Presenting With Impact: How to be a Powerful Presenter…In Any Situation

On Friday, January 12, 2018, despite the rain, FWA members gathered in midtown at the MetLife building to participate in the fifth workshop organized by the BOLD Committee. To kick off 2018, highly acclaimed coach Jim Arnoff ran a workshop on how to present with impact.

The workshop started with a brief self-introduction by all participants with instant feedback from the coach and the audience.  All members were excited to learn which parts of their presentations worked and how they can improve.

Throughout the session, Jim encouraged members to discuss the key elements of presentation. As participants shared real life situations, Jim illustrated how to overcome common obstacles and gave tips on how to present with impact in any given situation:

What is presenting:

  • Presenting means sharing, openness, connecting and engaging your audience. Presenting is collaborative and mutual.  Stay away from convincing, proving, or selling, which is just one-sided.
  • Presenting is story-telling. The more details you provide in your presentation, the easier your audience will be able to visualize in their mind and as a result, become more engaged.
  • Eliminate qualifiers such as ‘sorta’, ‘trying’, ‘basically’, ‘I think’, ‘I don’t know’, ‘would like to’, ‘hope’, interesting’, ‘but’ since those words carry negative or neutral meaning or are simply lazy placeholders and do not show your commitment. Instead, share your accomplishments, skills, and focus on what you enjoy and want to achieve.

What makes your presentation impactful:

  • Flow is an essential element in presenting.
  • Active listening is key. Be present, be specific. It’s important to focus on the words other people say.
  • Ask open-ended questions with emphasis, which guides people to go deeper. For example, what is your ideal goal in a vivid color?
  • “Claim your space” means “take up space”. It requires eye contact, gesture to invite your audience, openness, standing in the front, visualizing.

Practical solutions to some challenges when presenting:

  • Concerned about messing up your presentation? Name it and ask your audience for feedback.
  • Unsure whether you have the right volume with your voice? It’s fine to dance with your voice and check with your audience constantly.
  • Worried about unknown questions from the audience? Prepare responses to possible questions in advance and trust the team. Rephrase the questions to confirm with your audience that you understand what they asked.  This also buys you more time to consider a response.  If some questions can’t be answered on the spot, provide a target date to get back instead.

Once again, this workshop was sold out.  Click here to view the details and register for next month’s workshop!

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