Presentation Skills Case Study
NCH Corporation is a global leader in industrial, commercial and institutional maintenance products and services; its European division has a presence in 25 countries and a network of over 2,000 sales staff. This geographically diverse workforce comes together for an annual conference; historical feedback from these events identified the speakers’ presentation skills as an area for development.
Catriona Whitford, NCH Europe’s VP of Human Resources, attended a webinar run by Alyson Pellowe, Managing Consultant of People Vision (PV), and on the basis of this she approached PV to design and deliver a bespoke Presentation Skills course. Alyson engaged People Vision associate Jill Downing to develop and run the session; Jill has been a learning and development consultant for over a decade and specialises in leading presentation skills training for group events and 1-2-1 coaching sessions.
Although many of the delegates were scheduled to speak at the next annual conference, some were also required to present in a variety of different contexts, including product launches, internal briefing sessions and sales pitches to clients.
Jill therefore needed to design a course which was personalised to the needs of each individual, developing their skills and exploring how they might adapt their approach to suit both formal and informal settings, and to engage with audiences of different sizes.
Jill first liaised with Catriona Whitford to explore the business needs and context, and then designed a two-day Presentation Skills course which she ran twice with cohorts of up to 12 managers.
The course was highly practical, with each delegate having an opportunity to make an initial presentation on day 1, followed up with detailed individual feedback, and a second presentation on day 2 to put the feedback into practice.
All the presentations were videoed, to give the delegates a better understanding of the way they came across and a permanent record to support their development.
Between the presentations, Jill ran sessions covering:
What makes a good presenter (focusing on generating credibility, using visual aids, vocal techniques and stagecraft)
How to select and organise your material.
How to use PowerPoint and create effective slides.
How to promote audience engagement.
How to handle Q&A sessions and deal with challenges from the audience.
How to manage nerves.
How to prepare your voice before presenting.
The course evaluation forms and anecdotal feedback from the delegates praised the relevance of the material and the participative nature of the events.
“A great two days: lots of great take-aways to put into practice, some great new ideas and some fun along the way.”
Lynne Ratcliffe, Technical Applications Director, NCH Europe
“I had a first chance to put in practice last Friday some of the tips for a product’s launch and they have worked so well”
Marco Oleoni, Marketing Manager Waste Water & Biologicals, NCH Europe
Based on this feedback, People Vision HR have been asked to deliver two further events:
A 1-2-1 coaching session, focusing on Presentation Skills, with a senior manager who had been unable to attend the group programme.
An additional session for the Senior Leadership Team, specifically to prepare them for speaking at the next annual conference.