Stand and Deliver


“An enjoyable workshop with lots of laughs and even more take-home tips and strategies. A valuable opportunity to hear from two people who have mastered their craft in domains outside of my own.” Dr Kate Lawler, Senior Lecturer, Physiotherapy, La Trobe University


“This was invaluable. I do a lot of media work and it's like being a fish out of water. Jenny and Frank's advice and guidance have given me a lot of practical and tangible practices and frameworks to confidently and competently present to any audience o any platform.” Mel Lionello, Lecturer in Dietetics and Human Nutrition, La Trobe University

A three-hour workshop for creating compelling academic presentations

Those who tell you public speaking is the world’s number one phobia obviously haven’t tried small talk at parties, but nevertheless, addressing a room is a craft that must be learned and finessed like any other. The art of creative presenting, be it in a tutorial room, lecture hall, conference or swooshy TEDx-like affair, relies on connecting with and engrossing the audience. So while it may be necessary to include snoresome slides and stilted stats, with a little help your delivery can transform the data into a rousing story.

This two-pronged workshop for academic presentations – from conferences to podcast guesting to social media videos to keynotes to stakeholder talks – may be playful but it will give you the confidence you need to be taken seriously. Over the course of three hours, attendees will be split into two groups and will take turns to learn both stage craft and story-telling. Let’s meet your keynote whisperers, Frank and Jenny (below centre with happy clients from La Trobe University).


  • Dealing with nerves.
  • Leaving your comfort zone.
  • Engaging small groups.
  • Mastering pacing.
  • Using improvisation techniques .
  • Eye contact and reading the room. 
  • Talking to camera.
  • Stage-craft tips.

Frank is a writer and director who has won many awards for his films, and has taught drama at the Peninsula School of Acting. As an actor, he’s played all manner of bent cops and crooks over the years – from Underbelly to Romper Stomper to Stingers – so he’s equally capable of menacing or charming a stage-confident performance out of you.


  • Beginnings, middles, endings.
  • Narrative arcs and acts.
  • Adding colour and detail.
  • What if you have to co-present?
  • TED Talks and the hero’s journey.
  • Bringing your research to life.
  • Using metaphors.
  • Using your story or that of a hypothetical case study.

Jenny is a journalist and author of four books, including the Walkley-nominated Woman of Substances. She has taught  writing as a guest lecturer at multiple universities; for Writers Vic; Writers SA; The Monthly magazine’s masterclass series and as a course for Kill Your Darlings. She teaches memoir to peer workers at AOD organisations such as Turning Point (Monash University), QNADA and SANDA. She has given keynotes at conferences such as QNADA’s Winter School; DAPAANZ Cutting Edge; and the Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference.

Time required: Three hours to half day 
Resources needed: Two rooms, one with screen for slides. 
Number of participants: Eight to 30.
Cost: $1000 for Melbourne. Elsewhere negotiable, dependent on travel time.