“Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.”
Several years ago, I stood in front of a conference room full of people, preparing to deliver a speech. I had practiced, but not in front of 300 people or on a big stage under bright lights. I did well, but the keynote speaker was brilliant and a highlight of the day for many. We spoke afterwards and he put his impact down to, “decades of experience.” As the poet John Keats said, “Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.” Knowing the content of my presentation was one thing. But, being able to take command of the stage and manage those nervous feelings effortlessly, could only be put down to experience.
Thankfully our opportunities to gain experience outside of ‘doing it for real’ are now far greater. Virtual Reality (VR) training is transforming the ways organisations train. Whilst not yet mainstream, large organisations have adopted VR for specific skills training such as; how best to fry chicken, deliver parcels, put out fires or even colour hair. If we learn best by doing, then feeling fully immersed in a VR scenario where we are understanding the impact of the choices and actions we take, is a great way to develop experience.
Given the impact of VR training as a tool, we have incorporated this innovation in our Entrepreneurial Mindset programmes. Putting on a headset and being immersed in an experience can also help develop empathy and leadership skills by practicing communication scenarios such as negotiations, listening and dealing with angry colleagues or customers. It’s an engaging and impactful way to bring theory and group discussion into practice. Likewise, there’s no need to wait until you are back in the office to try new techniques!
If, like me, you are keen to perfect your pitch and hone your presentation skills further check out our new Presenting with Impact workshop. It’s a personalised experience using virtual reality tools for immediate impact. This workshop uniquely combines real time feedback on pace, volume, filler words and eye contact in virtual reality scenarios, with expert tips and face to face presentation techniques to create confidence and focus for your presenting skills.