The Road to Presenting...

By Rozel Gonzales 

B.Comm, MBA, FIS CanFit, YMCA


So, I just recently got back from presenting at CanFit Pro in Toronto.  Fortunately, my session went extremely well.  I was very happy considering it was the first time I presented at such a huge international event.  Let me tell you... it can get very nerve wracking.  But, it gets easier and easier with every workshop that you do.  I LOVE IT!

After my session, I met a few instructors who asked me questions about presenting.  How I got involved... How to apply... etc.  I decided to write a short article about my experiences.  I think that there may be many instructors out there who are curious about this topic.  I hope that this will be helpful to them.

First of all.  You have to get noticed.  When submitting a presenter application, be aware that your bio will be one of hundreds... maybe thousands of applicants.  Most likely, if you are just a newbie... like I was... submitting  a workshop for step or hi-lo is just not going to cut it.  You really need to come up with something unique and original.  Something that will definitely catch their eyes.   Just to give you an idea.  I sent a video tape of me teaching a Tahitian Stomp class.  So picture this... me and my friends in RED grass skirts... shaking our hips like Polynesian dancers.  I am not kidding.  

You typically have to send a resume detailing all of your education and credentials, a description of you workshops, in addition to a video of you teaching.  The video does not need to be professionally done.  The organizers are basically trying to see how you are able to interact with a large group.  Are you motivating?  Can you create energy?  It is  also important to demonstrate  your cueing abilities, your mirror imaging techniques and the crispness of your movements.  

Try to make your session descriptions fun and dynamic.  Study the brochure of session descriptions you have received from past fitness conferences.  Get a feel of how they are written.  Remember, you want the organizers and the delegates to choose your session!  Make it sound FUN!  Also, describe the objective of the workshop!  (i.e. choreography breakdown, master class, etc)

I suggest that you try to make your entire presenter package look interesting.  You are not applying for a job at a bank.  So a stiff corporate look, in my opinion is NOT the way to go.  While some organizations state that fancy paper and folders are not necessary.  I think that if you want to get noticed, your package should be beaming with ENERGY!  If you add a picture, please... no boring graduation pictures.  Your headshot should demonstrate your dynamic personality!  

Aside from your fitness credentials, you may also feel inclined to include other degrees or  accomplishments on your resume.  In my situation, I included my experiences as a software trainer and the fact that I am working on a Masters of Business Administration at McGill.  While it may not really seem directly related to the industry... understand that being a good presenter also involves being an excellent communicator.  Any experiences that offer you the opportunity to make presentations, problem solve and deal with clients, are all very transferable skills that will definitely help in the presenting world.  Furthermore, whether  your degree be in Kinesiology, Business or Mathematics, include this on your resume!  Higher education only proves that you are able to organize your thoughts well and that you are a hard worker. 

Lastly, get to know people in the industry.  Network.  Keep coming back to the conferences.  Try to meet other presenters.  Ask them for tips and suggestions.  Invite them to see you in action.  Everyday you will meet people who may one day help you towards your future goals. 

One more thing.  Don't stop.  Keep moving forward within the industry.  Continuously update your skills.  Try to give yourself a goal of learning something new every year.  As a presenter, you need to be abreast of all the new issues and trends in the industry.  Stay FRESH!  

I wish you all the best of luck.  




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