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Fiona Gray's Public Speaking Success Story

What is your success story?

Fiona Gray's attendance at a Public Speaking Course delivered by Maria Pantalone resulted in opportunities that she had not believed possible.

Recently, Fiona contacted Maria with an update of her progress since the course. Here, she shares her latest success.

Fiona Gray shares her public speaking success story

I was asked to present at a conference with only an hour's notice. I have recently moved to a new business line so most of the audience of about 80 staff (including a visiting Assistant Commissioner from our agency) did not know me. This was going to create their first impression.

Although I was unfamiliar with the topic I stepped up to the challenge and immediately started my plan, preparation and practice. I read the background material, made dot points in a large easily read font, dug out my collapsible easel to allow the notes to be viewed easily, went to the venue and ran through part of my presentation using the microphone.

You'll be pleased to know that during practice I made sure that I wasn't behind the lectern but I did catch myself standing cross-legged with my arms folded.

Out loud I said, 'Fiona don't stand like that, you are hugging yourself'. The Regional Director asked me what was that all about and I explained about attending your course, the feedback on my presentation style (including that I tend to talk a bit fast) and the strategies I had learnt from you.

She asked if I was going to be ok to present. I said I will be nervous but I can do this and arranged for her to signal me if I was talking too quickly.

Not only did I successfully deliver my presentation, I then facilitated the discussion that it sparked from the floor. In total I was leading the conference for about 15 minutes.

Afterwards several of my new colleagues complimented me on how I handled the short notice presentation. They were surprised to hear that I was nervous, as they couldn't see it.

At one point while someone from the floor was speaking I had a fleeting memory of the first time I was ever asked to deliver training to a group of five and of how reluctant and scared I had been. I smiled as I thought of how far I had come. The few short weeks I spent with you have certainly contributed to my success.

I thought I'd share my story with you and thank you for your course once again.

Fiona kindly granted permission for her story to be published. Thank you, Fiona!

 

What techniques have you used to prepare for a presentation at short notice? Share your experiences with us.

Would you like to gain the confidence to present at short notice? Contact the Infinite Growth office to discuss how you can step up to your next public speaking challenge.

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Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone is the author of Success Talks: Conversations with Everyday Leaders. Maria works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. She provides tailored programs in presentation skills, business writing and effective communication as a leader and team member. Maria’s programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
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