Presentation Training -

ORDEAL OR OPPORTUNITY?


THE SITUATION

The head office marketing team of an Auckland based manufacturing and wholesaling company was involved in many presentations to customers, staff, sales representatives and the media. Each came from a different background - the chief executive also had a speech impediment, the marketing director a ' fast talking ' sales representative, the marketing assistant a new graduate, unsure of herself in public. Each was not happy with their own performance and even less so when they had to do combined presentations.

THE PROGRAMME

A two session programme was set up for the group to attend, covering the following: principles of public speaking ; preparing the material and script ; using visual supports (whiteboard , data show, video etc.) ; preparing the venue and using microphones and technical equipment ; dress and personal presentation ; voice delivery and body language ; handling Q & A sessions ; handling a media interview and finally measuring results.

Emphasis in the first session was placed on group dynamics - role playing while the trainer assessed strengths and weaknesses. Each had been asked to prepare a brief presentation using one visual support, which was used as the basis for this session. Each member of the group was encouraged to criticise both their own and their colleagues performance.

In preparation for the second session on a subsequent day, each was asked to redo their presentation, using the techniques they had been taught, utilising two visual mediums. The trainer created a scenario in which their main product was been criticised for defects by the media, as the role play for the media interview. A video camera was used to record all role plays for ease of critique.

THE RESULTS

The chief executive was delighted with the progress made by both himself and his colleagues. His opinion, having seen himself on the video playbacks that he wasn't as bad as he thought (confirmed by the trainer), had given him added confidence and he asked the consultant to do a follow up session on an individual basis to " polish up " his performance.

The marketing manager became much more confident in the use of visual aids and slowed down his presentation rate, to much good effect. The marketing assistant was promoted shortly after the course to a position in the company's' Australian operation, and reported back that without the new skills learned in the programme, her acceptance by a ' very critical ' audience would have been much more difficult.