Allen Baird PhD
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Allen Baird PhD

Partner at Sensei
Allen Baird PhD is a trainer, writer and speaker from Northern Ireland. Professional influences? The work of Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Personal influences? Joseph Campbell and Nietzsche. Favourite business type books? Anything by Daniel Pink or Robert Greene. Major dislikes? Name dropping.
Allen Baird PhD
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Clients contact us to get help with communicating better during her presentations and delivering confident presentations.

Context

Gloria* was a capable public speaker. This is just as well because giving workplace presentations had grown into a more frequent occurrence as her career had progressed. Many of her colleagues commented that her presentations were… “Good”. At first, Gloria was pleased with the compliment. Then, she got a little bored of it.

She wondered: “What can I do to grow from an adequate speaker to a confident one?”

What Was Already Working

Gloria hired us to provide her with professional feedback. After observing her in action and meeting for a few, practical sessions, we discussed what Gloria was already getting right, which provided a boost to her flagging confidence:

  1. She was well prepared and knew her subject inside out.
  2. Her material was well structured, with a definite introduction, development, and conclusion.
  3. She converted some of her material into PowerPoint slides, which she used as an outline to guide her and remind her of any definitions and facts her presentation contained.
  4. Gloria usually provided handouts with a summary of her presentation and other useful resources.
  5. She always properly introduced herself, her topic and the talk.
  6. Gloria talked in a clear, audible voice, at a pace that allowed her audience to absorb the information she presented, but not too slow as to bore them.
  7. Gloria nearly always allowed time for questions and feedback at the end of her presentation.

The Gap

Gloria told us that she would soon be delivering more prominent presentations in front of larger audiences. In these talks, she would be expected to persuade and motivate, as well as simply inform. An ambitious woman, who took pride in her professional development, Gloria didn’t want to be merely adequate, she wanted to deliver impactful, confident presentations. she wanted to be…glorious! [Ed: lame]

How to Raise Your Presentation Game

So, as well as some general advice on How to Become Better Presenter, we helped her increase her skills using the following seven tips. We hope you will find them helpful too.

  1. Inserts pictures and diagrams instead of text where possible. Uses text much less often.
  2. Intersperse your talk with time for discussion and exercises, giving your audience an opportunity to interact with both you and each other.
  3. At key points throughout your presentation, ask your audience for input. Pivot in response to their points.
  4. Instead of standing off the side, and directing your audience to focus on the slides instead of you, take centre stage, using the slides as support for your presentation. They must not become the presentation.
  5. Instead of basic PowerPoint slides, try Keynote, Prezi or Canva.
  6. Ends your presentation not only with a definitive conclusion but also a call to action.
  7. If you’re trying to motivate people, check out our expanded blog post: Techniques for Motivational Speaking.

Gloria is now much happier, as she began to integrate each of these elements, one or two at a time, as her confidence grew. We’d love to work with you in a private space so that you are fully prepared and super confident for your upcoming presentations.

If you’d like to be fully prepared and super confident for your next big presentation, get in touch.

*Name has been changed to protect our client’s privacy.