SDAC Workshop Series Winter Semester 2022/2023: Public Speaking

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In the framework of the SDAC workshop series, the 6th cohort students joined the “Public Speaking” workshop on December 9th, 2022. Eric Molin, a professional presentation coach, generously reported on this workshop.

On December 9th 2022, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, hosted the 3rd annual “Presenting With Impact” class, in cooperation with Impact Presenting®, for the Elite Master’s Program “Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures”.  This year’s class was sourced and organized b Anna Schneider, senior lecturer at FAU.

The audience was highly diverse with participants coming in from across multiple countries and study disciplines and was led virtually, Eric Molin, MBA, in Vienna, Austria. The key-focus of the class was on learning key presentation skills.

Most of the students were still new to public speaking so it was a good primer for their academic presentations as well as prepare them for presentations that they might give in their post-academic life (i.e. presenting themselves, or their ideas, in a job interview)

The class ran from 9am to 2pm with the morning spent getting trainer input, reviewing public speaking case studies, watching previous client before / after videos, and other videos with examples of good presentations. Then, in the afternoon, they practiced what they learned. Each student was allocated 2 to 3 minutes to deliver an engaging introduction, a short extract of their subject matter expertise, and then to close their talk with a call to action. Afterwards, they got feedback from the instructor in addition to complimentary input from their peers (also known as “solutions-focused” feedback).


Some key lessons learned included:

Learning that anxiety before public speaking is normal (70%+ people feel this). People worry about forgetting their material, about stage-fright, about being rejected. BUT their emotional state is also heavily comprised of excitement, of the benefits their presentation will bring their audience (and themselves!)  and that differentiating these 2 emotions will help them feel more excited (and less anxious) about giving their talks. They also learned that presenting with impact means not giving too many details (especially at the beginning) but first finding your flow. They learned about targeting their message and focusing on what the audience wants/needs to hear rather than what we want to say. Finally they learned that most of their impact is created in the first few seconds of a talk, so its better to practice your opening (but not the whole speech). Likewise, practicing how you will end your talk, and using a clear call-to-action, is the best way to inspire your audience (i.e. toward a change of knowledge, a change of actions, change of attitude, etc.) and make your impact.


Big thanks to Anna Schneider for the flawless organization and support during the class. Working with the next generation of thought-leaders was exciting and we look forward to future classes together!

Impact Presenting® is based in Vienna, Austria, and has been helping thousands to present with more impact in business and academia across Europe since 2015.


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