Introduction to the Impact Presenting Public Speaking Class, Washington DC, 2018
The Impact Presenting open-enrollment Washington DC public speaking class in October 2018 almost got cancelled because of Hurricane Michael. But the 8 participants who braved the weather to show up were rewarded with an amazing class. Eric had flown in from Vienna 2 days before and already over the jetlag, was ready to get started.
What made this particular class unique was the number of attendees working for government and military agencies, non-profit, and foreign investment and trade organizations. Although here, this kind of group is more normal than in most places. But the key challenge this brings is that working at these places people are required to present using PowerPoint. And as usually is the case with most organizations with these requirements, the participants spent way too much time preparing their slides according to strict rules and did nothing else in the way of preparation for the talk itself. This led, as was to be expected, to presentations being one-dimensional.
Since we can’t change their organization’s rules, Eric focused on teaching what participants could do to add variety. So to improve their talks, without getting in trouble with their respective audiences, bosses, or organizations. Eric focused the class on not only how participants should deploy their slides better but offered additional techniques. For example, the techniques of beginning your presentation without any slides showing, just a blank screen. Everyone looked ways to put the slides away from time to time and tell a story, do a demo, or use other presentation techniques to make their talk more interesting.
We also practiced our storytelling to exemplify our data in a real-life situations. A few examples of that could be telling our audience about an experience we (or someone else) had in relation to the subject we are speaking about. Storytelling doesnt come easily so Eric warmed them up a little. Here is a quick clip of us activating our storytelling body language.
Overall, everyone learned and practiced speaking techniques which made their presentations more interesting. But with the important condition, that they didnt break any internal rules. One key takeaway, as with most Impact Presenting workshops, was that PowerPoint is just a tool. As an analogy, it is like the trombone or snare drum or cymbals in an orchestra. It adds impact to the whole performance, but is not very appealing on its own.
The hurricane went away, and everyone finished up a 2-day class with a new sense of showmanship, excited about now bringing even the most mundane subject to life in their future talks.
Join us next time! We are in the USA twice a year, so check our class dates here: https://impactpresenting.com/#OEPSC book a private lesson (in person or virtually), or get in touch for more info!