ALLIANCE individual member Sue Lavery shares her experience of our most recent event on presenting, pitching and engaging others - 'Kissing

“I’d been looking forward to the ALLIANCE event ‘Presenting, Pitching and Engaging Others’ but when I saw that the Agenda was ‘Kissing With Confidence’ I thought at first that I’d somehow signed up for the wrong event or that the Alliance had atypically used predictive text – it was simultaneously intriguing and mystifying.

Having attended the event, I now believe that the title possibly originates from the album of Will Powers (Lynn Goldsmith’s stage name) and Carly Simon’s 1983 album ‘Dancing for Mental Health’. Who would have thought that all these years after I danced the night away at disco’s aka ‘clubbing’, I’d be attending a very inspirational event about presenting.

Richard Norris was our trainer for the morning and he immediately engaged us by telling us about his some of his fascinating life story – when he said that he had been a vet helping a snow leopard I was immediately connected to his story. In doing so, he was without our realising it, showing us the importance of making an emotional connection to convey a message personal to members of the group.

Richard highlighted that his preferred option of ‘screen’ was a flipchart which the group created as the morning progressed. Richard guided us through the principles of presenting through a variety of techniques such as inviting members of the group to talk about themselves for one minute.

Richard spoke about the ”Art of Delivery” and the importance of good eye contact and smiling/laughing in order to make the talk a positive experience for group members as laughter releases endorphins.

A couple of the most striking aspects that stood out for me were his suggestions that we talk people’s language by the use of analogies and metaphors and the use of visual imagery – i.e. by asking us to imagine that we were in a kitchen in our past – we could almost smell the food…! Richard then gave each table a note of products to ‘sell’ and personally, I think that we “sold” the merits of a chocolate fireguard so successfully that we’re going to patent it!

Richard highlighted the importance of the partnership of energy, confidence, spontanaeity through preparation and “knowing your stuff” – i.e. knowledge, creativity and belief when presenting. Richard also highlighted the importance of reinforcing your key message three times during our presentations.

To summarise, Richard Norris engendered a great deal of knowledge, so sincere thanks to him and the ALLIANCE for a very enjoyable, enlightening and thought provoking morning. We were also sent a link to further invaluable information, which highlighted that it’s not just what we say, but the way we say it!

As always, it was so lovely to meet up with old friends and new people to ‘network’.”

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