Presentation Skills


Whether you need to connect with colleagues within your organization, or with customers and key stakeholders externally, your ability to shape a compelling message that foster understanding, trust, and action is paramount.

The ability to deliver persuasive and engaging presentations, is a critical skill in today’s workplace.   Interestingly, making presentations is not a skill that comes naturally for people.   In contrast, many professionals express anxiety when asked to present to groups, internally or externally.  Even worse, needed outcomes are not achieved. 

This course is an interactive, hands-on, simplified approach that builds both confidence and competence in delivering compelling presentations. 

Learning Outcomes

Through this 1/2 day or fully day program, participants will learn:

  1. How to develop content in a way that ensures a powerful message
  2. How to design the flow of a presentation to support the key learning goals and needs
  3. How to deliver material, including technical material, in a way that engages
  4. How to handle difficult questions or people in a way that is mutually respectful.
  5. Applications to real workplace presentations that can be worked on during the course 

Compelling Presentations program is comprised of five (5) key learning modules:

  1. Goal:
  • What is my purpose?
  • Who is my audience?
  • What do I need them to do or retain?
  1. Design
  • How to develop powerful openings that engage the audience;
  • How much/how little content to include;
  • How to storyboard the content to ensure a good flow;
  • How to engage the audience to maximize attention;
  • Effective closings to ensure that needed actions are taken.
  1. Delivery:
  • “Winning” body language - how to leverage gestures and non-verbals
  • Avoiding bad habits and impeding behaviours
  • Showing confidence, congruence, and conviction
  1. Audience “Management” – Handling Difficult Questions and People
  • When to take questions
  • Understanding the underlying “intent”
  • How to handle difficult questions
  • How to “leverage” questions to further your message or credibility
  • How to not get “derailed” by questions
  • How to deal with difficult audience behaviours
  1. Application to Actual Workplace Presentations

Note:  A key part of this program is the opportunity to practice a portion of an actual presentation that the participant may be delivering internally or externally.  This could be a marketing, sales, information giving, or promotional type of presentation.  

Participants are asked to come prepared to deliver a 5 minute “mini” presentation, followed by a brief “question and answer” period, on a topic of their choice. 

Instructor:  Robert Harris is a professional trainer, facilitator and presenter who delivers keynote presentations and workshop seminars throughout Canada and the USA.  Robert is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the International Speakers Federation.   Robert has delivered presentation skills to a wide variety of organizations including professional services, financial services, food services, and technology organizations.    Most recently Robert delivered keynotes to the American Dietetic Association, Ontario Chiropractic Association, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Loblaw’s. 

Mini-Biography on Robert Harris

Robert Harris, B. Comm., MBA, CHRP, is president of Robert Harris Resources Inc., a company dedicated to professional development, organizational effectiveness, and leadership excellence.   

Robert started his career in Human Resource roles in British Columbia and Alberta, working in the public sector. 

Robert then became Senior Manager, Staffing and Employee Relations for Baxter Corporation, a global health care provider in the throes of large-scale restructuring.   Subsequently, Robert joined Molson Breweries as Director, Corporate Human Resources, and was on the steering committee that coordinated the merger of Molson with Carling O’Keefe Brewery.  

In the 1990’s, Robert became a partner with a national consulting firm and in 2000, he launched Robert Harris Resources Inc., an organization that is very active throughout Canada and the USA. 

Robert has written three books, most recently Change Leadership: Inform, Involve Ignite.  

Robert is on the faculty of the University of Alberta Business School and the Schulich Executive Education Centre.