I believe that most presentation skills training is wrong...
I'm an unusual presentations coach.
I grew up as the only introvert engineer in a family of actors and acting teachers. I grew up surrounded by performers. I grew up experiencing first hand how professional performers are taught and practice their craft.
But, I wasn't one of them.
I was shy (I still am). I was terrible on stage and I hated it. I didn't want to grow up to be an actor... I wanted to build robots!
Throughout university and my PhD in robotics, I started to notice something that worried me.
I started to see how bad presentations were in "the real world" (i.e. outside of the world of performers). I started to experience "Death by PowerPoint". I started to watch my peers stumble, stutter, and sometimes even faint when they got up to speak.
"How can so many presentations be this bad!?" I wondered.
And then I started to attend presentation skills trainings...
... and all those terrible presentations suddenly started to make sense...
The way that people were taught to stand up and speak on stage was fundamentally opposed to the way that professional performers were taught to do the exactly same thing. People were actually being taught techniques that actively restricted them from being the clear, confident, authentic presenters that they could be.
If I'm honest (and I always am), this made me angry.
Over the last six years, I have trained, researched and studied to become the coach I needed to become to bring those professional performance skills to the world of business presentations.
I first had to start with myself. To overcome my shyness and grow my own skills on stage.
With my "backstage" access to those performer skills, I advanced quickly. Within two years of starting my journey, people were already calling me "a natural" (much to my annoyance given all of the work I've put into it).
Giving presentations is now one of my favourite things in the world.
Compared to most presentation skills trainers, I am an unusual presentations coach.
Most presentation trainers teach you a "bag of tricks" that you can employ to make your presentations slightly better.
I believe that training you on the foundations of great communication will make your presentations outstandingly better.
Most presentation trainers focus entirely on teaching prescriptive rules about "what to say" and/or "how to say it."
I believe in empowering my students to find a style that is authentic to them and lets their personality shine through.
Most presentation trainers teach content creation from a narrow pool of outdated and basic writing techniques.
I believe in creating content using both modern and well-established methods from various content creation disciplines, including marketing, story theory, filmmaking, persuasion, and rhetoric.
Most presentation trainers have only ever been trained by other presentation trainers.
I believe in learning skills and techniques from a wide variety of different disciplines and I constantly undergo training myself. Some of the world's best teachers have trained me from disciplines like stand-up comedy, improv acting, singing, physical theatre, and more.
Most presentation trainers describe themselves as "natural speakers" who have always loved giving presentations.
I believe that my natural shyness and difficulties communicating make me a much more insightful and understanding coach.
Most presentation trainers hide their own authentic personality behind a façade of "professional business style."
I believe in showing up as myself (albeit a confident, dynamic version of myself) and encouraging my students to do the same.
Most presentation trainers end up as carbon copies of almost every other presentation trainer, with results being almost identical.
I believe that creating a method of teaching from the ground up (as I have done) is the only way to achieve drastically better results.
How much more could you achieve?
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If my approach doesn't "click" with you, that's fine. We can't please everyone (and we shouldn't try).