Most people know David McQueen as a “motivational” speaker. Some as an events host. Others still as a coach. But how did he get there?
David started his working life as an accountant and transitioned to a second career in technology. In both of those careers, he found that where he thrived most was in making the complex simple and coaching people to do the same. Thus spawned a love for effective presenting and communications.
David developed his skill’s to become an expert speaker, communications coach, and event host. This has allowed him to work with fabulous clients in the corporate, third and public sector, including Virgin Media, Asda, Sainsburys, Barclaycard, Societe Generale, HSBC, RBS, BP, Shell, Cisco, Morgan Stanley, Pearson, JP Morgan, Northern Trust, BBC, Channel 4, Telegraph Media Group, BOA Merill Lynch, Startup Awards, Social Enterprise Awards, Shell Livewire Awards and Unltd.
There’s no doubt that in the world of presenting and public speaking David is a real driving force!
I had the great honor of seeing David present at the PresentConf in London this July where he spoke about how to deliver great presentations every time you present. It was an expert display of stage presence, humor, fun, and pure audience engagement and I personally enjoyed every second of it.
What was interesting for me as well is that David was using a Prezi presentation for the very first time. The Prezi itself was designed by another team and all based on David’s content which he supplied beforehand.
I caught up with David at the event and wanted to know how it felt for such an experienced presenter to deliver their first Prezi in front of a large audience.
Here are his thoughts:
Russell: Did using Prezi for the first time add to any pre-presentation nerves?
David: Not at all. Was happy with the outcome and definitely will be using it again.
Russell: Do you traditionally use PowerPoint when creating your own presentations, and how much did you know about Prezi before the event?
David: PowerPoint is my default presentation software, but I have also used Keynote and Flipcharts. I knew about Prezi before the event and had seen some great presentations online but this was the first time I had used it myself.
Russell: When you found out that your presentation would be designed in Prezi did that change the shape and flow of your content?
David: Funnily enough my presentation was still kind of linear, old habits die hard, but the flow was more seamless with Prezi
Russell: Being the expert you are at this I would assume you practiced before the event. How different did you find seeing the movement of a Prezi when practicing as opposed to flat slides? Did it scare you or wow you?
David: I think I had a bit of advantage as I plan my speeches as a storyboard. Rehearsing it was quite easy, and I guess it wowed me more than scared me. I wanted to ensure it complemented my style though, more than take it over.
Russell: Even with that amazing Prezi design behind you on the day, myself and the whole audience were very firmly engaged and focused on you. Do you think your Prezi distracted from your message or enhanced it?
David: I think it complemented, the way all visual presentations should.
Russell: Now that you’ve used Prezi are we likely to see you join one of our Prezi training sessions and ditch slides for good?
David: Hehehe. I think it is quickly becoming my presentation software preference but I know many of my clients like PowerPoint too, so I have to have balance and show how both can work.
Russell: Outside of everything we’ve discussed are there any pro tips you can share with our followers on how to become a master at presenting?
David: I think a good presentation is a composite of things. Good structure including data and stories, good platform skills including posture and complimentary body language, understanding that voice is not just about your throat but using your whole body to communicate sound, and of course ensuring good visuals are in place to help drive home your presentation and make it memorable.
Russell: David thanks again for your time and re-igniting my passion for presenting at PresentConf.
David: A real pleasure and thanks for interviewing me.
I personally think it’s great to hear such a pro admit that Prezi is becoming his presentation tool of choice. BUT, what is extremely important to point out is that a great Prezi or PowerPoint design should never get in the way of you or your message. The best presentations are the ones that compliment, not distract.
Since our initial interview at the PresentConf in London, David has gone on leaps and bounds and I recently had the pleasure of interviewing him again for the Once upon a slide podcast. You can check that out here 👉