Presentation Skills

Few are truly comfortable in the spotlight. It is estimated that three out of four of us fear public speaking. Even those who are at ease may not make the best of every opportunity: being liked and appreciated can sometimes be a substitute for meeting the objectives of a presentation

Underperforming can be costly. At worst we can lose the confidence of important people and even damage our own and our organisation's reputation.

How we all work is changing. The end of the COVID pandemic is in sight, but few think that office life will return to its pre 2019 pattern. That means presentations will increasingly be delivered remotely. With technology comes new opportunities for interaction, instant responses and motivation.

Great public speakers have rarely ever been born and none were born for the era we are entering. Great speakers are made.

"Cormac and Raquel are true professionals"

"The session exceeded every expectation I had or could have imagined. Our work together helped me sharpen my skills and made me polish up my pitch in varying lengths"

"This was educational and, at the same time, so much fun. The skills I learned can be applied in many situations professionally and personally."

- Patricia Bacuros, Vice President, Gifts-In-Kind and Corporate Partnerships Operation Smile

"I enjoyed our sessions, and found them very useful. The theory and tricks to consider when thinking about presentations (especially WISE - Warm, Intelligent, Sincere, Enthusiastic & Empathic) were compelling, and I also found the reflection on how to tailor my messaging more purposefully to various audiences very helpful, which I now do more mindfully".

- Jason Shellaby, Director of Global Health Policy, The Novartis Foundation

Delivering training when it suits you

Even before the  pandemic, Baird’s CMC was using technology that allowed us to work remotely across our global network. We deliver training online or face to face, depending on what works best for you.  We can record and give feedback on presentations through any platforms.

Our training

Our training is tailored to your requirements and capability. Everything begins with storytelling. We work with you to deliver presentations that are compelling, credible and memorable.

Together we develop the techniques to make sure you get your story across and in a variety of settings:  from delivering a keynote speech, presenting to the board, making an effective new business pitch or, simply running better team meetings.  

We will show you how to engage your audience from your opening lines, structure your speech so it is easy and enjoyable to follow and finish in such a way that you are remembered. We are experts in using the new tools that enable instant reaction from the audience and continuing monitoring of the level of enthusiasm and interest of people whose faces may be thousands of kilometres away.

Ninety percent of communication is non-verbal, so we work on important features like correct breathing, posture, pace of delivery and tone of voice.  And we will show you how not to overuse props like notes and slides.

We have invested heavily in presentation technologies such as Prezi and PowerPoint Slide Zoom that are designed for the interactive era.

We will understand individual strengths and weaknesses so that we get the best out of everyone we work with.

What we cover

Training sessions can last between a half day and two days. Longer or shorter sessions are possible depending on requirements. Structure of sessions will vary but we will typically cover the following:

Pre-session audit
Profiling of participants experience roles and objectives

Dealing with anxiety
Most people fear public speaking - we aim to make it enjoyable.

Understanding your audience
Pitch your presentation at the right level

Structuring your presentation
Correct structure makes a speech easier to prepare, easier to deliver, easier to follow and easier to remember.

The art and science of storytelling
Balancing  technique, preparation and creativity

Non-verbal communication
Over 90% of what we communicate can be non verbal; mastering tone of voice, body language and other factors is essential for effective speaking and presenting.

New technologies
Getting the best out of feedback and question management apps such as Pigeonhole and Slido and using presentations that allow you to adapt your story based on the passions and concerns of those in the audience, virtual or real

We will spend most of our time together preparing, delivering and analysing presentations

Post-session reporting
Assessment of participants and recommendations for development.

More than presentation trainers

Baird’s CMC is a unique global network.  Our trainers have spent decades on big stages, presenting at board level and successfully leading teams.  First and foremost, we are practitioners who understand complex organisations, diverse cultures and a variety of stakeholders from governments and the media to NGO’s and big corporations.  We won't just help your people to be better speakers – we will help you to connect with your most important audiences, and have fun doing it.

"Cormac and Raquel, tailored our longer session to focus on areas of need and development that were most important to us."

"The outcome of their diligence and pre-session preparation was an exceptional workshop that benefitted every participant in a myriad of ways."

"Cormac covered a lot of ground and moved at a pace that kept everyone engaged and eager to get to the next step. His use of humour and considerable levity helped maintain a pleasurable balance between educational instruction and interactive learning."

"I came away from the experience so impressed I have recommended we utilize Baird’s CMC for future presentation training with staff at all levels in our organization."

- Kendra E. Davenport, Chief Development Officer, Operation Smile

Your Project Team

Raquel Cruz and Cormac Smith bring significant experience in all aspects of strategic communication and public relations. Having worked across our organisation to develop our new product offerings, specifically aimed at the current challenges we all face, they will assemble and lead the strongest teams to address your issues. With our unique global network rest assured you will always be working with the best in the business.

Raquel Cruz

Project Manager

Raquel is a communications and project management specialist. She will be coordinating the introduction of our new services and supporting clients in the management and delivery of their projects.

Since working for Baird’s CMC, Raquel has been involved in communications, research, and project management for clients including Roche, IFPMA, ViiV Healthcare, Angelini Pharma and Gavi, with accountability for everything from conception to successful completion.

  • Speaks fluent Spanish and English
  • Masters’ degree in International Journalism from Cardiff University, UK
  • Background as a public relations consultant in a Spanish communications agency
  • Experienced radio producer and social media specialist

Cormac Smith

Skills Development
Project Director

Cormac is a highly experienced strategic communications specialist. He has been integral to the development of these new services and will be working closely with clients to understand their needs and develop solutions.

In a career spanning three decades Cormac has held a number of senior positions, including Deputy Director of Communications at the UK Cabinet Office, Strategic Communications Advisor to the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, and as Director of Communications for several UK local authorities.

  • Media training and public speaking expert
  • Experienced in crisis communications
  • Specialist in staff engagement and corporate leadership
  • Trusted adviser on reputation management and media relations