Winner 2014 RIBA London emerging architect of the year
Give stellar presentations workshop, 11 June 2015
“Very specific to us which was excellent”
There is a mastery to giving stellar presentations. Whether it’s a ten minute talk at a trade event, a forty minute lecture at a university, an hour bid interview for a project, an open studio presentation, or a speech for industry peers.
Audience expectations are unforgiving. They see a person, or people, before them in the limelight, imparting pearls, opinions and successes, and they want a performance. Or at the very least to be moved, inspired, educated, informed, reassured in memorable and credible ways. No-one likes to see a presenter wobble, lose the plot, or come across as an anxious bag of nerves – often symptoms of high stress that public speaking triggers. They want to see a speaker who embraces the task, with ease and confidence, delivers the message naturally and competently. A poor performance has immediate consequences. Reputation plummets. Credibility is questioned. Embarrassment ensues. Awards, pitches, bids are lost. We’ve all been there.
In a five hour workshop with RCKa’s three founding directors, we explored the foundations, science and techniques behind giving stellar presentations. Armed with the theory how to prepare, rehearse and deliver, the directors went on to practice over and over various presentation scenarios. Some were abstract, others very specific to the practice’s own work.
“Abstract ideas presented in the beginning (not just RCKa message) was a great way to ease us in”
“Very relevant topics too”
For each exercise – either individual or as a team – there was a single-minded purpose, with a particular audience in mind. The directors were allocated prep time and talk time they were encouraged to stick to. Peer and mentor feedback was instantaneous, candid and constructive. When performance fell short of the mark, we stopped the show, and did it again and again, till we reached a satisfactory level of skill.
“Lots of practice with immediate feedback worked well”
“Made me think much more about my weaknesses and strengths”
“We found it insightful and empowering”
To reach the point of ease and confidence to deliver the message naturally and competently, the directors had to come to grips with personal aspects too.
“Excellent workshop in being encouraged to reveal ourselves”
“Erring on a bit of therapy (very useful)”
We also looked at worst case scenarios and how to respond in the moment, such as mind going blank, technology failing, hecklers, changing tack mid course, thinking on your feet, audience expecting something else.
“Very useful tips!”
“Genuinely appreciate the efforts Amanda has gone to”
For any skill learned, it takes practice to reach a strong level of ease, confidence and competence. Giving stellar presentations is no different. Workshops to practice this skill are a great starting point to equip speakers with tools. It’s back in the real world however that these are truly put to the test. The effort we put in, pays off, always. The RCKa directors certainly cut no corners in their full participation and commitment to the learning process in this workshop. I take my hat off to them.
To book a Give stellar presentations workshop, for up to 16 people, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
© Amanda Yensa Manor 2015