Laura Penn, The Public Speaking School, Toastmasters, Presentation Skills, Switzerland, Best communication skills training zurich, best communication skills training Switzerland

How to Create a Transformational Public Speaking Experience

On May 15 & 16, 2017, High Performance Public Speaking, a two-day Master Class in the Art of Effective Public Speaking, launched in Lausanne, Switzerland. Forty-five participants from a wide range of backgrounds, nationalities and professions congregated at the Deutsch Museum in order to take their public speaking skills “to the next level”.

As the event organizer, it was my mission to make this event something special, something unique and something completely different from other training sessions in public speaking. I wanted to push the envelope of how these types of training sessions run. My aim was to rebel against what I perceive as the overused formula of training sessions, wherein the audience sits down and passively watches people on stage talking about public speaking. Without direct engagement of voice, body and SOUL, learning (for me) is stifled. While there might be great notes, inspiration and insights offered through this method, I feel that this common formula is inert and too passive.

Thus, after eight intense months of designing and organizing the event, I was ready to disrupt this space, to take public speaking training sessions “to the next level”. And folks, the results of this shake-up couldn’t have been better, they surpassed my wildest dreams. Simply stated, participants were transformed during the event. They left changed. My shake-up worked!

How do I know that this happened? Because I watched their evolution with wide open eyes during the event. I saw how they responded to what was offered, I heard what they said in their feedback and I felt how they were experiencing the training.

I strongly believe that more training sessions, whether in public speaking or in other fields, should push the envelope like High Performance Public Speaking did. They should play with different formats and ways to reach participants, creating an environment where learning happens with the whole body and being of the person, banishing the old-style method of passive inertia.

Here are some of the gems that I used to make this happen for my event:

Gem 1: Find an Outstanding Venue

Look for a venue complete with large spaces, good energy and beautiful surroundings, which allows participants to grow, feel safe and thrive.

Gem 2: Invite All of Your Favorite People

Bring together amazing people from all walks of life, who share the same goal of taking their presentation skills to the next level.

Gem 3: Curate an All-Star Team of Instructors

Invite world-class professional performer-instructors from fields related to public speaking (voice, movement, storytelling and delivery) to teach soulful, active and hands-on workshops, which help to lead participants on a personal journey of exploration and discovery.

Gem 4Give Participants “Permission” to Release Themselves into the Experience

Say the words: “I give you permission…” to let go, to leap, to release into this training with everything that you’ve got. The more you open, the more you’ll get.

Gem 5: Work in Small Groups

Create intimacy, trust and support by creating small groups for participants to work in.

Gem 6: Enhance the Sensory Experience

Enrich the space with good music, colorful artwork, nice smells, comfortable chairs, and plenty of delicious food (which is fresh, energizing and always available).

Gem 7: LIVE (!) the Experience

Design an experience which allows participants to LIVE public speaking, not just to sit watching it from a distance while taking notes. LIVING the experience, stepping out of comfort zones, trying things out, succeeding and failing in a safe space, receiving support from peers…that’s how to learn…that’s how to grow.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response from participants, I am thrilled to be bringing High Performance Public Speaking BACK this fall. Expect brand new elements and a little more shaking up… 🙂

If you or someone you know wants to be in a stunning venue, surrounded by amazing people, led by world-class instructors, “released” into an experience where you are working in small groups and LIVING public speaking, JOIN US on October 30 & 31 at the Deutsch Museum!

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