Elevate Your Presence to Achieve Training, Public Speaking Goals

Liz Wool, RN, BSN, CCRA, CMT, President, Wool Consulting Group Inc.

Liz Wool, RN, BSN, CCRA, CMT, President of Wool Consulting Group

Whether it’s Mick Jagger with the Rolling Stones, Adam Levine with Maroon 5, or Brittney Howard with the Alabama Shakes, the power of the front person in a band is a make-or-break quality on the way to success or failure. It’s not much different for trainers and other presenters, says Liz Wool, RN, BSN, CCRA, CMT, president of Wool Consulting Group.

You can have good graphics, valuable information, and other attributes in your favor as a presenter, but if you lack presence, you probably aren’t going to the top of the charts professionally, Wool says.

Presentation skills can be very important for clinical trial professionals, especially those involved in site visits and team training, Wool notes.

“You’ve got to understand how people learn and process information,” she says. Presence is also about understanding how to draw out the introverts in the group and increase group participation in a training, she adds.

She stresses six “Ps” as vital to success, including preparation of materials, practicing delivery, and understanding how to leverage your technical platform, but she underscores presence as the secret sauce often separating the effective presenter from the one garnering poor reviews from attendees.

“Presence is about who you are—it’s your brand,” Wool says. She believes even less-than-stellar performers can take steps to feel more confident and polished when they present. One tip: have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve in a presentation. “What is your ‘ask,’ or what is your desired outcome?” she says.

The training skills bar has gotten higher since COVID-19 ushered in the age of online meetings, Wool further notes. As people have become more accustomed to using teleconferencing technology and communicating through computer screens, expectations have risen for how effective you should be as a presenter in those settings, she says. “Post-COVID you have to up your game,” she cautions.

Author: Michael Causey