Today, in most fields, presenting information clearly and effectively is an incredibly desired skill.

Whether you are a student, administrator or sales executive, if you wish to start up your own business or apply for a grant, you may well be asked to not only create a presentation but also present it. Understandably, this could be a daunting prospect, yet our blog aims to help you achieve this with ease.

Know your audience

Understanding the needs of your audience can help you tailor your presentation to target their interests and explain how your company can be of use in their specific situation. Whether this be with the use of facts, figures, or using their logo to incorporate an example of a design, it all goes towards helping you create a memorable presentation.

Structure

Introduction
Your opening should be something that makes a connection with the audience. It can be a story, a question, or statistic. Avoid introductions of yourself or your team.

Body
Try to stick to your three most important points. It's more important to engage the audience than overload them with everything you know. It’s a good idea to leave some information out, as it is likely that what you don't cover in your presentation will come up when you take questions.

Keep your aim in mind. You don't have to write out your presentation word for word, instead just remember to refer back to your main points and working toward your desired outcome. It’s important to present both sides of an issue as you will appear more credible if you acknowledge your competitors or any opposing arguments. After you've explained the other side, you can spell out exactly why your company is better or your argument is stronger.

Conclusion
The closing of your presentation is the last opportunity you have to give your audience something to remember. You can then refer back to your opening or end on a clever slogan or a call to action.

Remember to smile
Smiling increases endorphins, replacing anxiety with calm and making you feel good about your presentation. Smiling also exhibits confidence and enthusiasm to the crowd.

Practice... but don’t memorize

Like anything, practice makes perfect, therefore you’ll want to ensure you have left enough time to rehearse your presentation a number of times. While it may seem difficult or sometimes even pointless, it’s essential if you want to deliver a presentation that is going to give you results.

Tip: It’s a good idea to write your speech, or even write bullet points to prompt you when speaking.

Your environment often has a bigger impact on your delivery than you think, therefore experts recommend rehearsing your presentation in various environments, in order for you to feel comfortable with your speech. Try and do a practice run, presenting in front of a friend, colleague or family member, or even record your presentation and play it back to evaluate which areas you need to improve.

Engage with the audience

Remember to engage with the audience. If you have the chance, talk to the people you will be presenting to get a feel of the audience. This will make it easier when presenting and inviting any questions. Welcoming audience participation can boost engagement and make attendees feel like part of a conversation. It also makes you, the presenter, seem much more relatable. Don’t be put off by unexpected questions – instead, see them as an opportunity to give your audience what they want.

Learn from others

Why not attend some conferences? This will allow you to see how others present and understand what potential you detail you could include in your presentation. If you are unable to attend conferences, there's some great examples on YouTube. 

For more top tips, follow us on Twitter @RHThinking or follow 'Roundhouse Thinking' on LinkedIn

Last week exhibited at the East Midlands Expo and what a great time we had. Like any exhibition it provided us with an excellent opportunity to network with local engineering companies across the Midlands.


Attending allowed us to reach a specific audience which our training is extremely relevant to. It also gave us the opportunity to network, enhance our reputation as a leading training provider and ultimately provide companies with the knowledge on how to upskill their workforce.


Why were we at the Expo? Let’s just say, we know our facts.


An abundance of engineering companies are predominantly Midlands based. High value engineering constitutes 6% of employees in the region and 19.5% of the working population in the UK, making the sector one of great importance. It has however, been identified that there are skill shortages within the engineering sector, particularly in the following; research and development and problem solving.


According to The IET annual survey, the “skills gap” has worsened for the ninth year in a row. This gap has not gone unnoticed either, having since become an important economic issue and one of the reasons for Britain’s strained productivity. Bridging the skills gap is therefore required in order to equip engineers with the essential skills that will ultimately help businesses plan for a sustainable future, progression and survival.


Managers, take note.


Managerial skills are also a very important factor within the sector. Selecting and developing the correct people to run a business is crucial. Paired with practical knowledge, skills such as leading change, performance management and practical problem solving are very important.

Skills shortage


With the skills shortage threatening the sustainability of businesses nationwide, it is paramount that businesses upskill their workforce in order to lead effectively. The overwhelming consensus among employers is that too many employees lack skills such as; critical thinking and problem solving, collaborative/teamwork, communication, adaptability/managing multiple priorities, planning/organisation.


It has been reported that Britain only produces around 25,000 engineering graduates per year, however Sir James Dyson has said that he would require 3000 if his company is able to expand further. A shortage of engineers and necessary skills can have a detrimental effect to economic sustainability of engineering employers, with many companies having reportedly said that the shortage could be “a threat to their business in the UK”.


Without transferring and developing knowledge, there is a risk that a huge amount of experience will be lost to the industry within the years to come. The importance of engineering is significant not only to the economy but also with regards to employment. Every new engineering role, creates an additional two jobs within the economy, therefore make it a priority to upskill.


Sources


http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21648003-lack-skilled-workers-and-managers-drags-country-down-mind-gap

http://www.engineeringuk.com/Research/Engineering_UK_Report_2015/

Team building activities are often favoured by many businesses as they increase morale, improve productivity and develop team skills. One of the many ways employees benefit from completing a team away day is through a sense of achievement and accomplishment. Team building also allows employees to return to the office feeling reinvigorated, often with a new set of problem-solving skills and improved working relationships.

Improve Communication Skills

Team building is incredibly useful for strengthening existing relationships and welcoming new colleagues. By working through an activity as a group, it allows people to apply their skills and break down any barriers between individuals.

People who are not used to working together get a chance to work as part of a team and by working through a task, the wealth of skills within the team is highlighted and the group learns new and varied ways of working together.

Develop team roles

Each team member has the opportunity to take ownership in a team away day. It provides individuals with a platform to focus and develop on what they are best at, and allows them to find their niche within a team so that everyone can best contribute as an individual while still performing together.

Often, an advantage to a company team away day, is that you will be able to get to know your employees better and tap into their potential. Part of participating in a team building day, is that you can learn new things about yourself and others that you may not have previously realised.

Improved relationships

In a busy, high-pressured environment, it can be often difficult for employees to find time to develop new skills and relationships. Away from the office, team building activities allow each member of the team a chance to get to know one another and their strengths and weaknesses.

Long-term benefits

Team building is invaluable, especially because it promotes better working relationships, offers a shared positive experience and allows people to better understand their strengths and weakness. Once these have been identified, you can then look to improve weaknesses. 

Positive relationships

Team building provides an opportunity for the team to participate in activities together in an experience where everyone starts with an equal level of knowledge about the given tasks. The day often requires people to use their initiative in order to complete the task successfully. Working on task together, helps to develop relationships quickly, as well as boost morale.

Value your employees

Team building events and away days are among the most effective ways of increasing levels of engagement within an organisation. If employees feel that their contribution is valued, they will be more encouraged to demonstrate effort and commitment to the organisation. 

If your team are looking participate in a team away day experience, we can help whatever your location or goals.