Success Story – Jacyl Shaw

Jacyl is the Director for an ambitious strategy to create an innovation district on the former Royal Women’s Hospital site in Carlton where talented people from business, government and universities can have high impact interactions.

What did Jacyl say after attending Michelle’s Persuasive Presentation Skills Masterclass?

“Michelle your 13 Steps are so sound and wonderful. I had to give a paper at an international conference in Dublin and I re-read your book, did the analysis, the 4MAT and even scripted out how I would deal with the Q&A. The presentation went as planned: icebreaker, pace, pace, pace, lead… etc. It was a great success!  I had the President of the USA-based organisation ask me to present at a conference in the US next year.  You are a little gem. Thank you again.”

What kind of presenting do you do at work?

In my current role to develop a suite of programs and activities to foster a culture of innovation at Carlton Connect and engage current and prospective partners, I present regularly to diverse organisations in community, government and industry. These include workshops, boardroom pitches, committees, conferences and subtly presenting ‘the vision’ over coffee in a café.

What prompted you to attend Michelle’s Persuasive Presentation Skills masterclass?

I was fortunate to win a staff prize at the University for my engagement work, which offered a professional development experience as part of the award. I love my role and the opportunities it provides me to engage with a broad range of people and I felt I could improve the way I tailored my communication to my diverse audiences. A colleague recommended Michelle’s workshop and so I took up the challenge with 7 strangers! It was one of the most practical, valuable and enjoyable 2-day workshops I have undertaken and have recommended to many others since.

How did Michelle’s program change your attitude to presenting in business?

Michelle’s masterclass, although developed in a fun, non-frightening way, was actually quite scientific and rigorous in its 13 step-by-step systematic process and explanations. It was not only about “how” to present in public, it also explains the ‘whys’: “why” does my heart race?, “why” is my mouth dry and palms sweaty?, “why” would the audience take time to listen?, “why” am I standing up in front of a room of strangers? These fresh perspectives changed my attitude to presenting so that it wasn’t just a task that had to be done, rather it is an opportunity to give something of value to people who had given their time to stop and listen to something I had to say. It put me directly in the shoes of the listener and I am grateful now for each opportunity I am given to present.

In general, what positive outcomes have you achieved from improving your presentation skills?

I believe many positive things have come from me completing Michelle’s Masterclass. I often receive good feedback on my presentations, both from presentation organisers and audience members. Often these testimonials become new speaking opportunities. I now regularly ask to deliver the ‘vote of thanks’ at events! I also apply what I have learnt when I ‘pitch’ ideas and opportunities through emails and I find I receive good feedback and responses from this style. Last year I gave presentations in Bangkok, Barcelona, Borneo and Prague, and each time I religiously applied the 13 Michelle Steps and all with positive outcomes!

In what specific ways have your presentation skills improved since completing Michelle’s training?

I am now more conscious of how audiences receive and digest information in diverse ways. I am a visual learner but now I try and ensure my presentations include cues and language that assists those that prefer other learning styles.

Further, since the masterclass I never put page numbers on my powerpoint slides and now I develop them with only a few words, more visuals and think of them as an aid and not ‘the’ presentation. I even blank the slide when it’s not needed!

What were your top three take aways from Michelle’s program?

  1. What do I want my audience to Think/Feel/Do when I’m finished?
  2. Pace out those objections so you deal effectively with any type of conflict in your audience.
  3. It’s not about you, it’s about the audience.
  4. And, ‘Breathe, Smile & Enjoy!”

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