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Presentation Skills and Team Building Skills Day


Hello Everyone,
I am looking for some help and guidance with designing a 1 Day Presentation Skills Course and a 1 Day Team Building Course. The Trainer will be experienced in training delivery, however they are not familiar with these particular subjects. The course participants will be from various levels of a large organisation and they will be both willing and unwilling to take part. There will be a maximum of 6 people on the Presentation Skills Course and 12 people on the Team Building Course.
I would be grateful for any tips and hints on the structure of the days etc.
As usual, I look forward to your brilliant replies.
Caroline Morris

20 Responses

  1. Presentation Skills suggestions
    One day is quite short for a presentation skills workshop, so how about starting off with a facilitated discussion on “What makes a good presentation?” and “What makes a good presenter?”. I usually have two flipcharts up and ask people to decide which board each suggestion goes on. Ask people to think of good and bad presentations they’ve been to to help generate ideas.

    From these lists you can then move on to cover things like Preparation, Structure, Visual Aids, Body Language, Controlling Nerves, etc. With only six in the group you would probably have time for each person to do a short presentation at the end of the day, with feedback.

    Alternatively, how about putting some of the learning in a pre-course assignment and then using the day for practice?

    Do contact me if you want to discuss this further.

    Good luck.

    Jenny James

  2. Presentation Skills and Team Building Skills Day
    I ran a series of one day presentation skills courses last year in BT. If you would like to send me your email address I will forward the course details. Basically the day started with each person givung a two minute presentation on the subject of their choice. I asked them to prepare this in advance and while some did others didn’t making a good point of the need to prepare. They later created and gave a 5 minute presentation. I got the group to feed back on each other and added my comments as well.

  3. our presentation skills course
    We run a one day course every year or so, for up to 8. We ask for each participant to prepare a 3 minute slot to start the day off, and give feed back then let them have another go at the end of the day after the training sessions. We always suggest a subject (holidays,hobbies etc) or some participants freeze, but let them chose if they prefer. We also use a video so they can see the improvement in their delivery, but promise to destroy them at the end of the session. Video Arts do a good video “I wasn’t prepared for that” which can be useful for non-professionals.

  4. A venue for your training day…
    Dear Caroline, although my response may not help you to design your day, I may be able to help it run more smoothly. I have several excellent venues that are specifically desgined for training centres which may be able to take a lot of the stress out of the general running of the day.

    If you would like to find out more about these venues then please contact me on 07775683412.

    Good luck with your planning!

    Katie Clarke
    Sales & Marketing Manager – Venues

  5. Team building suggestions
    The key to team building is getting people involved at the outset so they take the excitement back with them. We use a range of practical exercises including Viking Attack, taken from the Trainers Red Pocketfile by John Townsend – ISBN 1870471474.
    I have also found some excellent resources websites such as and

  6. Web resources on presentation skills

    Here are some links I’ve found useful. They both benefit from the fact that they acknowledge and address dissatisfaction with presentation quality at work.


    Tufte’s essay on improving PowerPoint-like presentations at:

    Don Norman rebuts Tufte’s criticisms of PowerPoint:

    Other links that might yield the info are at:

  7. Audience Decides
    Hi Caroline
    I agree with Jenny’s comments about getting the participants to think about what makes a good presentation by considering ones they have ben to.
    My normal approach is to get all participants to do a 10 minute presentation to start with …although with 6 in the group this might need to be scaled down …I make notes as they go along which I can use as examples when introducing some of the verbal tricks and visual aids discussion. I usually show the graph of how attention drops over time as a way of introducing how to create spikes of interest. I would encourage you to get them to do a presentation at the end hopefully including some of your ideas.
    eel free to contact me should you want anymore information.


  8. Tools to help!
    Hello Caroline,

    We represent a number of producers who supply materials and training resources to training companies who run similar courses.

    The response we have had from them is that using a video or DVD as part of these courses really helps to break up the day as well as keep the participants attention and interest.

    Furthermore, trainers themselves often benefit from using the leaders guides that accompany the videos as they comprise a comprehensive outline for running a training course.

    If you feel that these may be of interest I would be happy to arrange a preview for you. Please just call me on the number below.

    Kind regards

    Tom Bailey
    Mind Resources

  9. Skills Days
    Hi Caroline-
    One of the best approaches I’ve used to engage audiences, is to begin the class with an AAL session(After Action Learning).

    Such as session can be applied to both venues and not only engages, but identifies change management issues early on!

    Experienced and inexperienced participants will benefit. If a participant doesn’t have any direct experience with either of your topics, they will benefit by hearing commentary and suggestions from their classmates about what has gone well and what hasn’t worked well for them in the past. If a participant has been in the position to “present” or has had some successess working in teams (or some challenges!), this type of activity proves very helpful to them as well. The result is actionable…there is something tangible for participants as a take away.

    This approach, in short, spans bridges amongst participants. I have used this in my skills building exercises to great success.

    AAL doesn’t have to be incredibly time consuming can elect to use selected topics from within your presentation and team building skills class.

    If you are interested in additional detail, please send me a note.
    Regards and good luck,

  10. Don’t scare them!
    Delegates on a presentation skills day are often very nervous and apprehensive. As a communications skills trainer with a lot of experience in this area, I can honestly say it is better not to get them to kick off with a presentation. If they do it badly (which is likely), their confidence is undermined and their wish to participate becomes blunted.

    Determine individual need/expectation plus ability/experience via your pre-course work and then design the day accordingly.

    With the small group you describe you will be able to be very tailored in your approach to exercises and activities that will improve their skills and build their confidence as the day progresses. Then, let them do their presentation at the end!

    Contact me to discuss activities further if you feel it would help.

  11. Engaging the participants interest
    I notice some of your participants may not want to be there. I agree with Catherine who said to be careful not to scare them. This is even more important if they are feeling negative and are novice presenters.
    Unless these people already have some presentation experience I would not start with them presenting. Facilitated discussions are a better idea. Then use some games to lighten the atmosphere. Then finish off with each participant making a short presentation and receiving constructive feedback.
    For the team building get the participants to do as much of the talking as possible as the trainer takes them through the training material.
    I would go for co-operative exercises and avoid the competitive element in any training games you use.
    I find concentrating on the upbeat and positive also helps people to relax. If there have been some problems setting up the training it is vital not to allow this to leak into the training arena.

    Good luck
    midas training solutions

  12. Dealing with nerves
    I am running a 1.5 day presentation skills course and as a lot of your other respondees have mentioned not to scare your delegates, I’ve included a 1 hour session on dealing with nerves – Ask the group how nerves affect them – from sweaty palms, shaking voices feeling sick and run through some techniques to help each symptom. ie Tongue twisters to help relax face muscles and help with speech, Relaxation exercise for the shakes, running cold water over inside of wrists to help with hot flushes, sweaty palms etc the list is endless. This proves to be a fun light hearted session which always gets a mention on the happy sheets and for weeks to come…
    Obviously emphasise that prep does create confidence which helps nerves from taking over in the first place however “the human brain starts working the minute we are born and doesn’t stop until we stand up to speak in public”.

    If you would like more info on this session feel free to email me.

    Kind Regards

  13. presentation skills
    Following Jenny Jame’s suggestions, I do a course which covers all the basics – body language, structure etc. As the delegates are nervous, one of the first exercises I do is to put them into groups and give them instructions on something they should do wrong with their presentation ie bad body language, illegible flip chart, poor speech etc. The other delegates then have to guess what is wrong with the presentation. This allows them to speak in front of other people, without the fear of getting it right. At the end of the session, they then get the chance to do the presentation again, but this time correctly.

    Good luck!

  14. team building day

    I notice that most of your responses have been for your presentation course rather than the teambuilding, and what does this indicate?
    A word of caution and then some positives.
    The caution is about your trainers not being familiar with the subject. For team building the facilitator will need to be able to read the situation and respond appropriately, and this requires both an awareness of the dynamics of the participants as a team, and the experience to help others see this too. Both of these will be important whatever activities or exercises are used. Otherwise the day could be mechanical without touching the inner learning of the participants, willing or unwilling.
    On the positive side, a helpful structure is to work from the indivual as contributor to the team, through relationships and how we affect each other, to the underlying team processes. And in each case use the participants direct experience on the day as the source of their learning.
    But remember, the facilitator is more important than the activities.
    Contact me if you would like to talk it through further.

    Good wishes.
    John Teire

  15. Course for delivery
    Dear Caroline,

    One approach for you to consider when putting a course together for an experienced trainer is to get the course designed to your specific needs by a professional course designer or by a terrific trainer you already respect. Then buy the programme with the license to run it in house as many times as you like. That way you are getting validated material and the wisdom of someone experienced in the topic, whilst retaining the flexibility to run the programme internally. As well as running courses for clients we design them too & it has proved a successful approach for the client, in house trainers and delegates. Please contact me on if you want more information on how this approach has worked in practise.

    Kind regards

    Jane Tredgett

  16. Presentations skills & Team Building

    I deliver a one day presentation skills course a number of times through the year.

    No-one wants to attend and often the delegates are very nervous. Therefore, we try to have as much fun as possible to ensure everyone is relaxed.

    I make delegates stand at the front of the room to introduce themselves to the group. This may be scary but it ensures that they don’t worry all day about standing up and presenting – they’ve just done it. They also get a round of applause – and there’s usually a bit of camaraderie between the delegates.

    I can let you have the course details if you like.

    With regards to Teambuilding -I have delivered a number of these to various size groups and varying roles from clerk to CEO. One of the best ones involved a community project. The group had a task to complete rather than trying to defuse and imaginary bomb etc.

    The group could see their achivement at the end, had to make the best of resources and work under high pressure but the results were well worth it.

    If you need more details then please let me know.

    Have fun


  17. Your training tasks!
    I agree with all the helpful comments you have received.

    So my contribution?

    First, may I ask? If your Trainer has no practical experience in your chosen subjects, have you really chosen wisely? Presentation Skills and Team Building are experiential subjects demanding participants’ credibility in the Trainer to work well. Especially if some participants may be ‘unwilling’ as you describe them?
    Trainer skills and content are surely irrelevant if the outcomes are in doubt?
    (My own ‘best’ learning in both subjects came from two quite unprofesssional ‘trainers’, who were brilliant practitioners! I ‘believed’ their message and wanted to follow their examples, which I have never forgotten. And so, you might think they were great trainers? Actually their training delivery skills stank!)

    Second, if it is training material you are really after, let me send you a Tips Booklet on Presentation Skills for free if you write to me with an address, with my best wishes? Please respect my copyright and otherwise use as you will?

    Third, ref Team Building, may I ernestly suggest that ‘material’ is worth c. 10% and understanding c. 90% on this subject? This can’t be the subject of a ‘Tips Booklet’ or I would have written it! This task is so contextually, culturally and behaviourally dependent in my practical experience that I truly believe a universal ‘sheep dip’ taining approach may only raise unrealisable expectations amongst participants, and be a waste of your employer’s money without deeper understandsing. Quote me if you will! This stuff doesn’t happen in a day’s workshop?

    My greatest concern for you Caroline is that you seem to have been given an unreasonable task, no doubt with the best of intentions, which you can’t reasonably fulfill?
    I’d like to encourage you to say so to your Manager, and do use this message as evidence if you wish at no charge; and to be clear why – for your own learning – what it appears you have been asked to achieve is seemingly unrealistic, unprofessional and not – as I understand the picture presented – even in your own employer’s best interests, let alone yours?

    As a clue, if it is helpful to you, the fact that some particpants may be ‘unwilling’ is enough to know that there is much bigger stuff here to deal with than designing a workshop!

    Of course I may be wrong, but those are the signals I have received from your message.

    In all good faith, with full personal responsibily without fear, and no corporate responsibilty accepted or implied whatsoever – and my best wishes to a fellow professional!

    I hope this may be helpful?


  18. What is the purpose of the team building course?
    Do these 12 people already work together as a team?
    Or is this the beginning of a new team at the start of a new project they will be working on?
    Is there a team leader taking part in this course?
    Are these people learning how to build other teams?
    Why are the unwilling ones being sent on this course?
    What nature of tasks will this team be expected to perform?
    It is difficult to provide any guidance about a Team Building Course without knowing a little more about why it is that 12 people unfamiliar with the subject of team building from various levels of a large organisation are being asked to attend this one day course.

  19. Think again!
    Hi Caroline

    Please brace yourself, as what I am about to say is not really what you would like to hear. I am more than happy to assist anyone, as the majority of responders here are. However, you are about to break a cardinal rule in the training arena; ask trainers to deliver training without the correct skill set to achieve their goals.

    I would suggest that a one day course on presentation skills will merely prove to be an introduction to the subject. I also feel that the time that has been allocated to the team building skills is also quite short. As for designing these courses, do you have experience in this area? I have seen several good ideas from the responses here, but these are totally subjective, as they are general and not specific to the needs of your participants. I suggest that you should do a TNA to establish the training requirement, which will identify the specific objectives for the training courses. I would also rethink the time that has been allocated, as it would appear that you are trying to squeeze the training into a timeframe that at present should be an unknown quantity.

    I apologise if my answer appears harsh, and should you require assistance with the TNA process, please drop me an e-mail.

    Good luck.


  20. Presentation skills
    Caroline –

    In one day with 6 people I aim to do four presentations.

    The first one on a personal topic, 5 mins. The final one work related, 15 mins with questions. For each 5 minute presentation allow 10 minutes for feedback and discussion.

    The other presentations will be short and focused on issues that they may need to work on which have arisen from the first session.

    If they are coming on a presentation skills course, they have to be on their feet as much as possible – where else will they get this practice?

    On a course you have a constructive and supportive environment in which everybody is responsible for the development of all.

    Theory will only take you so far – get them on their feet so that you all have something live to work with. This also exercises their analytical and feedback skills.

    If you feel it might help, get in touch, I can give you greater detail – timings, briefings, objectives.

    And, talking of objectives, one end of course objective should be: when participants leave, they will seek out opportunities for presenting. Go go go….



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