Government Communications Service
Overcoming my fears to present with impact
Blog posted by: Tamara Sperling, Europe and International Communications, Home Office, 02 September 2020.
I’m not the most confident public speaker. In fact, public speaking absolutely terrifies me! I’d heard great things about the GCS Presenting with Impact course from my colleagues and thought it could help overcome my fears.
When I was offered the opportunity to do the course, I jumped at the chance. However, there was a catch, it was all virtual.
Not really knowing what to expect, I entered the virtual classroom and was greeted by a super friendly trainer and nine other comms colleagues from all different areas of government.
I got so much out of the course. At the beginning of the day we all had to deliver a presentation in front of the group and this was filmed! Frightening!
The presenter then played it back to us and gave us all individual feedback. This was even more frightening! I was so nervous, I wanted to disappear, but I took on board what he said and made sure I was ready for the next stage of filming at the end of the course.
In between these sessions, we learned all kinds of things such as: how to structure the presentation so you hold the audience from the very beginning, the pace and tone of your voice, learning to pause when presenting, and camera set up for presentations.
The most important thing I learned was how to set up your laptop camera, where it is positioned so you present virtually. I use the skills I gained every day doing Skype Business calls at work and private chats with friends.
At the end of the day, we were filmed again and put everything we had learned into practice. The transformation was amazing! I left the course feeling energised and really looking forward to using my new skills.
I recently used these new skills when I managed 8 virtual listening sessions for 50 communications staff including the senior management team. I presented myself at the beginning of each listening session and welcomed staff into the virtual event. I was aware of my pace and tone and shared information that was interesting and engaging. We got very good feedback from the staff about the sessions.
I highly recommend doing the Presenting with Impact course. The course made a big difference to my confidence and how to present in the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) virtual world.
To find out more about our upcoming courses and webinars for GCS members please visit our Academy page.
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