Greater Impact Blog

When striving to make a more significant impact on your audience, whether you’re speaking in front of a large audience or simply speaking up in a meeting, having a solid grasp of presentation skills is extremely important. 

Who is the audience?

Understanding your audience is critical to if you’re going to have the maximum impact and master your presentation skills. The first thing you determine is who you audience is —

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Networking for a Cause: SOS Children’s Villages Event

I’m very happy to announce my participation in this exciting event, being held for a wonderful cause. Please see the information below to book your place.

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The Greater Impact of Your Presentation Skills

When striving to make a more significant impact on your audience, whether you’re speaking in front of a large audience or simply speaking up in a meeting, having a solid grasp of presentation skills is extremely important. 

Who is the audience?

Understanding your audience is critical to if you’re going to have the maximum impact and master your presentation skills. The first thing you determine is who you audience is — in terms of demographics, position level, and role in decision-making. And most importantly, you have to understand why they need to hear what you’re saying and how they’ll benefit from your message. Very simply put, you need to know who your audience is and what’s in it for them. So often, speakers focus on themselves and their message without really having a solid grasp of why and how it impacts their audience, and what their audience’s needs and challenges are.

Also critical is asking what level of understanding your audience has in regard to your subject matter. Are they familiar with it, or is it completely new? How much do you need to explain? For example, if you’re using acronyms, you need to know if your audience is familiar with them, or if they need to be explained.

What do you wand your audience to THINK, FEEL, and DO?

When crafting your message, it’s necessary to ask yourself, what is the goal and purpose of this particular presentation? Once you know who your audience is, the next step is to determine what you want them to THINK about the information they’re receiving, what you want them to FEEL on an emotional level (motivated, confident, excited), and finally, what action do you want them to take? What do you want them to DO?

Sometimes there’s a very clear action, like investing dollars in your proposal, and sometimes the do is less tangible. It may simply be that you’re looking for them to support your ideas. But whatever the scenario is, you need to craft a message with absolute clarity so you have the goal and intention in mind.


Mastering your presentation skills comes down to two primary aspects of presenting, the verbal and the non-verbal. Your delivery is as important as your message. Are you aware of your body language and eye contact? Do you have effective visuals? Are you delivering information with a sense of passion and conviction? Your level of energy is tangible, and if you aren’t excited or you don’t feel that the information you’re delivering is important, neither will your audience.

Supporting your ideas with proof

Mastering presentation skills requires you to gather the best possible proof that your idea or plan is viable. For example, if you are trying to persuade your audience that your new pay roll system is going to work better for the business, you need to ask yourself if you have provided proof that similar plans have worked in the past. Are you giving concrete examples of why transitioning from the current system to your system makes sense?

You can be passionate and excited about your proposals and ideas, but if you do not have the facts to back them up, your argument will be far less persuasive. On the other hand, providing the data will demonstrate that you are prepared, and will establish you as an authority whom your audience can trust. When it comes to presentation skills, you can’t underestimate the significance of bringing solid evidence to the table.

Illustrating with stories

Facts are important when it comes to establishing credibility. But they are not the only aspect of a successful presentation. Getting your audience invested emotionally is crucial, as well.

The ability to tell a story well is an important component of mastering your presentation skills. When you’re telling a story in a presentation, think of it as your best PAL. Make your POINT, give an ANECDOTE, and emphasize the LEARNING for the audience. A story is powerful because it evokes emotion and creates a picture in your audience’s mind. So constantly be on the lookout for good stories that help illustrate your point. And when you’re choosing a story, be sure to be aware of the exactly what kind of emotional reaction you want your audience to have.

Ending with a bang

When building your presentation skills, you want to make sure that you’re considering how you end your talk. In order to make the most memorable impact, you need to have a powerful conclusion, to ensure that your audience leaves with the right impression.

So often, speakers make the mistake of ending with a Q & A. It is so much more powerful to end using the following three steps:

  1. 1. A quick and brief summary of what you’ve just talked about
  2. 2. A definite and powerful call to action
  3. 3. A reiteration of the benefits of taking your advice

These should be the last things the audience hears, so they leave with a clear direction and a solid understanding of what’s in it for them.






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WIP Conference in Atlanta

This year’s WIP conference in Atlanta was a don’t miss event that provided the perfect blend of networking, personal development, recognition of key people and companies as well as Fun! With 176 attendees and several dynamic speakers, including keynote speaker, Nadia Bilchik, CNN anchor and Editorial Producer. The information exchanged was invaluable. Nadia’s message showed us how to Light the Fire when you present and engage with your audience using Energy, Enthusiasm and Excitement.

The cocktail networking session was a hit with conference goers having opportunities to connect in an informal setting. This is what a few of the first-time attendees had to say about the conference:

“I felt fortunate to attend this event. It’s the perfect forum for bringing together parking professionals from all spectrums to share best practices, discuss relevant issues and create connections that provide great opportunities for both business and personal success.  I enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and learning about the current trends in parking.  The conference’s keynote speaker, Nadia Bilchik, President of Greater Impact Communication, was fantastic!  I brought back her book Small Changes:  BIG IMPACT.  Great read. A couple of the break sessions— ‘Your personal Brand through Interpersonal Communication’ and ‘Driving Results through Team and Partner Collaboration’— were excellent as well.  Overall, it was an inspiring conference and I’m glad I attended.” Kathy Pakkebier- President, Portable Computer Systems dba PCS Mobile

“The WIP Conference was a outstanding experience for me. The speakers – Andi, Colleen, and Nadia – were wonderful, and the break out sessions timely and relevant. Beyond the learning, I was able to spend quality time with many industry peers make some new friends along the way.” Cassius Jones – Smarking

“As a first year attendee of the WIP Conference, I was amazed by the number of powerful and professional business women who surrounded me, whom I had the pleasure of meeting.  I found the conference to not only be a time to network and learn from others, but also inspiring.  My takeaway from the WIP conference:  It has inspired and motivated me to become the best person, employee, partner, and friend possible.” Theresa Lilly – WIP Member & Marketing Director at One Parking

Own Your Space: Confidence, Competence, Charisma

The Greater Impact of Your INNERVERSE

newsletter header

I was thinking about my internal world, my internal dialogue, and my relationship with myself, and I came up with a great name for all of that: my INNERVERSE!

To me, that term encapsulates all the elements of one’s inner state of being, including our headspace and the way we feel about ourselves.

So, how would you rate the current state of your INNERVERSE?

Are you in a good place? Do you feel a sense of calm, achievement, and fulfillment? Or do you live in a perpetual state of self-criticism, angst and discontent?

I started this week in positive territory, but after a couple of disconcerting encounters and a double slice of chocolate mousse cake I found myself descending into negativity.

Do you relate?

What do we do when our conversations with ourselves become negative and for whatever reason we start to feel a sense of unhappiness and discontent?

The first step is recognizing the universal truth that so much of our state of being is totally in our head. It is our perception and interpretation of what has happened, not always the event itself that we are reacting to.

The next step is to examine what is really going on, to understand what happened, what it triggered for you and then reframe it.

One way to rewrite the words of your INNERVERSE is to go back  to positive past experiences, in what I famously refer to as your Positive Emotional Memory Database. It is critical to remind yourself that you are a culmination of all your successes and not  a reflection of your current experience.

As William Shakespeare’s Hamlet famously said his inimitable Elizabethan verse: “ There is nothing good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.”

That is why it is so important to pay very close attention to your INNERVERSE. It is the most important factor in your ultimate happiness and to exuding a level of ease and confidence that is so critical to your personal and professional success.


Presentation Skills To Persuade & Influence

Unlocking Your Persuasive Presence

I recently had the pleasure of working with a group of salespeople for a large retailer. Each participant had been a winner in their particular store for selling the most warranties.

What did they all have in common? What differentiated them from their less successful colleagues?

The one thing they all had in common was PERSUASIVE PRESENCE. Each of them had the ability to persuade and influence their target audience, in this case the customer, and present information in an effective and compelling way. 

So, as you read this, ask yourself these questions:

Are  you as persuasive and influential as you could be?

Do you present information in an effective and compelling way?

Could you be more impactful every time you communicate? 

There are a number of  important steps you need to take if you are truly to unlock the power of your persuasive presence, and what follows is a critical checklist:

  • Ask yourself, am I doing this FOR my audience or TO them?
  • Do I really believe that what I am offering adds value?
  • Am I aware of both my verbal and non-verbal language?
  • Have I crafted a message that focuses on benefits?
  • Do I know how to hook or immediately engage an audience?
  • Do I tell good stories and provide the most compelling evidence?
  • Do I really listen to the needs of the audience?
  • Do I exude confidence and competence? 

Finally, be sure to always check your level of energy, the essential ingredient to UNLOCKING THE POWER OF YOUR PERSUASIVE PRESENCE.

Career Caffeine/Interviews

The Greater Impact of Shiraz Oken and Managing Change

I recently spoke with Shiraz Oken, an expert on organizational change who has worked many large corporations across the world. Here are some of her helpful insights on successfully managing the change process.

You’re an expert in leading change. Change is now more critical than ever – why?

Organizations today face internal and external pressures to change, some of the changes are planned like technology upgrades, mergers, acquisitions, integrations and changes in leadership, staff and other. Added to this is deep external pressure for companies to become deeply digital as they compete with digitally enabled start-ups that are taking significant slices out of their markets, and this applies across industry groups. Developing change-capable workforces that can be mobilized fast to help your organization pursue market opportunities, as digital technologies disrupt the way business has been done, is essential to the future success most organizations.

What are some things we need to think about to skillfully lead change?

I identify four primary steps in managing change: 

  1. Define the change. Be clear on what is changing, what it means and how it will potentially impact you, your team, and your organization. Be clear about what you are driving toward becoming, and what success would look like.
  2. Enable the change by aligning leaders and key stakeholders around a  defined roadmap for delivering the change and measure progress along the way.   
  3. Engage relevant stakeholders appropriately through effective communication, training, and performance support and in providing ongoing feedback.
  4. Embed the change in your organization’s operations so that the change becomes part of “business as usual” by ensuring that the people who will be expected to sustain the change are engaged and informed along the way, so that transition to operations is seamless. 

Not all changes are the same, some changes require minimal effort and intervention — for example, a small change to an existing technology can be addressed through a simple communication. On the other hand, transformational change that involves changes to the culture, the operating model, implementing new systems and processes, needs a robust plan to manage risks that could erode the return on investment in that change.

Our change models have evolved to better support short opportunity cycles. I see my role as not only providing guidance on a specific change, but providing people with the skills and the tools to effectively lead change in the long term, in essence making your workforce more agile.

Can you give any examples of this?

Nadia, there are so many examples. High-profile examples of agile startups that have “eaten the lunch” of more traditional bricks and mortar organizations include, of course, Amazon and Netflix. Not all organizations necessarily want to be first to market. However, many traditional retailers are investing deeply, to try and take back market share from companies like Amazon, and most have found that their biggest barrier to making this change as fast as they would like is their own lack of agility. 

I work regularly with companies looking to drive market advantage through various strategies. Change involves an initial investment of time, money and effort. Realizing the targeted benefits from the change is dependent on multiple factors, including the ability of your organization to effectively drive the change. Generally speaking, the longer it takes to get people moving in a desired direction the more it costs, and more opportunities are potentially lost as competitors.

Another example is a financial services company (top 10 in its sector) that made a large investment in technology and developed an application that had the potential to transform the industry, as it enabled consumers to manage their own insurance and investment portfolios end-to-end from sales and underwriting, scheduling medicals, getting approvals accounting and payment solutions online. After piloting the app, the market was abuzz with anticipation. However, major resistance from various departments, leaders, and employees caused the launch to be delayed multiple times, and eventually delayed indefinitely to give the company time to adapt to the future state and to rally greater support from key stakeholders. A year later, a new and unknown startup went ahead and launched a better version of the application, and followed up with additional innovative services and took their place as a top-five financial services companies in its market. 

Organizations need to build their change muscle so that when the need for major change occurs their organization is ready, willing and able to lead the charge.

For more information, please feel free to reach out at