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Training and Development Questions?

After many years of presenting to small and large groups, Wendy has heard similar questions about her approach and experience as a business consultant. Review these and they may inspire additional questions. 

Is it true that most people hate public speaking?

Yes it is. But it is my cosmically perfect job and a thrill for me.


What do most event planners warn you about when talking about their group?

A lot of planners tell me their group is impossible to engage. They just will not talk. That has actually never happened. I have yet to see the group I cannot crack open. Shutting them down at the end is a much more common issue.


Have you ever been heckled?

Oh yes. No worries. I once presented to a group that had someone with severe short-term memory loss due to an accident. She kept raising her hand and asking the same question over and over. That one was tough because it was not heckling and I wanted her to be respected.


What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened while you were speaking?

Two things come to mind. I once wore a black skirt that zipped down the back. I had forgotten to zip it up. In spite of writing things on the whiteboard for an hour, no one told me until the last five minutes. The other thing was when I was trying to illustrate the difference between a sales and a marketing culture. For the marketing culture I drew a lighthouse. My back to the audience, I realized it did not exactly look like a lighthouse… So I put some grass on the bottom. That made it worse. As a redhead, it took me a while to extinguish the red burning down my face. Once you have had a few things like that happen, you get pretty relaxed about speaking.


What advice do you have for people who are nervous when they speak?

Don't memorize. Know the flow of your speech but really rehearse the gestures. Your nonverbal communication can really tell an audience you are bombing, but worse, it communicates to your own brain that you are in trouble. People believe your nonverbal communication more than what you say.


Why should I hire you?

I always get high ratings and loads of good comments. Most groups eagerly book me again. I take my work very seriously. I am over prepared for every presentation, early to everything, and ready. That means I can step into the flow of group energy and get everyone involved. I love this work.


Have you ever failed at presenting?

Yes. When I was about 26, I was supposed to speak to a group of disadvantaged high school students about government. I was not good at it. They knew it, but were kind. I have not failed once since, not even the time my presentation was interrupted by a tornado in Atlanta, Georgia. After the all-clear, we came up from the basement and I picked up right where we left off!

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