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How to get promoted: 7 simple presentation skills

We’ve run a number of sessions over the years relating showing people how to get promoted at work.

It can be daunting approaching your manager about it.

To be successful, it requires a combination of good presentation skills and sharp interview skills.

In this blog, we’ll share with you seven positive steps you can take to gain your next promotion at work.

It involves careful preparation of your presentation – and successful execution.

Here’s how to take control and achieve your next promotion.

1. Write down your goals

presentation skills scotland Get a Promotion aims index card.

There’s a huge amount of research out there about the benefits of committing your goals to paper.

Professor of Psychology Dr. Gail Matthews found that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

First things first, write down what you want to achieve.

Are you looking for a pay rise of 10%? Or extra hours?

Are you looking to take on new responsibilities? If so, what responsibilities?

Be specific, and think through every logical consequence of that you’re asking for.

Does it mean longer hours – and if so, are you in a position to do them?

Writing down your goals helps you visualise them, and brings them closer to being realised.

2. Make a list of all the things you’ve achieved

presentation skills scotland write down goals achievements note.

Now you’re clear on where you’re going, make a list of all the things you’ve achieved in your current role.

Be specific.

Have you overseen an increase in productivity? By how much?

Have you saved your department money? How much?

And have you undertaken training outside of work hours to improve yourself?

Everything that you have done personally to achieve your performance at work – and the impact that you’ve seen as a result.

Here are some advanced presentation techniques to help make your points crystal clear.

3. Write down what makes you you

how to get promoted, woman smiling

If you’re going to convince somebody to give you a promotion out of the blue, you’re going to bring in your personality.

What is it that makes you you?

Do you wake up in the morning and write down what you want to achieve during the day?

Then write that down – it’s better than talking of being focused.

Have you taken it upon yourself to find out everybody in the office’s name?

Write that down too.

Because everyone claims to be a team player.

Have you taken late night phone calls from clients who need advice right there and then?

Then write it down, because we all claim to be dedicated.

Make your case personal – your employer needs to see what you do beyond your job description.

Here are some techniques you can use to make your pitch engaging.

4. Make a list of objections

how to get promoted, arms folded man glaring

We’d all be getting multiple promotions every year if it was easy.

Naturally, your employer will have a list of objections to be overcome.

Work these out:

  • Budgets are tight
  • You’re under-qualified
  • I don’t have the time to run a formal interview process for the role

Ask yourself: what objections would I have if someone approached me for a promotion?

Now work out how to overcome each one:

  • On budgets: what I’m suggesting is that I retain my current salary – and I get paid commission for new sales that I bring in
  • On qualifications: I’ve been doing the job for 2 years, but without the formal title or pay increase
  • And on time: then hire me now. Put me on a probationary period with a review after three months

Have the confidence to handle objections head-on.

Here are some assertiveness tips to help you make your voice heard.

5. Predict questions you could be asked

presentation skills scotland man with hand up objection, how to get promoted

Now you’ve predicted objections, turn your hand to the questions you may be asked.

Treat this as a formal job interview and work out what re the hardest, most awkward and personal questions anyone could ask of you.

That way when they’re asked you have the answers, and can do so with confidence.

Here are some tips for handling awkward questions.

6. Rehearse a mock interview

presentation skills scotland mock interview, how to get promoted

Ask your colleague to run through a mock interview with you.

Or if it’s sensitive within the team, record it on your mobile phone, playing both roles.

Some answers will flow naturally and others will require more work.

Get the answers straight in your head before you request a meeting.

Here are our 7 steps to a perfect pitch.

7. Act today (yes, today)

difficult conversations at work, colin stone talks to camera, using your voice

Now act to achieve your goals – today.

Are you going to ask your line manager for a meeting now?

Can you schedule in a phone call with them this afternoon?

Be clear that you’re looking to discuss your position with them.

That means they’ll be less defensive and more open to your suggestions, as you’ve been up front with them.

It’s easy to procrastinate here – so grab the bull by the horns, and get that meeting.

Be ready to have the conversation here and now.

Have notes with you to help you – that will show that you’ve prepared properly.

And make sure you ask for your promotion, rather than just skirt round the idea.

Make your action clear and precise.

Mind your body language to make sure you’re coming across positively.

But above all, make sure you act today – to bring your deserved promotion ever closer.

That’s what’ll distinguish you from all the others.

Even better, if you’re based in the UK, come along to our Lochinch House studios.

Or contact us for a virtual session.

And let’s show you in a 1-to-1 session how to get promoted.


Andrew McFarlan is Managing Director of Pink Elephant Communications.

You can view his full profile here.


Photos in How to get promoted credit: darthdowney via / CC BY-NC-SAdarthdowney via / CC BY-NC-SA; rocketjim54 via / CC BY; US Embassy Canada via / CC BY; mrbill78636 via / CC BY; JonoMueller via / CC BY
How to get promoted blog re-edited by Colin Stone.

How to get promoted blog

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