As a professional motivated to advance, a key part of your arsenal is the ability to deliver a fantastic presentation. Irrespective of whether it's presenting to your colleagues, your boss, prospective or current clients, or to the Board, being able to convey your message in a way that resonates is of immeasurable value. This is achieved not only by having your facts straight, but by being able to engage your audience and sustain that engagement throughout the entire presentation. There are many approaches to this - some simple, others more complex - but one thing is certain: master this and you will progress professionally (and personally, too!).
Areas of Expertise
Group settings can be tricky to navigate at the best of times. There are many subtle variables at play, and they are often in a constant state of flux. Office dynamics are the same, with the added stress of directly affecting your career prospects. Some people appear to navigate these waters with ease - even directing their flow - while others struggle to find their place in the mix. Why is this so? And how can someone improve their ability to strategically manage office dynamics?
This area can be one of the trickiest to master. The simple reason for this is that often the dynamics of a group, while constantly shifting, are the product of past established norms (which may even precede any current member of the group, depending on the environment). They are also affected by the interplay of a myriad of factors such as the personalities, motivators, and insecurities of its members, cultural variables (corporate of individual), the ebb and flow of personal and professional relationships, and many others. As such, it can often be beneficial to get an outsider's perspective when trying to strategically navigate this interplay.
Efficiency and Productivity
It's amazing how swift and nimble professionals must be these days to keep ahead of deadlines by juggling tasks, responsibilities, and correspondence - all to exceed ever-evolving expectations. While most struggle to keep their head above water as their career progresses, feeling compelled to work overtime and / or weekends, other are able to achieve a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives. But how?!
While it is undeniable that overtime may sometimes be required to meet specific deadlines, the key difference between those who thrive upwards and those who struggle to tread water often lies in the tools employed to manage time and tasks. There are exceptionally effective ways to track correspondence, tasks, and timelines such that the breadth and depth of ongoing responsibilities are clear and accessible at will. Depending on the situation these may be approaches to reorienting current methodologies, or it may involve making use of a new tool or practice that significantly streamlines practices.
The Keys to Success
Success is subjective, and so everybody's definition is different. Professionally speaking, however, a common definition involves career progress stemming from increased expertise, resulting in increased responsibility and salary. Seems to be a fairly straight line, right? Unfortunately, achieving professional success is rarely as simple as mastering the technical skills of your craft. There are often a whole range of other skills that must be mastered before your peers - and superiors - distinguish you from the pack. These include, but are not limited to, inter-personal skills, office (and social) etiquette, communications skills (verbal and written), aptitudes for organization, a flair for presentation, and so forth.
Without practiced proficiencies in these areas people can find themselves climbing the ranks at an increasingly slower pace, if at all, and often without understanding why. Luckily, some (if not most) of the skills are easily learned and simple require some practice to master. Once properly utilized, roadblocks to progress can be quickly overcome.