If you ask a person about the quality of their communication skills, they will most likely respond that their ability to interact with others is at a high level. That response makes sense, too. However, the fact is, the results you have produced from your ability to communicate with others over the course of your life are directly commensurate with the skill you have communicating with those people. Given that these are the communication skills you have been using all your life, you would be hard-pressed to implement an improvement in communication. Why? You may not have been exposed to different styles of communication, or see how the styles of others may apply to your own situation.

This situation especially comes into play when working on delivering presentations, and in particular when using presentation software. The Microsoft PowerPoint training (or for that matter, any training on any presentation software) you were given when you were younger is, in all likelihood, an outmoded form of communication. When you were taught how to use PowerPoint, were you taught the basics of slide design? Do you use a background that clashes with the text colors or fonts? How much text do you include on one side? Do you leave room for negative space, that is, aesthetically pleasing "nothingness" that gives the point you make on each slide room to breathe? How many points are you making on one slide? How many do you think you want to be making?

What about your public speaking skills? Effective Microsoft PowerPoint training is incredibly useful, but its place is as a supplement to a much more important component of any presentation you make in front of others – you. Do you know the material you present at an expert level? Are you confident using your presentation skills to deliver important information to the people in front of you? To what extent to you know your audience? Are you speaking to them in a way that will have them really listen to you? In other words, how much are you really engaging your audience? Many presenters have an awful habit of just talking about what they want to talk about, without ever stepping into the world of an audience member and really thinking about what would be the m ost valuable information for the audience to take away from the presentation being given.

This article has offered a smattering of insights regarding the efficacy of a person's Microsoft PowerPoint training, and at the same time, these principles apply to any communication between you and anyone else. What steps could you take now to take your presentation skills or your communication skills to the next level?