Immediately after the first session I delivered a keynote with far fewer slides; it was obvious the audience engaged more fully with the material and I got some real leads from the event.

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The Brief

********** ****** is **************************** at a large asset management business. His role increasingly involves pitches and presentations and workshops, but also increasingly keynote presentations at conferences in the UK and mainland Europe.

The brief might as well have been “from good to great”; in other words the task was to take a decent presenter, three out of five on the conference circuit feedback forms, and take him to four then five. Three intensive half day sessions were delivered, centred around a specific keynote presentation.

the process

Delivered a week or two apart, three intensive sessions firstly used the Kissing With Confidence Method to create a presentation that would speak to and be remembered by the audience. There were a number of slides that initially appeared fundamental to the message, but these were quickly put aside as the core messages and overarching theme was uncovered.

By the time the presentation was scoped out the importance of the slides had receded considerably. There is an intensity in the teaching, we call it tough love, that interrogates everything the presenter does and seeks to find the best way to deliver results: there is not only one way to be good.

As we move through the process there is a shift from skills development on structure and tone and the emotional connection to delivery style. It is difficult to describe the alchemy that happens as you push yourself to deliver presentations that are at first outside your comfort zone but quickly, if you are open to it, become the norm.

Finally, integrating technology is something that I was always too keen to do at the start of every big presentation; I have now learned that I need to develop what I am going to say first: that has been very powerful. Even the short session of how to best use a flipchart, in front of an audience of over 100, showed me how I might better connect with a bored group at 2pm on a warm Friday.

the outcome

I feel I am a much better and more confident presenter after nine hours with Russell. This was as far removed from generic presentation skills training as you can imagine. I got an insight into my personal style and how to make the present effectively. However, more important was the way I learnt techniques to engage an audience, make a better immediate impact, weave my stories into the analytics, release myself from the need to have any slides and become a more kinetic presenter.

What is especially exciting, as someone who has goals and ambitions, is that I can see this as being a key skill as I move forward in my career which I can apply to many situations. I know I have become much better in a very short period- it feels a bit like hot housing to be honest- but also know I will get much better.

quote

Immediately after the first session I delivered a keynote with far fewer slides; it was obvious the audience engaged more fully with the material and I got some real leads from the event. Then choosing to take away all technology and use only flipcharts was a revelation. The freedom to move around produces a lot of energy and engagement and allows me better to express myself. What is inspiring is that, though my development had been dramatic in a short time, this is just the start of a journey to being the keynote presenter everyone remembers.

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