A client wrote to me recently to thank me for the presentation training sessions to prepare him for a job interview for a CEO position. He called me a “Presentation Whisperer.”
After I stopped laughing, I thought, “Hmm, Presentation Whisperer. I like the sound of that!”
But what does it actually mean? When I work with clients, I help them to analyze the audience, recognize key insights, and hone the delivery. This approach enables clients to shine in the pivotal moments of their careers.
Step #1: Analyze the audience, craft your message
When clients face a big presentation, they often don’t know where to start. They have information they want to convey, but they don’t always know to engage with their audience.
During my consultations with clients, we develop presentations that are tailored to the context. Who will be present in the audience, and what are they looking for? We take the time to identify the specific messages that will resonate with that group.
As S.F. commented, “You were instrumental in helping me get my thoughts down in writing and then help translate that into a message we communicated to the team. Frankly, none of the team outside myself had delivered an important presentation before and you helped collect us into a unified message.”
Step #2: Recognize key insights
Audiences are hungry for authentic stories, but clients often overlook the power of their experience. My clients have command of their information and their field, but often struggle to communicate its significance. My job is to help them to identify their expertise and explain why it matters. I ask my clients: “What challenges have you overcome, and what lessons can you share?”
Once we bring that knowledge to the surface, we work together to craft a presentation that captures their unique perspective. I often emphasize developing stories that bring these insights to life. These stories are vivid, concrete examples about how clients nurture relationships or lead their team. I call these stories “golden nuggets.” They are what enable speakers to really connect with their audience.
As A.A. commented, “I’m still baffled at how you were able to get to the heart of what I do in such a short period of time. You were able to give me the ability to see with such clarity how to deliver my message — something that for me was often cloudy.”
As another client G.G. recalled: “From a dry and linear presentation, it has now become ‘textured’ and interesting, with a far better chance of having my audience really listen, and making the impact I had hoped for.”
Step #3: Hone the delivery
The final step is to practice the presentation, again and again. We work on tone, pacing, and emphasizing key points. We make small adjustments along the way so that the entire presentation hangs together.
As we craft the presentation, we often find ourselves laughing over certain episodes, or marveling at the different obstacles that clients have overcome. Helping them to see their journey, in all its successes and challenges, provides clients with a sense of perspective. This preparation breeds confidence. They are ready to deliver their message when all eyes are on them.
As J.R., a job candidate, wrote, “Patricia’s emphasis on preparation paid off: I went into the interviews well prepared and confident. The end result also speaks for itself: I got the job!”
As a Presentation Whisper, I am there with my clients each step of the way, sitting on their shoulder, helping them refine their message. I coax from them the most impactful stories and provide honest feedback in order to bring their presentations to life.