The joys of being a speech coach

My latest client was understandably nervous: she had only 10 days from accepting the offer until she had to deliver her (as yet nonexistent) TEDx Talk on video. I agreed to turn around a first draft in three days and finalize the speech within two days after that. That left her five days to rehearse. Frankly, I was relieved when she also asked me to coach her on delivering the speech. Great speakers know how essential rehearsing can be—the best speaker I’ve written for built in a mandatory two weeks of rehearsal for himself, despite being an extraordinarily busy CEO.

When I’ve had the opportunity to coach speakers before it’s usually just for an hour or two, and securing even that little time has often been like pulling teeth. My TEDx client committed to five hours of rehearsal over four days, and she does her homework in between our sessions. I’ve watched as her delivery became much more natural, her posture relaxed, and her confidence expanded exponentially. And we still have another hour of coaching to go!

I am delighted for her—and for the audiences who’ll get to experience her wisdom. And I’m delighted for me, too. How often does “work” get to be this much fun?

  • coaching
  • public speaking
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