Published September 16, 2014
Volume 22, Number 9

Improve Presentation Skills with Dynamically Speaking

Dynamically Speaking
Dynamically Speaking's, CEO/Executive Presentation Coach, Surina Piyadasa.

By Zoe Francis


Surina Piyadasa thrives on the challenge of transforming a good speaker into an outstanding and memorable speaker.
The founder, CEO and lead presentation coach of Dynamically Speaking specializes in working with high-powered executives and corporate teams to fine-tune their presentation skills.
“Clients call me the invisible symphony conductor,” Piyadasa said. “My passion is helping leaders and teams present in perfect harmony when the stakes are high.”
The skilled public speaker was an investment banker before launching a corporate video production company in 2004. It was while working with that new venture when Piyadasa realized the need for what she calls executive presentation coaching.
“I realized very quickly if I was working with a senior executive on an industrial film project that they often need a lot of help preparing on camera,” she explained. “Building a relationship with a camera lens is very different than presenting to a live audience. Many senior executives, while they shine in front of a large audience, don’t particularly feel comfortable or confident in front of a camera.
“I discovered quickly how much I enjoyed that work, helping executives succeed as presenters rather than working with large production teams. That’s how Dynamically Speaking was born, quite by accident.”
Piyadasa’s specialty is working with senior executives or teams in intensive two-hour sessions to hone their presentation skills.
“These clients are change agents,” she said. “They’re passionate about tackling big problems.
They travel at warp speed in many exciting directions. They generally don’t have time for all-day workshops.”
They call on Piyadasa to help them perfect their presentation skills.
“A coach is someone who dares to be honest, cares enough to tell you what you don’t want to hear and helps you fix blind spots to bring out your communication best as a leader,” she said. “That’s my passion.”
The company offers a complimentary 45-minute consultation to assess a person’s strengths and weaknesses when speaking. Beyond that, sessions are booked as needed, whether to target one-time presentations or tackle long-term improvements.
“The biggest challenge for any presenter is ultimately your audience has to be able to understand, remember and repeat the message,” she noted. “You have to get your point across clearly and crispy to shape thinking that drives positive audience action. It’s the hallmark of every great leader.”
Many of Piyadasa’s clients are already strong presenters, but they are driven to improve their skills, especially when stakes are high.
“Forward-thinking leaders always want to get better,” she said. “A lot of my clients are already good presenters. They just want to be the best they can be.”
Piyadasa found her zeal for public speaking when she was in middle school and won first place for a speech about why she’s proud to be an American.
“That speech ignited my passion for public speaking,” she recalled. “I funded my college education through entering speech contests, receiving scholarship money and working part time at Macy’s.”
In addition to working as a coach, she often works in front of the camera for industrial films, cast in the role of a successful corporate leader.
Piyadasa’s background in business and technology helps her “ask the right questions quickly to figure out a client’s business model. They seek me out because I’m fluent in business, technology, capital markets and also media. It’s a unique skill set that I bring to every client’s opportunity.”
Learn more about Dynamically Speaking at dynamicallyspeaking.com.

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