Who You Are is How You Are: Making Quality Presentations

TBianco_4801_4x6_72-RGBMeet Terri Bianco, former public official, certified trainer, executive coach, facilitator, and published author.  I reached out to Terri last month and asked if she would share some of her professional training insights with you.  She agreed. Here’s what she said.

In my work as a trainer, I stand before groups of people and “present.” I present knowledge, facilitate activities, talk through PowerPoint slides. It’s my work, and I love it.

I’ve heard that giving a speech before an audience causes great fear, just below the fear of dying. I guess I can see that. Many years at Toastmasters® cured that for me. And I’m also a natural-born ham!  In thinking about the act of presenting, however, I realize that you and I are presenting all the time. We’re just not necessarily on stage, but we are delivering to an audience nonetheless. Anyone who answers a phone, composes an email, answers questions from customers, gives reports at meetings, or counsels a coworker is “presenting.”

In How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything, author Dov Seidman makes the point that in this age of personalized technology, we are all in a position to publish, to be producers;  we are all potential paparazzi. Blogs, cameras, YouTube videos, and all forms of social media mean we can notice how someone behaves and decide to tell the world about it. His point is that how we do things may be more telling than what we do. This makes how we present ourselves to others all the more important. People notice; they sense who we are by how we are.

Who hasn’t heard a voice mail spoken at warp speed: “I-can’t-come-to-phone-right-now-leave-a-message-and-I’ll-call-you-back” as if it’s all one sentence? What does that say? To me it says the person is officious, hurried; he or she can’t afford the time to be polite to callers.

When you write an email, you are presenting. How do you come across? Are you clear? Is the tone appropriate? What’s in it for the other person to read it? Does it begin with the big picture and end with action requested? And have you spelled everything correctly? All of this says something about you. You are presenting to an audience, so you want to be sure you are reaching them in ways they can hear it.

Speaking, writing, and listening are high quality tools of our trade. Each requires some preparation, an opening and a closing, clarity, interest, and the inclusion of the other person. When we are communicating to someone, we are presenting to them. When presenting, we make eye contact, we are present.

Connect with quality. The world will be a better place because of how you are doing that.


Terri Bianco’s company is based out of Sacramento, CA. She provides personalized and executive coaching services and offers trial sessions for interested clients. Her training programs center on  the essential skills of today’s workplace: communication, leadership, management, trust, change strategies, employee engagement, and team alignment. Terri and her team also specialize in the challenges of the virtual workplace—how to manage virtual employees and how to work successfully as a virtual worker. Terri is available for corporate onsite training, meeting facilitation, and coaching.  You can learn more and contact Terri through her website  www.terribianco.com.