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Presentation Skills

Our courses are delivered either online or face to face.

Public speaking and presenting can seem like a nightmare to some. Others view the challenge as fun and get a kick out of the whole event.

From handling nerves, to voice and body language, to staging and advanced storytelling techniques we help you to create great presentations and deliver them in style.

In addition to those below, further options for online courses are now available. Click here for further information.

Explore our courses:

Presentation Skills Training Course

On our Presentation Skills course we show you how to keep your audience awake, engaged, and informed. We offer different levels of Presentation Skills training to suit the level of experience of the presenters.

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Presenting for Technical Specialists

On our Presenting for Technical Specialists course we bring together our unique combination of performance and technical experience to show you how to convey a complex message in an engaging way. Our courses are tailored to the level of experience of each individual so you can be sure to take something useful from the day.

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Train the Trainer

We're often asked how we do what we do - keeping people engaged and learning for days at a time with high energy and great fun. So we've decided to share the best of our tips and techniques in this introductory one day course for trainers and facilitators.

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Public Speaking

Public Speaking can be a nerve wracking business. We show you how to handle those public speaking fears and explore the art of storytelling to give you the edge when it comes to making a speech that is unique, engaging, and memorable. And all in your own personal style.

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Further Thoughts about Presentation Skills and Nerves

Handling Nerves

Pitching and presenting can be a nerve-wracking business. One of the common issues people want to address in our Presentation Skills Courses is how to handle nerves.

The very best and most dynamic leaders in industry, performers, even rock stars admit to suffering from nerves when they are in the spotlight.

And it’s not surprising you’re nervous – you’re in a heightened situation where you’re asking people to focus entirely on what you’re saying or doing.

How will you be judged by your audience, team, boss, or organization?

The stakes can be high, but if you accept that you’re going to feel nervous, how do you handle that energy and perform as you’d like, in a way that will do you justice?

Whatever the reason, the good news is that there are many different practical ways to handle your nerves and come up smiling.

In our courses we take a step back to look at what actually happens when the nervous gremlins start to take hold and provide some practical tools and techniques for controlling the adrenaline to work in your favour.

All you need to add is the courage to put it into practice.

At one time or another everyone has butterflies – what the professionals do is get them to fly in formation.

Take a look at these quotes from just a few of the people that know.

I get so nervous on stage I can’t help but talk. I try. I try telling my brain: stop sending words to the mouth. But I get nervous and turn into my grandma. Behind the eyes it’s pure fear. I find it difficult to believe I’m going to be able to deliver. – Adele


I always feel pressure. If you don’t feel nervous, that means you don’t care about how you play. I care about how I perform. I’ve always said the day I’m not nervous playing is the day I quit. – Tiger Woods


Nobody gets a nervous breakdown or a heart attack from selling kerosene to gentle country folk from the back of a tanker in Somerset. – Roald Dahl

What is very apparent from these quotes and from many others is that feeling nervous is not only very normal but seems to be a prerequisite for high performance. The last quote from Roald Dahl sums it up. We don’t get nervous if we aren’t putting ourselves on the line in the first place – but then, if we don’t put ourselves on the line we don’t get the payoff.


Know your stuff

Of course, when it comes down to it, you can be the most confident person in the world but if you don’t know your stuff you will soon be found out. There is nothing more nerve wracking than having to bluff your way through a minefield of unprepared material, dreading the question that will leave you completely stumped for an answer.

So make sure you are as prepared as you can possibly be.

Put yourself in the shoes of the audience and consider what they will be expecting. Then try and create your presentation or training to address their needs.

When it comes to preparation, it’s not just about preparing what you are going to say. Due to time constraints and the pressure we all work under it is often the case that the value of practice is forgotten.

Practice, practice, practice and then do it some more. In front of anyone benign who will give you supportive feedback. Beware people who are overly critical at this early stage – they can do more harm than good and may simply rattle your confidence in a good idea before it has a chance to grow.

The more you are familiar with your subject and are used to presenting it out loud, the easier it wll become to perform well when it matters. All performers understand how crucial the rehearsal period is. An actor would be horrified to be asked to turn up and perform in front of an audience with no preparation. Similarly a writer would be loathe to offer his or her first draft for public scrutiny.

Marlon Brando described how he landed his unforgettable role in The Godfather (1972) :

I went home and did some rehearsing to satisfy my curiosity about whether I could play an Italian. I put on some makeup, stuffed Kleenex in my cheeks and worked out the characterization first in front of a mirror, then on a television monitor. After working on it, I decided I could create a characterization that would support the story. The people at Paramount saw the footage and liked it, and that`s how I became the Godfather.

Whether it’s a presentation around a meeting table, in a vast auditorium, or at a wedding, the spade work you do on researching your subject and practicing the delivery of it will pay dividends.


Hosting the party

If you’re hosting a dinner party what kind of things do you do to take care of your friends and make them welcome?

When you open the door to them do you leave them standing there at a loose end or or do you welcome them in, take their coat perhaps, introduce them to others, maybe offer them a drink etc?

The best hosts are those who focus on their guests.

The brain doesn’t respond very well to being told what not to do (as anyone who has ever been on a diet or given up smoking will know) so rather than focusing on stopping the nervous feelings it’s a good idea to give your brain something positive to do.

In fact, if you can focus on the job in hand your brain is likely to be far too busy to be fretting and worrying.

So when you’re making a presentation or delivering a training, why not think of yourself as the host and the audience as your guests.

You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time. – Pat Schroeder


How do you talk to yourself?

Many people have a highly critical inner voice. On our presentation skills courses, time after time we hear people tell us that when they feel under pressure whilst making a presentation they become so aware of the negative voice monitoring everything they say and do that it becomes quite difficult to go on. They become extremely self-conscious and suddenly don’t know what to do with their hands. They may blush and stammer as they battle to maintain their equilibrium. Their attention grows more and more internally focused as the voice continues to berate them for their faults.

Clearly it’s time to consciously choose to listen to a more supportive voice. If you can allow yourself to be self supporting you can start to focus your attention externally on the people that matter. Your audience. This, in itself will start to give you more of a sense of control.

How do you talk to yourself when you make a presentation?

Is the voice in your head supporting you or is it critical?

Think about what you might say to a good friend if they were in your position. Whereas we try to support people we care about we often don’t give ourselves that same respect and end up with an extremely harsh verdict on the way we perform. If that goes on while you are making a presentation it can be devastating.

Time to shrink the gremlin and give yourself a break. Try to cultivate a positive attitude and watch your confidence grow.


Know your Strengths

Sports psychologists work hard on helping top players maintain a positive attitude because they know it’s a crucial factor in high performance.

It’s important to know your strengths and forgive yourself for being less than perfect – no one is. Some people just learn to recover from their mistakes brilliantly.

Here are some tips from the sporting world.


Allow a few minutes to visualise success. During this time you mentally rehearse, showing yourself doing everything right.

Breathe deeply, close your eyes and use mental imagery to visualise yourself performing well.

This positive self-talk can change your attitude.


Whether you have just played the best shot in the world or the worst one. Don’t look back.

Stay in the moment and focus on playing the next shot as well as you can


Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.


Prepare both mentally and physically.

Arrive at the event with plenty of time so you aren’t rushed, which only increases your stress.

Get a thorough warm-up. Do some easy stretching. Know the course.

Dress for conditions.


Recognize that pre-race jitters are normal.

Accept, rather than fight, the nervous energy you feel.

The adrenaline rush you feel is normal and it is part of your body’s natural preparation for the competition.

Notice it, but don’t focus on it.

Once the race starts, it will help you win!


Just smile.


If you are struggling with negative thoughts and can’t break out of the cycle, simply force yourself to smile, even if only for a few seconds.

This simple action can change your attitude in a split second.

It may be all the time you need to relax back into your performance.

TED Talks

For some great ideas that complement our presentation skills training courses take a look at TED Talks where you’ll find a whole range of different influencing and presenting styles plus some fascinating information! See our blog for tips for presentation skills.