Kirsten Rourke founder and CEO of Rourke Training, LLC, is on a mission to create engaging communication in online and in-person presentation and speaking spaces. Kirsten is the creator of the Prep, Practice, & Pivot method for elevating presenting and speaking skills. She works with leaders to transform online educational, sales, and corporate events to meet business and learning goals. She has spoken, coached, trained, and facilitated for thousands of companies internationally since 2000. She speaks on and provides expert coaching on Public Speaking, Running Virtual Events, Instructional Design, Storytelling, and Creating Online Engagement. In addition to being a Certified Technical Trainer and Certified Online Training Professional, she also has a Master’s of Education in Instructional Design. She also runs a podcast and community, Ongoing Mastery: Presenting and Speaking, to support development and improvement in creating successful, targeted results in pitches, sales presentations, training, and high-stake events.
I’m passionate about teaching presenters and speakers the value of ongoing mastery. This includes how to adapt to off-topic questions and curveballs, and looking at their content as modular pieces that can be reordered to tell their story from different angles. With flexibility built in, speakers and presenters will be able to adapt to changing audience needs in real-time.
More than 100 miles
Everything is negotiable
About 10 years ago, I went through the most detailed prep process I had ever experienced before going overseas to teach without backup. The process was intense, detailed, and surprising. On the first stop, I was told that the most crucial part of the material was at the end. They asked me to teach the material backward. I was stunned.
The problem was that the servers for the company were in the US, and we were in Frankfurt. This meant that by 1 pm each day the computers and software became very slow and hard to use. They needed the final step to be shown when they could properly use the software. I was in a dead panic but had been told clearly that we could not change the day and that I should do whatever I had to in order to make the class work.
I went back to my hotel room and screamed into a pillow until I couldn't scream anymore. Then I reordered my slides and went back to teach the class. Today we're going to talk about how to look at your material so you can reorder it on the fly or even teach it backwards if you have to.
I started out in Occupational Therapy. Because I worked for a non-profit, and our computer person quit, I was given the job of building computer camps for disabled kids. I learned a lot about how to create events, teach software, and create engagement. Then I got laid off and ended up a freelance technical trainer, speaker, and instructional designer for the next 20 years. In each company I worked with, I saw ways of managing teams, creating events, and providing engagement. I started to do more and more work online. When the pandemic started, I was already working remotely full time.
In January of 2022, I became a direct service company that works with leaders to create engaging and effective online presenting and speaking events. Because I also have a theatre background, I incorporate voice and body work into my coaching and consulting. I started doing online presentations early and added a focus on inspiration and conversation. No one needs to suffer through trying to get people to use the chat or answer questions. With the right process, it's fun and easy to create engagement.
Being able to adapt to changes as they happen is a skill usually learned over time and under duress. This is the story of Kirsten's journey across careers and countries to learn how to deal with any curveballs thrown in live presenting settings. Key tips on how to develop this skill will be covered so all attendees will leave with useful information on becoming more flexible as a presenter.
Creating new presentations, speeches, or courses can be challenging when you've been working with material for a long time. The tendency to see it in a particular structure or with specific visuals and data elements becomes stronger the more often you repeat a pattern. How can you look at your subject in a new light? What do you need to do in order to see it from different perspectives and in different delivery models? This works as a keynote or session on creative perspective tools that can expand opportunities for speakers and content creators.
Public speaking often ranks as one of people's greatest fears. Even when someone is experienced in public speaking, they may find that moving their work online is challenging because techniques that worked in person do not work the same in a virtual setting. How can you translate "reading the room" into a chat pod? How can you "warm up the room" when you may or may not be able to SEE anyone? This presentation works well as a session topic, a keynote, or as a workshop.