Jun 11, 2013

    Execs sharpen presentation skills

    AS PART of her job, landscape-design architect Claire Villa expresses her vision for building and condominium designs not only to her bosses, but also to her clients.

    But, for the most part, she has relied on her graphics or drawings to do this. It was only recently that she realised that an "effective and impactful speech" can be useful too.

    In order to convey her ideas better, the 36-year-old permanent resident from the Philippines attended a workshop on presentation skills over two weekends in April.

    The workshop was conducted by trainers at voice-and-speech-coaching firm Art of Voice in Purvis Street. Ms Villa said: "I learnt to relax more and be more concise in putting my point across."

    At least three companies which offer such workshops or courses told My Paper that their clientele - largely comprising working executives - has grown over the past year by 10 to 20 per cent.

    The workshops can comprise half-day sessions or even multiple day-long seminars. Prices range between $100 and $1,000.

    Executives are taught how to organise presentation slides and use impactful speech. They also undergo voice and intonation coaching.

    Trainers at the workshops often have experience in broadcasting, and are registered trainers in public speaking.

    Such skills are not taught in schools, but are key to remaining competitive at the workplace, said Mr Andy Ng. He is the chief trainer coach at Asia Coaching Training in Beach Road, which offers presentation workshops to executives. In the past year, the company has experienced a 10 per cent increase in enrolment.

    Another training provider, Connecting2Success at Marina Bay Financial Centre, said it had a 15 per cent increase in enrolment this year, compared to last year.

    Mr Pri Sandhu, manager of the IT-commerce division at recruitment consultancy Robert Walters Singapore, said: "Senior executives are often required to present or communicate with staff, clients, partners, investors or shareholders.

    "Having good presentation skills is an advantage as they are expected to present their message with confidence and clarity."

    On how the workshop could benefit her colleagues, Ms Villa said: "A lot of my peers are quite shy and insecure in talking in front of other people.

    "If they gain a bit more confidence, they could share more ideas that will help improve the projects we have."