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Nikki Richardson and her partners provide customized communications training and strategic public relations counsel to businesses, organizations and agencies worldwide.

Presentation Skills

A Workshop to Help Businesspeople
Organize and Deliver Persuasive Interactive Presentations

How We Conduct Your Presentation Skills Workshop

"According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy."

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld draws a nodding laugh from his audience when he uses that joke in his standup act, but to the salesperson trying to close an order, the manager trying to get his or her budget approved, or the senior executive seeking board support for a project, poor presentation skills are no laughing matter.

The presentation skills workshop is designed to demystify the elements of effective presentation. Training can take the form of one-on-one counseling or small interactive groups of managers or executives of like level. The program helps participants build on their current speaking strengths and work on areas of weakness through preparation, technique and practice.

We take great pains to customize every workshop to build on the skills and meet the specific needs of the participants -- indeed, we have never conducted two workshops exactly alike, even though we have trained more than 3,500 people.

This is how we conduct your workshop.


The workshop helps participants to:

1. Organize and structure persuasive presentations

2. Master flexible delivery skills necessary for interactive presentations

3. Control the speaking environment.

Critical Success Factors

Experience has taught us that these are the critical success factors for effective coaching:

1. Participants must be willing to prepare. Preparation includes bringing a previously delivered or new presentation to work with in the workshop.

2. Coaching sessions must take place in a proper setting:

    a. A conference room of sufficient size

    b. Video recording and playback equipment (we supply them)

    c. Isolation from interruptions and distractions


Working directly with you by telephone and e-mail, we gather: Relevant background on the participants, especially on personal style and speaking experience; and a definition of the key communications challenges to be addressed.

Needs Assessment

At the beginning of the workshop, we ask the participants to describe their presentation experience, and to provide a personal assessment of strengths and weaknesses and specific personal goals for the coaching session. In addition, we ask the participants to express any top-of-mind questions or concerns they may have about presentations.

Even though we have most of this information already, we want the participants to state it out loud and to "own it."

We don't rush this process because it opens the participants' mind and prepares them to learn.

Presentation Organization

Working with the participants, we evaluate scripting options to help them choose one that best fits their personal styles, provides the highest level of comfort, and takes the best advantage of presentation organization and persuasion techniques. We then ask participants to use this information to rescript portions of their presentations for delivery.

Practice Sessions

Following the re-scripting, we discuss techniques that lend power to effective presentations.

Those principles include: developing appropriate messages and objectives, adapting presentations to the environment and audience, connecting with the audience, using audio/visual aids, maximizing voice and body language, preparing for Q&As and defusing adversary confrontations.

We then conduct a number of realistic rehearsals of portions of the presentations. We videotape and play back every take. After each run through, we comment on strengths and weaknesses, and restate the principles involved.

Each participant leaves with a personal videotape that chronicles his or her progress during the workshop. These videotapes are essential for the participant's later self-analysis and practice.

Session Wrap-Up

At the end of the coaching session, we summarize our key advice. In addition, we carefully answer any questions still in the mind of the participant, or expand answers already given.


After the workshop, we send a follow-up report of recommendations for future presentations. In addition, we offer one-on-one consulting and advice by telephone, free of charge, for twelve months following the workshop.

Phone 978.256.1651-- Fax 978.256.0751