Employee training not only increases your team’s skill level and productivity, it also makes them happier – in fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it is invested in their learning and development. So finding a high-quality presentation skills training partner could be a very important business decision.
There’s no doubt that effective communication and strong presenting skills are a must for employees working in today’s corporate environment, which is why many organisations choose it as an area of focus within their L&D training plans.
When senior leaders, managers and staff in your organisation have the skills and confidence to deliver clear, impactful, engaging presentations to both internal and external stakeholders, it has a far-reaching and positive effect. But the key to achieving quality learning outcomes from presentation skills coaching lies in partnering with the right presentation skills training provider.
When comparing your options, being clear on your training vendor selection criteria is crucial. So, in this article, we talk about how to vet and select a presentation skills training expert for your company.
1. Expertise and experience as a presentation skills training provider
There are many companies who pride themselves on offering training in a wide variety of business skills – from sales and negotiation, to leadership and project management, and plenty in between. In other words, these companies are really just a training warehouse. While this can seem like a good thing on the surface (one-size fits all, ‘pile it high and sell it cheap’), you’re more likely to get a better quality and effective training program from a specialist provider. And that is true when selecting a partner to help your people improve virtually any skill – after all, specialism and expertise in a subject is what we all aspire to, none of us want second best!
For example, hiring a generalist soft skills trainer is self-evidently a compromise – a trade-off of breadth, bulk or budget against focus, skill and quality. When your desired outcome is to help your people become the most confident, persuasive and inspiring presenters, this compromise will likely make the training less transformational.
Experts who specialise have years of experience and a depth of knowledge to deliver the very highest quality outcomes. This ‘added-value’ provides your team with the confidence, support and practical skills far beyond that of your competition who might make the compromise!
2. Training approach
When selecting a provider, be sure to look closely at how the training is delivered.
Is it in person, online or a blended approach? Will the training be conducted in-house or will your people be attending a public course? What is the size of the group? The answers to these questions are a great help in guiding your decision.
Ideally, you should be looking for a practical, immersive training approach with content that is personalised to suit your people and your business. When the training is hands-on, interactive and delivered in small groups, participants learn and retain much more than when they are simply an attendee in the audience listening to someone speak.
3. Can your presentation skills training provider customise your training program
Every employee and every business is different, so a training program that is customised to suit your needs will deliver the greatest results. Look for a training partner that has a proven capability to offer a solution that is not only tailored to your organisation as a whole, but also personalised for each participant.
That way, the takeaways for each employee will be timely, relevant and provide real results in line with your organisational culture and specific goals.
When your employees gain tailored guidance to deliver confident presentations, it benefits both them as individuals and your organisation as a whole.
4. Ability to work with different personalities and individuals
A training program that helps your employees to build on their own personal strengths is a big positive, especially when the training is focused on presentation skills.
When the workshop allows participants to embrace their natural style of communication and let their personality shine through, it leads to powerful lessons and a more authentic experience.
Your team will gain confidence in their ability to use their new presentation skills to communicate effectively with their colleagues, managers and clients, to grow their personal brand and progress in their role.
5. Hands-on practise time
For many people, the learning is in the doing, so plenty of time for participants to practise and learn during the workshop is a must.
Be sure to ask any potential training providers how much of the workshop will be hands-on and practical. Furthermore, ask how much individual practise time people will get during the course. The most valuable training will include practical activities that are role-specific as this will maximise the gains for each person. In addition, find out how and when feedback is provided, including how video recordings of people’s practise sessions are viewed. If recordings are shown back to the group as a whole this can seriously knock people’s confidence.
6. What tools and learning support does your presentation skills training partner provide
When the training includes additional online learning materials that employees can review and use after the workshop, it greatly enhances your return on L&D investment.
Providing resources that help participants to recap what they’ve learnt and use time and again to refresh their skills as needed is an integral part of any high-quality training package.
On top of this, when your team are also given practical tools that help them map out and create compelling presentations that really hit the mark, it makes it easy for them to utilise the teachings and develop their skills further.
7. Level of attention given to participants
While training delivered to a large group or in a public-workshop setting may suit some, there are likely members of your team who will find it intimidating or simply unengaging.
Plus, employees who have a more passive personality are unlikely to participate fully in this style of workshop and may walk away with very little to show for it. To avoid this and make sure each member of your team is able to gain the maximum benefits, look for a provider who includes plenty of one-on-one time and personalised coaching even in a group workshop setting.
8. Credentials of your presentation skills training provider’s trainers
If you want your employees to develop truly professional, business-related presentation skills then the presentation skills training provider you select must have a solid business background themselves. People who are career trainers, or actors, simply don’t have the commercial experience to enable them to understand the types of situations that your people face.
However, when your trainers have been corporate executives themselves they can instantly relate to the presentation environments and challenges faced by your senior leaders, managers and staff. This means they can tailor the information and practical components to be 100% relevant for your people and your business. It also means your employees can ask questions, receive actionable advice and learn proven techniques that really work.
9. Past clients and testimonials
Client testimonials provide you with an opportunity to learn more about the capabilities of any potential training company, so be sure to look them up.
Understanding who they’ve worked with in the past gives you some insight into the kind of organisations they have helped. This can be a useful way to gauge if the quality, relevance and outcomes of the training will be a good fit for your business.
10. Post-workshop support
The last thing you want is to invest in training that is gradually forgotten in the days, weeks and months following the workshop.
A sustainable training solution offers post-workshop support to participants to ensure the learnings are implemented and utilised on an ongoing basis. This may be delivered in person or remotely and could be in the form of follow-up coaching.
Ideally, your team will also have lifetime access to online resources or support so they can find the information they need to continually brush-up and develop their presentation skills further.
The Right Training Partner Makes all the Difference
When it comes to developing presentation skills in your team, engaging the right external presentation skills training provider can deliver outstanding results – but be sure to do your research and choose the training partner that meets all of the above criteria.
A training partner who understands your organisation and creates a solution that is tailored to both your team as individuals and your business as a whole, will deliver the best ROI and results. So don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all approach – because the right training partner makes all the difference.
Written By Belinda Huckle
Co-Founder & Managing DirectorRead Bio
Belinda is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of SecondNature International. With a determination to drive a paradigm shift in the delivery of presentation skills training both In-Person and Online, she is a strong advocate of a more personal and sustainable presentation skills training methodology.
Belinda believes that people don’t have to change who they are to be the presenter they want to be. So she developed a coaching approach that harnesses people’s unique personality to build their own authentic presentation style and personal brand.
She has helped to transform the presentation skills of people around the world in an A-Z of organisations including Amazon, BBC, Brother, BT, CocaCola, DHL, EE, ESRI, IpsosMORI, Heineken, MARS Inc., Moody’s, Moonpig, Nationwide, Pfizer, Publicis Groupe, Roche, Savills, Triumph and Walmart – to name just a few.