Have you ever wondered why some people are always on the stage, conducting sessions, anchoring events, and confronting large gatherings, while some are always in the audience? Well, the only difference between the two is that the prior ones were taught how to deliver presentations and speak publically when they were in school.
Let us consider examples of how young students have started movements. We all know the nineteen-year-old Greta Thunberg, who raised her voice against people, leaders, and nations for environmental damage. Besides addressing huge crowds of people at rallies and marches, she was not afraid to express facts and opinions at the United Nations conferences and world summits. It was through her speeches that millions of people were made aware, perhaps a voice that was trained young in the classroom.
Therefore, if we want to raise a generation of fearless, expressive, and courageous human beings, we ought to teach young children the essential skills that will help them grow, and create a difference.
Let us go through some reasons why teaching presentation skills to the younger generation in school is so essential.
1. Ignites Creativity
Building presentations allow students to play with colors, fonts, graphics, and designs and tickle their creative sides. For instance, when students are given considerable freedom to create projects, they would fuse in thoughts and imagination. This would allow them to combine things that wouldn’t usually go together and help them develop new ideas and styles. This can considerably increase their grasping power, enabling them to learn things with ease.
2. Boosts Confidence
When a student stands before his mates and presents, his confidence increases multifold times. From jittering and stammering in front of the class to confidently compering for events, this transformation is extremely crucial for a child. And the best place to embark upon this journey is the classroom!
3. Improves Communication Skills
One of the most important skills that can be learned young is effective communication. The most successful people are often the ones who efficiently communicate their unique selling points through creative presentations.
Let us take the example of Mamaearth, a unicorn startup that communicated its niche of being one of the only brands that were safe for babies. This effective use of communication helped it grow gigantically and made its way into the unicorn club within five years.
4. Polishes Research Skills
The future of everything, be it a product or a service, lies in research and development. Companies are spending huge amounts of money just to hire efficiently trained employees who have a knack for research. Making presentations forces students to read about specific topics and sub-topics, enables them to surf through websites, find unknown facts, conduct market surveys, and research extensively.
5. Prepares Them for Future Job/Business
Every job needs employees who can present and run the show by themselves. No matter if you are a part of finance, editorials, HR, or if you are an entrepreneur, there will always be situations where you will need to explain compellingly and lock up deals. From presentations to pitches, such opportunities will knock on the door now and then, and if you cannot present yourself at that moment, you’ll be pushed to a corner.
Thus, such foundational skills are best taught in schools where students are given enough chances to make mistakes, learn, and master this art to perfection.
6. Creates Leaders
Every significant event in history was led by a spine of steel – by men and women who were leaders with strong minds and the ability to speak, amplify and create a change for themselves and their people.
For instance, let us look through the story of Malvika Hegde, the current owner of Café Coffee Day, a popular chain of coffee shops in India. With a debt of over 7200 crores after the death of her husband (also the founder of CCD), Malvika took over the company and, like a true leader, faced the obstacles with excellent resilience. She helped retain 25000 staff and reduced the debt by over 5000 crores within two years!
Therefore, students can be given responsibilities of being prefects, hosting events, collaborating on campaigns, and conducting competitions through presentations, which will help build their leadership skills.
7. Helps in Being Organized
Presentations induce organizational skills. When students make presentations, they arrange data. They are bound to compile, sort, and put their information in a systematic manner, which makes their slides easier to understand. This increases their capacity to be organized.
8. Improves Body Language
During presentations, one is conscious of his/her body language. One learns the use of gestures, postures, and eye movement and how they can create a big difference in the delivery of content. Always remember that the first presentation might not be the best one, but with time, you learn to develop your body language.
9. Helps to Expand Networks
Presentations allow like-minded young adults to form groups. It increases their ability to meet people, speak to them, and have a network of birds with the same feathers. However, when a student is not equipped with such skills, they lose upon this golden opportunity to expand their friend circle and meet new people.
Educating students about the importance of presentations and methods of improving their work can help them go a long way. The most effective way of doing this is by being a real-life example for them.
Here is an anecdote from my school that made me realize the value of presentation skills. When we started our new sessions, there were orientation programs conducted for every batch. These sessions consisted of extremely insightful, creative, and fun presentations that made us look forward to our new classes. These were given by not just our teachers but the Principal too was a part of them. Witnessing such captivating presenters inspired each one of us to become one of them, and whenever an opportunity struck, we made sure to never leave that behind. This was possible only because we had a wonderful example of how presentations are the backbone of life.
Therefore, institutions can create change and produce leaders and world changers!