Children 1st help Scotland’s families to put children first, with practical advice and support. They also support survivors of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic events in childhood.

Since 2012 Maryanne has run presentation skills courses for the team to ensure the results are as good in a one-to-one situation as they are at a fundraising event.

The Challenge

Since 2012 I have worked with Children 1st with many of their fundraising team. Each individual has different needs – for example, pitching informally and formally to corporates, organising fundraising events, speaking to major donors – sometimes a pitch could be around the board room table, sometimes it’s 1-1 at a donor’s home. Occasionally presentations are to much larger groups, regionally and nationally. All needed a consistent approach for their presenting strategy, as well as increased confidence, tips and techniques.

The Solution

I run a Presentation Skills course for them over 1 day with 5 people.

The content of the programme includes all aspects of delivery and using natural style, presentation strategy and content structure, using visual aids and handling questions. Everyone brings a presentation with them and we work on that over the day. They have 3/4 opportunities to present in front of the group and each time I film, then give feedback with video review.


  • An analysis of their communication style
  • Learn how to communicate consistently with authority and credibility
  • Learn how to communicate with confidence and be engaging
  • Master apprehension and nerves
  • Consistency, focus on key messages and time saving in preparation
  • Best practice preparation of prompts
  • Thinking on your feet, focusing on requirements of the listener

The Results

‘The day was enlightening. The time given to practise the new approach and be filmed was key for learning.

Maryanne’s calm, consistent and confident approach enabled her to see through all the excuses and anxieties – and kept the day focused.

I have since applied this approach into presentations with great success and would recommend it to all.’

‘I felt empowered to practise delivering presentations on a topic that can be uncomfortable or upsetting to the listener and to feel comfortable and confident to do so.

I learned a great deal from the session with Maryanne and I found myself automatically using what I’d learned at the next available opportunity.’


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