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Silver 2 Gold
07 March 2011
In April this year I was fortunate to win a speaking contract in Indonesia for a large International Insurance Company. Five months pregnant I was the first female speaker to do the full speaking circuit! I performed 11 presentations, in 10 different cities, over a 3-week period to 25,000 Indonesian Insurance Agents.
My brief was to motivate the audience to be the best that they could be and to turn their performance from silver to gold. I did this by sharing sporting and personal stories and my five key tips to success. It was an incredible experience and my first visit to Indonesia. The food was sensational, the scenery was beautiful and the people were gorgeous.
The biggest learning for me out of this experience was that we can work internationally if that is what we chose to do in business.
All I had to do was adjust my presentation style to suite the client's request and learn how to deliver my message through an interpreter. The content of my presentation was very similar to the content I share in Australia. The beauty of winning an international sporting gold medal is that the whole world do recognise it.
Working with an interpreter and delivering the same presentation 11 times, I learnt to keep my message in simple English and straight to the point. This was a great experience for me and now my message is even clearer.
Adjusting my presentation style did put my out of my comfort zone a little. Firstly they wanted lots of energy and 'who-ha!', which is not my natural style and is not requested often in Australia.
Lucky for me I was trained by a fantastic speaking coach in South Australia who is a NIDA graduate. His theory is that as a speaker you need to perform on stage to keep people's attention. This does not mean a song and dance (even though I did add a song to my Indonesian presentation). It can simply be about when to walk and when not to walk on stage, having planned pauses and specific arm gestures. I think for many people they spend too much time trying to get the content right and not enough time on their physical skills and stage presence.
How many times have you seen someone speak and they fidget with a pen, scratch their face or say um too many times. You end up being distracted by their physical habits and not listening intently to the message.
To be able to speak in front of a group of people and deliver a power message with no distracting habits takes practise like any other skill.
So next time you have to speak in front of a group- get a friend to critique your stage presence and your distracting habits. Even better if you have the equipment, film your next presentation and review it. Keep your message clear and simple and you will reap the rewards!