I have said it before, and it is worth saying it again…
If you asked me, “What is the single most important skill a job seeking candidate can have?,” I would initially probably respond along the lines of, “It depends on the job!” However, upon further thought, I might also reply, “Being a strong communicator is an underlying key skill for any job seeker.”
I’ve written about the importance of “soft skills” or “emotional intelligence.” SomeÃ‚Â business schools are incorporating classes to teach communication and leadership skills, as they are so important in the workplace. Let’s face it – if you have trouble communicating, you are likely to have trouble getting along with colleagues, persuading others to agree with you and succeeding in most workplaces.
Communication skills extend beyond being able to negotiate a one-on-one conversation. Often, being able to present in front of an audience is the key differentiating skill that makes the difference between getting the job and coming in second place.
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs – How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, by Carmine Gallo, promises to teach anyone how to successfully present their ideas. The author explains Jobs’ approach to a classic argument (p. 13):
- Deliver a story or statment that arouses the audience’s interest
- Post a problem or question that has to be solved or answered.
- Offer a solution to the problem you raised.
- Describe specific benefits for adopting the course of action set forth in your solution.
- State a call to action.
In the book, he continues to explain exactly how to go about making that happen. With specifics that include everything from offering the variety that the brain craves (p. 129) to techniques to improve body language (p. 170). He explains how to toss the script (p. 202) AND how to use notes when you must (p. 204).
Carmine maps out how to become a better presenter, using a well-known master presenter’s methods as a guide. I enjoyed his book and believe that everyone who needs (or wants) to present better (and who doesn’t need to present better) can learn something important and useful.