Upskilling has become a matter of survival
The pandemic has, in many ways, accelerated the pressure for people to upskill and reskill now that less and less of our daily business is managed face-to-face. We need to acquire new communication skills to help make us stand out in an online environment. So, one of the priorities for all L&D professionals in the year ahead must be to invest in training to improve online presentation skills for the virtual environment, for everyone in the business.
Censuswide, an independent, international market research agency, conducted a global study – ‘The state of skills’ – in Aug 2020, amongst more than 5,000 workers, team managers, and business leaders.
- Censuswide’s conclusion overall is that ‘right now, upskilling your workforce is a matter of survival’.
- Six in 10 people say that COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis has accelerated their need to acquire new skills‘.
- Furthermore, Advanced Communication skills was ranked 3rd as the most in-demand skill.
- But, and this is a big but, nearly half of workers say their employers have reduced upskilling and reskilling opportunities during the pandemic.
- And of, perhaps, even more concern is that 46% of workers around the world now say they are more likely to leave their employer if they don’t see a commitment to training.
So, not investing in people’s professional development can have a profound impact on people and businesses alike. If you want to keep your talent then upskilling and reskilling should be your number 1 priority.
Check out our blog ‘The importance of Communication Skills in Business: 5 Benefits Backed by Research’ if you’re still not convinced of its importance.
Why do your people need training to improve online presentation skills?
If you’re someone that feels like weekdays have become one long stream of Team/Zoom meetings with hardly a break in-between, you are not alone. Many of us are experiencing zoom fatigue. It seems we are all spending way more time in virtual meetings than ever before. Now ask yourself, how many meetings have you been in, over the past few months, where:
- There was no real purpose or direction? In other words the meeting felt like a talk-fest.
- The flow was confusing and unclear as if no-one was in control or had really prepared in advance?
- The content was irrelevant, maybe too high level, or conversely too detailed?
- Nothing concrete was achieved? You were left feeling ‘So what?’ or ‘Well that was an hour of my life I’ll never get back again!’
- The ‘slides’ made you want to run for the hills? Or at least made you grab for your mobile.
- The presenters were dull, boring and uninspiring?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you’ve answered the question as to why your people need presentation training to improve their presentation skills!
The many extraordinary benefits of training to improve online presentation skills
So now you know that that there is a need for some people in your organisation to upskill their communication and presentation skills, let’s set out what all the benefits will be to the business:
- Meetings are more efficient because presenters are more in control, better prepared and more focussed. Which in turn saves time, and time is money.
- Quicker and better decision making because presentations are clearer and required actions more obvious. So business outcomes are improved.
- More pitch/tender/bid wins because presenters are more compelling and convincing. Which adds directly to the bottom line.
- The most is made of all your workforce, not just the ‘loud’ ones, because more people have the skills and confidence to get their message and ideas across.
- Morale, engagement and productivity is lifted because leaders have the tools and know-how to better engage, motivate and inspire their people.
- Staff turnover is lower because of increased engagement by everyone. Which saves money and time.
- Self-confidence and promotion prospects are elevated because people have had the coaching and feedback to instil a belief in themselves and their ability to communicate & present better.
- Connections are more meaningful, especially given our new virtual world, because people’s improved communication & presentation skills bring people closer together improving team cohesion – colleagues and team members, managers & staff, SLTs and Boards.
The stark reality is that if people can’t present themselves, their ideas and their insights and recommendations in a clear, engaging, impactful way business suffers and people suffer.
And, please don’t just take our word for it. Employee training not only increases people’s skill level and productivity, it also makes them happier – in fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.
What happens if businesses don’t invest in training like improving online presentation skills?
Aside from wasting time and money, anxiety about skills is becoming a mental health and wellness issue. The Censuswide study also identified that nearly 6-in-10 (55%) workers, managers, and business leaders said a lack of confidence in their skills makes their job more stressful. Nearly 4-in-10 (38%) say their mental health suffers.
Plus, too, remember from earlier, 46% of workers around the world now say they are more likely to leave their employer if they don’t see a commitment to upskilling and reskilling.
And finally, does practise make perfect – my butterfly effect
Many people might be thinking, ‘OK, I know we have a need to upskill some of our people in the area of online presentation skills, and I can see the benefits of doing it. But surely just having more practise time will achieve the outcomes we need.’
Well, a personal experience of mine, that is totally unrelated to presentation skills training, but extraordinarily relevant, might help to throw some light on this.
From the age of 7 years old I started competitive swimming. For many years it was almost my entire life. And Butterfly was my best stroke. I trained 11 times a week. Morning and evenings with swim meets at the weekends. So boy, did I practise! But by and large, all that practise did was make me fitter. It meant I could swim for longer. But not better or faster.
It was only when I had specialist coaching and feedback from a Butterfly expert that I ‘upskilled’ my stroke. Specialist coaching absolutely transformed how I swam – it made me a much better swimmer and far faster swimmer. Only after the coaching was I able to smash my PBs (personal best) again and again.
That would not have happened just with practise. And presenting is a skill, just like swimming, or driving a car, or skiing, or playing an instrument. Practise is important. Sure. But coaching and feedback are the key – the key to unlocking ability and taking people’s skills to the next level.
Tailored Training to Fill Your Presentation Skill Gaps
If you’re looking to build the presentation skills of your team through personalised training or coaching that is tailored to your business, we can help.
For nearly 20 years we have been the Business Presentation Skills Experts, training & coaching thousands of people in an A-Z of global blue-chip organisations.
All our online programs consist of live video-coaching modules, incorporating personalised feedback, advice and guidance to take business presenters further than any pre-recorded content ever can. To find out more, click on one of the buttons below:
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Written By Belinda Huckle
Co-Founder & Managing DirectorRead Bio
Belinda is the founder and managing director of secondnature. With a determination to drive a paradigm shift in the delivery of presentation skills training, she is a strong advocate of a more personal and sustainable presentation skills training methodology.
She believes in a training approach that harnesses people’s unique personality to build their own authentic presentation style and personal brand.
Belinda is currently helping to transform the presentation skills of people in organisations such as BBC Worldwide, DHL, ESRI, Heineken, MARS Inc., Moody’s, Pfizer, Roche, Triumph and Walmart – to name just a few.