If you're a CEO wishing to communicate your vision to an organisation of thousands, a Research Scientist pitching to secure millions in funding, a team leader of thirty, a lecturer to hundreds or someone who has volunteered or been elected to deliver a presentation, then you might relish the prospect and feel ready to deliver an outstanding presentation.
However, if you feel daunted at the prospect or are keen to develop and improve your chances of success, then I believe I can help.
Presenting is creating an experience for an audience that provokes change in how they might think, feel or be prepared to behave afterwards. Aiming for less might feel safer, but no audience ever sat down hoping to see a mediocre performance and no presenter ever woke up energised at the prospect of delivering one. The success of organisations like TED and the wealth of online content now available have raised audiences’ expectations about how effective and engaging presentations should be, but his same success has suggested a formula for delivering them. No matter how good, even the best formula can only produce a predictable and standardised output.
Public speaking is often seen as a skill that a talented few have, but I argue that it is a series of behaviours that anyone can choose to develop and deploy. Presenting is speaking in public with care, and the two stages that must be accomplished are firstly to identify which behaviours help you individually and secondly to rehearse them as often as is needed to forge them into new habits. Whilst my presentation skills courses, such as In the Wings or Potential Energy, can raise your level of awareness in a group setting and offer exercises, processes and ideas that will help, there is no substitute for the kinaesthetic learning, video feedback and support from a one to one coaching session.
During a coaching session that will typically last three hours, you and I will first analyse a previously recorded performance to better understand your strengths and identify areas for development. Then we'll explore your preferences and the needs of your audience in order to clarify how your presentation can be shaped to meet its objectives. Finally, I'll offer you a sensitive but frank appraisal of your style, so that you can make informed decisions about how you want to deliver it. You'll leave with a personalised programme to help your preparation, revision, rehearsal and study. If appropriate, further shorter sessions conducted over Skype will allow me to support your development.
The unavoidable truth is that all presenters find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place; the rock being the unavoidable truth that an audience requires us to at least match if not exceed their expectations, and the hard place being Abraham Maslow’s assertion that our need for personal safety must be satisfied before we can concentrate on fulfilment and creativity. The good news is that it can be resolved by anyone prepared to roll up their sleeves and work hard to exercise, refine and hone their message, voice, physicality and mindset.
If you are interested, please do drop me a line or give me a call and we can have a chat about how I might help you.
"Working with Piero transformed my career. He changed the way I feel about public speaking and helped me reflect on what the purpose of presenting is. Now, I really look forward to and enjoy every opportunity – and my passion and energy for my work shines through." Dr Heather May Morgan FHEA FRSA