In today’s economy, many organizations are cutting back on presentation skills training. Is this smart? Or is this foolish and shortsighted? Find out here.

As the economy continues to bump along, more and more organizations are getting jittery. Some are cutting back on what is considered ‘soft skills.’ Others are hanging tight, refusing to cut back on skill development. Of these, many are blending training approaches to include online self-study classes, webinars and virtual coaching.

I’ve seen this myself and many of my clients are observing the same thing. If you are caught in budget cuts and need to define the best way to train new and experienced staff, use these 5 tips to find your best solution.

1. Challenge Norms
In the past, your company may have had a long training program to introduce new sales staff to products, services and the skills of selling. No doubt this worked well to build a solid foundation.

But in this era of ‘do more with less’ your 3+ week training program is under attack. Instead of fighting to maintain the past, challenge the norms. Look for ways to reduce training time without sacrificing quality.

If you can’t see the way through, ask a professional presentation skills training consultant. With an objective eye, your guide can help you select the ‘must have’ skills from the ‘nice to have’ ones. Plus, you may be pleasantly surprised at what can be accomplished online and in blended solutions.

2. Take The Long View
If you are stuck in a meeting room with finance folks who want to slice up your training budget, insist on the long view. Slashing all training is bad for business.

New and experienced professionals need to know new skills to retain existing customers and grow the business. Eliminating training is an extremely shortsighted and ultimately will kill your business.

3. Measure ROI
While you may whole-heartedly agree with the message of the previous tip, you must prove it. Provide evidence to the folks from finance.

Show a clear link to training—from communication skills, increase in sales, decrease in turnover, and increase in performance. Step up to the challenge to ‘prove’ the value of training.

Instead of viewing finance as a pain, turn this around. Find ways to document the financial value of training to the organization. This is where you’ll build strong alliances—and increase the strength of your organization.

4. Create Blends
Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for decades, create blends of training. Provide critical skills in person, with experienced training professionals. Guarantee top results with clear objectives, agendas and highly interactive training sessions.

Provide reinforcement, practice and situational assessment virtually. This can help reduce the amount of travel and time out of the office. The best blends use interaction, visuals, and easy-access to appeal to participants. Look for online training programs that are easy to use and accessible anytime, anywhere.

5. Buy vs. Build
With all the terrific online and blended solutions available, it is more affordable to buy solutions rather than build them in-house.

Many organizations in the past have spent huge amounts of time and money building training solutions that already existed on the market. This is not smart or fiscally responsible.

If you are looking for a custom built solution, consider what already built training program can be adapted easily to fit the bill. You’ll gain huge rewards and save tons of headaches.

Is presentation skills training on the chopping block? If so, step up and recommend alternative solutions. Your company, your future and your bottom line depend on it.

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 Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: