Monthly Archives: March 2011

Give the audience what they want!

Yesterday I heard a great story from a manager at the European Commission. He was invited to be one of the speakers at a conference in the South of France. He was originally speaker number10…but the organisation had decided at the last moment to let the mayor speak as well which made him speaker n°11. When it was his turn, obviously, they were way out of time but they still wanted him to do the presentation. It was late, it was sunny, people were hungry… so he decided not to do his prepared presentation. Instead he simply asked whether the audience had any questions they absolutely wanted an answer to. There were quite some questions, he answered them, and that was it. Afterwards he was congratulated for his marvelous presentation and he was referred to as ‘the guy who didn’t present’… and they ALL remembered him!

The reason why I love my job…

For the first time in the 11 years that I give training in presentation skills I got all emotional yesterday… I had a workshop for 11 people. One of the participants, Paul, didn’t like to present at all and that showed in his first exercise. He did not look at the audience at all though focussed on the ground, and he had this nervous twitch around his eyes. Although during this first exercise I could tell that in fact he is a great storyteller. Before the second exercise I had explained the importance to connect with the audience and how to do that. That second exercise was all about introducing your topic for which they had received my presentation model. Paul waited very long to do his exercise but when he came on stage….it was amazing. He actually looked at the audience and I couldn’t have done the introduction better myself (I told you he was a storyteller and that really works…). When his exercise was nearly finished I could feel tears in my eyes as I was so happy for him which made me happy. Thank you Paul…