The 1 October 2014 marked the inaugural workshop for Ahead in Speaking. I must admit, even though I have delivered this particular course many times under my first company, this particular one felt as though it was my first time, due no doubt to a new company name and a new business partner in Simon Gray!
The day was amazing and was full of fun with challenging experiences for all. Yes even me! No two workshops are the same as all the delegates have their own concerns, questions, breakthroughs that require attention, that stretch and grow my own abilities, so really I go on the same journey as the people on the course, just from a different viewpoint and that is what makes them fun. We all work together as a team, supporting and encouraging each other!
The thing that surprised the delegates the most was that they expected it to be a ‘top 10 tips’ on how to present. Someone even thought that we were going to film them giving a ‘rookie’ presentation to the group and then making them watch it back and for me tell them where they were going wrong – what they got was the total opposite!
The overall goal of the workshop is to ‘conquer your fear’, because when you are asked to give a presentation its not just about the presentation day, its also about the build up to the presentation! What do you do when you agree to do it and then mild panic sets in?
The bulk of the day dealt with how to control your state. How to keep yourself, calm and collected in what could be perceived as a stressful situation! Once you become calm and relaxed then everything flows much easier as a presenter. Yes, there will still be nerves, or excitement as I like to call it, but those excited feelings can be controlled so it is just like having a 1-1 conversation with a friend or colleague.
At Ahead in Speaking we thoroughly understand the fears of the attendees and it is those fears that we nurture and help overcome by building layers of different coping mechanisms and the creation of powerful body language, eye contact and voice tonality techniques, until the individual is ready to present. Only then will we allow them to talk.
One delegate remarked: “The pace was laid back, calm and tranquil, very powerful and inspiring. No hassle or pushing us to get involved in the practical side, in fact I felt encouraged and confident enough after the first hour of the workshop to try all the tasks by myself even though before the workshop I would make every excuse to leave the room”.
Even seasoned speakers find the workshops useful, because there is always a nugget of information or another way of doing things because all speakers/presenters/trainers have had different experience on their journeys. I devote a lot of time to seeing different speakers and every time I pick up something new.
Another quote from the day: “I found Adrian inspiring to listen to, encouraging and it felt like the course was designed for me individually. Probably due to the fact that he is so good at building rapport with his audience”. What I really love about this quote is that, not only is it very flattering, but more importantly, it’s the kind of feedback that I want ALL of my delegates to receive on their own speaking engagements. That is why I do what I do, to make people feel proud of their achievements and to see them become the speakers that they truly want to be.
I would like to leave you with my favourite piece of feedback from the day and I think this sums up for me everything that Ahead in Speaking was set up for:
“I feel I achieved something on your course that has changed my attitude to speaking and life – about letting people hear my voice and what I have to say”.
Until next time.