20 Oct Success Story – Kat Wallace

Kat Wallace is the Practice Coordinator at Lifeline Adelaide which keeps her super busy overseeing the phone room for the 13 11 14 Crisis Support service and Lifeline Online Crisis Chat service. Kat loves being a part of a service that makes lasting differences in people’s lives. She also really enjoys supporting and working closely with lots of amazing staff and volunteers.

What kind of presenting do you do at work? 

Part of my role is delivering LivingWorks Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and LivingWorks safeTALK training. I also deliver Lifeline’s Domestic and Family Violence Awareness training for frontline workers and an involved in writing Professional Development sessions for our staff and volunteers to keep them current and on track on the various social issues and best practice for their role as Crisis Supporters.

What prompted you to study with Michelle?

I’m often training on lots of different sensitive topics to such a range of participants so I really wanted to make sure my message was hitting the right spot for people. This has been something I have been really wanting to work on for a while and I had heard from others how fantastic Michelle’s training was for reaching such a goal.

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

I was finding that I was doubting myself at times as a trainer. I was very unsure about how to run all the different sections in my training brilliantly. And when I felt lost in delivering certain sections of training that I felt uncomfortable or unclear about, I just didn’t know how to get passionate and connect better with my audience.

I learned from Michelle that in order to build strong rapport with the delegates in my training, and convince them that I am a subject matter expert I needed to not take myself too seriously. Instead of feeling so much stress and letting myself do some pretty damaging negative self-talk at times, I had to think more about what my audience needed to hear from me. It;s all about them, not about me at all!

I discovered that even the changes I could make to my stance: shoulders back, feet apart, hands by my side (no fig leaves) helped my confidence start to grow and now I have become much more genuine in what I am delivering. This adjustment has made so much difference – not just for me, also in the awesome feedback I’ve received from participants – CLICK those whites of the eyes!

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

It’s been a dream of mine since working at Lifeline Adelaide to deliver the Crisis Supporter Workplace Training to our new volunteer students. I was asked to deliver CSWT for the last intake and I loved every minute of it. Had I not been through Michelle’s training and already implemented some of the skills Michelle taught me, I think I would have struggled heaps. In actual fact, my confidence got me through. I kept my delivery popping and entertaining, and I kept the students engaged and wanting to learn more. And the proof that I now have the ability to deliver the message effectively has been evident in their assessments and ongoing practice.

In what specific ways have your presentation skills improved since learning with Michelle?  

I have written PD sessions for staff and volunteers in the past and have always tried to make them engaging and fun. Writing PD sessions guided by Michelle’s 13 steps really helped keep me on track – knowing the message, knowing my lead statements, knowing how to utilise creativity, and knowing exactly what the participants were going to take away from my session. I love that instead of feeling worried about delivering, I am looking forward to it and love every second. Being in control of my space, my visual cues, the activities and my simple yet relevant power point slides helps me to be strong, connected and compelling.

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

  1. Know your material, and practice! This is the sure fire way to being an effective trainer.
  2. Know your space – your physical space. I have even found Michelle’s techniques around this helpful in my personal life. Going out and meeting people is stressful enough without having to worry about what my hands are doing! I would like to thank my hands now for always being by my side unless they are reinforcing something I’m saying!
  3. Stay current – being part of Michelle’s Facebook group has BFO’s popping up all the time, ensuring I am always thinking and staying present in my continuous learning and improvement.

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