What I learned from my presentation coach

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Jay Wilson MAAT MICB AATQB completely changed his career path from working in a call centre to running his own accountancy practice – thanks to his AAT qualifications.

But while Jay is confident as an accountant, he’s less confident at making presentations. So what can he learn from Presentation Skills Trainer Alexandra Bond Burnett? The latest film from AAT looks at the feedback Alex gives Jay – and what he learned from it.

Developing the ability to present

Jay’s got the accountancy knowledge – but what he needs now are the skills to share his knowledge while presenting to others. And what’s more, “presentation skills will help him not only in his career now but in the future, as he progresses up the career ladder,” says Alex.

Jay’s presentation covers what accountancy is and how it’s more than just being good at numbers. Accountants often get stereotyped, he adds, “but you can be an accountant whatever your background, as long as you’ve got the right qualifications.”

He points out that an accountant isn’t just there to do tax returns but can be so much more; “a trusted business adviser”.


Alex praises Jay’s vibrancy and enthusiasm – and the professionalism he shows. She says that the purpose of the exercise was “just to let him run” and that afterwards in the feedback she would break down specific elements to look at.

Posture is key

Alex looks at Jay’s alignment – how he holds himself. His posture is great, she says with his weight evenly balanced on each foot. She gets him to relax his shoulders a bit to keep his alignment relaxed.

Learning from feedback

Jay says that what he’s learnt from Alex is how to present with more confidence, to project his voice properly and importantly how to give his presentations the necessary gravitas while keeping his audience engaged.

How it helped Jay

Jay had to give presentations in his previous job, and they didn’t go well.

“I couldn’t talk, I would go red and I’d even call in sick to avoid that meeting,” he says. But his AAT studies and the help from Alex now mean he’s confident to make speeches and presentations. Such skills will undoubtedly help him have a long and successful career in accountancy.

In Summary

Learning to present will help your career now and into the future. And enhancing your qualifications too will help you progress. Here are 6 top tips for making a great presentation from Alexandra Bond Burnett, Presentation Skills Trainer.

Further reading:

Charlotte Beugge spent more than 20 years as the deputy personal finance editor on The Daily Telegraph and then The Daily Mail. A freelancer since 2010, her work has appeared in national newspapers, magazines and websites.

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