You CAN get better at presenting

Read about the experiences of people who have worked with us:

“I avoided presenting whenever I could”

Nathan Clark
I used to get extremely nervous about presenting. I avoided it whenever I could. If I had a presentation to do, I would obsess over it. It took far too much time and affected my ability to get other things done.

At work, it meant that I was the “behind the scenes” person. I realised that if I wanted to progress I needed to be able to present. The catalyst for coming on the course was when I met somebody at a dinner party who’d worked with you. That inspired me.

Things are very different now

Now when I’m asked to do a presentation I say to myself “Cool!” I actually find it fun to create a presentation. I still get nervous, but I’ve got the tools to manage it.

Knowing that I’ve got something good to deliver really helps

My biggest achievement is delivering a presentation to the Mental Health Law Conference to an audience of over 200 people. I used a metaphor that really worked. I got lots of great comments on how interesting and engaging the presentation was. In the past, I would have avoided even doing the presentation.

Nathan Clark is a senior policy analyst at the Ministry of Health in Wellington.

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“I was a living, breathing example of the fear of public speaking”

Andy Williams
Five years ago, I was a living, breathing example of the fear of public speaking. Then I was asked to do a series of presentations on Kiwisaver to groups of our members. The idea terrified me but I wanted to be involved in Kiwisaver and so it was the incentive I needed to dig deeper and address my fear.

My company sent me on your course and it helped in heaps of ways

Andy sent us an email a few months after the course: “Following your course I’ve presented 20 public KiwiSaver seminars around Auckland/Northland, attendee numbers ranging 25-150. I feel relaxed and confident in what I’m doing, and most surprisingly of all I actually ENJOY doing them! Who would’ve thunk it…! The feedback I’m receiving (from attendees and from our own staff) is fabulous. And that comes back to you both, and your course. So thanks very much for what you’ve been able to do for me – hugely appreciated.”

It’s five years ago but I still keep the book and refer to it. I’m constantly using the tips and tricks that you taught us – like “dancing with the slides”.

These days I enjoy presenting

These days, I don’t avoid presenting anymore. I enjoy it. I get a buzz out of interacting with the audience. My colleagues recognise that I’m good at it. When there’s a presentation to do, my name is first out of the hat.

Andy Williams is a Senior Adviser at the Medical Assurance Society in Auckland.

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“I had good ideas but nobody ever knew about them”

Before coming on the course I was terrified of presenting. If I tried to speak with a group of more than two people I would be lost for words and couldn’t articulate what I wanted to say. It was so bad that I wouldn’t offer my opinion at a team meeting with my colleagues. I had lots of good ideas, but nobody ever knew about them because I couldn’t express them. In my personal life, I never volunteered to be part of community groups or committees because it might mean I would have to speak to groups.

I didn’t want to do the course…but I saw the course advertised, and decided I needed to do it.

To my surprise I really enjoyed the course

It was good fun and relaxed, there was no pressure. Everybody understood about being terrified of presenting. It helped me to know that people with a bit more experience of presenting also felt nervous. The techniques taught on the course helped me to prepare. The most helpful was the template for structuring a presentation.

Now, I can get my ideas across

Since the course, I’ve given it a go. I haven’t shied away from opportunities to present like I used to. I speak up in team meetings – they don’t even register on the nervousness scale anymore! I applied and was accepted on Kiwibank’s Leadership Development Programme. I wouldn’t even have applied for this before the course. At the end of the Leadership Development Programme I delivered a presentation to 50 Kiwibank managers. I was nervous but I could manage it. Outside of my work I’ve joined the Parent Committee for my son’s childcare centre and have a lead role. Now I’m able to get my ideas across, I’m given more challenges in my job and I’m able to contribute to my community. It’s opened a lot of doors.

Janette Waggott is a Credit Analyst at Kiwibank in Wellington.