All of what I’ve described on other pages in this section – my skills in developing compelling videos, facilitation, training, workshop design and delivery, speaking and presenting, media, writing, business building and project management – all of those are what can be described as process skills. They can be applied to any number of different content areas.
Distinct from process skills, I have developed a number of content specialties. During my career, both in the global corporate arena and in running my own small business, I have worked across and developed expertise in many content areas.
All of the content areas I have developed and facilitated workshops, coaching and other events for have had one thing in common: they were all about people. Of late my interests have focused on two key areas: Developing confident and capable presenters, and understanding what makes people tick.
Developing confident presenters
Being able to present a message to your chosen audience is a learned skill. Sure, some people may come to it with some natural abilities which help them to stand in front of a group of people (or sit in front of a computer screen with an audience watching across the ether) and deliver a message with confidence. But nobody — absolutely nobody — arrives fully formed as a confident and capable presenter without learning some skills in how to do it. And everybody can develop as a presenter, no matter where they currently are on their presenting journey.
The presentation skills workshop I have designed and facilitate is four sessions delivered over two consecutive days. It’s design is as deliberate as it is impactful. Participants who have done other presentation skills programs, including those from globally recognised training firms, have described it as “brilliant” and “so much better than those other programs where some expert talks at you for two days.”
Through its highly participatory design founded on best practice adult learning principles, this two day program creates more confident and more capable presenters. The very design of the program guarantees this outcome (assuming an appropriate training needs analysis to identify that participants are right for the program). The facilitation of this program has been described as being incomparable, and the results are often described as unthinkably amazing.
Here’s what David Van Ryswyck, Head of Australia-New Zealand Syngenta Professional Solutions had to say about the impact the program had on his senior team, including some Technical Leads who present up to 27 weeks a year:
I just wanted to give some feedback from the presentation skills training this week. When I arrived on Tuesday afternoon I braced myself as you always do after an intensive training course to get feedback from the team that it was good but…. However every team member I spoke to (from the most experienced presenter to the most novice) commented that it was the best course that they have done. All mentioned that it also brought them together as a team and allowed them to become very vulnerable at times. They all put their new skills into practice over the following two days and continued to provide constructive feedback and encouragement. As we all know it does not matter how good the content is if the presenter is poor but the feedback on you Jill was extremely good.
Thanks for helping our team continue to grow.”
A senior partner from McCullough Robertson, a leading Australian law firm, who participated in this two-day program stated:
“I recommend all lawyers do this exceptionally beneficial program.”
A senior associate from Phillips Fox (now Lavan Legal) said:
“I am now putting my hand up to deliver presentations – previously this terrified me.”
And a senior manager from Australia’s leading arts council, Australia Council, said:
“Jill creates excellent rapport, delivers outstanding content, she’s challenging and there’s no bullshit. The best facilitator we’ve ever had.”
If your team or organisation is looking to further develop as presenters, or to unlearn and relearn the fundamentals of masterful presentations, in both live and online format, get in touch today to discuss your very own two day program.
Understanding what makes people tick
Humans are about the most interesting thing going, and I have loved every moment I have spent in the connection with and observation of other people. I have been fortunate enough to work with a range of models and systems for understand this thing called “being human” and the more I learn, the more I realise there is to learn.
We cannot possibly map the complexity and depth of what it is to be human, but we can make some inroads into understand how and why we are different, what connects us, and how we can make it easier to understand and interact with our fellow human beings.
- In particular, I have a relatively deep understanding of the psychological type system that Carl Jung described and Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers made popular with their Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). In recent years I have used the powerful TypeCoach suite of interactive online programs. I have worked with psychological type for over two decades now and have been blessed to be able to share with others some of the extraordinary elegance the model has, particularly when you understand how Carl Jung intended the model to be used in its dynamic form. When used as intended, psychological type is not a system for “boxing” people (no-one is a “type”), but instead it is a system for understanding the dynamic nature of human beings, and how they get along in the world.
- My personal understanding of psychological type has literally changed how I see other people (and myself) and has freed me from so many unhealthy assumptions that can get into the way of really seeing and appreciating people for who they are. I have also been fortunate enough to facilitate the understanding and application of psychological type to hundreds of professionals in my career as a professional corporate facilitator and have been blessed to witness more “A-Ha” moments than I can count.
- In a piece of world-class world-first psychological type application, together with two friends and professionals, I have developed 16 Style Types: the world’s very first meshing of psychology and style. 16 Style Types is a completely new approach to claiming your personal style by understanding your personality type and includes a range of products and online programs which remain the world’s first and only.
- I also worked with simpler models such as the DiSC system, the People Styles model made popular by the Bolton & Bolton team, the Interaction Style model that Linda Berens created (which is nothing short of brilliant), and the Herman Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI). These simpler models have 4 categories (as distinct from the 16 categories psychological type has), or ‘sorting mechanisms’ and the value they bring includes this simplicity – they are easier to remember as they have less complexity to them. The more categories a sorting mechanism has, the more complex it is (sometimes making it more challenging or time-consuming to fully understand) and the more sophisticated it is (usually making it more accurate for more people).
- I am a practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), a very popular school of thinking, described in so many different ways, but the one that most resonates with me is the system of understanding human success. Humans are not predictable, but we do have sets of patterns that form a picture of how and why we do what we do. When you understand the underlying patterns – the ‘structure’ of what we are doing – it can make our behaviour much easier to understand and therefore change.
- I have also studied and worked with one of the most powerful yet underrated understandings of what it is to be human and living on the planet, Three Principles. These are the elemental principles that create and govern the human experience and when truly understood and internalised, have the power to transform lived experience in every aspect of one’s life.
Other people-related content skills
I don’t work in these content areas anymore, as I have focused my facilitation energy in the above two areas exclusively. But over the decades I have been a content creator and professional facilitator, I have been asked to develop content in the following areas:
- Making the media work for you. As short as 20 minutes or as long as 2 days, this program focuses on how to conjure up your own media magic and make every interview work for you.
- Leadership development skills. I’ve worked with hundreds of leaders in dozens of companies to help them understand their leadership style and how to become better leaders.
- Influencing skills. Connected to communication and leadership are the specific skills of influence. I’ve designed and delivered workshop sessions on how to become a more successful influencer IRL.
- Facilitating impactful learning events. I’ve worked with professional facilitators in becoming more impactful facilitators and creating more impactful learning events for their participants.
- Communication skills. I’ve delivered hundreds of workshops to thousands of people on becoming more effective communicators.
- Teamwork. I’ve had the great pleasure of creating innovative and powerful team development programs for some amazing teams.
- Managing change, managing time, managing meetings. I’ve designed and delivered workshops in all of these areas. There is an art form and a science to it!
- Customer care. I’ve worked with teams to improve how they are treating and responding to their customers.
- Look good, feel great – without buying more. This is a unique and powerful program, from presentation length to workshop session on sustainable style and conscious consumption.
- Image and impact. I’ve created and delivered programs on understanding the impression that professionals are making with how they are presenting themselves.
- Handling difficult situations. I’ve worked with teams in many organizations and helped them to harness the options they have when it comes to handling difficult situations.
- Networking skills. I developed and delivered a short but very punchy program on the power and nuance of truly effective networking skills.
This is a summary of the many and varied topic and content areas that I had the great pleasure of designing and delivering workshops and learning sessions in.
If my current focus areas (especially masterful presentations) is of interest to you and your organisation or team, contact me today to discuss your learning needs and the impact you’d like your people to have in presenting their message to their audiences.