Presentation Skills

Most people think of presenting as standing up in front of a group using PowerPoint. But in business every conversation is a presentation. Every meeting, every one-to-one, every time you speak to others, whether the setting’s formal or informal, you’re presenting. Only a small number of people find this easy, but everyone can learn not only to endure presenting but even to enjoy it.

The Confident Presenter

Confident presenting is an essential business skill. Whether you're delivering a client presentation, or speaking internally, presentation skills are crucial - and many people have a real fear of public speaking. You can feel self-conscious, often showing this in your body language or a wavering voice. This highly practical course, with extensive use of video, will help you develop confidence, give you some great personal tips to improve your skills and show you how to come across clearly and with enthusiasm.

Anyone who speaks to individuals or groups, or makes presentations to colleagues or clients. This course is most suitable for those who have had no formal training in presentation skills and want to become better speakers.

  • Feel confident to present in any situation
  • Enhance the clarity and power of your voice
  • Have an easy-to-use checklist for fast preparation
  • Maintain audience attention throughout your session
  • Connect with your audience through eye contact
  • Know how to use visual aids effectively
  • Avoid 'Death by PowerPoint'
  • Create a convincing and memorable outcome
  • Focus attention on key points you want to get across
  • Anticipate and prepare for questions effectively
  • Win more business and get buy-in to your ideas

Be more confident and say goodbye to nerves

  • Many people have a fear of speaking in public, but you can learn to enjoy it rather than endure it
  • The power of visualisation, breathing techniques, and other ways for managing your emotional state
  • How thoughts affect the way you feel

The Three Vs or channels of communication - visual, vocal and verbal

  • Know the best way to stand and what to do with your arms and hands
  • How maintaining good eye contact can help you connect with your audience
  • Eliminating distracting mannerisms
  • How to develop an interesting and powerful voice
  • Practical exercises for adding vocal variety and interest
  • The power of the pause and how to avoid coming across as monotonous
  • How choosing what to say with care increases your verbal impact and effectiveness
  • Aligning the visual, vocal and verbal

Essential steps of preparation

  • Handling logistics, being clear about your objective and understanding your audience
  • Learn to use a step-by-step process that guarantees a successful presentation
  • How to structure your presentation and keep your audience on track

Managing attention span

  • Why attention can quickly dip and how to maintain it through a longer presentation
  • Transforming a potentially dull transfer of data into an engaging presentation
  • Learn how to present with passion and conviction to achieve powerful results

Getting off to a good start

  • How to get off to the best possible start
  • Build rapport and connect with the group easily

Key messages

  • Differentiate between key messages (what you say) and subject areas (what you talk about)
  • Communicate your key messages clearly and effectively
  • How to make important points stick

PowerPoint and other visual aids

  • Avoid 'Death by PowerPoint' and turn it into an asset
  • Using flipcharts and other kinds of visual aid
  • How to use notes effectively

Handling questions effectively

  • The importance of anticipating questions and preparing for them
  • What to do when you don't know the answer to a question or someone interrupts you mid-flow

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The Powerful Presenting

Presentations to clients, colleagues, suppliers and other stakeholders are not just an opportunity to pass on information. They're a chance to convince, motivate and excite the audience, leading to successful results and winning relationships. The best presenters enjoy what they do and their passion and conviction inspires their audience to take action. A good presenter will not only impress their audience but will be an asset no company can be without. This course will provide you with all you need to know to communicate with impact, clarity and credibility.

People with some experience of presenting who want to improve or refresh their skills will benefit from this course. It will help you to speak with clarity and confidence, and enjoy the experience of presenting.

  • Make your presentations attention-grabbing, engaging and highly memorable
  • Improve your non-verbal communication and greatly increase your impact
  • Prepare effective audience-centered presentations
  • Be ready for even the most challenging questions
  • Manage your state and enjoy presenting
  • Create a great relationship with your audience
  • Be confident when presenting 'off the cuff

Becoming a highly skilled presenter

  • What makes some well-known speakers effective
  • The difference between excellent presenters and those who are merely average
  • Why your attitude towards the audience is vital to success
  • What makes one presenter enjoy the experience and another simply tolerate it

The Three Vs or channels of communication – visual, vocal and verbal

  • Why body language, voice and eye contact are important in presenting successfully
  • Learn techniques to enhance your voice – including projection, tonality, pace, rhythm and pausing
  • Why what you say is important – 'wimp talk vs power talk'
  • Performance = potential – interference

Preparing and delivering an audience-centred presentation

  • Take your presentations to the next level with a structure that will drive your message home
  • Getting rid of superfluous information and making your key messages count
  • Managing audience attention span – how to stop them falling asleep by making your content relevant

Essential steps of preparation

  • Handling logistics, being clear about your objective and understanding your audience
  • Learn to use a step-by-step process that guarantees a successful presentation
  • How to structure your presentation and keep your audience on track

Make your messages engaging

  • How to make a presentation easy to follow, interesting, engaging and most importantly memorable
  • Opening and closing with maximum impact
  • Ways of using rhetorical techniques and storytelling to achieve greater impact

Influence your audience with ease

  • How to manage your audience's emotional state
  • How to sell your ideas – even to tough audiences
  • Use powerful influencing techniques

Handling questions and difficult audiences

  • How to handle the question and answer session
  • Be better prepared to deal effectively with even the most challenging questions

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Presentation Masterclass

Excellence in public speaking is widely recognised as a mark of leadership. This course is designed for experienced speakers who want to move from competence to distinction. Impressive communicators top-up their skills through constant practice and training. The ISIL - Speak First Masterclass reinforces natural talent, adds new abilities and provides tailored coaching. It will take your presentation skills to the next level.

This Masterclass is designed for experienced speakers who need stimulus and new ideas to be even more effective. Our clients find it particularly valuable for managers who have to give persuasive and motivating presentations, deliver in challenging situations or who are in a leadership role.

  • Benchmark your skills against experienced presenters and pick up new ideas from them
  • Develop confidence in presenting with little preparation
  • Use rhetorical techniques like the best speakers do
  • Make your presentations engaging and motivating
  • Handle tough questions and difficult audiences
  • Know how to inspire others, introduce change and deliver bad news effectively

Our top consultants tailor each Masterclass to meet the needs of the participants, drawing on the following content:

Confidence, credibility and impact

  • Deliver concise messages with maximum impact
  • Strategies which build confi dence in you and others
  • Fine-tune body language and voice to communicate credibly
  • Developing your natural self and why authenticity is critical to achieving success
  • How to 'loosen up' your style and feel at ease

Create a connection with your audience

  • Bland words vs communicating with passion
  • How language helps you connect with people
  • Evoking an emotional state in your audience

At the 'drop of a hat'

  • Presenting fl uently without preparation
  • Delivering presentations on unfamiliar topics

Techniques from top presenters

  • How rhetorical techniques add impact to a presentation
  • Bring presentations to life and make messages stick
  • Powerful language and memorable phrases

Handling tough questions and situations

  • Dealing with hostile question and answer sessions
  • Anticipating your audience's reaction and planning a response that achieves buy-in

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Presenting in Meeting

If you're like most people in business today you'll spend a lot of time in meetings. This is often the most effective vehicle for getting buy-in to ideas and where you're in the spotlight when you present. This course is designed for those who want to become even more effective when they present in meetings. The blended approach will save you time and make sure the effect of this valuable learning experience is long-lasting.

This course is aimed at anyone who wants to excel at presenting their ideas in meetings.
  • Increase your confidence in presenting well in meetings
  • Take away an easy-to-use method for fast, effective preparation
  • Focus attention on key points you want to get across
  • Present your ideas in a compelling and convincing way that promotes action
  • Enhance the clarity and power of your voice to engage others
  • Improve your seated posture and use of gestures
  • Present your thoughts with confidence spontaneously
  • Receive challenging yet supportive feedback on your style

Stage 1 - Preparing to present at meetings (online or paperbased activities)

Participants receive a series of activities to help them prepare effectively for presenting in meetings including:

  • Self-assessment of existing skills, experience, strengths and areas for development
  • Create learning goals for the programme
  • Learn a quick-and easy way to prepare presentations to be given in a meeting
  • Prepare a three-minute business presentation you typically deliver at meetings

Stage 2 - Presenting effectively in meetings (face-to-face)

  • Contribute effectively to meetings
  • Learn the benefits of planning ahead before a meeting
  • The importance of coming to a meeting with your ideas partly formed
  • Know what to do if don't know much about the subject
  • Make sure your views are heard

The Three Vs or channels of communication - visual, vocal and verbal

  • Know how to use posture and gestures for increased impact
  • Maintain good eye contact and connect with others
  • Eliminate distracting mannerisms and avoid sounding monotonous
  • Develop vocal skills by adding variety and pausing
  • Choosing what to say to increase your verbal impact
  • Align the visual, vocal and verbal for a convincing message

Present in the moment with confidence

  • Think on your feet and never be at a loss for what to say
  • What to do when some attendees are very talkative or dominate the discussion
  • Group dynamics in meetings

Influence with impact

  • Using ethos, pathos and logos to gain buy-in
  • Adapt language, body language to influence others successfully
  • Selling ideas – the importance of including benefits

Respond to questions and challenges with ease

  • Handle questions and challenges to your ideas in meetings
  • Tips and techniques for managing challenging situations

Set up meetings to succeed

  • What makes a meeting effective? What gets in the way?
  • The importance of distributing an agenda, recording minutes and other best practise techniques

Stage 3 – Practise and review (online or paper-based)

  • Participants are tasked with putting into practice what they've learnt at the next meeting they attend – even if this is simply preparing to present an idea

Hints and tips

  • After one month participants receive hints and tips to reinforce learning
  • Additional techniques for influencing and persuading others in meetings

Evaluation and goals review

  • Online quiz to review knowledge-based learning
  • Participants submit the results they've achieved since completing their action plans from stage two

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Presenting with NLP

The ISIL - Speak First Presenting with NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) course combines our expertise in presenting with a powerful form of applied psychology that many people use to achieve more for themselves in a range of business situations. Put quite simply, NLP is about modelling excellence. Those who attend this course will rapidly reap the benefits and start to deliver clear, coherent presentations with confidence.

Anyone who wants to significantly improve their presentations and who has some existing experience of presenting to draw on will benefit from this course.
  • Learn by modelling excellence and start to take on the best aspects from great presenters
  • Know how to avoid 'Death by PowerPoint' and create effective visual aids
  • Practise presenting and receive feedback on style and content
  • Enhance the quality of your presentations with NLP techniques
  • Take away an easy-to-use preparation checklist
  • Manage the audience's attention span
  • Make presentations engaging and memorable
  • Leave with increased confidence to present with impact

Modelling excellent presenters

  • Learn what presenters do that works, and what doesn't
  • Avoid 'Death by PowerPoint' and learn how to create visual aids that stimulate the senses

Body language and voice

  • Learn how to stand and what to do with your hands
  • Why variety in the voice is vital - in terms of speed, volume, tone, rhythm, emphasis, projection etc

Well-formed outcomes and ten steps of preparation

  • Knowing your outcome, understanding your audience
  • Moving people from where they are to where you want them to be
  • How to prepare quickly when you have limited time

Managing audience attention span

  • Learn how to guarantee your audience will pay attention throughout your presentation
  • How to open and close with impact, tell stories and use metaphor to make your messages memorable
  • Using sensory acuity to help you stay alert to how they are feeling and reacting

Taking control of your emotional state

  • NLP state management - choosing how you feel
  • Learn techniques such as resource anchoring, visualisation and using submodalities to change your state

Getting your key messages across

  • Clarify the points the audience must take away if you're to achieve your outcome
  • Differentiate between key messages (what you say) and subject areas (what you talk about)

Presenting with passion and conviction

  • The importance of demonstrating belief in what you're saying
  • How tapping into your enthusiasm for the topic persuades others to take your messages on board

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Avoiding Death By Powerpoint

Everyone has experienced it at one time or another. Slide after slide, full of text and information overload. It's no wonder that people groan when they think of PowerPoint. Yet it's not the programme that creates the problem – it's those who use it poorly. This workshop will change your views on PowerPoint and show you how to create great slides that support your message and delight your audience.

Anyone who creates PowerPoint slides and wants to improve the quality of the content, layout and overall impact they make.

  • Learn how to create great slides quickly and easily
  • Discover how to use images to transform your presentations
  • Use colour and tints to bring your presentation to life
  • Find out how to use animation effectively and appropriately
  • Feel confi dent in your ability to produce slides you're proud of

First principles

  • Making your presentation audience-centred and knowing what you want to achieve
  • Why you, rather than the slides, are the presentation

Avoiding information overloads

  • Using the 6 x 6 rule and the Read, Rotate, Repeat system
  • Why less is more – focusing on key messages

Improving typography and text

  • Getting the size of the text and font right
  • Common pitfalls and how to avoid them

Choosing and using images powerfully

  • Why images are important
  • Understanding resolution

Effective layout and design

  • Combining text and pictures
  • The importance of good margins and alignment

Diagrams, charts, graphs and illustrations

  • Keeping it simple and clear
  • Drawing upon the full range of charts and graphs available

Making the most of colour

  • The psychology of colour - shades, tints and percentages

Animations, build-ups and reveals

  • Using animation to show movement and relationship
  • How to use reveals effectively

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Webinars & Teleconferences

Communication increasingly takes places at a distance – for ecological and fi nancial reasons. This means it's no longer a niceto- have to be able to present effectively in teleconferences and webinars – it's a necessity. If you attend virtual meetings you'll already know how badly many people present their ideas. It's all too easy to get this wrong and rapidly earn a reputation as a poor communicator. This practical and experiential course will give you the chance to find out what you're like and receive valuable feedback to enhance your delivery skills.

If you ever have to deliver a presentation by teleconference or webinar and want to improve your skills this course is for you.

  • Have an easy check-list to follow for effective preparation
  • Hear yourself deliver and receive valuable ideas for improving your delivery
  • Gain a reputation for engaging, interesting delivery of your ideas
  • Receive hints and tips to improve webinar slides
  • Increase your confidence in your ability to present well virtually

Secrets of successful preparation

  • Why good preparation reduces anxiety and boosts your confidence to present well
  • How to prepare to present by teleconference and webinar quickly and effectively
  • The importance of having a structure that's easy to follow

Communicating your key messages

  • Clarifying your key messages and making sure you communicate them effectively

What you say and how you say it

  • Why vocal and verbal delivery are essential for success
  • Identifying and eliminating bad habits that reduce your personal impact
  • Managing audience attention
  • How to make sure your virtual audience is engaged and listening
  • Making the most of your opening and your close

Handling questions

  • Anticipating questions and handling challenges effectively
  • Bringing things to a close in a way that keeps a focus on your key messages

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Presentation skills Coaching

Custom made, one-to-one coaching is fast, effective and confidential. You set the agenda and we provide the expertise. If you need to speak at a conference, address a group of shareholders, present your ideas to the board, speak at a seminar, or simply want to work on improving the way you present, this could be the right solution for you.

There's no such thing as effortless expertise in public speaking. The more energy you put into improving your skills the better you will become. ISIL - Speak First's individual coaching is delivered by one of our most experienced senior consultants. Sessions are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. They will:

  • Identify your existing strengths and fine-tune your skills
  • Highlight any weaknesses and help you draw up a plan for improvement
  • Increase your confidence to speak in a range of situations with impact and enthusiasm

The focus of the session will be on practical exercises, discussion and feedback with extensive use of video. The exact format of the session will depend on your agenda for the time. Our experience of working with many people in this way suggests the following topics are likely to predominate:

Preparing an audience-centred presentation

  • Identifying the purpose of the presentation and the objectives you want to achieve
  • Researching your audience – what do they know already and what are their concerns?
  • Gathering ideas, selecting key messages and choosing a logical structure
  • Making the most of the primacy and recency effect with your opening and close

Developing a powerful presence

  • Develop variety in your voice and increase your vocal impact
  • The need for open and confident body language
  • Evoking an emotional state in your audience
  • Manage your emotional state and project confidence
  • Being real - how authenticity adds to your personal impact and increases your persuasive power

Engaging with the audience

  • Communication, not information download
  • Avoid barriers that stop you connecting with your audience caused by poor use of notes and visual aids
  • How to develop a conversational style

Making the message persuasive and memorable

  • Focusing on audience benefits and concerns
  • Develop relevant, case studies and examples that paint pictures in people's minds
  • Rhetorical techniques that bring presentations to life
  • Closing with impact and encouraging positive action

Visual aids – their use and abuse

  • How to handle visual aids for maximum effectiveness
  • Hints and tips on how to make the most of PowerPoint and avoid information overload

Managing the question and answer session

  • Stimulating involvement and questions
  • Turning negatives into positives and handling challenges and interruptions
  • Handling cynicism and indifference
  • Ending on a high note
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