About A biotech company seeking funding and support for their start-up business. Challenge The company’s executives struggled to relate to audiences and convey their complex message because of their high-level of education, deep industry expertise, and new business concept. Solution Executives of this start-up biotech company attended a Speak Simple presentation at the New Orleans Bioinnovation Center and applied principles taught during the presentation including simplifying their message to the audience’s level, streamlining visual aids, and properly planning the presentation instead of starting straight in Powerpoint. Results The start-up won two local entrepreneur pitch competitions and moved on to compete at state and regional competitions. They also obtained investors in their company through presentations. They are now a rising star at the New Orleans Bioinnovation Center.
About Property management company that primarily works with homeowner associations and manages multi-family housing in Metro New Orleans. Challenge Because the company’s clients are generally boards, they use a presentation to explain their services and value. Although the company closed 60% of their prospects, the executive team felt there was room for improvement. Solution We worked with the primary presenter to strip down the content on the visual aid and made it more image based to move an audience’s focus from the screen to the speaker. During rehearsals and run-throughs, we coached the presenter on body language and worked to remove distracting crutch words. Results During the first presentation, the speaker felt the difference immediately because he was now the focal point and not the screen because he wasn’t reading it anymore. This made him feel empowered and the audience saw him as the expert. The company closed the next
About A business coach that is a seasoned speaker with past speaking engagements across the United States and Europe. This presenter has read nearly every presentation book and is a veteran member of Toastmasters. Challenge He had given a keynote address numerous times, but it didn’t have the impact he desired. He struggled to get from good to great and command top dollar for speaking engagements. Although a seasoned, well-educated speaker, he couldn’t tie together all the tips and couldn’t put his finger on what was still missing. Solution We started at the beginning and went back to his goals and what he wanted his audience to takeaway from the presentation. From there, we rerouted the content around those points so the story didn’t overload the presentation, which previously left no time for him to get to the moral of the story. The thing he was missing with organization and
About A large highway construction company was presenting a massive work change order for a completed project to a contentious client. Challenge Although the company had been preparing for over two years, they were concerned they weren’t getting their point across on this high-dollar work change order. Solution The week of the presentation, we ran through the presentation multiple times to get up to speed. We suggested adding examples and their impact on the team to personalize the large volume of data, which helped the audience relate and put the speaker more at ease. We also removed jargon that wasn’t industry standard and caught a repeatedly used acronym that was only known within the company. Results The more confident speaker that was able to engage and make the uncaring audience care, which added to their chances of obtaining the required approval.
About A seasoned regional presenter that used educational presentations to build awareness and credibility for his firm and share his niche expertise. Challenge He struggled to get to the national level. He was able to resubmit a presentation during a call for presentations after a speaker dropped out, but was told he needed to rework it to make it more logical and easier to follow – it couldn’t fail at this second chance. Solution We discussed the purpose and goals of the presentation to reorder the presentation and strip out unnecessary info that the presenter couldn’t remove because he was “too close to the subject”. Later, we coached him on how to deliver a very interactive presentation including suggesting doing a practice run through with his local chapter of the association, which identified serious errors in his visual aids. Results The revised presentation was accepted at the national conference and the
About A large technology company requests their young, internal project manager to step up and start representing the company by presenting. This was a key career move for the sharp project manager and an opportunity she knew she had to seize. Challenge Although she knew the content, she was not an experienced presenter and generally communicated only internally. She did not know where to start to create a presentation, lacked confidence, and regularly spoke in code (jargon). Solution We lead her through each step of crafting her presentation. Following the correct process and thinking through the topic thoroughly, it gave her the confidence that she knew the material and she could share it easily. Also, because she created the presentation herself, she made it her own, which increased her confidence. During rehearsals, we worked on body movements and appropriate hand gestures as well as removed jargon from her language. Results
About A technology consultant that provides continuing education sessions as a method to position himself as the industry expert and for business development. Challenge The presentation lacked engagement from the captured audiences and the speaker was bored because of the repetition of the topic, which he usually presented over 100 times a year. Solution We worked to streamline his presentation and visual aid. We reorganized the presentation because many of the slides were added over the years and no longer flowed together. Also, we taught the presenter how to rephrase explanations to keep it fresh for him as well as techniques to engage the audience maxing it more fun for him and them. Results His audiences no longer read the newspaper and watch the clock during his presentations. He now has more fun presenting, thus was more engaging, which lead to increased revenue by being the thought leader in technology.
About A business coach that is a seasoned speaker and veteran Toastmaster that was working to get to the next level of being a keynote speaker internationally. Challenge He had three high-profile presentations in one week in a country he’d never been to before. At each of these events, he was the only speaker and the setup with ideal with a riser stage, multiple screens, a reference monitor, but the 3-hour presentation had a 30-minute break halfway through it. Solution We expanded a smaller, 1-hour presentation that he regularly gave and we altered the order of the presentation to introduce the key “aha moment” just before the break to keep the audience engaged during the break. Then the presenter explained that “aha moment” in detail after the break, instead of at the end of the entire session as previously done with the shorter presentation. We also collaborated on a call