Ingenious Women November Training Sessions – Day 2

The second day started off with a bit of a regroup and a reminder about Second Life. Now this is something I intend to try for this project but I am a bit skeptical about it. I like The Sims so I can see the enjoyment aspect and I can also see the business benefits of people all over the globe able to meet in various situations such as the conference rooms. But I think there is a lot of scope for it to go wrong that could let down the whole idea if it’s not done well. I’ll see when I’ve had a go!

The day then really got started with a fun workshop that got us all talking from our diaphragms, throwing claps around a room and breathing from our toes!! It was all aimed at small exercises that help to prepare us for presentations but actually I think will prove to be very useful in everyday life.

Throwing claps around the room helped us to focus, to learn to use the whole room and use energy to direct our message. We held simple conversations to someone who was having another conversation to enable us to block out other distractions and get our message across. We did relaxation techniques to focus the mind, relax and calm nerves. We practiced breathing and talking from our diaphragms, although I’m not sure I actually managed to do that!

We put all this into practice by doing a 2 minute presentation on something that really excited us. I bet you can’t guess what my topic was….

…no not Kimi Raikkonen but Take That reforming! haha! I got really into it at one point doing the ‘talk to the hand cos the face ain’t listening’ hand gesture about Gary Barlow and Take That as a four piece! (*oh dear*). Unfortunately for me we were filmed so we could watch it back and see exactly what we were doing, both right and wrong! That was an experience that takes a bit of getting used to…I don’t really even look in a mirror on a morning let alone watch myself talk for a couple of minutes! Anyway it proved really interesting and invaluable as it meant we could get feedback from the group and see exactly what they saw, rather than thinking how it went from my perspective.

After getting the feedback it was then time to do another 2 minute presentation, this time on a work related subject. I tried to take on board what we had done the day before and introduce myself and my job in an exciting (but truthful!) way. Watching it back I don’t half talk quickly when I’m trying to portray enthusiasm! I think that’s something I do naturally when excited as I get a lot of blank looks off some of my work colleagues when I’m rambling on about minis or Kimi or Take That, so I need to take a few breaths and slow down.

Presenting wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, mainly because we’d spent the two days talking in front of each other, and it seemed almost natural by this point. Perhaps for the future to feel comfortable stood in front of people, all it will take is practise practise practise!

 

The most surprising thing I learnt from day 1 was that in interviews you are not there to answer questions but to get your point across. From day 2 I think it was that you don’t need to be serious in presentations as enthusiasm does not mean that you are unprofessional.

Personally I found the second day the most useful. I can already see how I can use the things we were taught in the workshop and the feedback gained from the experts. Indeed I’ve already used the relaxation technique when being shouted at by a very rude man!

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2 thoughts on “Ingenious Women November Training Sessions – Day 2

  1. Hi Kayleigh,
    I am glad that you had a good two days and sad that I was unable to join you all up in York.
    You will find that the more you practice the more you edge towards perfection in your presentation, though with the ever changing world we live in we never achieve perfection. And don’t forget, nerves are good.
    Did they mention the “elevator pitch”? This is a really good way to think about how to sell what you do in the time that you would ride in the lift with a potential customer.
    I think you will enjoy Second Life even though there is the opportunity for things to go wrong, with Nature Network looking the session we are in safe hands. I hope to join the session on Wednesday.
    It is only natural that we are enthusiastic about the things we enjoy and we do speak fast when we want to impart that enthusiasm across. I was guilty of the same and a tip I was given was to speak at what feels like a snail’s pace! It feels really slow but when it is played back you realise that you are speaking at a fairly normal pace.
    What you need to do now is to offer to go to a conference for your company. Whilst this is a scary thought you will learn a lot about yourself and your style. I did many presentations internally and to customers and was asked if I wanted to do a presentation at a conference, I said no. My boss was really disappointed until I said that I would. Getting out of my comfort zone was one of the best things I ever did. If you can present to 250 people you can present to any number!

    Erica

  2. Hi Erica,

    No they didn’t mention the “elevator pitch” but that sounds like a good idea!

    Unfortunately I missed the Second Life meetings although I have signed up and had a play. My computer / internet connection seemed to be struggling a bit so I will try again another day.

    Well done you presenting to 250 people! Unfortunately getting to a conference for my company isn’t likely to be possible but I will keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities.

    Thanks for your comments.
    Kayleigh

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