2000-2012 International Presentation Skills Survey Results

As communication consultants and trainers, we have noted an increasing requirement for presentations skills training in both national and international organizations in the last 14 years. In this study, we wish to offer our audience with points to take into account when giving their very own presentations, evaluating other presenters or providing training in this area.

We define a Presentation as a quick (15-20 minutes), unidirectional communicative activity dealing more with concepts than excessive details and that goes from the presenter to the audience and should NOT involve direct questions/answers to or from the audience. This is often, and often is, followed by another activity known as a “Meeting with Slides” ;.

The standard “Meeting with Slides” is really a longer (40-120 minutes), more detail-focussed, omnidirectional, verbally participative Communicative Activity which many people mistakenly call a “presentation” and usually includes questions/answers from audience members to/or from the presenter and frequently involve a detailed analysis of financial data using templates.

Many trainers and presenters tend to mix both elements together into what they call a “a presentation” that will be often responsible for causing lots of the problems identified in this study. We believe that it is a lot more logical to Professionelle PowerPoint Agentur give a structured overview first and then, if necessary, go into the detailed analysis afterwards. Obviously, once the audience understand the global context and structure of the presentation, it’s much easier for them to understand the information and concentrate on the information in the given context.

The original objective was to recognize the main causes why audience members disconnect and stop paying attention during presentations so that individuals could train our learners in probably the most appropriate ways to prevent these errors and provide a greatly increased communicative effectiveness to our clients. We defined “disconnection” as being when anyone stops listening; starts having parallel conversations (with anyone sitting beside them); starts checking emails; starts using their laptop (or tablets) or any other activity that impedes them from playing close attention to the information of the presentation.

A preliminary study with users of OverHead Projectors (O.H.Ps) and pens was conducted between 1995 and 2000 mainly in Spain, France, Italy, USA, England with 1,200+ respondents. The presentations were given in various languages. This study served as the foundation for the main one being presented here. The outcome from the very first study were similar to those obtained in this one.

Respondents’ positions: From President, Managing Director, Senior Directors right down to employees in Sales, Marketing, R&D, Quality control, I.T., Technical posts, etc. Also included were other professionals such as for instance Doctors, Scientists, Lawyers, etc. In fact, anyone who must communicate effectively via presentations both within their very own organization or with external audiences.

The original stage with this study involved having an individual exercise dealing with this topic on every Presentation Skills training course in both English and Spanish given by our organization. The trainees responses were noted on a flipchart and then investigated in-depth during the following feedback session where the outcome were prioritized so as of importance. The feedback notes from each course were then evaluated and put into the corpus of information. We then identified 31 key areas that appeared frequently in the responses obtained from our students and used them in the second stage with this study.

The next stage of the analysis contains the development of a bilingual survey (in English and Spanish) in both a paper-based format and for use on the internet placing the 31 items identified as being causes for disconnection in a randomly ordered list. On the questionnaires, each statement was rated on a level from 1 to 10. #1 indicated Total Disagreement (absolutely NO annoyance / problems or disconnection) and #10 indicated Totally Agreement (great annoyance and immediate disconnection). Whenever possible, the questionnaire was followed-up by random structured interviews.

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