Mercer found that their people were increasingly making presentations over video call to international clients and to other stakeholders in their overseas offices. Fiona MacLeod, the Operations Leader for Talent and Inclusion, realised that they needed training that would address presenting to live and online audiences.
Presenting over webcam throws up a number of challenges that face-to-face presentations don’t have. Making real eye contact is impossible. Going straight to slides – a standard way of presenting remotely - creates an immediate disconnect with the audience. Varying bandwidth speeds cause lags and miscommunication. And building rapport with an audience can seem not only difficult, but also completely irrelevant – how do you dynamically engage with people thousands of miles away?
Mercer also wanted to make sure the training was completely different from what they’d ran before. Global Learning & Development Leader Liz MacGillivray told us they wanted to move away from classroom learning to “fun, bite-sized, colleague-engaging learning of the future.”
We adapted our flagship course, Presenting with Presence, into five 90-minute webinars for a group of six managers from different divisions and locations around the world. They were to be the pilot group to “beta test” the new online PWP.
Bill, the coach from Maynard Leigh Associates, took the participants through the five Ps of powerful presentations over the sessions and gave feedback on their virtual presence. Through the five sessions, they prepared through rehearsal and direction, clarified their purpose, unlocked their passion, established their presence, and brought their personality to the forefront.
"Great course, very enjoyable. Bill ensured we were all using video and helped us to position ourselves on it in an effective way. It worked from both an online and an in-person view of presenting. I got confidence and direction – so much I was clearly not doing as well as I could have before."