Are you concerned that you don't have the necessary skills to be effective in presenting? Are you worried because you haven't updated your skills in a long time?

If so, you may have reason to be alert. Read on. Find out in plain English what you may have been feeling in your gut for a long time.

Your problem starts here:

Things change.

Today's business world is changing at an extremely rapid pace. Styles and expectations for presenting that worked a few years ago now look as dated as a dial phone.

For instance:

Remember wooden podiums?

Remember overhead transparencies?

Remember the days of 'death by PowerPoint' as the norm?

These days are history. And if you want to keep your skills up to date, investing in specialized training may be your best option.

Many executives are concerned that their skill set is out of date. And with younger audiences, a global workforce, and new technology - they are right to be worried.

Let's look at why these old methods are no longer viable.


Podiums are wonderful places to hide behind. They put the speaker on stage, above the audience. This implies distance and authority. It is the opposite of trends towards facilitative presenting. It does not encourage conversation, connection or collaboration.

If you have to use a podium, come out from behind it! This will help you avoid gripping it. And it allows your audience to see you as a whole human being - not another talking head.


Um... how shall I put this? Didn't you get the memo? These went out so long ago that you really don't want to rely on those stacks of transparencies for anything other than collecting dust bunnies. Seriously. Dump them.

Death by PowerPoint

Just to clear something up here. I'm not advocating a no-slide rule. There are some situations that require using a minimal number of slides.

In fact, it's not the slides that are the problem. It's the behaviors and assumptions that come along with their usage.

If you are using slides, make them engaging and visually interesting. Keep them to a bare minimum. Get in the habit of turning off the projector to have a conversation.

Instead of relying on a gigantic slideshow, plan for interaction. Use a whiteboard. Get people talking. Share ideas and solve problems together.

Put the audience - whether internal employees, clients or prospects - in the center of your circle. Make their needs first. This is a great way to 'test' whether you are killing folks with data; or engaging them with lively interaction.

Some of these changes can be hard. But the writing is on the wall. Not changing is harder. If you dig your heels in and refuse to change, you might as well take early retirement.

All business revolves around change and evolution. Expectations of presentations have changed. Executives who embrace this change, can easily update their skills.

Update your skills in presenting to get the most results. With a small investment in your executive education, you can expect a dramatic improvement.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through online presentation skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: