About David D. Doerrier: David D. Doerrier founded Present Your Way To Success, specializing in transforming intelligent individuals into extraordinary speakers and facilitators. David, a premier presenter in the business world, is dedicated to helping industry leaders and trainers create captivating presentations that deeply resonate with their audiences. Drawing on his experience as a radio broadcaster, stage actor, voiceover artist, and even a professional Santa Claus, David brings a one-of-a-kind approach that combines his unique style with best practices. Having spent 28 years as an air transportation specialist and kick-starting his training career in the USAF, David has worked with numerous Fortune 15 companies. Today, he empowers speakers, trainers, and leaders to significantly elevate their presentations and achieve outstanding results. Check out the latest episode of our Conversational Selling podcast to learn more about David.
In this episode, Nancy and David discuss the following:
- The concept of the adult learning theory
- Why should presenters be familiar with this theory
- Techniques to keep different learning types of audiences engaged
- Virtual and In-Person engagements: differences and similarities
- The tips with the camera to look more professional at the virtual presentation
- What do many presenters struggle with the most
- The definition of audience engagement
- Presenters should be familiar with it because, going back to my tagline, talking and telling ain’t training or selling.
- Training is like running a marathon.
- One of the easiest ways of creating a connection or engagement with your virtual audience is to look into the camera.
- What you’re hoping for is for your audience to ask questions, look at you, write things down, and look like they are engaged, but the way you get them to that point is by using these adult learning theories.
“The adult learning theory, at its core, is all about creating engagement with your audience. And I believe that the more engagement you have with your audience, the more your message will resonate and stick and be memorable with your audience.” – DAVID.
“Well, there are many things, but I put three things at the top of the list that all presenters should keep in mind when presenting. The first step is to know your audience. I have seen it many times where a presenter at a networking event, for example, is talking to us in the audience as if we are experts in whatever field they are in. So, number one is to know your audience. Number two is to incorporate stories into your presentation. There is a right way and a wrong way of incorporating stories. You want to keep them short enough that you’re able to provide enough color and enough information in the story. You don’t want them to; you don’t want to ramble on about the story. So, the story should incorporate three things. What was the problem? What solution did you provide? And third, what was the outcome after your client’s solution? Now, there are many different types of stories. Now, what I described would be a business situation based on the problem, solution, and outcome. So, two of the three, number one is to know your audience, number two is to incorporate stories, and number three is to have a compelling conclusion. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone give a presentation, they get to the end, and it’s just “Okay, I’m outta here, bye-bye,” some sort of conclusion, maybe a review or a call to action or a deal of some sort. So there needs to be a compelling conclusion.” – DAVID.
“If it’s a smaller audience, that gives me the luxury of maybe asking questions that can be answered, where I could ask actual questions to the audience, get them to participate through questions. I can still do that with a larger audience, but it depends on my time. This is also where the facilitator needs to be experienced enough to manage time. Asking questions of your audience and expecting feedback can set the whole presentation off the rails because now your audience could easily take over. So here, the facilitator needs to be experienced enough to keep control. So, I would say there are many more similarities than differences, where if you’re not asking actual questions of your audience, you could ask rhetorical questions. Certainly, the way you present to a larger audience must be bigger and more robust, I guess, to be able to speak to and for everyone to hear you in that entire room. And just like acting, if you’re going to be an actor on a stage, your mannerisms need to be bigger, your voice needs to be bigger, you need to project so your entire audience can hear you.” – DAVID.
Connect with David D. Doerrier:
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daviddoerrier/
- Present Your Way To Success:https://presentyourwaytosuccess.com/
Try Our Proven, 3-Step System, Guaranteeing Accountability and Transparency that Drives RESULTS by clicking on this link: https://oneofakindsales.com/call-center-in-a-box/
Connect with Nancy Calabrese:
- Phone: 908-879-2911
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ncalabrese/
- Email: email@example.com
Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi everyone, it’s Nancy Calabrese and it’s time again for Conversational Selling, the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today. And it always starts with the human conversation. Today we’re speaking with David D. Doerrier, a presentation skills expert with years of expertise and a passion for seeing others thrive. He is a US Air Force retiree with a highly successful career in instructional design, classroom facilitation, and corporate leadership training. Throughout his career, throughout his time coaching other presenters and trainers, he has witnessed the lack of foundational skills needed to make an impact that matters to a listener. And David believes that without proper education on engaging with your audience, you’ll overwhelm them with information they can’t even use. Talking and telling ain’t training or selling. I love that line and I agree with this David. Welcome to the show.
David D. Doerrier: Well, thank you so much, Nancy. This is certainly a pleasure to be with you today. I have been looking forward to this interview for quite some time. So, thank you. [1:26]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, I know we had to postpone the last time. So here we are, finally. Let’s just jump into this. What is the adult learning theory?
David D. Doerrier: Well, that’s a great question right out of the gate. So the adult learning theory at the core of it, it’s all about creating engagement with your audience. And I believe that the more engagement that you have with your audience, the more that your message is going to resonate and stick and be memorable with your audience. [1:57]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. Okay, why should presenters be familiar with this theory?
David D. Doerrier: Well, the reason they should be familiar with it is going back to my tagline, talking and telling ain’t training or selling. So having a basic understanding of how adults learn, how adults retain information, and understanding those processes, which come from the adult learning theory. Understanding those processes is going to give a speaker an edge over others because now you have some tools in your toolbox or your hip pocket that are going to help you not only write your material but also when you’re up on stage presenting it to your audience. After all, now you have a clear understanding of what it is your audience is looking for and how they will be able to retain that information longer. [2:53]
Nancy Calabrese: But don’t adults or people in general learn differently?
David D. Doerrier: Ah, that’s a great question. Yes, we all learn differently. The adult learning theory consists of two parts. There are eight principles that all adults are looking for to be engaged. And yes, to answer your question, we are all different. Some people will learn auditory, some are visual, some are kinesthetic, some people learn best on their own, best in groups and some people need to know the entire process or the entire everything from A to Z about the topic whereas others only need to know certain pieces so yes you have to be familiar with what is it that we’re all looking for to be engaged but also be aware of the differences. [3:50]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, but how do you do that? So you have an audience, you don’t know who learns what way. So how is it all tied together to keep them engaged?
David D. Doerrier: Well, this is going to come from, a great question. I’m glad you asked that question. Some of it comes from first understanding what is the current knowledge level of your audience. I know I’m getting to how everybody learns differently. This is gonna, this takes where, as a facilitator, takes practice to under, well, let me back up a minute. As a facilitator, I should bring with me into that, let’s use the example of the classroom, I need to bring with me ways that are going to be of interest to all types of learners. So, if I’m going to be training something I need to be aware that I need to train this for people that are experienced and people that are not and have different ways of disseminating that information for different ways of learning in the audience. I hope I’m making sense. My tongue is all tied around my teeth right now. [5:09]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, well, I guess, you know, my takeaway from this part of our discussion is you must put a little bit of everything for all learning types, right, in your presentation.
David D. Doerrier: Perfect. Yes. Yeah. And that’s going to take experience. So that, that brand new trainer, there’s a lot that has to be learned. You know, training is like running a marathon. It is constantly using your head to adjust to different things that are going on in the classroom or virtually however you’re, you’re training. But it’s, there’s a lot of things that have to be incorporated into that training. Going back to my tagline. Talking and telling ain’t training or selling. There’s a lot that goes into this. [5:55]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. Holy cow. So how has your background prepared you for this business?
David D. Doerrier: Great question. So, after high school, went into the military, and I had always had a passion for radio broadcasting and eventually, I had the opportunity to get into radio broadcasting. Radio broadcasting led me into theater because one of the folks that I worked with was, was directing dinner theater. So now I got to be on stage and then through the Air Force, I was eventually asked to be a trainer back in 1995, and that is what started my 30-year career in training and development. Along the way started training trainers and training other folks within the organization to be better presenters, workshop leaders, and so on. And I’ve been a part of Toastmasters for 30 years. So, I think all those things have contributed to where I am today. [6:55]
Nancy Calabrese: Okay. You know, so much of today, post-COVID, is virtual. So you have virtual engagements and then you have in-person engagements. Are the techniques different?
David D. Doerrier: Great question. There are many similarities between virtual and in-person. However, virtual requires cranking everything up to an 11. In both cases, the facilitator needs to set the stage. What are we doing? Why are we doing it? How are we going to do it? What can you expect from me, the facilitator? What do I expect from my audience in both cases? But in virtual, it’s so much more important to start things off from the very beginning with engagement. Now, yes, you need to do that face-to-face, but it is so much more crucial in virtual and keeping them engaged throughout the entire presentation. [8:00]
Nancy Calabrese: Okay, so virtual, you must look at the person that you’re speaking with, right? So, is that any different than in person?
David D. Doerrier: Yes. So certainly if we are in person and here I can scan my audience, I’m standing in front of my audience, I can feel my audience, I can hear them, I can hear them breathing and if they, if they’re chuckling or if they’re, if they are laughing and so on, it certainly can experience that, but in virtual world you can’t feel all of that, but as far as looking at your audience, this takes practice to look directly into the camera. And I suggest getting a camera that you can adjust the height of it. And my particular camera is the type where I have it centered on my screen. So now I don’t have to look above my screen or at the top of my monitor. I now have, it’s still difficult. You’re not looking people in the eyes because from the user side, if I was looking at my second monitor, for example, and looking at everybody in their eyes, the people that are observing me, I’m not looking at them. So, one of the easiest ways of creating a connection or engagement with your virtual audience is to look into the camera. Now, I do know that we do virtually, we need to look away many times, but at minimum, what I would suggest is looking directly into the camera during your introduction, during transitions, when you ask questions, when you’re responding to questions, when you’re telling stories, and during your conclusion, you’re looking directly into that camera. [10:02]
Nancy Calabrese: Into the camera and not at the people. So I have found that I have to minimize the view and move the screen up right below the camera. So I’m making eye contact with them. If I don’t, it looks like I’m looking down. Is that your experience?
David D. Doerrier: Exactly. And, and what you described, you’re looking down and what I’ve seen with others, they have all the faces, all the people on a second monitor. So now they’re looking either to the right or to the left, which makes it even worse.
Nancy Calabrese: Huh, wow. So based on your experience, what do many presenters struggle with the most?
David D. Doerrier: Well, there are many things, but there are three things that I put at the top of the list that all presenters should keep in mind when presenting. And the first is to know your audience. I have seen it many times where a presenter at a networking event, for example, is talking to us in the audience as if we are experts in whatever field they are in. So number one is to know your audience. Number two is to incorporate stories into your presentation. Now there is a right way and a wrong way of incorporating stories. You want to keep them short enough that you’re able to provide enough color and enough information in the story. You don’t want them to you don’t want to ramble on about the story. So the story should incorporate three things. What was the problem? What solution did you provide? And third, what was the outcome after your client’s solution? Now there are many different types of stories. Now what I described would be a business situation based on what was the problem, solution, and outcome. So, two of the three, number one is to know your audience, number two, incorporate stories, and number three, have a compelling conclusion. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone give a presentation, they get to the end and it’s just “Okay, I’m outta here, bye-bye”, some sort of conclusion, maybe a review or a call to action or a deal of some sort. So there needs to be a compelling conclusion. [12:21]
Nancy Calabrese: Right. Yeah. Well, what’s the definition of audience engagement?
David D. Doerrier: That’s a great question. There are so many different ways to engage the audience. And I would say that what you’re hoping for is your audience to ask questions, to look at you, to be writing things down, to look like they are engaged. But the way that you get them to that point is by using these adult learning theories. For example, I’ll give you one of them to get your audience to take ownership in wanting to listen. And the only way that your audience is going to take ownership is that the facilitator needs to create an opening that says, why are we here? What are we doing? What’s the value that you’re going to get out of this? And if you stick with me to the end of this training or the end of this presentation, you’re going to be able to leave here with a better knowledge of X. So now your audience, if they take ownership, that’s going to get your audience to be more engaged or ask questions or to participate with the chat virtually or whiteboard virtually or polls. So, yes, you want to get them engaged but there are processes that you must put into place that’s going to get them there. [13:55]
Nancy Calabrese: Right. Great, does it take someone to pull this together? So they become a client of yours. What’s your experience in seeing the improvement in audience engagement?
David D. Doerrier: Within a 90-minute session, I can improve there, well, it depends on what their objectives are. So if their objectives are, if they want to just take their engagement up a couple of notches, I can do that in 90 minutes. What I look at is what they are presenting. Who are they presenting it to? When are they gonna be presenting? Taking their existing presentation and reformatting it in a way that we create a compelling introduction, we create transitions, we create engagement throughout the presentation, and we create an engaging conclusion. And just by doing that, the next time they present it, I guarantee it will increase engagement. [15:05]
Nancy Calabrese: Is there a difference between speaking to a large audience versus a small audience as it relates to audience engagement?
David D. Doerrier: Yes, and no. So yes, in the way of, if it’s a smaller audience, that gives me the luxury of maybe asking questions that can be answered, where I could ask actual questions to the audience, get them to participate through questions. I can still do that with a larger audience, but a lot of it depends on how much time I have. And this also is where the facilitator needs to be experienced enough to be good at time management. Asking questions of your audience and expecting feedback can set the whole presentation off the rails because now your audience could easily take over. So here, the facilitator needs to be experienced enough to keep control. So, I would say that there are many more similarities than there are differences, where if you’re not asking actual questions of your audience, you could ask rhetorical questions. Certainly, the way that you present to a larger audience must be bigger and more robust, I guess, to be able to speak to and for everyone to be able to hear you in that entire room. And just like acting, if you’re gonna be an actor on a stage, your mannerisms need to be bigger, your voice needs to be bigger, you need to project so your entire audience can hear you. [16:54]
Nancy Calabrese: Right. Yeah, well how did you end up in this business?
David D. Doerrier: Well, great question. I ended up in the business through the Air Force., I did 10 years active duty then 18 years in the reserves and the entire time in the same career field. In 1995, when I was in my reserve unit in San Antonio, Texas, my first sergeant asked, said there was an opportunity to be a trainer at Dobbins Air Force Base and Marietta, Georgia. Would you like to go? And at that point, I had a theater background. I had a radio background. And I took advantage of it. That was when I started learning the craft of training and writing training, delivering training daily, and eventually working for civilian organizations and eventually training trainers to train others within the organization, and found that I loved it. I just loved this part of what I was doing. And I knew that at some point I wanted this to be my full-time job. I had it as a side hustle for five years. And then at the end of last year, I left the corporation, and now it is my full-time business. [18:03]
Nancy Calabrese: Awesome. Do what you love, love what you do, right? And just one last question, what do you love about it so much?
David D. Doerrier: Exactly. Oh, that’s a great question. You know, in my business, I’ve had an opportunity to ask this same question to hundreds of trainers. What is it that you love the most about training or coaching? And it’s the gotcha factor where I, when I see my audience, get it. You asked me the question earlier about how long I need to get someone to increase engagement in their presentation – 90 minutes. And then when they come back for their second coaching session, we evaluate how that worked and they’re telling me “Hey, this worked, this worked”. That is what feeds me. And I’ve got goosebumps right now thinking about these, these folks that I’ve worked with, and it works. [18:58]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, it works. You know, I love speaking to passionate people. You were passionate about what you do. We have to end our conversation, unfortunately, but how can my people find you?
David D. Doerrier: Oh, great question. Two ways. One is through my website, presentyourwaytosuccess.com/. The other is through LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/daviddoerrier/. So, get in touch with me through my website, get in touch with me through LinkedIn. Let me know that you heard this podcast with myself and Nancy, and I will send you a free copy of my eBook Eight Principles of Engagement.
Nancy Calabrese: Love it, love it. People take advantage of David’s offering and David you were an absolute pleasure. I hope that we’ll continue conversations in the future and make it a great presentation day. I usually say sales day, but a presentation day. Let’s get everyone engaged. So, thanks David again for coming to the show.
David D. Doerrier: Thank you. [20:09]