Simple answer: Each and every presentation we give makes us a little bit more successful. Even the bad ones.
So if you measure success in terms of money, then every presentation makes us richer. Or if you prefer happiness to be your gauge of success, you will become happier each time you present.
If you’re looking for a little motivation before the next time you stand up to speak to an audience of colleagues, customers or prospects, take a moment to chew over that statement.
While you’re chewing, maybe have a look at a few job advertisments. Notice that for every job with a salary worth getting out of bed for, the candidate will need to have ‘excellent written and verbal communication skills’. Look closer and you’ll see that this is always in the top three requirements. If you’re still chewing, dig out your own job description. If you can’t find it, call HR. Go on, give them something to do. They’ll think that you are either thinking of leaving or asking for a pay rise and will fall into a flat tail-spin. But I’m digressing.
The point is this. The ‘communication skills’ bar is set pretty high. ‘Excellent’ is the requirement and nothing less will do. But interestingly, the bar never moves. ‘Excellent written and verbal communication skills’ are required for everyone from the most junior technician to the Chief Executive. This tells us two things. Firstly, the people that write job descriptions are inherently lazy, which is why asking your HR team to find your job description is such a fun thing to do. And secondly, it says that in order to progress in your career you need to be more excellent than the other excellent communicators around you.
So the next time you prepare a talk, think about how you are going to make it more than ‘excellent’. Then go out and do it. To get the next job on your career path, to get involved in the next exciting project at work, and to spread a little happiness to the world, give yourself permission to be excellent.