Expand your influence and confidence
with David Otey's proven process.

Audiences Don't Need Speakers

(But they might need someone just like you!)

When you speak, what happens after the applause dies down? How do you know what difference you made? How do you know what your audience needs from you?

Making a lasting impact as a speaker is not a question of narrating your slides smoothly while making eye contact. It is a question of how you connect with your audience. What do audiences need?

They need experts they can understand, trust, and relate to.

If you are already an expert on your topic, congratulations. Now all you need are the skills that will make you better understood, help you be seen as the trusted authority on your topic, and make you relatable. The good news is that these are all transferable skills.

Following this program, attendees will be able to…

  • Explain the importance of audience engagement.
  • Demonstrate the use of three critical questions for audience focus.
  • Demonstrate storytelling techniques appropriate for their audience and content.

This 60-minute interactive program can be extended to 90 minutes with the addition of mini-coaching, or can be the basis for a half-day workshop for those fully committed to becoming presenters who make a lasting difference.

Intended audience: technical experts who want to turn their expertise into memorable presentation experiences for their audiences, in order to expand their influence and the reach of their ideas.

What Audience Members Have to Say

"David is a gifted speaker and facilitator and does a wonderful job teaching the material. He has such an easy way about himself that puts the class at ease as well. I'll be honest, this is my second class with David and I'm really struggling to find major areas of opportunity."
"David Otey is one of, if not the, best instructor I've had in a training. He was genuine, funny, and focused on the material without being dull. He gave very many helpful tips and I feel I've benefited greatly from this training. I will say as helpful as the handouts are, Mr. Otey is largely why I found the training so helpful. I hope to take more from him again."
"David has a very effective approach and demeanor when conducting this seminar. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable, but also he is personable, thorough and engaging. Thank you for bringing these new tools to us!"

The A.R.T. (and Science) of Connecting:

A New Paradigm for Technical Presentations

For your work to change the world, it must be communicated to someone else. How do you tell the story of your work? The basic unit of human interaction is not data. It is a story. Modern neuroscience has much to tell us about the way the brain responds to a story. If you want your audience to Accept, Remember, and Take action on the information you present, you must first make a connection with your listeners at a human level—hence, the A.R.T. of Connecting.

But connecting is not just art; it is also science! We now know that stories prompt the release of the neurotransmitter oxytocin, which promotes feelings of empathy and connection. In short, a well-told story leads the listener to want what the protagonist of the story wants. In order to move listeners to take action, you need to know what effective orators (and salespeople!) have long known: facts tell, stories sell.

Attendees to this program will come away thinking about their technical presentations in an entirely new way. They will be prepared to use new tools, such as… 

  • The Specific Purpose Statement as a content filter
  • The five-part skeletal story as a fundamental structure
  • A unique template for drafting a talk in a conversational, yet scientifically rigorous, way

This 60-minute program is highly interactive and includes time for participants to collaborate with a neighbor in using these tools. It contains elements of both a keynote and a mini-workshop. If desired, it can be extended to give more workshop time.

Intended audience: scientists, engineers, or other quantitative thinkers who need to give presentations to both technical and non-technical audiences. They will leave with new tools, a new way of thinking about their objective, and the confidence to know they are prepared to make a difference to their next audience.

More Comments from Audience Members

"David did a good job of getting all of us involved in the discussion. It was not just knowledge transfer but learning to think critically through situations."
"Fantastic! I wish I would have heard these things 20 years ago!"
"David did an amazing job keeping everyone engaged in a Virtual Setting. He really equipped me with a lot of tools to use as I lead my team."

How to

Connect, Convey, and Convince When You Converse

Astute scientists and engineers know that conveying their findings to others is as much a part of the process as coming up with the findings in the first place. Therefore, they pay attention to the particular challenges of crafting their papers and formal presentations. But what of the less formal opportunities to convey knowledge? It turns out that effective conversations call for many of the same communication tools as effective presentations—but with the added challenge that conversations, more so than presentations, are also opportunities for relationship-building.

In this program, attendees will learn why making a connection with the listener is a prerequisite to conveying information. They will also learn how to make such a connection and how to convey their information convincingly once they have done so. The focus will be on how to approach a conversation with the listener’s, not the speaker’s, needs in mind.

The central theme of putting “connection before content and empathy before evidence” may seem counterintuitive to people who are trained to seek and present evidence. But this “evidence-first” tendency is exactly what gets in the way of effective communication, according (ironically!) to scientific evidence. The science behind putting connection first will be explained.

Following this program, attendees will be able to…

  • State their Specific Purpose which will guide their next speaking opportunity.
  • Explain the benefit of connecting with the listener at an emotional level.
  • Demonstrate how to connect by putting the listener’s needs first.
  • Demonstrate the use of basic storytelling techniques and tell why they are essential.
  • Demonstrate the use of a tool for avoiding starting-point error.

This 90-minute, interactive program includes time for participants to collaborate with a neighbor in using these tools. It contains elements of both a keynote and a mini-workshop. Participants will leave eager to use the insights they have gained at their very next opportunity.

Intended audience: Early-to mid-career professionals who have a demonstrated need to communicate the essentials of their work both within and outside their organization.