"I truly enjoyed your lively, engaging presentation. What I particularly liked was how much I learned simply by watching you present and the way you engaged everyone in the audience and kept our attention for the entire session. Your content will be great to review as I prepare for future presentations. I also realized that your techniques are scalable, whether I am speaking to a crowd or meeting one-on-one with a major donor."

Patrick Heryford, Board Member, Development Executives Roundtable

Success Stories

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Cecilia Angat
(Partner-in-Charge, Audit Department, DZH Phillips)

Cecilia Angat is the Partner-in-Charge of DZH Phillips' Audit Department. She has 20 years of experience working in both public accounting and private industry. Her work focuses on a diverse group of not-for-profit organizations, including private schools, associations, foundations, religious organizations, membership organizations, and more, in addition to leading her team.

DZH Phillips was already working with KLR Consulting on several programs, including strategy, leadership/management and presentation skills when Cecilia decided she needed more focused help.

Cecilia says, "Typically, when we (the partners) would present within the firm, we'd go in and just kind of wing it, so working with Kristi helped us align our messaging as a leadership team, but also really elevated us as a group and added a level of sophistication and polish."

When Cecilia needed to enhance her speaking skills further, she knew that Kristi was the person to turn to.

Enhancing Skills and Presence

Her one-on-one work with Kristi started when Cecilia was asked to present at the AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference.

"This was going to be bigger than any presentation I'd done before, and very high-profile."

Cecilia knew that there was room for improvement in her speaking skills and her stage presence. "I get nervous and then I tend to talk fast. Plus, I was concerned with my overall presence and whether people would see that I know what I am talking about. Can I sell my message? How can I make sure that people in the audience connect with that message? And then, of course, organizing the talk so it flows and it's not choppy or all over the place."

Developing the Message and Content

Kristi and Cecilia started by defining the message that Cecilia wanted to impart to the audience. "I had a pretty good idea of what the audience would already know and what they needed to know, so that part wasn't too difficult, and the exercise of working through my intent and my message was a great way to narrow down my content so that I wouldn't add too much detail."

Kristi also helped Cecilia find the stories that would engage the audience. "Stories were already there, which is not that surprising when you are working with the non-profit sector. I just needed Kristi's help to shift my perspective to see the stories, and then include some in my talk." Kristi worked with Cecilia on crafting her slide deck as well, removing text and adding images.

Practice Increases Confidence, Reduces Nerves

Practice is one of the most important tricks to being comfortable on stage.

"Kristi said that the better I knew my talk the less nervous I'd be, and she was right." Kristi worked with Cecilia in person and over the phone, running the presentation multiple times, and Cecilia also practiced on her own. She says, "I knew that I tended to talk faster when I present, and that it's not a great experience for the audience. I also knew that it was all about my nerves, but what I didn't realize is that when I consciously tried to slow down, it somehow made me less nervous." Cecilia found that knowing her talk well made her more confident, and that, in turn, caused her audience to be more engaged.

"I feel so much better now when I'm faced with having to speak in public. There's still the nervousness of public speaking but I was deathly afraid of it before. Now I have strategies to control my fear and keep my nerves at a manageable level!"

Handling Last-Minute Changes or Surprises with Ease

"All of the work with Kristi helped me so much, even with other presentation situations," Cecilia says. There was another talk she was giving around the same time, at a partner retreat, and so she applied Kristi's strategies to that one too, practicing and practicing so that she knew it inside and out.

"Well, I got to the retreat," she continues," and it turns out they didn't have a projector for my slideshow! Instead of panicking, I printed the slides as a handout for the audience members, and did my presentation without the slide deck. I was so comfortable with my material that I was OK without it!" To add to her confidence, her boss, the managing partner, later commented that the presentation was "phenomenal." She says, "He is not known for being excessively complimentary."

Public Speaking with Confidence & Authority

Cecilia was impressed with Kristi's coaching method and style. "She makes you feel really good and builds that confidence. She delivered criticism or constructive feedback in such a way that I would hear it. She is concise and honest, yet allows room for you to absorb and reflect. She also has this talent for making her feedback seem like it is collaborative, like you both already know this is what needs to happen."

Cecilia says, about presenting in general, "When you add that polish, from lots of practice and lots of feedback, and you are more confident, the message becomes more meaningful and powerful." About her own growth Cecilia says, "I feel so much better now when I'm faced with having to speak in public. There's still the nervousness of public speaking but I was deathly afraid of it before. Now I have strategies to control my fear and keep my nerves at a manageable level!"

Cecilia also points out that Kristi's work extends beyond presentation skills training. "She is so good at building trust in an executive team, and facilitating improved team collaboration. She gets to know the different personalities and you can count on her to be there for the long term."

"Working with Kristi helped us align our messaging as a leadership team, but also really elevated us as a group and added a level of sophistication and polish. She gets to know the different personalities and you can count on her to be there for the long term."

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