Training is great and everyone needs training, no matter the subject. I’ve made my living doing training for almost 30 years. So I’m a fan. However, training alone is not enough if you want to improve your presentation skills. Presentation training done in concert with coaching is a far more effective method of improvement.
It’s Like Baseball
Imagine if you wanted to become a good baseball player by just watching videos on how to play baseball. You wouldn’t become as good as you would want without coaches watching you throw the ball, bat the ball, field the ball, etc. You need that constructive feedback. Being told how to do something is not enough. You need a coach to tell you how you’re doing and where to improve. Otherwise baseball teams would just tell their team to go to YouTube and watch as many videos as you can, I’ll see you on game day.
Extra Set Of Eyes
It is very likely the baseball player, or the presenter is doing something wrong that they are unaware of. Even if you video yourself and watch it, you may not spot the problem. After all, you’re doing it the way you thought you were supposed to. So you might not see the problem. You need an extra set of eyes, an extra set of eyes that are not constrained in any way by preconceived ideas.
You need a coach that is not afraid to tell you the hard truths. This can rule out a coworker, and it especially rules out a subordinate. I can’t imagine me telling one of my past bosses, “Where were you going with that beginning.” You want coach who will be honest, honest enough to say, “Hey, that first part sucked”, “That joke is not funny”, and “That’s an ugly tie.” You don’t need it sugar coated, you need honest, constructive criticism.
Coaching will increase the value of your investment in training. The coaching is a natural extension of the training in that we can find out where we are compared to what we learned in the class.
The message here is, training is great, you need it, take all you can get. But, it needs followed-up with coaching. Coaching is the missing piece for a lot of people. Coaching improves the ROI on the training.