involving listeners into discussion is the key to effective presentations trainings. Ineffective trainings are based on theory and so called “rules”, however it is while doing exercises both individual (based on participants’ presentations) and in groups, when participants learn the most from their own mistakes and from each ther.
4. All work and no play – staying in the comfort zone
By experience we know that humor can play a very important role in the delivery of training or a presentation, providing some energy and creating another way for the audience to engage. We practice it especially while exercising different emotions, acting and clowning techniques adopted to presentations and business communications. It helps to take participants out from their comfort zone and break the habit of presenting slides with one tone of voice and no expression. A punch of fun help them feel fresh-minded.