No matter how hard we try to avoid them, presentation skills are essential

As this week’s class presentations come to a close, I thought that it would be suitable to include an article on the merits of public speaking and presentation skills. In the business world, the ability to present well can be categorized as a ‘soft skill’, yet how you present yourself, an idea, and your company serves as the tipping point to success. It is important to have ‘hard skills’ such as the ability to calculate a break- even point (which I am now able to do thanks to COMM 101), but if you are unable to explain how you have come to the numbers and why they are important, there really is little benefit in calculating the break-even in the first place. Having good presentation skills does not simply mean that you are a capable public speaker. Being able to write a business letter, for example, or even an email to your boss is also part of the package. As we continue to learn the basics of business, it is easy to focus on the ‘hard skills’, however, we should remind ourselves to also maintain our ‘soft skills’-especially our presentation skills- and to embrace each opportunity  to improve them.

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