Updated: Aug 7, 2021
Our 2nd open-enrollment class held at the Canal House Hotel in Amsterdam was a little smaller than usual this time, but for Anh and Ian, it was a great chance to improve their presentation skills in a small class size. Ian is a salesperson working for a software (SaaS) company in Amsterdam, and Anh is a training manager for an energy regulation group in Brussels, Belgium.
Because of the small group size, we really did cover everything! Instead of everyone getting 1 practice round which is normal for a 1 day class, we had 4 or 5 practice rounds each. And with that number of practice sessions, improvements were way beyond what anyone expected!
The biggest takeaway was to start without slides and then engage your audience early on with an audience poll. An audience poll is something we teach in Impact Presenting (3rd step, "Dare to Engage") where you ask your audience a tricky question to expose a knowledge gap or challenge a common misconception. This then involves them and makes it possible to pull them in early.
In Anh's case, she asked the question: "How many of you know what percentage of your electric bill goes to taxes?" A relevant question for an audience unaware of what an energy regulator does, as that led into her subject of what her organization does and who they serve.
Ian asked his audience the question: "How much time do you think the average person spends looking at their phone per day?" with a shocking answer of over 7 hours (most people guess between 4 and 5). This got people to think about content and how important it is, which led to an introduction to his company and their services.
If you use a strategy like this, opening with a relevant and interesting question which is relevant to what you will present about, you will be a lot less anxious and a lot more persuasive than if you just begin by showing them slides with bullet points and give the data without the story.
Here are a couple of action shots!
Both finished up the day feeling more confident, with a better set of rhetorical tools and a more positive attitude toward presenting.
Both finished up the day feeling more confident, with a better set of rhetorical tools and a more positive attitude toward presenting and looking forward to using their new skills!
If you are anywhere in the BeNeLux region and want to improve your presenting skills, speak with us about our open-enrollment courses in Amsterdam, Luxembourg City, and Brussels held throughout the year.
Client review by Ian Subber
"I took Eric's one day IMPACT Presenting workshop this month and it was very helpful! He took the time to make it personalized for the people participating and made it very interactive. We weren't there just sitting and listening to him speak, so we were engaged the whole time. His 4-step model and tips and tricks on how to look at and prepare for presenting are nice actionable items you can take with you. I'd recommend his workshop if you'd like to improve your presenting skills."