Back in July I attended the in-house Presentation Skills course. I had been trying to get a place on this course for ages and it was well worth the wait.
The course was run by Rob Dazely from Frenchmill Training. The course started with the usual introductions (name, job, reason for attending) but these had to be done standing at the front. This was rather daunting especially as you knew there was going to be feedback from the instructor as well as your peers when you sat back down. However, it wasn’t actually as bad as I first feared because all the comments were constructive, the group was small and everyone was in the same boat – the reason they were attending was also because they wanted to be better at giving presentations.
We then got the opportunity to try again, putting into practice any of the advice that we had been given after our first attempt. This time we had to describe something such as our journey to work. Every single person did a much better job second time round.
We then received some tips on how to manage nerves as this was something everyone admitted to. One interesting thing that was highlighted was the fact that everyone felt nervous while they were at the front speaking but none of us in the audience had been aware of this. We also received advice on how to make effective presentations – in terms of preparation, structure and content.
During our lunch break we had time to go away and make a 10 minute presentation based on the guidance we had been given. It was being able to put the advice into practice and receiving instant feedback that made the course so valuable. There were things such as interim summing up that I would never have thought of doing and seemed strange at first but then became natural. The same happened with eye contact.
The session ended with tips on answering questions, which can sometimes be the scariest part of a presentation. I would highly recommend this course to anyone that may be required to or wants to deliver presentations.