Special Interest Group – Personal & Professional Development: Tuesday 18th November 2014


Tuesday 18th November 2014 – 4.30pm-5.45pm

Address Details:
National Liberal Club
Whitehall Place
London SW1A 2HB

Ges Ray ‘Speaking in Public’


Pitching for business: how does building confidence in public speaking increase your team’s potential chances of success?

The teams within our organisations are constantly pitching for business. If the #1 goal of a pitch is to get people excited about our business, this extends ‘pitching’ to networking meetings 40/60 seconds & ten minute presentations, formal presentations to clients, Business Exhibition forums, even ‘lifting the game’ with internal meetings.

1st impressions are lasting impressions; those polished words, sweated over for many hours account for just 7% of the message, body language is recognised as 55%, voice tone 38%. What initial impression does your team make on potential customers or investors? How have they prepared for speaking and presenting confidently? What voice tones and presenting techniques have they considered to help improve the % chance of success? Is ‘samey’ and ‘corporate’ enough to win, or should they rise above the pack and be remembered as the interesting speaker that engaged with their audience?


Two ways of approaching this SIG. We can sit solemnly to discuss the topic, nodding sagely at various points, and promptly forget everything once we are into the evening meeting. Or, we can do something engaging and practical.

With your permission, Ges will run two interactive & participative micro workshops to demonstrate skills and techniques that can provide the workforce with a toolkit to build confidence in speaking in public, covering in an hour content that would otherwise form part of the core of a full workshop – recognising of course that for TEN members, already experienced in delivering presentations / leading meetings, this will be mostly a refresher….

Workshop 1 – “Stand and Deliver”

  • Confidence in delivery: How can something as simple as breathing have such a dramatic impact on the initial impression you make on your audience? How does the way you stand affect your voice?
  • Engaging your audience: How do you feel about using silence as a friend, rather than an enemy? What traps do we fall into rather than actually looking at our audience? What is the effect of simply not smiling?

Workshop 2 – “When did you last explore your cavities?” (or, for early morning meetings, a less salacious title: ‘What voice do you use?’)

  • When did you last consider the impact of the tone of voice that you use? Are you:
    • Delivering a story, adding enthusiasm & excitement (head voice)
    • Emphasising, stating facts with a ring of authority (chest voice)
    • Conveying feeling & emotion (heart voice)
    • Making a ‘Chairman’s Statement’ (gut voice)

Ges Ray’s Background

Public Speaking competitions, radio broadcasting, delivering training courses and regularly compèring a major music festival (to audiences of 600) have run in parallel with four decades of ‘conventional’ commercial roles, from Financial Services (an old-fashioned ‘proper’ Bank Manager to High Net Worth clients, in the days when we looked after our customers) to Business Development and Relationship Management in SME IT businesses. A felicitous redundancy was seized upon as an opportunity to garner those years of training and experience into ‘Speaking in Public’, now delivering corporate and SME workshops together with 1-2-1 coaching, building confidence in speaking in public in a style that is practical, hands on, and as fun as possible.

Linkedin profile:              http://www.linkedin.com/in/gesray


A passion for choral singing certainly helps with voice preparation and delivery! (It’s all about breathing…). Ges sings with five choirs, rehearsals for which do not always make him popular on the home front – fortunately empty nesters now the girls have grown – and is Vice Chairman of the annual Leith Hill Musical Festival, one of England’s largest choral festivals and competition just approaching its 120th year – that’s the festival, not Ges. He did row at Henley in 1975, albeit now admits to being slightly out of training.