The #1 torture businesses should inflict on staff


By Cate Schreck - Service Excellence Coach

Presenting. It can render even the most intelligent individuals to mere puddles of their usually confident and assertive selves and it doesn't have to be in-front of 100's of people to be daunting, 2 people can bring some of us undone. Granted, for some people, public speaking or presenting may be a breeze but I wonder if they remember the very first time they presented information to a crowd.

My very first memory of public speaking was at Church. I had to stand at the pulpit and read out the 'prayers of the faithful'. I was 10. I was beyond nervous. My voice resembled Minnie Mouse, my hands shook, my legs wobbled and I'm pretty sure I was close to passing out. I put my head up and saw 100+ people waiting to see if I would burst into flames (I would have been OK with that) or if I could overcome the fear in my mind that was taking over my body. It was torture.

For over 50 years, local Geelong employees have overcome this dreaded fear and helped the community at the same time, through the Give Where You Live Foundations Loaned Executive Program. Loaned Executives volunteer their time to learn about the Give Where You Live Foundation and the Workplace Giving program and armed with this information, they then reach out to businesses seeking permission to present their knowledge to staff via a 5 – 10 minute presentation.

This year I had the great pleasure of training the Loaned Executives in how to design and deliver their presentations and over the past 6 weeks, they have been doing a great job delivering to workplaces across the Geelong region. So far none of the 35 Loaned Executives have burst into flames - in fact, most have come away from delivering a presentation feeling pretty pumped. They are pumped about conquering their fears of presenting but they are more pumped by the responses they receive from the staff who attended their presentations.

It's a wonderful feeling to share your knowledge with a room full of people, many of them strangers, and do it so well that some of those people say thank you and many want to learn more and help more.

If you own or work for a business of any size in the Geelong Region and you haven't had a visit from a Loaned Executive this year, please contact Jess Young - Business Partnerships Manager at Give Where You Live and she will make it happen. You will not only be learning about the great work many organisations are doing in the Geelong region for residents doing it tough but you will also be helping a Loaned Executive polish their presentation skills.

As for 10 year old me, she managed to read out her 3 prayers without dying, didn't knock over the microphone and didn't trip walking back to her seat. Then something crazy happened....she felt AWESOME. That's the secret about doing something that makes your scared or feels like torture - after you have done it, you feel amazing and soon after that you want to do it again...and again...and again.

So why should employers encourage staff to take up the challenge/torture of public speaking or delivering workplace presentations? I can give you lots of reasons but here are my top 3:

  1. Increased self esteem of the employee
  2. Employees feeling valued and valuable in the workplace
  3. Employees will have the skills to educate and motivate each other and your customers.

Contact Lightbulb Training Solutions if you or your team could benefit from some torture.