The Empowered Presenter: From Hesitance to Confidence in 10 Steps | Suzi Hunn | Skillshare

The Empowered Presenter: From Hesitance to Confidence in 10 Steps

Suzi Hunn, Instructional Design for Creatives & Entrepreneurs

The Empowered Presenter: From Hesitance to Confidence in 10 Steps

Suzi Hunn, Instructional Design for Creatives & Entrepreneurs

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
11 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. The Empowered Presenter: From Hesitance to Confidence in 10 Steps

    • 2. Define Your Why

    • 3. You Don't Have to Know Everything, So Let It Go

    • 4. Know Your Audience

    • 5. Tailor Content Every Time

    • 6. Use Visuals

    • 7. Engage Your Audience

    • 8. Memorize Your First Few Minutes

    • 9. Feel Free to Move

    • 10. Practice For Friends

    • 11. Arrive Early & Feel the Room

17 students are watching this class
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

The Empowered Presenter: From Hesitance to Confidence in 10 Steps is for anyone who hesitates to give presentations out of fear or nervousness. You're not alone!  But presentations are a great opportunity. Holding back your ideas isn't doing you and favors, and your community is missing out. Giving talks can help you: Find collaborators Expand your business Improve your community through education Accelerate your personal growth and more I want to help empower you. I've put together ten steps I used to become confident as a presenter. I'm an introvert. Public speaking didn't come naturally to me. But I had to do it so many times for my job as a museum educator that I learned how. Now it's your turn!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Suzi Hunn

Instructional Design for Creatives & Entrepreneurs


I'm an educator who helps creatives and entrepreneurs develop engaging learning experiences. These world-shakers inspire me, but they often need help wrangling their content into packed learning that speaks to their audience.

Presentations, online courses, printed curriculum materials, or live workshops--these are the tools I help them create. I work full-time but am actively transitioning toward self-employment. My company Teach Your Thing helps purpose-driven small businesses and nonprofits change the world though teaching what they know.

My clients are distrupters with heart. Once caught in a system that was tired or exclusive, they found a way to operate most effectively outside that system--finding their people and making ripple effects. They have an important message... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. The Empowered Presenter: From Hesitance to Confidence in 10 Steps: every presentation has a purpose. Whether you own your own company or work for a boss, I'm guessing you have an idea about why connecting with a live audience will help you. Maybe you're selling a product or looking for collaborators. Maybe your subject matter expert whose knowledge will benefit your audience. If you have any hesitation about standing in front of that group on delivering your message , this course is for you. My name is Suzy Hunt. I have 15 years experience giving talks at state and national conferences in corporate and nonprofit environment. You've probably heard some variation of the stat that more people are afraid of giving presentations than they are of dying. This drives me crazy. Giving presentations is a learn herbal skill. Ivan Introvert, standing up in front of a group, did not come naturally to you, but I did it for my job so many times over the years that I learned techniques for how that's what I pulled together in this course for you. Each lesson in this class takes you through activities for how to think through your content in a new way for engage with your audience or shift your mindset to feel more authentic when you're standing in front of that group. I'm also excited about the community environment of this course. Do feel free to share anything you learn and encourage each other along the way. 2. Define Your Why: Here's my first step to becoming an empowered presenter. Define your wife to get you started. I've got a question for you. What's one thing you love so much? You could talk about it all day long. Now, if you had asked my dad that question when I was a kid, you might have been in trouble. He loved to get out his slide projector who remember slide projectors. We had a joke about it. Nobody asked Dad about his Grand Canyon slides will be here all day now. Of course, we all have those things when it comes to presenting. The things you can talk about all day are your greatest strength. They highlight values that matter to you. In the case of my dad and his Grand Canyon slides, they show that he values nature organization, perseverance and memorable times shared with family and friends. When it comes to your presentations, values will bring you confidence. Inauthenticity. Just like life. Your own presentation doesn't have meaning on its own. You're the one who needs to infuse it. So regardless of whether you're presenting for yourself or your employer, values will enhance your stated goal. That may be to sell a product to find collaborators or to educate the public. Before you go there, I want you to stop and define your own. Why, For example, when I worked in corporate America, I worked in the beauty industry. This is a perfectly admirable career, but I have to be honest. It's not what lights me up, but you want to know what I could talk about all day long empowerment. So every presentation I gave woven stories of empowerment, and I have to admit, I was surprised to learn how many there are from people who are looking their best. So therefore they feel their best two employees and entrepreneurs who were gaining success . Now we've reached the first project of this course. I've created a Define your why sheet. It's just a two page document that helps you think through the values that you're gonna be sharing with your group. First, you're gonna circle values from a list that matter to you. Then you're gonna connect those to your stated purpose. It's simple, but a really powerful way to make a difference when you're standing in front of a group. I'm really excited about the community atmosphere of skill share. So I'm really encouraging you to post this to the class discussion board. I can't wait to see how you inspire and encourage each other. 3. You Don't Have to Know Everything, So Let It Go: I recently stayed in an Airbnb, and I was in a conversation with the host. I was telling her I was developing this course and she said, Oh, I have a friend would be a great candidate for that class. It turns out she was a vocal student in grand school years ago. She was super talented. She loves singing but eventually dropped out of the program because she felt so uncomfortable in front of other people. This story illustrates the importance of Step Number two. You don't have to know everything, so let it go. It reminds me of an info session I attended in my hometown of Minneapolis for a local nonprofit supporting women entrepreneurs. Participants meet in cohorts that help start and enhance their small businesses. One thing stuck with me. The leader told us that on the day the cohort members present their business plans, it's not uncommon for at least one person to miss the session. When the program later research this pattern, she found that people were anxious about their presentations. I can relate to this feeling of anxiety on my first presentation of my professional career . I was shaking and embarrassed, but I had to do it again and again. So I learned how I was also lucky to have a fantastic mentor. I was the editor of a curriculum for sixth graders to teach Minnesota history. He was a professor who was one of our advisors on the project. He taught me an important lesson to make an impact. You don't have to know everything. In fact, he knew I didn't have training as a historian, though we never talked about it. He probably figured out that I don't have the charisma of Tony Robbins, but he knew what I did have, which was knowledge of the needs of sixth grade learners, an ability to work with a variety of stakeholders. Philosophies and trends and education, massive respect for teachers, major enthusiasm for the topic. And he specifically pointed out that I had a curiosity and ability toe listen to others. You don't have to be a historian to do this job well, he told me, but don't try to be something you're not. So take this lesson with you. As you plan your own presentation. There will always be qualifications. You wish you had skills you haven't learned yet, and personality traits you admire and others. But even though you admire other people, none of them Kenbrell thing what you can to the table, have you ever felt like this? You think that others know a lot more than you do when you actually get to know them and realize that they might have been thinking the same thing? Or have you ever felt like this? Then you get to know the other people and realize they thought you were cool and fine all along. Now I don't want to discount very riel limitations like racism, sexism and also stereotypes. Absolutely, there are factors in society that hold us back. But I also want us to dig deep and think about what we can do about it. Anyway, This is yet another example of what it feels like to pretend to be something you're not. It gets boring for you, and it's awkward for everyone else. So we might as well just go back to being who we are. Focus on what you do have, which is more than what you think. Also think about the kind of impact that you want to make, and what would you be missing if you didn't go ahead and take the opportunity for the presentation to help you think this through. I've come up with another worksheet. It's called Own Your Skills. This just takes you through a quick exploration of what you might be holding back for, and it helps you remember what you do. Well, finally, it has a whole list of things that you can do specifically to apply your strengths to the talk you're preparing. So it shouldn't take you long and feel free to scan it or take a photo of your favorite or most meaningful answer and posts that to the discussion board. I can't wait to help you along the way, and I'm really curious to see how you inspire each other. 4. Know Your Audience: It's so true that you need to bring your real personality and heart to any presentation. But that doesn't change the fact that it's not about you. It's always about the people in the audience. Until this point, lessons have focused on confidence. Equally important, though, is engaging your audience. To do this first, you need to know who they are researching. This doesn't have to be an extensive process, but the sooner you start thinking about them, the easier it will be to find ways to tailor content to them. That's the next lesson, but for now, let's learn who they are. Here are some ways to go about it. Reach out and ask the event organizers take some time to Google it and its community. This always puts me at ease and gets me interested in the kinds of things that they're gonna want to know. Finally, don't underestimate the power of greeting them at the door. You can find out things like why they came, how they connect and often meet some friendly faces. When researching your audience. Start with demographics, basic things like age, gender and where they live and work even knowing this much will help bolster your presentation. Be sure not to assume that your audience will be just like you. They'll have their own cultural points of view. Senses of humor and levels of knowledge explore questions like, How did they spend their days? What keeps them up at night? Do they have a social media presence? And what are some hot topics in the community? Most importantly, though, consider why do they value your topic? As you discovered earlier in this course, knowing why you value your topic brings confidence, but knowing why they do brings engagement. It also helps you plan what to say and how to say it. I've created a graphic organizer called Know Your Audience. It's designed to be something that can be done quickly but also greatly help you as you do your planning. As with all of the worksheets in this class, feel free to pick and choose the ones that work for you. Then, for the ones that do have meaning, post them to the discussion board so you can find out how others air doing and share your experience 5. Tailor Content Every Time: The next step is one that I included because I've seen so many subject matter. Experts miss this step entirely. Subject matter experts that I've worked with in various jobs tend to get caught up in this one because they're so busy and you can't blame them. But when you're so busy that you forget to tailor each presentation, you miss an opportunity to connect with each individual audience. No to audiences are the same, and people love hearing about themselves. They'll also learn and remember your content better when they can connect it to something they already know. So here are some of my favorite ways to tailor content to a group. First, you can reference something in their region. I have a colleague who travels the state he loves visiting towns he's never seen in connecting with favorite contacts. One thing he does is we've this question into presentations. He gives where's the best place to get good food in this area. It immediately relaxes the group and help some feel like experts. They also start to talk. Now he loves to brag about how he knows where to get the very best handmade raspberry shake in the entire state. Another thing you can do is make a map of attendees. Here's one I made for a talk that I gave once I had access to attendee data, so I plotted them on Google and made a screenshot of it. You might not have the same information, but you can still do some legwork and create a more simple flight version. Plus, who doesn't love a good map? Another thing you can do is use a quote from the communities Social Media. I came up with this one when researching fellow presenters for a taco was about to give it showed alignment in the ideas that I care about and made me want to meet her. You can also frame your talk around a big question you know the community is grappling with . I once was on a panel of educators from the museum that I worked at in our job was to give a presentation at a gaming conference, So we tailored our entire presentation around one single question. How can institutions include gaming in their teaching? Another thing you can do is mention the work of leaders or participants in the community for the same talk I just referenced. We found this YouTube clip of another group that was doing something was similar to what we were, and we thought it was a great way to highlight our ideas. We didn't go deep and we didn't need to, but it just expanded interest. Finally, make sure you give your talk it once over every single time. You can do this in 10 minutes or less, but the payoff to your confidence is huge. Seriously, take the time to do this. You don't want to be that person who stands up there and points to something on your slide deck and goes, Oh, right, that's been updated, but I forgot to make the change. I hope these ideas have inspired you in your own talk. So here we've come to step fours project. Think of one way to tailor your content to a certain audience. That's it. Then posted to the discussion board 6. Use Visuals: The next step is one I learned in college more than 20 years ago in a speech class, but it has served me so well throughout my career that it's an important one, and I want to make sure to share it with you, as my professor taught me all those years ago. Use visuals and I went ahead and added the kicker to it. No matter what, using visuals in your presentation increases your confidence and engages your audience. And that, of course, is what this course is all about. Here's how strong visuals have helped increase my own confidence in talks I've given over the years. It puts the focus on the visuals rather than having people staring directly at you, especially in my early days when I was much more shy. This made a huge difference. It helped me feel more at ease and natural in front of the group. Also, it retained my own interest and helped make it easier for me to tell stories. This, in turn, encourages connection with the group and put simply, it keeps me on track. It also can engage your audience by providing a fun experience, making it more likely they'll remember your content and having them connect emotionally to what you say. Giving them an opportunity to take action on what you're teaching to demonstrate this concept. I want to tell you the story of my dog, Frankie. What if I were to pull up a slide with some great text and a lot of bullets? I would want you to know that Frankie is the color of golden autumn leaves. She loves walks, no matter the season. She has fun jumping for the ball. She doesn't like spinach. She enjoys trails and being with her people, and she gets psyched about going to the park. Now, how much of this information do you remember about Frankie? What if I were to tell you the story again, but this time using tools that are available in Power Point, I'm not gonna go into detail about how to create them in this course, But I just want you to know that these air available to you and so here some options. Of course, you can include photos. So I wanted you to know that Frankie is the color of autumn leaves. She loves walks. No matter the season, she enjoys jumping for the ball. When it comes to eating, Frankie has some clear ideas. First of all, is it spinach? If so, no way she's gonna eat that thing. But if it's not, all bets are off eat. I also used Power Point tools to create this pie chart, showing Frankie's favorite places as you can see at a glance, she loves being with her people. Being with the cat isn't her greatest priority, but she's pretty much equally happy. Whether she's at the park, on the neighborhood trails or in the backyard. You could also use Power Point tools to make a simple quote look more interesting. And, of course, if you have access to any videos, they will strengthen your presentation as well. Finally, even if technology isn't your thing, you always have access to old school items. Every time I had something physical toe hold and flip through again, it put me at ease and made me feel more confident. There's nothing that kills a presentation as much as a slide deck full of dull text, so do whatever you can to provide visuals through your talk. This brings us to the Step five project. Just think of one new visual that you'll add to a talk you're planning to give and you guessed it posted to the discussion board. Have fun. 7. Engage Your Audience: in step three. You got to know your audience. Now you're gonna learn how to engage them. One of my best teachers for this is a historian I worked with when I was a museum educator . This is a quote from her. She knows the importance of imagination in doing good history. And boy, is she good at capturing the imagination of an audience. I once had the fortune of serving on a panel with her, and she taught me this tip. Hook your audience in the 1st 30 seconds and you'll have them for the entire time. Her technique is to connect her content to the lives of the attendees. I once saw her have each teacher at a teacher workshop. She was leading remove one shoe and place it on the middle of a table. She then went through and described how shoes depict the values and socio economics and abilities of different societal groups. Another technique you can use to mention the types of people in the audience. I'm about to give a talk that's going to have business people, hobbyists and educators, So I'm going to reference them specifically and come up with something that has meaning for each type of person. Another strategy for engaging your audience is to ask a compelling question related to the outcome you want them to have and an upcoming blogging conference. I'm going to throw this out there to the group. How many of you have an idea for a passion project you'd love to try? Later in the talk? I'm gonna ask those who do have an idea just to share it with the group, because I believe there's value in putting your ideas into the world. Another strategy is to ask a light but universal question. I once saw a presenter used this really effectively when she said, What was your beverage that you had this morning, and how did you go about choosing it? She then connected that to a discussion about finances and how people make those decisions , which is what her content was about. Another thing you can do is to take a poll. You can ask the group to raise their hands. You can have people stand up based on certain criteria, or, if you're tech savvy, you can go to a site called Pole everywhere and in advance. Prepare a poll question and then on the day off, have people get at their cell phones and type in answers to your questions, and it'll display behind you. Another way to engage your audience, especially if you have a large group, is to give them a hashtag and asked them to participate on social media. This strategy is a quick, an easy one, but just be proactive about considering your vocabulary. Are you using words like we and us, or are you constantly talking about yourself? Another great way to engage your audience comes from my education background. We call it Ah, think pair share. Have the group consider a short conversation where they can turn to their partner or two people near them come up with a discussion point that they can share with the rest of the group. We've now reached this Step six project. Identify an engagement strategy, use thes ideas to spark one of your own and shared on the discussion board 8. Memorize Your First Few Minutes: Step seven isn't complicated, but it makes a huge difference in your confidence. Memorized the 1st 1 to 3 minutes of the words that will come out of your mouth. And, yes, that includes your introduction. It's easy to spend a lot of time and energy thinking about what your power point says. But if you haven't thought about how you're going to introduce yourself, you could unintentionally feel nervous from the beginning. But the first few minutes set the tone for how everything else is going to go. So I recommend scripting and memorizing the beginning of your speech and even going so far as to practice it in the mirror. Then when you stand up, you will feel comfortable in the beginning and set a positive tone that will affect the rest of your presentation. 9. Feel Free to Move: this step has made a huge difference in helping me feel at ease in front of an audience. Don't be shy to move around the room. The times when I have been most nervous. Giving a talk are the times when I have felt like I need to stay frozen in one spot. I recommend that you check out a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy. She talks about the power of body positioning. The goal here is to bring your whole self to the presentation. You're a human being, and people want to see that if you feel frozen in one spot, you won't be is natural to your audience. So relax and feel free to move. 10. Practice For Friends: this step is my least favorite because it involves planning in advance. It's so easy to push creating your presentation till the last minute and trust me, I've done this so many times. But in order to feel confident, one of the best things you can do is to practice your presentation ahead of time. It doesn't matter who you practice for. You can recruit a significant other a best friend or a group of close colleagues who you know love and support you. There's nothing better than having a group of friends who don't really know your work closely. See you give a presentation because they'll ask you questions that you didn't anticipate. That will help clarify things you hadn't thought of in your talk. It'll also give you the opportunity to feel comfortable speaking the words and knowing your stuff. There isn't a specific worksheet to fill out for this lesson, but if you do have in a host of practice session, snap a photo of it and shared on the discussion board 11. Arrive Early & Feel the Room: you've reached the final step, and this is the only one in this course that happens on the day of your talk. Arrive early and get a feel for the room. The point here is to feel at home in the room and, like you own it. This also gives you time to check your audio visual equipment. But more than anything else, it just allows you the timeto acclamation and feel comfortable. So good luck. Do feel free to jump back in and tell about your experience on the discussion board.