O P I N I O N
Investing a small amount of time and profit on training employees on presentation skills could lead to millions of dollars of work for your firm. Presentations don’t have to be scary
M y husband is a superintendent for a large commercial construction company and occasionally participates in project interviews. This may not come as a shock, but most technical professionals have not been properly educated or trained on presentation skills. Sure, they may have taken a speech class in high school or college and presented a few times in class – but that’s likely been several years ago with no additional practice since then.
But guess who the client wants to hear from in almost every interview? The technical professionals! They want to hear from the project architect, project manager, or superintendent that they’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis. Clients want to know if they will get along with these individuals and have a good working relationship for the duration of the project. It’s all about the connection made during that interview, so you want your technical professionals to be as comfortable as possible in these situations. I’m not suggesting they pretend to be someone they aren’t, but when they are prepared and comfortable, their personality will come out (more so than their nerves).
Usually, the project team assembles seven to 10 business days before the presentation and may “practice” a few times before the big day. (When I say “practice” this could mean talking it over, putting the PowerPoint or visuals together, or writing out some bullet points.) If these technical professionals don’t participate in interviews regularly, they’re probably a little rusty. (I know from personal experience of not speaking for three or four months during COVID, I even got a little rusty on my presentation skills!) When these individuals aren’t given the resources to do their job, they are limited in the results they get (aka winning work).
See LINDSAY YOUNG, page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER AUGUST 16, 2021, ISSUE 1404
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