PET, the Progress Educational Trust, works to improve the choices for people affected by infertility or genetic conditions. With its flagship publication BioNews, and an authoritative media presence, PET has rightly earned a reputation for leading the debate in this field.
Like thousands of other organisations, the charity has moved its face-to-face events onto the web, and its Director, Sarah Norcross,
has had to add ‘live Zoom hosting’ to her job description:
“As we’re all having to do everything online now, whether it’s a team meeting, an event or interviewing a new member of staff, how you present yourself online is really important. To improve those skills, which a year ago I didn’t have, it has been really, really important.”
Do your event proud
Each member of the PET team had one-to-one training followed by a group session on interviewing and presenting. Sarah:
“I’ve used what I’ve learned, by trying to do the simple techniques of smiling, of looking at the camera, making that artificial eye contact. Remembering as well, what my key messages are that I want to finish on. They are easy to forget, in the adrenaline rush of the moment and nerves.
“I’ve used these techniques in my introductions, and in wrapping up events, as well as in the chairing throughout. What has been great for me to see – and we don’t ask for feedback about the Chair – is people have actually written in the free text bits, complimenting me on my chairing and my manner when I’m doing so. Which is really great for the charity, because it means that people are getting more benefit from the events. The bits that I’m doing are not turning them off!”
Presenting on Zoom or Microsoft Teams is more than just speaking into a lens. It’s like learning to drive and hosting a TV show at the same time. You’re having to think about several things at once: are your important guests able to share their screen? Can your audience access the chat box? Are people stuck in the waiting room? Sarah found that mastering the presentation side meant she had more brain space left for everything else:
“Getting that feedback and that confidence, means that I’m more relaxed doing it. And if you’re relaxed about that part, then you can focus on the tech bits that you’re trying to manage at the same time, in a calmer manner too.
“It just helps to keep the whole thing running really smoothly. That has huge benefits for the charity, in how professional we appear. It’s been great that even high-profile speakers at our events have noticed how well organised and smooth they are.”
Make the most of your next event
The techniques Sarah describes were part of the interview training I did for PET. Now the team have the skills to record quick conversations with their guests and attendees and turn the quotes into promotional and testimonial material.
If you want to find out how asking the right questions creates powerful marketing content, email me now. In April 2023 I’m updating my 10-Minute Testimonial Course, which gives you the techniques and the confidence to get great quotes from your clients by having a quick chat with them. You’ll have behind-the-scenes access to me interviewing Sarah, so you can see for yourself how it works for real.
And if the thought of presenting and interviewing fills you with dread, all the more reason to contact me. Sarah:
“I’d say being trained by Miranda is a really safe and easy environment to do it because you get instant feedback and you feel you’re well supported.
“And for the members of my team, who have very different personalities and skill sets, they all felt that too. They all fed back to me afterwards about how much they had enjoyed it, and what a really positive experience it was for them – particularly at the moment, when we’re in these strange circumstances of not going into the office and not doing much together as a team physically. I think they benefited from that as well.”