A team of five had individually presented to different groups from the same prospective customer, who had now asked for a final presentation to the senior management team.
The team wanted specific help with coordinating their texts, handing over from one to another and generally acting as a team rather than five individuals.
- Multiple run-throughs and editing of draft presentations to remove errors, correct terminology and distinguish between deliberate re-enforcement and unnecessary repetition
- Who were the audience? Did the content address their needs; was the language appropriate to their responsibilities and interests?
- Analysis of visuals. Did they support or detract from what was said? Did they appear at the right point and for the optimum time? Were they best delivered via data projector and screen, art boards or even a flip chart?
- Listening to one another! Clumsy and repetitive introductions and conclusions to each speaker segment were avoided by knowing when it was time to change and seamlessly moving between speakers.
- Timing of segments and analysis of speaking faster, slower, with movement and from a static position.
- Rehearsal, rehearsal and rehearsal
The client wanted six graduate entrants with limited presentation experience to develop their skills, particularly in regard to planning. It was felt their enthusiasm and energy were admirable but they lacked focus.
- Pre-prepared short presentations were delivered and discussed. Did participants know what they wanted to achieve, had they succeeded and had they changed their plan in light of audience reaction?
- Study of well-known speakers on video. What worked and why? Did they use notes and in what way? What sort of language was used?
- Examples, discussion and exercises to explore the differences between text to be spoken and text to be read.
- How to script a presentation and deliver exactly what you want to say without sounding stilted or forgetting where you are up to!
- Exercises to explore heightened language. What is it and how can you use it?
- Two further presentations to prepare and deliver with individual and group feedback
The Chairman of a plc had a difficult speech to give to a shareholders’ meeting and asked for some TIPS on how to deliver this. The work was to be completed in no more than a day and a draft of the speech would be delivered just before we met!
- A first read-through of the speech was halting and unclear. Unsurprising once it became clear two colleagues had written the text. The client agreed he found the overly long sentences difficult to speak without becoming breathless.
- Most of the morning was spent in re-writing text to match the client’s speech patterns and using vocabulary with which he was comfortable.
- A first read-through of the new text was clearer and more fluent but an audio recording persuaded the client that by speaking so quickly, the speech lacked the conviction and authority he aimed to convey.
- Further editing focused on the beginning and ending with particular attention paid to word choice in critical passages.
- Armed with a speech in his own words and precisely expressing what he wanted to say, the client became more confident, more authoritative.
- Two full rehearsals were followed by detailed discussion and minor editing and the day ended with a dress rehearsal using stage lighting and voice amplification.