Thursday, December 15, 2016

Group & 1:1 speaker training for TED talks and more: 4 case studies


If you have a group of executives and want them to do a better job as speakers, there are lots of ways to reach that goal...as my clients have proven in this quartet of case studies from coaching projects I've done over the past few years. In many cases, these coaching projects have included a mix of group and 1:1 coaching.

Each of these projects vary in approach, but the most effective approach starts with a workshop, so everyone learns the basics together. It's a good team-builder and way to ensure a basic level of understanding of the style. That's followed by 1:1 coaching to help them develop individual talks or presentations that meet their particular needs and goals. Take a look at these examples, just some of the group training projects I've conducted for corporate, nonprofit, and government clients. Want to discuss your training needs? Reach me at eloquentwoman AT gmail DOT com.
  1. Coaching a cadre of health care conference speakers to give TED-quality talks: Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, these 16 speakers each represented one local project in a national demonstration program on health quality in communities. Their challenge: To come to the conference marking the end of the program with a five-minute TED-style talk that shared a challenge or roadblock they'd faced along the way, and how they conquered it. They were the hit of the show, and each one has a talk they can use again and again. In this case study, we used an initial workshop; 1:1 coaching for all 16 speakers; and backstage coaching at the conference.
  2. Coaching a big group of tech evangelists: Mozilla has a lot of volunteer tech evangelists speaking on its behalf, and a program, Mozilla Tech Speakers, to help provide training and support to improve their public speaking. We coached 18 rounds of five-minute talks to help this very global group of young speakers learn a host of skills, and Mozilla was kind enough to share these details on the program and the coaching. It's a shorter approach that combined workshop with individual talks that were not coached in advance, but immediately after delivery to the group.
  3. Coaching speakers in a 'Shark Tank'-style pitching competition: Wanting to break out of the same-old panel discussion format, the nonprofit Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities set its higher education members a tantalizing speaking task: Win money in a competition in which you had to pitch your innovative idea to a panel of judges, Shark Tank-style. Another set of five minute talks, these also cleverly limited slides, props and other add-ons. Speakers had an advance conference call as a group, followed by 1:1 coaching, before the event.
  4. Coaching a cadre of scientists to give TED-quality talks: For a leadership development program for its scientists, The Nature Conservancy added TED-style speaking to the mix of career enhancing training and projects in the program. The scientists could choose the length needed for their talks, from 5 to 18 minutes (same limits as TED), and learned how to plan, script, memorize and deliver their talks. Here again, a workshop started the process, followed by 1:1 coaching for each talk. This case study involved remote coaching for speakers living in China, Mongolia, Australia, Belize, Canada, and U.S. locations, and with it, coaching for scientists for whom English is a second language.
Clients often ask what's the best array of training when teaching a group of executives to learn TED-style speaking in particular. I always encourage a one- to two-day workshop for all participants to get started (the time depends on the size of the group), followed by 1:1 coaching over a few sessions to develop an individual talk or presentation. This is best followed by a scheduled event at which the talks or presentations are to be given--even if that's just in-house to a friendly audience--to give the trainees a fixed deadline to meet, which sharpens the mind wonderfully. But as these case studies show, many options are possible.

Get involved in more conversations on public speaking with The Eloquent Woman. Follow our Facebook page, read great quotes from eloquent woman on Pinterest, follow me as @dontgetcaught on Twitter or track when others tweet about the lack of women speakers on programs via @NoWomenSpeakers. Learn how to be a better panel moderator with The Eloquent Woman's Guide to Moderating Panels.

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