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Beyond the expected

Calling all professional women: speaking is a business skill you can master

By Catherine McGrath 16 July 2018 0
Graduates of the #WomenSpeaking program run by Catherine McGrath Media. Photo: Supplied

Graduates of the #WomenSpeaking program run by Catherine McGrath Media. Photo: Supplied

Meet these amazing #WomenSpeaking graduates who decided 2018 was the year they would develop or improve their professional speaking skills.

Many of them were great speakers already, others wanted to learn the basics or build confidence. All of them made great steps by taking time out for training. Their employers did a fabulous thing in supporting them.

In most professional jobs we need to present our work, research or ideas to a group. In Canberra, this is particularly the case.

Public servants are often presenting projects internally and externally to stakeholders and departmental executives. Business and professional staff in the private sector are often trying to engage communities or customers. Think of the vibrant Canberra startup community and its need to regularly pitch for support, funding and interest. Sometimes the pitches are great, other times, not so.

In your work do you have to speak to a group? Is it to a big group at a conference? A strategically important group at a stakeholder engagement or sales event? Is it to organisational leaders at a board meeting or industry/sector peers at a professional gathering? Do you feel prepared and confident to speak? Would you like more support and training?

We spend a lot of time and energy these days on corporate and leadership training but very little on specific speaking training.

So sometimes, sadly, our presentations sink!

Sometimes when we give a presentation we feel anxious or unprepared and so it doesn’t go as well as it could.

Speaking is a key business skill. Successful speaking can boost our projects, our ideas and our businesses. A great presentation motivates the audience to action. By engaging our audience our business and projects can gather support and customers.

Presentation skills are as important as running our budgets, our teams and our marketing strategy. It is crucial to professional success.

As I have moved into the business world of communications training and event hosting/keynote speaking (after decades in broadcast journalism) I have been shocked to discover how little training is available to people who regularly present at conferences. Specialised training for women is virtually non-existent.

Organisations routinely spend huge amounts of money on annual events yet don’t think of preparing their speakers so that their presentations are effective. They don’t measure what impact the presentations have had.

This has led me to offer specific business and communications training for conferences and events for professionals in Canberra. I have also launched the #WomenSpeaking program. I believe professional women need particular support and training in this area.

If you speak at conferences I can help make your presentations great. I urge you to tell your employers and organisations about this training and ask them to send you.

Training team led by Canberra women Lexi Sekuless, Suzanne Mostyn, Catherine McGrath & Merry Kirkwood.

Training team led by Canberra women Lexi Sekuless, Suzanne Mostyn, Catherine McGrath & Merry Kirkwood.

Book here for our upcoming #WomenSpeaking 1-day workshops and help make your speaking great or contact our office on (02 6109 0333) to inquire about professional business speaking training for your team.

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