I'm a talker. I like to get ideas into the ether, bounce them off other peoples brains, and then modify or cement.
However, I tend to work alone these days, so getting together with my contemporaries always leaves me buzzing with ideas.
Yesterday I had a cuppa with Richard Tierney a fellow Presentation Trainer / Coach. We were talking about the job, this blog, and the challenges of telling someone they need training.
Richard told me that one of his clients described Presentation Training as 'Erectile Dysfunction"; you don't want to admit you have a problem, once you do it's treatable, but you're never going to tell your colleagues that you've had a problem in the first place... you may hand a card to a very good friend and say "go and see my guy, he sorted me".
It's somehow worse than that. I think it's Erectile Dysfunction and Body Odour rolled into one socially unacceptable mess.
How can you tell someone working with you or for you, that they need Presentation Training?
How do you go up to someone who may be oblivious to the problem themselves and say "you need Presentation Training." It's not just telling them that they can't do an element of their jobs, it's far more personal than that. It's telling them that their personality isn't good enough and they are a failure... Not that they need to build skills to match the rest or their highly skilled work... No, they PERSONALLY are a failure.
To you it's a minor change, to them, it's screwing with their image of themselves.
What if they already know that there is a problem?
They know that they smell, they've tried all the usual remedies; self help books, youtube videos, hiding in a cupboard and having a cry, delegating to someone else... and they are now so dissolution that they begrudgingly use PowerPoint as a distraction whilst they talk into their notes.
The presenting has become a self fulfilling prophecy, "I'm bad so my presentations are bad" (repeat to fade).
Offering training is just rubbing salt into their wounds...
Who's fault is this situation?
Some of the problem is the fault of the employer; rather than looking for aptitudes Presenting comes with the role and you just lump it.
Some of it is the fault of the individual; they don't want to admit to a problem.
Some of it is the fault of colleagues; not wanting to say "with training you'd be so much better".
And some of it can be levelled at the wider business community allowing bad presentations to happen without question and then going off to see another bad presentation...
Businesses of Britain, now is the time to be honest with each other, now is the time to be honest with yourself.
If you want your business to grow succeed and flourish, let's stop being so damned 'English' about things and cry out "I have no idea what I'm doing in front of an audience I NEED PRESENTATION TRAINING!!"