One of the most common questions that is asked during my presentation skills training program is “How can I better think on my feet?” You see, people may feel well prepared to deliver content, yet they feel unprepared to elaborate further on that content or they may fall apart when answering questions. Thinking on your feet spans three important areas that will be covered in this article, including: When presenting information, when elaborating and when answering questions. The key to thinking well on your feet is to decide the best approach to presenting information in a clear, concise and thoughtful way.
By now you have probably heard something about generational differences. The information is everywhere: magazine articles, news media, Internet blogs and corporate training programs. There are research institutions who are devoting entire divisions to studying the Millennial generation. There is even a TV show titled “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.” The question now is not whether you have heard about generational differences. The question is “What have you heard?”
Fifteen years ago twenty-five percent of major business change initiatives impacted less than fifty people and cost less than $100,000. Today, that same twenty-five percent impacts more than 5,000 people and costs more than $10M. This is a one hundred times increase in fifteen years! This growth has been driven by globalization and an increase in technology projects. That means projects have become one hundred times riskier.
Emotions interfere with our ability to identify and maintain focus on the issue during conflict. The reason we are so eloquent after the conversation is over is because emotions have subsided and rational thought is now in command of our thinking. Now we know exactly what we should have said. Sometimes the emotion subsides quickly, allowing us the immediate opportunity to identify the real issue, make amends and resolve the issue. Sometimes the emotion lingers, however, resulting in grudges, plans for evening the score and counter attacks. When this happens, the original issue may be lost in an on-going drama that can last a lifetime.
It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Part of the “how” is nonverbal language. When you deliver a presentation, people observe two things: Your verbal language – the words you use – and your nonverbal language – what your body language says about you. In this article, I will present nonverbal language from two different perspectives: Your own nonverbal language that you use while delivering a presentation to others and the nonverbal language that your audience shows to you while you’re presenting.