Discuss Data Gathering and Presentation Skills of Consultants.
Consultants must possess a variety of skills that help to enable them to provide the best advisory services to their clients. Two of the important skills that contribute to their profession and ability to perform the required work are data gathering and presentation skills. Exceptional presentation proficiency is especially necessary because it is essential throughout the engagement. These skills are used to pitch to clients, communicate to the staff especially in the data gathering period, to present their recommendations and persuade their clients to implement their proposal, and also to speak at conferences, workshops and training sessions.
At the start of the project the problem is defined by the consultant and confirmed by the client. The next step in the consulting process is data collection via a variety of methods. The process of data gathering can be both long and tedious and thus it is essential that consultants attain quality over quality. Some of the most frequently used techniques include group data gathering, interviews, focus groups, surveys, compiling existing documentation and on-site observation. Also some of the common tools used include the STEP analysis- a framework that reviews the external environment by focus on social, technological, environmental and political factors, the SWOT analysis that focuses on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relating to the organization, trend analysis and the identification of core competencies. If the problem is researchable it is best dealt with a group approach which was pioneered by Management Performance Concepts. Good research is usually started with a hypothesis provided by the client; the consultants then use their research skills and variety of data gathering methods to either reject or accept the hypothesis after analyzing the situation and then will provide recommendations. The group interchange often...
References: Holtz, H. How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant 3rd Ed. John Wiley & Sons. United States. 1993
International Labor Office, Geneva
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