The Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE) is preparing its members to step up to the podium – to put themselves forward for speaking engagements instead of shying away from them – with its latest Boardroom Ready seminar on Presentation Skills.
The seminar was packed full of insights, tips, techniques and real-life stories to help boost women’s confidence when presenting.
Expert trainer Trisha Proud delivered some excellent tips on opening and structuring a presentation, and offered some thought-provoking ideas on who delegates believed to be good presenters and why – so they could challenge their own mindset when it comes to presenting.
Debbee Dale, director of Debbee Dale Development, explained how to use body language, tone of voice and language in a positive way to leave a lasting impression on the audience. She gave delegates her top tips for preparing, structuring and delivering a presentation – plus a personal action plan to assess their individual skills and techniques and put them into practice.
Professional singer and actress Laura Armstrong gave delegates vocal and breathing exercises to help project the voice, use range, pitch and tone – and, importantly, to take away some of the vocal wobbles that can reveal nerves.
Lorraine Barnes Burton, chief executive of the British Travel Awards, gave an honest and open insight into her journey in the past few years when it comes to presenting; how she prepares for big speeches. Here are Lorraine’s top tips:
Research your content.
Practise your speech: video yourself and be constructively critical.
Be natural, but don’t try too hard, because that’s not natural.
Smile, pause and breathe.
Make sure you have a glass of water.
Don’t assume anyone else on the podium is more confident than you – they’re not.
Accept every invitation to speak in a roundtable forum situation – it helps you to understand and embrace your specialist areas, and women are naturally great in conversational speaking environments.
Believe in yourself – we are usually our own harshest critics.
The AWTE offered all delegates the opportunity to deliver a presentation to the board, if they need an audience to practise with.
It is also holding an evening session for delegates to prepare a short presentation and deliver to an audience, on camera – with a critique on how they can improve on their delivery. Date and further details to be announced soon.
AWTE chair Karen Ramirez said: “Women to the Podium is one of our core areas of focus this year. The AWTE has a wealth of experienced women among its membership whose expertise would be welcomed on the conference stage. Our programme of seminars helps develop women’s confidence and skills to stride up to those places on the podium.”