Presentation Skills Training: REDEFINED. (Part 1 of 5)

January 28, 2013 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Posts for Buyers, Presentation, Training

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4Part 5

Dale Ludwig, President & Founder of Turpin CommunicationI read an interesting post by Josh Bersin on LinkedIn last week about the mismatch between academic education and job skills. What jumped out at me was research showing that “While 42% of employers believe newly educated workers are ready for work, 72% of educational institutions do.”

That’s a pretty big disconnect, but it’s one that I’m used to in my corner of corporate learning and development. Participants in our presentation skills workshop always have to unlearn what they have been taught in school about presenting. In fact, as I have written about here, most training delivered to business presenters misses the mark because it is built on what is essentially an academic methodology.

I think it’s time to revisit this issue.

My goal in the next four blog posts is to talk about the fundamental differences between an academic (think Public Speaking 101) methodology and the skill building approach my colleagues and I have developed over the past 20 years. The question I’ll try to answer is this: How do I know I’m getting presentation skills training that will give me the skills I need to succeed on the job?

Here’s an overview.

  • Presentation skills training must focus on the type of presentations you actually deliver. So my next post will focus on the difference between a speech and presentation. Or, to put it another way, the difference between a performance and a conversation.
  • Next, I’ll talk about why the skills you need for presenting must be built from the inside out. Improvement must focus on how things feel to the presenter as well as how they appear to the audience.
  • If you find yourself in a presentation skills workshop where you are not working on the nitty-gritty challenges of a real-life presentation, pack up your things and leave the class. This is not because training should be as relevant as possible; it’s about nuance. The fundamentals of preparing a presentation are easy to understand (and most people already know them). The challenge is with their application.
  • Finally, the coaching you receive in a presentation skills workshop must focus on your response to the challenges of presenting. You are not, after all, a blank slate. You have experience and preferences that are unique to you. After a presentation skills workshop, you should have more perspective on yourself and a clear sense of not only what you should focus on to improve but also why you should focus on it.

I look forward to going into more detail in the weeks to come.

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4Part 5

by Dale Ludwig, President and Trainer at Turpin Communication

Adult Learners Often Need to Unlearn Before Learning

January 21, 2013 in Author, Facilitation, Greg Owen-Boger, Myths Debunked, Presentation, Talent Development, Training

greg 200x300If you’ve known us and our work here at Turpin Communication for any period of time, you know that we spend a great deal of time debunking myths and helping people unlearn unhelpful (and sometimes harmful) ideas about presenting, facilitating, and training.

You need only visit our blog section on Myths Debunked to get a good understanding of where we stand on old ideas about not reading your slides, never turning your back to your audience, looking over peoples’ heads, and the use of ice breakers (just to name a few).

This is why I was excited to see this article by Jane Bozarth called “Nuts & Bolts: Unlearning” on the Learning Solutions Magazine blog. Seems we’re not the only ones helping our clients unlearn.

Jane is considered to be one of the major thought leaders in the Workplace Learning & Performance industry. I’ve had the pleasure of attending her sessions at conferences. Her content is always fresh and she’s always genuine. Here’s her article’s opening sentences. I hope you read the rest. She’s spot on.

One of the givens in working with adult learners is the importance of helping them access prior knowledge and building on what they already know. But what if that prior knowledge is no longer useful, or the skills no longer applicable, or it was never very accurate in the first place?

Read the entire article.

What do you need to unlearn? What can you help others unlearn? Let us know in the comments below.

By Greg Owen-Boger, VP and Trainer at Turpin Communication