Wednesday 28 February 2018

How to Speak so that People Listen - 20th, 21st & 27th March 2018

I wonder, did you know that the first couple of minutes of any presentation or talk are the most important? (Top tip alert!!)

These minutes are a gift.

 For 120 precious seconds you will have the attention of everyone in the room and so the words that then come out of your mouth need to be the most thoughtfully woven. Squander your beginning and you can lose your listeners for your talks entirety. Grab their attention, pique their interest and you will find that they travel with the words that you speak, interested as to where you will take them.

There is a definite art to creating an inspirational presentation and simply being shown some of the important things to consider can revolutionise the impact that you make as a public speaker. If you have to speak on behalf of a charity, a business or even within a church and would like to learn how to create a compelling and powerful presentation then my speaker training course, ‘How to Speak so that People Listen’, could be just the thing for you.

Looking at presentations that have changed worlds and drawing on my own experience of working in the Charity Sector as a communicator, story-teller and fundraiser for the last 14 years, my course will look in details at the components that make up the perfect presentation.

The next course takes place in the beautiful city of Edinburgh  on March Tuesday 20th –  Wednesday 21st and then a final day on Tuesday 27th March 2018

On March 20th (10am – 4:30pm) we will begin to discover some of the key features of a presentation that will inspire your listeners to step into the story of the organisation that you might be representing or the sermon that you are preaching.

We will open up the fact that authenticity and vulnerability are the key traits of the effective communicator and we will look at what it means in practice to present yourself effectively and honestly in order to engage your audience.

We will spend some time focusing on the personal stories we carry that will be important to hold in focus when we present a talk to others.

We will learn that the word ‘WHY’ is actually the starting place when we want to motivate others support and engagement. A good communicator never manipulates, focusing on ‘WHY’ helps us to inspire. The missing factor in most ineffective communication is humanity.

The use of story will be a dominant theme throughout the day. We will discover that story is the medium that our brain responds to. If we want people to listen to us – to really hear – we need to understand the importance of story.

On March 21st (10am – 4:30pm) we will look at the fact that a good story holds key components. We will unlock what they are and consider how we can learn to tell good stories that help to develop our presentations key messages.

We will learn how to create a story-based talk – a presentation that will keep an audience engaged from beginning to end.

And finally, for those who work for charities & businesses we will spend some time looking at how to invite our listeners to ‘step into the story’ we have been presenting. How to ‘ask’ them to be involved in the organisations we represent.

On March 27th (10am – 4pm) each participant, taking on board the previous weeks training, will present a 15 minute talk that represents the charity, organisation or church that they work or volunteer for. The aim of this day is to leave with a finely honed presentation that will be a good template for future talks. You will also leave with the confidence that you know how to speak so that others will listen.

In January I hosted my first course of the year. A great time was had by all! Here are a few things that some of the course participants had to say:

I found the training incredible useful, practical and inspiring. It will be so useful for my current role in particular and more generally in how I speak in public in other contexts too.’ Charlie Bevan – Tearfund

‘Very useful…both clear and engaging. I wasn’t bored at any point and the material was laid out very simply and easily to follow and understand. I would feel confident in recommending it to others as it was really helpful. Even for people who don’t normally give speeches!’ Drew Van Tiem - Communitas

‘Incredibly useful…it was so clear and engaging, friendly, inspiring, encouraging and very gentle. So much food for thought and inspiration. I would definitely recommend and already have!’ Lauren Forbes – Scottish Churches Housing Action

I have 5 spaces available for March’s training. The cost for the whole course is £275. If you are a volunteer speaker for an organisation and funding the training yourself, I would be happy to offer a discount of £50. Also, if you are a student I would be happy to offer a further discount.

I often get asked if this training is suitable for people who are shy or unconfident. It is! I intentionally keep the number of participants small and I have found that hosting the course ‘at home’ (with lots of coffee and good food!) helps people to relax quickly and feel at ease.

If you would like to take part or have any questions, please email me at If the dates advertised are a problem please let me know and I can let you know the dates of other courses in 2018. 



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