Čtvrtek, 30. 5. 2019, 14:05
3 Tips on Presenting for an Audience Without Fear
Tomáš Motyčka works as a developer at Wunderman. But if you think he just sits quietly behind a computer, you’re wrong. He is an experienced speaker who enjoys presenting in front of people. And his fear of performing is long gone. How did he master the techniques of great presentation?
Tomáš, would tell what exactly you do at Wunderman?
I’ve been at Wunderman for half a year as a .Net Developer in the team of Saša Havlíčka, where we work on creating a website for booking vacations with CK Fischer. We are creating a CMS (template web) over the Kentico platform, which the customer then fills in with data. I love when the work I do makes sense and brings the client visible results.
Wunderman je big marketing agency. What do you like about working here?
I enjoy the positive attitude toward education and, in general, the relationships that people have in the workplace and beyond. So far, I’ve attended five internal seminars within the LMS Academy and I’ve already signed up for the next one. Those who don’t further their education can end up “missing the boat”, to put it colloquially.
You devote yourself to personal development even in your spare time, is that right?
Yes, that’s right. But by that I mean I’m interested in personal development in a wide range of areas – neuroscience, psychology, advanced teaching methods such as memory training, speed reading, etc. Recently, I’ve been working a lot on developing public speaking, presentation and leadership skills.
Let’s concentrate for a moment on those public-speaking skills. Many people have a fear of speaking before an audience or making a public presentation. What is your position?
No one’s ever been born fully educated, and I was no exception. I was an ordinary developer who had technical knowledge, but I lacked emotional intelligence and awareness of presentation skills. The idea that I should be presenting something frightened me and I would say to myself: „Well, my colleague can just do it!“ Until one day, when starting my employment, I somehow got caught up in the opening party of the emerging speaking club, Toastmasters. And I said to myself, „What do I have to lose?“ And I joined the club.
Could you describe this for us in more detail?
Toastmasters is an international nonprofit organization operating in 143 countries. It has its own clubs where people regularly meet and systematically work to improve presentation skills and how not to be afraid to speak, how to improve your style of expression, etc. I liked that it wasn’t a „one-off training“, but that we regularly meet and work on how to present better. I’ve given over thirty prepared speeches, moderated Toastmasters meetings, fashion shows and other events.
You’ve now decided to share some tips and tricks with your colleagues at Wunderman, am I correct?
Our HR department works hard to create new educational events, workshops and even internal academies. My HR colleague Markéta Velcová and I were talking about how other colleagues often turn to them seeking to improve their presentation skills. And that’s my area of expertise. One thing led to another, and things just clicked into place.
For our Wundercolleagues, we are now preparing the first demonstration of a meeting, and I heartily invite everyone to come. It will be held at Wunderman at the beginning of June and is intended for all Wundercolleagues. If the concept proves popular, who knows – maybe another club will be formed.
And now for some practical information. Would you have some basic tips for us, that we all should keep in mind when giving presentations?
- Determine a goal you want to communicate. If you know the key takeaway for the listener, it will be easier for you to create the structure of the presentation itself.
- Who is your audience? For example, there is a diametric difference between describing your job to your grandmother and to a recruiter. In other words, use a language that the listener understands. It will also help you respond more quickly to audiences. Leave dazzling with your technical knowledge for a professional conference.
- The show must go on! Assume that you will make a mistake, or say something you did not intend to. Things will never go as planned. Simply keep on, saying the first thing that comes into your mind, if you get stuck, for example. The audience does not know what it is you want to say, and if you don’t point out your own mistake, in most cases they will not even notice it.
And if you were to give us just one simple tip, what would you recommend?
The better the preparation, the less nervousness you will suffer and the better the impression you will make. In other words: “Train hard, fight easy.”
Interviewer: Jana Brišová