clients

  • Australian Government - Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
  • State Government of Victoria - Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation
  • The Sussan Group – Sportsgirl, Sussan, Suzanne Grae
  • Shire of Ashburton, Pilbara WA
  • Vale
  • Better Place
  • nab - National Australia Bank
  • ANZ
  • HSBC
  • BankWest
  • Coles
  • Elders
  • Yum International – KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell
  • IGA
  • University of Melbourne
  • Information systems
  • The Besen Family Foundation
  • RMIT
  • Drake International
  • VECCI
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Ego Pharmaceuticals
  • Dexxon Pharmaceuticals
  • LangfordAddis
  • CMA
  • World Vision
  • Mission Australia
  • Sacred Heart Mission

About Us

Public Speaking Courses & Communication Skills Training

Melbourne based Presentation Strategies offers you a unique presentation and communication skills of training. You will receive our special combination of performance and effective communication skills. You will be able to communicate your messages using the latest media abd public speaking techniques, and you will also be able to deliver these messages using theatre - based voice, body and performance skills.

Presentation Strategies created this presentation and public speaking course specifically to meet the needs of people in business, industry, politics and the professions. We have achieved outstanding results for our clients in years of experience working with businesses and organizations both internationally and in Australia.

The Coaches

2

AUGUSTINE ZYCHER
- is a Communications Specialist with extensive media experience as a senior producer at CNN, foreign correspondent for for the Melbourne newspaper The Age, and producer and director of documentary films. Ms. Zycher is a speechwriter for clients who are amongst the top 25 business leaders in Australia, as well as for political leaders and distinguished professionals. She also coaches them in public speaking and effective communication skills.

2

ROSALIE ZYCHER
- is a Performance Specialist with international experience as an actor and as a theatre and opera director. Ms. Zycher adapts her experience in theatre and stagecraft to train clients across all business, professional and industry sectors to develop confidence, manage fear and make speech delivery effective through optimal use of body and voice.

 

Our coaches are qualified trainers.

These are some testimonials from clients who have utilised our public speaking courses, communication workshops or presentation skills training.

Praise

Augustine Zycher and Rosalie Zycher of Presentation Strategies have provided various professional services to the Sussan Group over a number of years. We have been extremely happy with these services which include presentation training and speech writing on a wide range of subjects.

We have found them to be very effective in their approach and I have no hesitation in recommending Augustine and Rosalie.

Naomi Milgrom AO
CEO & Executive Chair
Sussan Group


I am the CEO of a $100 million local government based in the Pilbara, the economic power house of Australia. I need to sell my message to federal and state governments, councillors, industry leaders, the community and staff.

My message was not always hitting the target.

Augustine and Rosalie from Presentation Strategies have changed that.

Three days of intensive training on structure, relaxation, engagement, breathing and a whole lot more has given me the confidence to present on any subject, at short or long notice, in any environment to everybody.

They are tough, funny, entertaining and instructive but above all exceptionally well qualified and experienced in all requirements to teach you how to be heard. Presentation Strategies delivered beyond my expectations. I am now equipped with the tools and the confidence to handle any communication situation.

I urge anybody that is required to communicate clearly, concisely and authentically to engage Augustine and Rosalie to provide you with the skills to do so.

Please call or email me for a verbal recommendation.

Jeff Breen
CEO Shire Of Ashburton WA
0419 754 840
jeffrey.breen@ashburton.wa.gov.au


Group Workshops

Participants in Group Workshops at the Department of Premier and Cabinet, State Government of Victoria:

" A revelation!!! You really came through with the goods and I got heaps out of it. Thanks heaps for sharing fabulous sets of skills."

"I will draw on your model from now on!"

"Great course, very positive feedback that didn't pull any punches - the way it should be. Structure of the day worked well."

"It's valuable to get direct feedback on what you can do better."

"This will be helpful for me in the future and gives me a set of valuable tools."

"The presentation of a system was also very effective rather than just a conglomeration of speaking and presentation tips."

"60-second pitch was particularly useful. Well presented - difficult job to do so much in 1 day!"

"A very worthwhile course!"

"A very good learning experience."

Participants in Group Workshops at nab Private Bank:

“The course was fantastic! Thank you for helping me to achieve the confidence to speak in front of a group of people.

“Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Thoroughly enjoyed it and it has increased my confidence.”

“This workshop has been by far the most effective and helpful that I have undertaken.”

“So many ideas and practices were learnt.”

Participants in Group Workshops at KFC - Yum International

“Some fantastic skills and techniques to use in the future. “

“ Great session, great useful tips on how to overcome the common fears of presenting.”

“Great encouragement and support.”

“Loved the structured approach to putting a presentation together. Thanks for the tools.”

“I have learnt so much that will stay with me now for the rest of my life. Thoroughly enjoyed it too.”

Participants in Group Workshops at IGA

“Great course with good effective tools to help each individual’s unique style.”

“ It tackled my fears and gave me good ideas to improve my skill base.”

“Quality tools and very stylish delivery.”

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Many presentation courses concentrate on teaching you about PowerPoint and slide content. Rosalie and Augustine impress upon you that you are the focus of the presentation and that your multi-media tools are just that, tools.

Not only do they teach you how to command this presence of authority and credibility and to communicate with your audience, but also how to overcome the fear of presentation. An extremely worthwhile course that is highly recommended.

Dr Susan Lane
Asian Regional Manager
Ego Pharmaceuticals


Your coaching is extremely valuable for media appearances involving complex messages and a diverse target audience. With your techniques, the key messages are refined and delivered in such a way that the media coverage results in the right personal positioning and the right messages being received.

Peter Reynolds
University of Melbourne Information Systems


My recommendation is unconditional. I have the highest praise for what they have achieved for me.

Gone is my fear of public speaking. I am now confident of delivery because I now understand the structure and what is required to hold an audience's attention. I now look forward to public speaking and will be indebted to Augustine and Rosalie forever.

Rosalie Zycher concentrated and I mean concentrated on Performance Skills - communicating with an audience, delivery of the speech and strategies for building confidence and preparing mentally and physically for the presentations.

Augustine Zycher worked on presentation of the speech showing how to structure the speech and prepare concise, clear and compelling material for delivery.

The difference it has made to my presentation has been almost unbelievable.

Peter W. Fergusson OAM
Victorian Tourism Award Winner Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to Tourism Adjunct Professor


TEVA has used the services of Presentation Strategies as part of our program to train and qualify managers in the field of communications and in conducting presentations.

Both of their representatives, Augustine Zycher and Rosalie Zycher have prepared and processed materials for interdepartmental communications within our organization with exemplary expertise and clarity. We were very pleased with their professionalism and with the high quality of their work.

Their guidance was invaluable in instructing and improving our managers' communication skills. We were fortunate to have selected Presentation Strategies and to have been given the services of such excellent representatives as Augustine & Rosalie.

Moshe Netzer
Director of Corp. Training & Organizational Development Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.


I appreciate all the exceptional work you have done for us, from our company presentation and profile, to my speech in the United States. I am also pleased that we were able to work together, even under our notorious time pressures.

Dan Oren
President & CEO Dexxon Pharmaceuticals Ltd.


I have now worked with Presentation Strategies on two projects. Each time it has been a stimulating and valuable process with terrific results. It's about more than words - it's about defining and communicating what you and your business are about. It's also more than preparing a brochure or PowerPoint presentation; it's about equipping yourself to capture opportunities when they present - whether that's a formal pitch or an incidental meeting. I've learned a lot from the process and gained skills I can use regularly for a range of circumstances. I have no hesitation in recommending Augustine & Rosalie's services - it's an investment in essential skills for your business and yourself.

Rosemary Addis
Principal LangfordAddis


I was fortunate enough to attend the Presentation Skills course just prior to a business trip to Hong Kong. The training I received from Augustine & Rosalie was a significant contributor to the structure and delivery of my two presentations. I was able to use the knowledge and skills I acquired from the course to maximise my connection with the audience and able to clearly communicate the benefits of our Permit Administration System (PAS) for their companies. I have no hesitation in recommending this course to anyone required to deliver presentations.

Peter Kingwill
BEng, MACS, FAICD Director Sage Technology


tips for public speaking & presentations

TO RIFF OR NOT TO RIFF

I'm sure you are all familiar with the following types of speakers:

1. The person who has written out every single word of the speech and reads every word to us while cluching the paper fearfully and rarely looking at the audience.

2. Then we have the one who makes it up as he/she goes along and rambles through, without focus, and without clearly making the important points.

These are two ends of the spectrum in public speaking and presentations, but they are not uncommon.

Re Riffing: President Bill Clinton, a great speaker, was know to improvise some of the most important speeches he ever made. His speechwriters would work with him as with a jazz musician. That is, they would establish the main theme and structure and give him the freedom to riff.

It's OK to improvise, it's OK to riff, provided you do so from the basis of a coherent, well thought- out structure. So, in preparing speakers, we make sure to provide them with a solid foundation and structure so that they can improvise, but still ensure that they have gotten their most important messages across.

Re written speeches: we do write complete speeches for many clients, but we develop their communications and presentation skills so that they feel fully confident in both what they are saying and how they are saying it, and are not gripping the paper. We teach ways to connect with the  audience and speak to them, rather than reading to them, even with a written speech.

 

SPEAKING IS NOT THE SAME AS WRITING

This may appear to be stating the obvious. But it is the fundamental problem with so many presentations.

In one of our training sessions, we asked a group of officials at the top level of a government department, to each prepare and present a presentation lasting only a few minutes. Each one delivered their presentation and each one had a common problem. They would have made excellent written reports, but they were uninteresting to listen to. In the same way that listening to someone read from a PowerPoint is the surest way to put you to sleep.

And this is because, when you make a speech or presentation, your primary objective is to engage the audience. Therefore, the way you structure your material has to be determined by different dynamics.

It requires a different set of presentation and communications skills.

You need to be able to capture their interest, keep them involved and make it easy for them to understand your messages.

So make sure that when you address an audience, you are actually speaking to them as you would to a group of colleagues, and not just reading something you have written.


TO POWERPOINT OR NOT TO POWERPOINT?

The first question you should ask yourself is whether you need PowerPoint to help communicate your message.  Then if you do believe you need it, in what way can it help? PowerPoint is a great aid if it can illustrate a point you are making graphically or by using an image. But simply putting your entire presentation on slides and reading them to your audience is self-defeating. Your audience can read. We read faster than we speak, so by the time you’ve read all your points, your audience is familiar with what you are about to say and will lose interest quite quickly.

One reason many people use PowerPoint is because everyone else seems to be using it and you will somehow look less savvy if you don’t.  But boring people is not going to leave a positive impression. Worse, it will defeat the purpose of presenting in the first place – to communicate a message. It reveals poor presentation and communication skills.  “Death By PowerPoint” is a phrase we all know because we’ve all suffered sitting through the boredom and overload of one PowerPoint presentation after another with endless slides crammed with information and little to distinguish them or their presenters. Audiences therefore find it refreshing to listen to someone who doesn’t use PowerPoint. In our public speaking and presentation skills courses we provide our clients with the tools to reduce their dependence on PowerPoint.

 

 

 

MASTERING THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING

Applying some common sense techniques can improve your ability to make effective presentations

- Augustine Zycher

It’s your turn to get up and speak. The stakes are high. You stand before people whose judgment of you can make or break your product or business. Your authority and credibility are on the line. Your heart is racing and you realize with surprise how loud a sound that pulse can make in your head, interfering with getting your thoughts straight. Your breath becomes erratic and your mouth is dryer than the desert floor. You start speaking but your voice cracks and wobbles until it peters out to a dreary conclusion.

You had a lot to explain and either spoke too much or said too little. You know your product but your explanation seemed either to fall short of your intentions or bounce off your audience as though repelled by their indifference and boredom.

You ran out of puff and time before you’d fully dealt with what was most important. And what was meant to be confident and authoritative came out tentative and querulous. Your audience is gazing at you with doubt, incomprehension and indifference, or worse still, looking away altogether.

You slink back to your seat relieved that the intolerable scrutiny is over but filled with the leaden certainty that you have failed.

Sound familiar? It happens to most of us when we get up to speak in public. For most of us the consequences go no farther than a bruised ego. For you, the business executive, your company, your product or idea, and your career are being judged every time you get up to speak.

For you, it is critical to perform effectively. However large or small your business, whether the objective is to motivate your employees, gain the confidence of shareholders, or win contracts, clients or investors, good presentations are essential to both business success and to personal professional advancement.

And yet most business presentations are extremely boring and badly executed. They fail to get their message across. This is not by any means a problem that Australian business people alone have. We have had international experience training CEO’s and executives of multinationals, and a range of businesses large and small in fields as diverse as bio-tech, pharmaceuticals, IT, and VC funds. The common problem they all faced was that even though most of them were excellent at running their companies, they turned to jelly or were simply ineffective when giving a presentation.

This is not surprising because the skills required to run a business, are not necessarily the same skills required to be a good communicator.

Performance skills

Being a good communicator requires performance skills. The business person giving a presentation is no different from an actor in an audition or a television correspondent presenting the complexities of international crises on the nightly news.

Each has a short time (for an actor as little as 3 minutes, for a television correspondent sometimes less) in which to connect with an audience, put across a message, and leave an impression of confidence, authority and credibility that makes his/her performance stand out amongst all those others competing for our attention.

This is why we feel it necessary to apply both mass media and theatre skills when training business people to give more effective presentations.

Successful business people and performers appear relaxed and confident. But it is a mistake to think that you are either born with performance skills or not. The so-called “natural” performers like President Barack Obama or Bill Clinton account for only a small percentage of successful communicators and even they were coached. Most of us have to learn performance skills. The good news is that they can be learned.

Fear is of course the biggest stumbling block to successful public speaking. And yet with proper training this problem can be reduced to manageable proportions. Think of the tennis players competing in the Australian Open. They are being watched by thousands in the stadium and hundreds of thousands on television. How do they manage to keep playing without being reduced to a quivering mess?

The first answer is that they are totally focused on their game. Their concentration and commitment is total. In the same way, when speaking, you have to be totally focused on what you are saying, completely committed to your message, and believe wholeheartedly in it.

If you present your material in this way, you will not have time to second guess what your audience is thinking about you and thereby undermine you own performance.

The second answer is that, just as the tennis player has to train, you also have to train to develop speaking skills and then practice, practice, practice. Seek out opportunities to speak in front of small groups and large ones, friends and strangers. But don’t practice in front of the mirror. It makes you self-conscious and self-consciousness is the enemy of fearless speaking.

Your body and your voice radiate messages to the audience about your confidence, your authority, and your credibility. These messages are quickly picked up by the audience. Would you trust the business executive who in a shaky voice expressed confidence in his product while squirming behind the lectern for fear someone should actually see him? Your success with the audience depends on whether you are in control of these messages and whether you are positively shaping the audience’s perception of you.

Connecting with your audience

You do this by connecting and communicating with your audience. This includes:

Making eye contact with the audience and continuing to focus on them and not on laptop, notes or slides. Walk and stand tall. Don’t creep up to a rostrum and crouch over your notes or lean for support on the nearest available piece of furniture. Most people when asked to speak, suddenly become aware of their arms and legs and don’t know what to do with them. They want to hide behind something. Resist this impulse. Instead, dominate the space and invite scrutiny. Use appropriate and natural gestures while speaking, and don’t make studied or distracting movements.

Command attention with your voice by projecting it to include the whole audience. Microphones don’t solve the problem since they can break down or distort. Microphones will allow the audience to hear you, but they won’t compel them to listen to you.

Don’t forget to breathe! Regular breath helps reduce the build-up of tension and helps eliminate anxiety. Whenever anxiety strikes, head it off with slow and regular breathing. Don’t be afraid to pause to take the breaths you need or to collect your thoughts. Speakers are often afraid that if they pause, they will lose the audience’s attention. You won’t lose your audience, it too needs short pauses to assimilate what you are saying.

PowerPoint presentations are now a standard business practice. But too often presenters are just overwhelmed by their own PowerPoint. Don’t forget that PowerPoint and other visual aids, are just that, they are aids to you and should never take centre stage. Realize that you are your most important tool. Do not just stand there and read to the audience, they know how to read. You have to develop the confidence and the skill to know that even if your PowerPoint or other visual aids break down as they sometimes do, you can carry on fearlessly.

Don’t over use whiz-bang effects in the PowerPoint presentation in an attempt to impress the audience. The trouble is that after seeing so many objects and words flying all over the screen, the audience is more likely to be so confused and distracted that they will miss your message.

Define your objective in making the speech. Is to get funding or to motivate your staff? You must understand your target audience, their needs and expectations. Then structure the speech accordingly. Prepare well in advance. Don’t think – “She’ll be right” and put off your preparations.

Capturing their attention

Capture your audience from the outset. The first impression is critical. It’s the same in journalism. If you haven’t captured your viewers and readers from the outset, they will change the channel or turn the page. You should prepare a compelling opening to make them sit up and give you their attention. This does not mean that you should start off with a joke. If a joke falls flat, it is so much harder for you to pick yourself up from the floor and proceed. It requires skill to deliver a joke properly, so leave the jokes to professional comedians.

Be short, sharp and succinct when making a PowerPoint presentation . The bored audience will not only thank you, they are much more like to remember you and what you had to say.

So next time it is your turn get up and speak, don’t shiver and shake, but welcome the opportunity to inform, influence and inspire.

 

ANSWERING THOSE TRICKY QUESTIONS

- Augustine Zycher

In my work as a newspaper correspondent and as a producer for CNN, I spent many years asking probing questions, both in interviews and in press conferences.

Now I apply this experience to assist those on the other side of the firing line. I work with clients to show them how to answer any questions they are asked, and in particular, the tricky ones.

Often there are questions that you would prefer not to answer. Often there are even questions that you just don’t know the answer. Here are 8 tips on different ways to respond when these questions are asked:

  1. Develop temporary hearing loss
    Even if you have heard the question perfectly clearly, ask them to repeat it. This prevents you being surprised and stumped for an answer. It also gives you that extra valuable time to allow your brain to race forward with an answer.

  2. Assume the audience has developed hearing loss
    Repeat the question to the audience through the microphone. It appears as though you are doing this so that everyone can hear the question, but you are actually buying time.

  3. Become thirsty
    Slowly take a sip of water before you begin to answer. This gives you time to think.

  4. Make it appear you are delighted to be asked that question
    “I’m glad you raised this issue” or “That’s a good question”.

  5. Keep your answers short
    Stick to the key messages and facts as you see them.

  6. Don’t let on you don’t have a clue
    Say “I have/my office has begun investigating this issue and I would be happy to update you when I have all the information to hand.”

  7. Cut off
    When questioners are long-winded and even offensive, respond with a single word – “yes”, “no”, or “maybe” and immediately ask for the next question.

  8. Be courteous & calm
    Respond in this way to even the most difficult questions and you will win the respect of your audience.
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