This two-part workshop is designed to help you craft and deliver your message(s) clearly and concisely--whether it's a pitch to investors, a speech to community members, or an appeal to your roommate for why you should rescue a dog. We will begin with a review of the elements of good messaging, the common pitfalls, and the delivery techniques that maximize engagement and resonance and then dive into the workshop.
Effective presentation follows three steps:
In the first session, we'll work through steps 1 and 2, and in the second session, we'll focus on step 3. Students will bring an idea, a topic, an outline, draft, or any other material to serve as the foundation of their message, and we will workshop everything from key messages to the delivery.
It's helpful, but not required, that you take my other class, Bullets are for the NRA: Making Great Presentations in PowerPoint, before this class. In that class, I cover basic presentation theory and design guidelines that we will put into practice during this course. Please note: It is not my intent to pigeonhole everyone into presenting their ideas in PowerPoint, but the fact remains that visual aids, particularly PowerPoint, remain extremely common companions in the world of messaging.
During the day, I am a strategic communications consultant, working directly with CEOs and other executive managers on everything from investor relations to brand management to employee engagement. That means knowing what to say, how to say it, and to whom it needs to be said. (At night, I am, of course, a masked vigilante.)
I am a big advocate of clear and simple communication, and all too often I find that people struggle to translate their own deep knowledge and expertise on an issue to their audience because they cannot put themselves in another person's shoes. I've seen plenty of CEOs who are unable to explain why a company is a good investment, or what the corporate strategy is. I've heard business managers fail to elicit in less than 20 seconds what they do for a living.
Great communicators appear to have a casual, flawless delivery, but that comes with extensive practice, careful crafting, and complete comfort in the issue. They know how to connect with an audience on a variety of levels--from the logical to the emotional--and this course is meant to give you these foundational skills.