On Tuesday 15th November we gathered for our final Ingenuity breakfast event of 2016. Drawing our largest crowd of the year of over 90 delegates, the theme of ‘Performance: the art of professional presentation’ clearly resonated with many members of the network.
Our first speaker, Dr Xenia Pestova, shared her strategies for coping with performance anxiety based on her extensive experience as a concert pianist. As Director of Performance at The University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Arts, Xenia was able to suggest a number of pre-performance routines and coping techniques that can be adapted to any ‘performance’ setting, whether public speaking, presentations or other forms of professional interactions. She highlighted the importance of warming up physically and positive self-talk, even demonstrating a practical breathing exercise with the audience.
Martin Berry, Theatre Director at Nottingham Lakeside Arts then took the floor, drawing upon his experience in theatre to explore what happens when those nerves are (mostly!) under control. Examining how you can manage what your audience hears and what they see, Martin shared entertaining but practical examples around use of voice and the ‘9 things’ principle: the notion of aiming for 9 as the optimum number of notable features of one’s appearance.
The audience praised the “excellent, different, inspiring presentations from both speakers” and their “different take on the usual content relating to presentations”. It was a fantastic – and record-breaking – way to draw our 2016 programme of events to a close. 490 delegates have attended our Ingenuity breakfast events this year – our highest ever number and a sign that the network continues to thrive and grow. We eagerly look forward to building on this year’s success in 2017.
Martin Berry will host a one-day follow-on workshop on ‘Performance: the art of professional presentation’ on Monday 20th February 2017. For more information please contact Gemma Morgan-Jones.