The Third P

In our work as design professionals, presentations are a necessary part of the work we do. Whether planning to give a presentation before a community, an internal group, or a client, the process often elicits no small amount of anxiety in even the most experienced professional. Through training, coaching, and practice, our goals are to make the presentations you give as part of your work at Perkins+Will easier and less stressful in development and clearer and more dynamic in delivery.

Far from being a “loose,” free-formed activity, an effective presentation can be developed in a predictable, organized, and streamlined manner that results in a better presentation that can be developed much faster.  By starting with a clear understanding of the purpose of the presentation and the needs of the audience, content becomes more compelling and interesting.  By making strategic decisions relative to timing, organization, and visuals, speakers can increase the overall efficiency of the design process, while resulting in more logical and compelling content.

Because most stage fright is rooted in fears related to content―as in, “I’ll forget what I have to say” or “I’ll go blank and people will stare at me”―by starting with organized content, speakers can get more comfortable with delivery.  Dynamic, interesting delivery is not about mimicking other speakers, nor is it about standard methods for moving or speaking. Rather, effective delivery results from using a person’s own style and standard ways of communicating to enhance content in a “real” way that encourages audience engagement. When speakers integrate effective vocal, movement, and posture techniques into their delivery, they create comfort for both themselves and their audience.

Presentation skills are 100 percent learned, meaning anyone can learn them. And, as learned skills versus innate traits, through practice, anyone can become more proficient. That’s the good news.  The bad news is that there is no “tincture” to make anyone a better speaker; rather, each of us need to embark on a a career-long journey of continuous presentation improvement.