"Janine Sergay can make a room full of
FCSI consultants and manufacturers lie on the
floor and make funny noises - and enjoy it!
President of The Sergay Group, Ms.
Sergay teaches presentation skills that focus on the needs of her audience - and
one thing we needed last week was to learn to breathe
properly; hence the floor exercises."
Her first step was to find out the group's fears
mistakes. Remember that no one wants you to fail, the audience
wants you to do
well. It's not about you. It's how you handle
glitches and istakes - it's good to be human.
failure. Expect it, consider the screen a back-up, the focus should
be on the speaker anyway.
- No reaction from the audience. Sometime's
it's cultural - stop and check with them, involve the group in doing stuff,
show your own foibles.
Here are a few tips Ms. Sergay showed us:
- Our short term memory only holds 7 things - don't
overload the audience.
- Keep your presentation on a thumb drive as a back up and have a printout
- Your audience may have different levels of knowledge - establish those
levels by doing
an exercise that draws out what they know. "What are some of the issues you're
facing?". Their language can give clues to their level of understanding. Change
the audience's seating
to allow for peer mentoring.
- Eliminate "umm". Stop the voice. Pause. Breathe. Continue. Same goes for
other expressions like "you know". "Do you understand" can sound patronizing.
How to check for understanding? Do it only once by asking the audience for an
example, or ask for questions. If you break the audience into groups they will
be more comfortable - listen to conversations in the groups to see if people
- Dress one level above your audience. You can wear a maximum of two patterns
- and "pattern" is defined as discernable from 3 big steps away.
- Height gives credibility. If you don't have it, give yourself the
impression of height by the
way you dress.
- Your image starts being created before you even enter a room and stays
after you leave.
- If you want to use an icebreaker, make sure it incorporates a point of
- Have two conclusions - one at the end of the talk and one to bring the talk
back to the
image you want at the end of a question session.
- Focus on what the audience is there for.
(From: Ideas Well Done)