Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Take it from TED: "Giving a good talk is highly coachable"

Lots of speakers wonder whether coaching for an everyday presentation, TED talk or big speech really helps. As a speaker who's had coaching herself to keep her chef's knife sharp, so to speak, and as a coach and trainer for other speakers, I can relate. It's tough to see the outcome, particularly when you know your own foibles, stumbling blocks and bad habits. How can you possibly get past them to give the talk of your life?

I believe in you, but now you don't need to take it from me alone. TED curator Chris Anderson, writing in Harvard Business Review, talks about an unlikely, unpolished speaker with a killer story, and uses that example to put across something I hope you'll take to heart: "Giving a good talk is highly coachable. In a matter of hours, a speaker’s content and delivery can be transformed from muddled to mesmerizing."

The good news: Your goal is to be authentic, not a robot. Far from turning you into someone you won't recognize, good speaker coaching helps you figure out how to succeed as a presenter while retaining the qualities that make you unique and special--the very thing audiences crave.

Read Anderson's post--it's a long and thorough look at the steps you need to take to create a great talk, from framing your story and considering delivery and stage presence, to where and when to use slides, gestures, eye contact and more. He even talks about going through the process of giving a TED talk himself, after curating the conference for years.

This year's TED conference started on Monday--but you don't need to aim for TED to give the talk or presentation of your life or career. Email me at eloquentwoman AT gmail DOT com to find out about coaching or training to help you reach your public speaking goals. I'd be glad to help you learn the tactics and skills that I've used to help TEDMED and TEDx speakers, corporate presenters, keynote speakers and more. I can work with individuals by Skype, phone or in person and also work with groups, bringing workshops to your city, workplace or conference. Let's get you to mesmerizing.

On May 15, I'll be convening another session of Be The Eloquent Woman in Washington, DC. It's a subversive new workshop that helps women executives and public officials learn how women speakers are perceived and how to turn those expectations on their heads with confidence, content and credibility. You can grab a sweet discount by registering by April 11. Go here to read how the first workshop went and what participants had to say.