Bright is a transport nerd and urbanist – she is motivated to deliver better outcomes for people and places in our urban centres. With appropriate land use policy, urban planning and stakeholder engagement, Bright believes it is possible to create vibrant and connected places that facilitate connection across our communities. Bright has recently joined Transport for NSW as Urban Policy Lead, and previously worked at engineering and design consultancy Aurecon as a Strategic Transport Planner. Bright brings over a decade of experience in the built environment, working across transport and land use planning and policy. She has worked on city-shaping projects in the UK and Australia, including high-speed rail, Movement and Place, and active transport policy.
Here's what Bright said after attending my Persuasive Presentation Skills Masterclass:
What kind of presenting do you do at work?
In my role as a consultant at Aurecon, and now at Transport for NSW, I present frequently. I have presented and moderated panels at industry conferences, I presented regularly to clients on the work that we did, I present internally at Town Halls and team briefings, and actively contribute to or chair regular work meetings. Presenting is truly part and parcel of my work.
What prompted you to study with Michelle?
My father completed Michelle’s training course many years ago. As an executive, he has had the opportunity to attend countless training sessions on presenting but was adamant that Michelle’s was the best and most practical he had ever attended. He still, to this day, uses the techniques he learned from Michelle. He kindly shared some of the materials with me, including the Persuasion Blueprint formula, which I managed to put into practice with zero context.
I reached out to Michelle about attending her course in October 2020, seeking information from her to get a business case across the line for my company to support me in undertaking this training. I managed to get my business case approved and eventually managed to attend her Persuasive Presentation Skills Masterclass in August 2023 – it was everything I hoped it would be.
How did Michelle’s teaching change your attitude to presenting in business?
Despite having used Michelle’s Persuasion Blueprint (the formula for structuring a clear, engaging, persuasive message) in a few presentations before even attending her training, it was extremely beneficial to finally learn directly from her and understand the purpose and approach to each step. It enabled me to understand the techniques and refine my presenting approach aligned to her Persuasion Blueprint.
I was already quite a confident presenter, but attending Michelle’s training changed my attitude to presenting in business as I now see the power of a well-articulated presentation. And interestingly, I am now hyper-aware of when I see presenters whose message falls flat, and equally, when I see presenters who nail it.
In general, what positive outcomes have you achieved from improving your presentation skills?
As part of the business case for getting this course paid for, I tasked myself with giving back to the business by sharing the techniques with others across the business. Within two weeks of taking Michelle’s course, I ran a mini masterclass (90 minutes) for my team where I taught them the Persuasion Blueprint, including the 5 Steps Analysis phase and Storyboarding. My line manager at the time was so enthused by it that he arranged for me to give the mini masterclass to several other teams, including leadership teams and fellow consultants. In the span of 6 weeks, I delivered 4 mini-masterclass sessions, teaching 50+ people across the business Michelle’s incredibly persuasive presentation techniques.
I have recently changed jobs, and already have it in the diary to give my new team the mini masterclass so we can be effective in persuading others to adopt our proposed policy approaches.
In addition, after teaching my team the Persuasion Blueprint, we put it to use immediately undertaking a roadshow across the business to help other teams understand the benefit our team can bring to their projects and clients. We promptly received multiple requests for work once others realised how we could help them – after persuading them that they needed us!
I think Michelle’s training will pay dividends for my career as I progress, ensuring that any presentation I give is well-received and persuades others to take the action I want them to take.
In what specific ways have your presentation skills improved since learning with Michelle?
For me, I have become more confident and really bring my personality to the presentation. Michelle taught me what she calls “advanced” techniques, particularly around the eye contact, which I am itching to practice more and more.
What were your top three take-aways from Michelle’s masterclass?
My three big takeaways from Michelle’s Persuasive Presentation Skills Masterclass were:
– .4MAT is incredibly useful in everyday work in many different contexts aside from formal presentations.
– Stage usage (movement) and gestures to enhance the impact of your message re essential.
– The Persuasion Blueprint is a winning formula for structuring your message and can even be used for shorter presentations.
©2023 MICHELLE BOWDEN is an authority on persuasive presenting in business. She’s run her Persuasive Presentation Skills Masterclass over 980 times for more than 13,000 people over the past 24 years and her name is a synonym for ‘presentation skills’ in Australia. She’s a multi-million-dollar pitch coach to her client list that reads like a who’s who of international business: banking and finance, IT, pharmaceutical, retail, telecommunications plus many more. Michelle is the creator of the Persuasion Smart Profile®, a world-first psychological assessment tool that reports on your persuasive strengths and weaknesses at work, the best-selling internationally published author of How to Present: the ultimate guide to presenting live and online (Wiley) and her new book is called How to Persuade: the skills you need to get what you want (Wiley). Visit www.michellebowden.com.au