On Wednesday this week, Jan and I attended the ‘final exam’ in Alaina Sheer’s presentation transformation.   I hadn’t written about our style and delivery session that we had a few weeks ago as I knew there was some additional work to be done before she was really ready to present. Tuesday night we had a chance to review the entire talk together and I saw the difference.

So what was it?

For me, it was grounded in her attention to her story.  She knew it, had lived with it and felt passionate about it. Most importantly, it connected with for her audience.  As a result, she was able to start to pay attention to her delivery. Before, her content was disheveled and somewhat irrelevant to her audience, so her delivery had no ground on which to stand.

When we get a good video clip to share next week, we’ll post it for you to see the before and after. In the meantime, we had a really fabulous time watching the following on Wednesday:

For her content organization, storytelling and overall message- she listened carefully to Jan’s advice. Her opening hook was interesting and strong, she kept to the rule of three for some of her factual-heavy learning modules, her examples were applicable and well versed, and most importantly, she tied it together beautifully.

For her public speaking style and delivery, we saw immense improvement. She was no longer a slave to the slide or lurking only behind her laptop. She took some vulnerable steps to be more connected with the audience and as a result, she was rewarded. They were compelled and engaged from start to finish (a far cry from the original talk where she reported a disappointing response) and had thoughtful responses and questions upon her conclusion.

Because Alaina has some background in radio, she is able to tease you with a very smooth voice. Before we engaged with her, often she was rushed, her words melded together without necessary pausing for the audience to follow and process. In this final presentation, she demonstrated an increased awareness of those traits and continues to work hard to assure they aren’t what is remembered.

Thanks to Alaina for being so brave to share this experience with us and for giving us a chance to demonstrate how proper preparation decides the fate of a talk.

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