Choose the Best Presentation Skills Training Course – 7 top tips
April 05, 2023
Learn how to find the best presentation skills training course for you and your team. Because, in business, presentation skills are crucial. Presentations help you communicate ideas to clients, colleagues, investors and others. It’s easier to reach the top of your profession if you are a skilled presenter.
But none of us are born with the skills to deliver effective presentations. The best presenters have improved with training, coaching and practise.
That’s why presentation skills training courses have become such an important part of company leadership development programmes. But with so many options available, it is hard to pick the right training course. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting a presentation skills training course.
Top advice when choosing a presentation skills training course
Decide what do you want to achieve from your presentation skills training
It’s essential that you know your presentation training goals. What do you want to get out of the course? For example:
- Are you looking for ways to improve the quality of your presentations?
- Do you feel it’s your presentation delivery that needs improving?
- Do you want to learn how to handle tough questioning?
- Do you want to boost your confidence?
- Do you want to be an impressive keynote speaker or conference panellist?
Once you have a clear understanding of your objectives, you can narrow your search and focus on those courses and training businesses that meet your specific needs.
TIP: When choosing a presentation skills training course, one big mistake is to believe that you need help only with your delivery skills. In our experience most of your progress will come from improving your content and the structure of your presentations. That’s why you should be suspicious of courses run by out-of-work actors. Instead, find coaches with extensive experience in business.
Evaluate the presentation course content
Presentation skills training courses vary widely in their content, structure, and focus. Some are designed for beginners, others are geared to more experienced speakers. It’s important that you evaluate the course content carefully to ensure that it meets your needs. Look for bespoke and tailored presentation training courses that cover a broad range of topics, including:
- Planning and preparation: how to analyse your audience, identify your key messages, structure your presentation effectively and ensure your content is compelling and relevant
- Power Language: how to make your words resonate with your listeners and how to persuade
- Scripting: how to draft a talk, develop prompt notes, or prepare for an unscripted talk
- Delivery: how to deliver your presentation confidently and persuasively, including guidance on body language, voice projection, pacing and dealing with nerves and anxiety
- Visual aids: how to use slides, handouts, charts, images, video and other visual aids to enhance your presentation
- Storytelling: the essence of all great presentations; how to choose and relate engaging and persuasive stories that will make your audience sit up and listen.
TIP: A presentation skills training course that is about PowerPoint design may be suitable for someone who’s job is to create slides. But it will not be suitable for a senior executive. After all, leaders don’t do PowerPoint. Look for a course that will work with you on a practical scenario and help you prepare for an upcoming event.
Consider the trainer’s experience and credentials
Start with the training provider’s website. Does it clearly outline the services they provide? Is it straightforward and factual? Look for training companies with proven, extensive experience, preferably across a wide range of industries, and ideally with major brands. They should have strong testimonials from names you recognise.
Consider their team. Are there candid biographies? Do they have real breadth of expertise, not only in presentation training. Look for experience in other key disciplines like messaging, business writing, media coaching, investor communications, etc. The wider their experience, the more confident you can be in the depth of their capabilities.
Do they offer sound guidance and advice on their site? Are there informative and thought-provoking blogs, videos and guides? Links to interesting external articles? All of these will point to a company which knows its business and is strongly rooted in the presentation training profession.
TIP: Presenting in business is a critical skill. When you pick your presentation skills training course you’d do well to find a coach with senior-level business experience who can share with you tips and hints on communicating with different business audiences. Beware of generalist trainers.
Check the training format and delivery method
Presentation skills training courses can take various forms: in-person, virtual or hybrid. Consider your schedule and availability. If you have a busy diary or travel frequently, a virtual or hybrid format (for example, via Teams, Zoom or in-house video) may be more convenient. Be sure the company you choose has specific experience of this kind of training.
On the other hand, if you prefer hands-on learning or have specific requirements, such as coaching for a particular presentation, an in-person course may be more appropriate. Also, consider the delivery method: would you prefer a workshop, group session, or one-on-one coaching? Each have their advantages. Again, check that your training company has plenty of experience of all of them.
Finally, consider the course schedule and make sure it fits your needs. Some courses may require attendance at specific times or dates, while others may be more flexible in terms of scheduling. Whoever you choose should work around your schedule, not theirs.
TIP: A public or open presentation skills training course can be fun, but you will have limited 1:1 time with your coach. Beware of any training course that involves lecturing you with PowerPoint slides. You’d do better to spend money on a good book. You’ll do much better with a coach who can give you individual advice and help you polish your skills.
Consider the cost and value
The cost of presentation skills training courses can vary widely, depending on their format, duration, and the trainers’ experience. Try to think about the cost in terms of the value you’ll gain from the course and the return on investment that you’ll get.
Decide on the outcomes you want and how much value you attach to those outcomes, for example in terms of your own professional advancement, the career development of your colleagues, your success in communicating a major change in your organisation, the value you secure from pitching your business to a potential buyer, etc.
TIP: Beware of looking at price alone. If you are short of money then perhaps invest in presentation skills training books. There are many good ones available. You can also get free presentation skills training course resources online. And even free video courses.
If you want to build executive presentation skills to build your career, then it’s worth investing in small group or 1:1 coaching. You can do this both online or face-to-face. Often you’ll get better value for money by buying in-house presentation training rather than attending large public courses.
Look for ongoing support and resources
Effective presentation skills training doesn’t end when you finish the course. Look for those courses that provide ongoing support and resources to help you continue to improve your presentation skills.
These may include access to online resources, personal follow-up coaching, ongoing feedback on your presentations, or simply the freedom to pick up the phone to your trainer for advice whenever you need it.
TIP: Don’t expect to become an expert presenter with just a few hours in a presentation skills training course. You can definitely improve hugely but, like tennis or cooking, you’ll get better with ongoing support, even if it’s just an hour or two every year or so.
Presentation skills get better with practise. The more presenting you do, the better you will get. Personally, I would avoid multi-day courses. You’ll probably get more from an intensive half-day course backed up by some 1:1 online follow-up support.
Speak to your presentation training company
Before selecting your presentation skills training course, speak to them and discuss if they offer exactly what you need. Some questions you can ask include:
- How do you get to understand each participant and their needs?
- How long has the trainer been coaching senior executives?
- What can we expect to achieve from the training course?
- What follow-up support do you offer?
- Who else like me has benefited from this training course?
- How tailored is each course?
TIP: See how responsive and open they are. If they return your call quickly and give you good answers, you can feel more confident that this is the right presentation training company for you. Contact Benjamin Ball Associates today
Summary – pick the right presentation skills training course
Choosing the right presentation skills training course will make a big difference. You want to communicate effectively in business. In turn, having great communication skills will make a big impact on your career path.
Almost every successful business person has strong presentation skills. So, when you set out to choose a presentation training company to help you, choose carefully and take all these factors into account.
Improve Your Business Presentation Skills Today
About Benjamin Ball Associates
At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better. You get presentation coaching for executives.
Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.
We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.
Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email email@example.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.
Improve Your Business Presentation Skills Today
These are some presentation skills training course companies you might consider
(we do not endorse any of these, except the first. They are here so you can compare different suppliers)
Benjamin Ball Associates – for senior executives and for investor presentations
Tenandahalf.co.uk – for lawyers
Civil Service College – for public sector
Young Leaders Academy – for young people and kids
Love Public Speaking – for younger employees
Lead Academy – for teachers
Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.
What leaders say about Benjamin Ball Associates
"Essential if you are going to be a spokesperson for your business"
Senior Analyst, Sloane Robinson
"Being an effective communicator is essential to get your stock ideas across. This course is exactly what's needed to help you do just that!"
CEO, Blast! Films
“Our investment in the coaching has paid for itself many times over.”
Corporate Finance House
“You address 95% of the issues in a quarter of the time of your competitor.”
“Good insight and a great toolbox to improve on my presentations and delivery of messages to not only boards, analysts and shareholders but to all audiences”
“We had a good story to tell, but you helped us deliver it more coherently and more positively.”
CEO, IPSO Ventures
“Ben did a great job on our presentation. He transformed an ordinary set of slides into a great presentation with a clear message. Would definitely use him again and recommend him highly.”
“Moved our presentation into a different league and undoubtedly improved the outcome and offer we received.”
Head of IR, Equinox
“A fantastic job reviewing and transforming our marketing material and helping us get our message across with clarity to potential investors.”
Sylvie Armand Delille
Let's talk about your presentation training needs
Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.