Does Nick have something to say worth listening to?
I think so.
I know the questions you have about presentations because I have had them myself. Questions like:
- Where do I even begin putting together a presentation?
- What are the “best practices” other presenters know that I don’t?
- What makes a great slide presentation vs. one I should be embarrassed about?
- What can I do to be outstanding and have the audience thank me?
- How can I not be the presenter who has to talk through everyone’s texting, daydreaming or frequent glances to their watch?
- How can I avoid blanking out or worse, blacking out in the front of the room?
Luckily, I've had many experiences over the last dozen years that have allowed me to not only pursue the answers to those questions, but to experiment, make mistakes, and hone my skills. I've also had the opportunity to help others make preparing, designing, and delivering effective presentations easier and more fun.
A Unique Mix of Qualifications
Besides having to overcome glossophobia (fear of public speaking) years ago, I've been blessed with a unique mix of skills and experiences. These have made it possible to not only gain important insights on the subject of presentations, but to be able to effectively teach others. I have the formal training and years of experience in three key areas that give me something to share.
I spent over a decade as a professional photographer where I spent years focusing on how to communicate visually. That focus really helped me master the art of creating effective presentation slides.
Presenting effectively to others requires an understanding of people. My Master's in Organizational Development Psychology helped me develop a strong understanding of how to help businesses achieve their goals through effective communication and consideration of human needs.
After earning my Bachelor's in Education, I spent thousands of hours developing lessons and trying to best present them to multiple learning styles. In the business world, in my roles as Corporate Trainer, eLearning Developer, and Instructional Designer, I have developed, designed and delivered many effective presentations, and coached others to do the same.
In a nutshell, I have the expertise in preparing, designing and delivering effective presentations, and I have skills for teaching them.
The only thing I love more than learning things, simplifying them, and making them useful, is sharing them. How may I help you?
More if you're interested...
Beyond the Resume
In life, I believe...
We all have a purpose, a calling, something that we are meant to do because it is the best thing we have to contribute to the world. Mine is seeking out the knowledge, insights, and inspiration that make life easier and more fulfilling and sharing it with others. While I have been described by people who know me as a philosopher, counselor, artist, inventor, idea-man, Curious George, motivator, musician, comedian, dreamer, push-over, and a really good helper (by my grandpa); my true nature is that of a life-long student and educator.
Once Reluctant Presenter…
To be an effective “educator,” a person has to have kind of an "intuition" about what is important to know about a topic, have skills for distilling and simplifying that information, and then be able to communicate it in a way that is understandable, usable and memorable. Basically it requires being a good presenter. Yikes.
The “having to be a good presenter” part was the scary hurdle for me. I am naturally kind of reserved, humble and have a hard time taking myself seriously enough to be the center of attention.
I remember having to give a presentation in 8th grade (back then we called them “oral reports”). I was so petrified I could barely speak. I lost control of my facial muscles, which were creating the type of quivering frown that happens right before you start crying like a baby. And trying not to cry in front of your 8th grade classmates is a little distracting from the information about Benjamin Franklin you are supposed to have memorized.
After that, I worked hard to choose my class schedules wisely, even in college, by trying to avoid classes that required the dreaded “oral reports.”
But I had to get over that…
The educator in me wanted to share with more than one person at a time. So presentation skills became the necessary pursuit. I finally took a “Public Speaking” class in college (spent most of it in a cold sweat). I joined a Toast Masters club, attended Dale Carnegie training, and completed my degree in education, which forced me to be in front of an audience.
After years of observing great presenters, studying the topic, and presenting to a classroom of 8th graders (ironically) and later in the corporate arena, I finally discovered presenting to an audience can be easier than it’s made out to be.
Good news for you…
The best person to learn something from is the person who used to really stink at it. That is the person who had to work the hardest to overcome obstacles, analyze things more closely, and find easier ways to not stink. That is the person who can better explain the steps, details, specific "ins and outs," because they had to really learn them deeply.
I do not object to people looking at their watches when I am speaking. But I do strongly object when they start shaking them to make sure they are still going.
~ Lord Birkett
When it comes to giving presentations, one of those people who had to work so hard is me. I have discovered many things that make presenting easier, more effective, and less scary. That is my passion and purpose for creating Breezentations: to help others make presenting easier and more effective – more of a breeze.
I believe that presenting is an important skill for everyone to learn. If only those who are naturally good at speaking and don’t fear it have their voices heard (a very small percentage), then the world misses out on the genius that is out there in the vast majority! Let’s all work to change that by learning and sharing.
It takes a village to raise a kid and it takes a community to make the world a better place. I am always excited to hear from those who have questions, need help, or have great insight themselves to share. Please join the community here so we can all share with each other. I look forward to your comments.
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