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Create an impact when it counts

A practical workshop with Mark McGuinness

If your business depends on wowing clients and winning pitches with creative presentations, you need to know you can deliver.

Mark McGuinness speaking at the Royal College of Art

Mark McGuinness speaking at the Royal College of Art for FuelRCA

Many people (audiences included) dread presentations, and ‘death by PowerPoint’ is so common it’s become a cliche.

When the spotlight is on you, it’s easy to forget the purpose of a live presentation and hide behind your material, reading out slides full of bullet points that overwhelm the audience with information.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

By taking a creative approach to designing and delivering your presentations, you can boost your confidence and actually enjoy the whole process. You’ll also stand out from the crowd and be a refreshing — and memorable — change for your audience.

My Creative Presentation Skills workshop will teach you how to do just that.

With a little imagination and preparation, you can design and deliver a truly original presentation. The kind that lingers in people’s minds long after the event and gets them talking. The kind that changes minds and inspires action.

You don’t need to speak like a trained actor or produce slides like a professional designer.

You don’t need to deliver the whole thing word perfect.

You don’t even need to know everything there is to know about your chosen topic.

You just need to connect with your passion and the audience’s interests — and inject a little creativity into your preparation.

“We asked Mark to train our agency on giving effective presentations. Although we are a creative organisation it was really useful to have his input on how to present our ideas as persuasively as possible, and most importantly, how to present ourselves as people.

“Mark showed us (by example and practical exercises) the value of storytelling and emotional engagement in conveying even complex ideas. He also instilled the importance of avoiding cluttered slides, so the focus stays on the presenter.

“We immediately put his lessons to use, and our success rate in pitches has risen steadily following his training course.

“Mark is also a source of inspiration on personal development, and how to use both successes and failures to achieve your life goals.”

Reg Manser, Creative Director, Life Healthcare

Creative presentation skills training

Silhouette of presenterCreative Presentation Skills is for anyone who wants or needs to be a better presenter. And these days, that includes most of us.

Whatever your line of work, making a powerful connection with a live audience is critical for success – in team meetings, and at conferences, auditions and client pitches.

And in many creative industries, pitching to win business is essential for companies to survive and thrive.

Silhouette of presenterCreative Presentation Skills is perfectly suited to the specific needs of creative teams and creative industries workers, in fields such as television, design, advertising, marketing, publishing, architecture, computer games, music, fashion, film, theatre, dance or technology.

The workshop is also relevant to anyone who needs to present their ideas – and wants to take a creative approach to making an impact.

What you will learn

Creative Presentation Skills is a practical workshop that will teach you simple principles of presentation design and delivery, unlocking your creativity and releasing your natural speaking voice.

This presentation skill training will teach you the three skills that are essential to creating a compelling presentation:

1. Get Your Thoughts In Order

Silhouette of presenterYou will learn to organise your material into a logical structure that makes it easy for you to remember and deliver – even if the worst happens and the projector breaks down and the dog eats all your notes!

The same organising principles will make it easy for your audience to grasp your ideas and remember them.

2. Captivate Your Audience with the Power of Storytelling

Silhouette of presenterAn entrancing presentation appeals to the emotions as well as logic – and stories are one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience emotionally and persuasively.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a natural storyteller, I’ll show you how to dream up stories that will resonate for your audience, and tell them in an engaging way.

3. Speak Confidently, Fluently and Persuasively

Silhouette of presenterOnce you have your material, it’s time to concentrate on delivery. I’ll teach you how to get into the right frame of mind to present, by tapping into your natural enthusiasm.

I’ll also show you how to add some verbal polish by using some simple but powerful rhetorical patterns. And I’ll help you handle stage nerves and deal with challenging audiences.

4. Enhance Your Talk with Eye-Catching Slides

Silhouette of presenterYou don’t need PowerPoint slides to give a great presentation, so we leave them until the end, as an option you can use to enhance your delivery.

Most PowerPoint slides are monstrosities – crammed full of bullet points, text in tiny fonts, hideous clipart, and ill-advised corporate logo templates. Don’t go there.

I’ll show you how to create stunning slides that illustrate your presentation and help you make an impression on your audience. Even if you’re not a graphic designer (I’m not), you can create beautiful and memorable slides – and take a lot of satisfaction in doing so.

A practical and enjoyable learning experience

The workshop is highly interactive and gives you plenty of time to practise your presentation skills in a safe (and fun) environment.

During the workshop you will design and deliver a short presentation about a subject that matters to you — ideally one that you will have the chance to deliver as part of your work.

The course is delivered in person by me, and features:

  • Inspiring stories and relevant examples
  • How-to instruction
  • Lively group discussions
  • Practising your presentation skills and receiving individual feedback

Silhouette of presenterWhen you attend Creative Presentation Skills you will receive access to an online summary of the workshop, which relieves you of the need to make detailed notes. So you can focus 100% on your experience of the training – listening, asking questions, sharing ideas and practising new skills.

I make sure everyone has plenty of fun during our time together – and that you leave with useful ideas and practical skills you can start applying the very next day at work.

“Mark’s presentation skills course was a really fun and engaging learning experience. Around a dozen people from Econsultancy took part, across a range of different job functions and with varying levels of presenting experience. The structure worked very well, and gave everyone the opportunity to do some presenting in a non-threatening atmosphere.

“It’s given us all a solid platform to feel more confident when we present in a range of different environments. From a research point of view, Mark’s advice on slide design has me think hard about how we present our data.”

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director, Econsultancy

Mark McGuinness – Creative Business Trainer

Mark McGuinness speaking at the Royal College of Art

Mark McGuinness speaking at the Royal College of Art for FuelRCA

I’ve been coaching and training creative professionals since 1996.

Organisations I have worked with include the BBC, Channel 4, Transport for London, The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, TBWA Media Arts Lab, Dare Digital, ASOS, Magnum, Econsultancy, Gist, Vodafone, BT, Servier Laboratories, The Orchestra of the Age of Englightenment, The British Library Business and IP Centre, The Cultural Industries Development Agency (CIDA), The Arts Council, The Cultural Leadership Programme, Arts & Business, Spread the Word, The University of Warwick, King’s College London, the University of the Arts, London, and the Royal College of Art.

As well as facilitating others’ creativity, I know the creative process from the inside-out, as a poet and author of a string of successful ebooks and two of the most popular creativity blogs in the world, at LateralAction.com and WishfulThinking.co.uk.

I originally qualified as a psychotherapist and hold an MA in Creative & Media Enterprises (with distinction) from the University of Warwick.

“I can’t recommend Mark enough. His seminars are always engaging, useful and relevant. By the end of every session the seminar room is full of motivated and inspired faces. I can’t wait to work with him again!”

Sian James, Project Manager – Create KX

In the course of my career I’ve given hundreds of presentations, as a trainer, lecturer and conference speaker.

My audiences have included executives, corporate teams, artists and creatives, students, healthcare practitioners and wedding guests (four Best Man speeches).

Silhouette of presenterTopics I’ve spoken on include creativity, management, entrepreneurship, psychotherapy, communication skills, time management, personality types, marketing, motivation, – and of course, presentation skills.

As well as the usual presentation formats, I’ve given live readings of my own poetry, delivered podcasts and audio seminars over the internet, and presented my work in a TV documentary for the Discovery Health Channel.

In the process, I’ve made just about every mistake in the book – and found practical solutions to all of the major challenges facing public speakers.

I’ve created this presentation skills training to give you the benefit of what I’ve learned – and to make the process quick and easier for you than it was for me. :-)

“Mark’s presentation and workshop was illuminating, entertaining and, most importantly, beneficial to my development team.”

Sean Kirkegaard, Development Executive – BBC Children’s Television

“Mark gave some excellent food for thought to the wide range of creative freelancers we work with. The seminar ended with the room buzzing even at 8pm at night after a long day’s work.”

Clare Hudson, Creative Industries Manager – Creative Leicestershire

Book this workshop for your organisation

To enquire about booking this workshop for your organisation, please contact me using the form below or by telephone at +44 (0)1707 644 665.

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If you’d like me to let you know next time I run this workshop as a public event (usually in London), enter your email address and hit ‘subscribe’.

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“Mark was an engaging and likeable speaker, keeping a demanding audience of postgraduate art and design students rapt for nearly two hours. He tailored his material perfectly for our audience, and his advice was useful, relevant and pitched at exactly the right level. He also responded with sensitivity and warmth to the audience’s questions after his talk.”

Sarah Douglas, FuelRCA, Royal College of Art

P.S.

Silhouette of presenterIf you’re considering booking this workshop for your team but you’re not sure whether it will address the specific challenges you’re facing, feel free to contact me using the form above.

I’ll be happy to discuss your requirements on a no-obligation basis – and of course I will treat anything you tell me as strictly confidential.