“It was a two-day course taken by Andy Webber. He was fantastic. He is one of the best trainers I have ever had, by far. He is really knowledgeable while, at the same time, being down to earth. He kept pushing us but also gave fantastic feedback.
“There were only five of us, and we came from the risk management and aerospace sectors. We were quite varied in terms of our skills but the way the course was planned it didn’t matter. Andy created a safe space to take us out of our comfort zones, push us on our issues and then bring us back so we didn’t feel alienated.
“The very first task was a two- to three-minute presentation on anything we wanted. We had ten minutes to prepare it. It was fantastic because you could choose an area on which you knew everything. I did mine on Ultimate Frisbee. It was a really good way of highlighting what people naturally did well and where they weren’t as strong.
“We spent the two days going over a whole range of topics – too many for me to remember off the top of the head! There were really good presentation techniques and advice on soft skills – projecting your voice, making eye contact, body language, keeping an audience’s attention, what to do with your hands, how to get rid of nervous energy in a positive way and so on.
“We also looked at how to build an effective deck in PowerPoint. There were some great pointers on how to lead your audience from one slide to the next, using transitions and what to do to keep your audience’s concentration. One great tip was to press “B” during a presentation. It turns the screen black and means your audience turns their attention to you, rather than looking at the screen.
“The final exercise on the second day was a 15-minute presentation on a topic of our choice. We had been told about this before the course and asked to choose a topic beforehand. Throughout the two days, the trainer would remind us, ‘Consider what we’ve just covered and now try to apply it to your presentation.’
“Everyone did their 15-minute presentation, and it was recorded so we could all go back and look at ourselves. You could see how much everyone had improved from their short presentations on the first day to the longer presentations at the end of the second day. It was such a supportive atmosphere and that last exercise tied everything up nicely.
“The whole course was phenomenal.”