Typical Questions & Answers

Over the last 35+ years, executives, PR professionals, celebrities, and expert witnesses have benefited from our customized virtual business presentation training and media coaching. We have developed programs for one-on-one executive speaker training, media and crisis communication, new product and drug presentations. Whatever your circumstances, we look forward to working with you. We’ll help you develop the skills you need to speak confidently, authoritatively, and naturally.

If you have other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to creating the best business presentation or media training session to meet your specific objectives.

Media vs. Presentation Training

I’m not sure whether I need media interview coaching or presentation training. I am a business professional and often speak publicly about our products to a variety of audiences. My job also requires me to make regular media appearances. What is the difference between media and speaker/presentation training? How can I tell what type of training I need most?

“Media training” has become a catch-all phrase that refers to any type of public speaking training. But there are distinct differences between media and presentation training. Comparing the two is somewhat like comparing a dictionary to a thesaurus. They both are useful writing tools and yet each serves a very different purpose.

Simply put:

  • Speaker or presentation training teaches you skills and techniques to help you deliver your message to an audience of any size.
  • In contrast, media training helps you learn skills and techniques to deliver your message in response to a reporter’s questions.

More on Presentation Training:
Presentation training, whether it’s from a podium before 500 people or across a conference room table, enhances your ability to:

  • Know how to assess your audience.
  • Organize an effective presentation.
  • Understand when to use notes, a script, or speak extemporaneously.
  • Augment your talk with appropriate visual aids.

Speaker or presentation training also, equally importantly, helps you learn how to:

  • Overcome stage fright.
  • Put your personality and experience into your speech.
  • Connect with your audience through gestures, eye contact, and voice.
  • Persuade your audience to trust you and take the desired action.

More on Media Interview Training
Media training teaches you the skills and techniques to get your message past the “gatekeeper.” Depending on the media interview situation, that gatekeeper can be a reporter, camera, or even production editor.

Our typical media interview coaching sessions demystify the process of meeting the press. We’ll teach you the differences between print, radio, phone, and TV interviews.

You’ll learn:

  • Techniques to convey “must say” points even within broadcast time constraints.
  • How to turn negatives into positives.
  • Skills to handle hostile interviewers.

Perhaps the most important lesson you’ll learn from The Newman Group’s media interview training is how to control the process by identifying and responding to a reporter’s style.

Don’t leave the outcome of your next media interview to chance. Train with The Newman Group’s professional media coaches and expect success.


Convincing the CEO to Be Coached

Our CEO desperately needs speaker training but doesn’t realize it. When he speaks, he doesn’t represent our brand effectively to various audiences. How do we convince him to work with a coach?

This is clearly a delicate issue. No one wants to confront the CEO and tell him that he needs help speaking about the business he runs. There are several ways we have learned to overcome this obstacle smoothly.

To avoid singling out your CEO, a technique that’s been very effective for some of our clients is to set up a business presentation coaching session for other top executives or board members and invite the CEO to attend.

Your CEO may decline, but the executives who go through the training will enhance their skills. They’ll demonstrate the improvement in meetings. Without forcing the issue, as a natural result they will also speak highly about their experience of the business presentation program. Once the CEO hears how valuable (and even fun) the training is, he will be more willing to try it the next time you ask. Even better — and this has happened to us — he will request training without needing to be prompted.
There are also other ways around this seeming impediment. Contact us today to discuss your executive speaker training needs. We’ll be glad to work with you.


Handling Stage Fright

We are about to make some major corporate announcements. We need our CEO to address a variety of audiences including shareholders, analysts, and the media. He is reluctant to do so because he suffers terribly from stage fright. Is there anything that can help him overcome his fear?

According to the Book of Lists, believe it or not, stage fright is the No. 1 fear! Most people dwell on past public speaking experiences that were negative. They find it difficult to move on. Through our customized presentation training sessions, we help people overcome stage fright. We teach practical techniques that actually work. People who were once crippled by stage fright, after learning how to identify their own fear indicators and move beyond them, end up being very effective public speakers.

With practice and professional training, you can learn how to view reactions like sweaty palms or weak knees as “old friends,” as your body telling you that it’s ready for this next activity. You can learn to build a gesture into the very first thing you say and put your familiar nervousness to use in a positive way.

If you suffer from stage fright, yet want and need to give mission critical business presentations, contact us. We look forward to working with you.


How Much Time To Allocate for Training

Scheduling extra activities is always challenging when it comes to our top executives. How much time do we need to block out for a presentation coaching session for our CEO?

We recommend a maximum of four hour blocks of time for top executives in one-on-one presentation training. Training is intense. Each session involves a lot of role playing, critiquing, and on-the-spot opportunities to make changes in style and delivery. Experience has proven that after four hours the learning curve goes down.

We also work in small groups, conducting trainings over one or two days. This works well for individuals at roughly the same level within an organization. But often C-level executives do not like being videotaped or critiqued in a group setting. They tend to prefer more individualized and private executive speaker training sessions.

Whether you would like to schedule one-on-one coaching sessions or group business presentation programs, contact us. We’ll craft the right program for your objectives and budget.


Presenting with More Energy

Our President doesn’t project well when she speaks. She loses her audience part way through her presentations. When she gets nervous, her voice becomes high pitched like a little girl. Even though she’s exceptionally bright, audiences often find it hard to listen to her or take what she says seriously. How can she put more inflection in her voice so she will sound more authoritative?

This problem is quite common among women speakers. When speakers get nervous they forget to breathe. They tend to start out at a high pitch and then, because they don’t pause, their voices get higher and higher. This is an easy situation to remedy with the right interview or public speaking training.

You can learn how to use punctuation marks as breathing points, effective pausing, and deepening your voice. By taking a breath before starting and then speaking at a lower pitch than usual, you will have the upper registers available to you. Also, by remembering to pause at natural points, such as at the end of the sentence, and again lowering the pitch, any woman can sound more authoritative.


Spicing up a CEOs Speech

Our President is not at all charismatic. He doesn’t command attention when he’s behind the podium. Is there a way to help him spice up his speeches?

A charismatic person is one who is positive and makes others feel important. Through executive presentation training, your president can learn techniques including delivering anecdotes, personal comments, or analogies to connect with his audience and show that he knows what’s important to them. With professional coaching, he can learn how to use eye contact effectively and appear to connect with everyone in the audience so that every person feels acknowledged. With practice, he will gain confidence and be able to come out from behind the podium to talk to the audience during his presentation, further connecting and creating a memorable impression.


Controlling the Q & A Session

My expert witness loses control during the Q & A session. Are there are techniques that I can use to help her?

Speakers should keep in mind that most Q & A sessions are opportunities for them to again drive home their key points. Through testimony, presentation, or media interview training, your expert witness can learn to listen to the question, paraphrase it if she needs to mentally compose her answer, and then simply offer a succinct answer without giving another speech. By the time the Q & A session comes around, her answers should be short and to the point.

With our experiential media interview training and speaker preparation, you will learn not to be afraid to say “I don’t know.” You will practice extending an offer to get the information to the questioner the next day. It is never a good idea to invent a response because if someone in the audience does know the answer, your credibility as an expert speaker will be lost.

Learn how to maintain control in media interviews and presentation Q & A sessions. Contact The Newman Group for customized speaker training today.


What to Know Before Creating a Presentation

What should a speaker know before creating a presentation?

Finding out the right information before a presentation will help you present effectively. Before planning your presentation, we recommend that you learn answers to at least the following:

Who is the audience?

  • What are their reporting lines? Are they positive or negative about the topic? Is there diversity of opinion and hierarchy within the audience?

What do they know about the topic?

  • Given the time allotted and the desired results, how much does the audience need to know? What’s in it for them? And, what questions will they ask?

When preparing speakers in our presentation training sessions, we also advise that they find out what the set up will look like. They will want to know:

  • Lectern height.
  • Type of microphone.
  • List of other speakers.
  • Color of the backdrop so that the speaker will wear clothing that will not cause him to blend in with his surroundings and, thus, lose points simply on perception.

Contact The Newman Group for customized presentation training and improve your results.


When to Use a Teleprompter

When is it appropriate to use a teleprompter?

The teleprompter is a great tool for speakers in large meetings when there is adequate rehearsal time. It’s imperative that the speaker rehearse with the prompter operator who will be running the prompter at the meeting so the technician is familiar with the speaker’s pacing and rhythm and the speech itself.

Speakers need to be coached on how to read from the prompter. It’s not as easy as one might think. A good operator will work with the speaker to help with the word flow, pauses, and inflection by marking them in the prompter. We prefer working with floor prompters to allow speakers to work the room and appear to be speaking “off the cuff.” This requires coaching and rehearsal not only for the speech itself but also for movement on the stage.


Ending a Speech

What is the best way to end a speech/presentation?

Many speakers simply don’t know how to close a presentation. We are often amazed at how many times speakers start their exit before they’ve actually completed their talks. People get nervous, don’t know what to say, and simply aren’t prepared to finish off what may have been an excellent speech.

With professional speaker training, you’ll learn how to close in a definitive, memorable way. The best way to end a presentation/speech is to recap. This gives you the opportunity to ensure that the audience has actually gotten your message. The age-old adage, “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them” still holds true in business presentations today. If there is a formal Q & A at the close of a presentation, we suggest opening the floor to questions, limiting the number of questions, and then providing a recap for the audience.

Learn how to open, close, and answer questions in business presentations. Schedule a business presentation training for your organization’s public speakers today.