Workshops in het Engels
- geplaatst door Anne Spies in
Refreshing, Confrontational, and Inspirational
Workshop Presenting & Pitching with Marije Alma
On a dreary Wednesday morning Marije Alma, media coach with Spies&Spreken, is welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd of hairdressers in the beautiful theatre at Keune Haircosmetics HQ, Soest. As she climbs unto the stage and addresses her audience she immediately illustrates how not to begin a presentation by complaining about the lights. Marije points out that a proper preparation is essential for the effectiveness of a speech or pitch. Not only is it important to prepare what you want to say, but also to adjust lights, microphone stands, and props that might otherwise divert attention away from the message you came to share. As soon as you open your mouth and utter your first words, everything else should be in their proper place.
Connect with your Audience
As soon as the lights have been adjusted accordingly, Marije presents the first exercise; the introductory pitch round in which every participant introduces themselves to their fellows. Since the content of the pitch is restricted to simple personal facts such as name and function within the company, Marije can focus entirely on performance. The first challenge she addresses is connecting with your audience. In order to gain the audience’s attention speakers must address its members personally. Marije’s advice is to actively look for eye contact, take time to really look individuals in the eyes and make sure to neglect no one.
Pause, Pause, Pause
One challenge Marije spends much time practicing with the Keune hairdressers is tactical pausing. Dropping silences during a speech or pitch takes guts, but when employed tactically it greatly benefits the reception of any message. Well placed pauses give audiences the time to process the speaker’s words. Pauses are effective tools to highlight important words and phrases in a pitch. Short sentences divided by pauses make the message stick better. A pause helps to build in a moment to breath and consider what to say next. Pauses, in short, are powerful communicative tools. When the participants have been able to thoroughly practice pausing, they are ready for their next challenge: pitching Keune products.
The final exercise is all about speaking with conviction. Marije brings together every challenge discussed during the previous presentation rounds; preparation, body posture, eye contact, and pauses. Brief sentences with topic words highlighted by tactical pauses prove most effective in a pitch becoming persuasive and memorable. At the end of the day, the workshop, at least, leaves a memorable impression on the participants of the workshop. Marije is enthusiastic, sharp, and engaging in her approach. No detail escapes her scrutinizing gaze and she gives ample room to practice until all feedback has successfully been integrated. Her sensitivity to individual needs and challenges of participants makes her respond with fitting advice and exercises. Although time is limited, participants feel the workshop is confrontational, very useful, inspirational and, above all, important for anyone who needs to present and pitch professionally.