Book Reviews / October 17, 2014
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The first time I heard Paul Bramson speak, I was sitting in the back of a crowded conference room space, first thing in the morning during a Las Vegas company-wide meeting. Needless to say, it was going to be a hard sell to command the room, yet almost immediately after that thought crossed my mind, Paul began to speak.
He approached the topic of selling and presenting with such ease that the room started to lean in, listening to every piece of advice that was given. His passion for the topic was infectious and ignited an immediate spark in the room. Hands raised to answer questions, chime in the discussion, and some even offered up their personal struggles as a way to be vulnerable yet strengthen their weaknesses and polish their own skills.
In 90 minutes, Paul had taken a room combined with all sorts of roles, titles, and responsibilities and left each person feeling excited about the new abilities we just obtained, leaving us buzzing about it the remainder of the conference. He spoke twice during that week, and by the second session there was standing room only, as anyone and everyone that could squeeze in there tried.
Selling and presenting has always been part of my job for over 10 years, yet he left such an impact on my professional career in a matter of minutes. I just couldn’t wait for another opportunity to see him and learn further, which is why he was the first person to be contacted when the Programs Committee within SMPS Boston began strategizing about new content and speakers for the upcoming year.
After months of planning and coordinating, Paul arrived in Boston to be surrounded by 100+ A/E/C professionals eager to have their own experience as I did in Vegas. Thanks to Suffolk Construction and their generous sponsorship, their headquarters amphitheater was the perfect setting to have Paul come in and speak about Presenting Like A Pro.
The Suffolk auditorium was filled with every level of professional from entry level to VPs and Presidents, each anticipating the information and presentation to come. Paul charged the audience to fixate on the challenges they face when presenting. Whether it be an internal presentation or a client-facing interaction, Paul guaranteed that they would leave with elevated presentation skills and better understand verbal and non-verbal cues.
Presenting the facts, that only 7% of a message’s meaning comes from verbal cues, while the remaining 93% come from the speaker’s tone of voice and body language, surprised the attendees.
How can the way you speak and what you look like influence more than the actual content? Going on to elaborate, he showed that posture, eye contact, and voice inflection can help further hit home a point while creating a sense of confidence throughout the room, that the content you’re saying, is fact and important.
The four P’s of presenting, Pitch, Pause, Punch and Pace, are key in delivering a compelling presentation. Create distinction in your tone, stop at the end of a thought to let it sink in, emphasize the important words with enthusiasm and gumption, and ensure your pace is understandable and adding interest to keep the audience engaged. These become easier and easier as you fully prepare and know your content.
A knowledgeable speaker will be able to easily reduce fillers such as “like” and “um” and allow the audience to gain a better sense of confidence in what you’re saying and leave behind a longer-lasting impression.
Wrapping up the discussion, Paul left the group with final words remind us that each time we stand before one or 100 people, we are a reflection of ourselves and our brands. Stay focused, preparedness gains confidence and ensures that, “Your worst day, should be the best they’ve ever seen.”
Paul Bramson knows exactly how to leave an audience feeling excited and eager to get back and test out their newly polished skill set. The chatter immediately started about how helpful the tips were, while others felt more confident about their ability to speak in front of others when previously experiencing stage fright.
He had transformed a room of professionals, enough so, that several stayed afterward to leave their own personal testimonials on how, in just 60 minutes, he had changed their mindset in one way, shape, or form. Company leaders approached, acquiring him for their own teams to be further trained. He leaves a positive and transformative wake wherever he goes. We were so honored to have him this year, and certainly look forward to the impact he will continue to make within the Boston Market in years to come.