Situation: Brad, a corporate executive, was referred by his boss for speech coaching. His presentation style was dry and he was losing credibility among his peers and senior management. He confided that the meetings had become "cutthroat" and that some of the team would "go for the jugular." "It's a very competitive environment," he explained. His boss told him to find a coach and to do it fast. Brad's nervousness on the platform was getting the best of him. He would memorize his slides and freeze up when he saw people roll their eyes. He knew his subject matter but had a difficult time "getting what was in his head and heart to come out of his mouth." Yet, when he would talk off line it was evident that he was very knowledgeable about his subject matter. Brad needed to go from being a talking head to a subject matter expert.
Solution: During the first coaching session, Brad learned to stop memorizing his slides and use them for reference only. He added more stories, anecdotes, and examples to his presentations, and worked on projecting his energy so his voice wouldn't trail off.
Result: Brad gave a presentation at the next meeting a few days later. When asked if his presentation was any better after only one coaching session, his boss replied, "significantly, significantly, significantly, significantly better." Liberated from the cue cards, Brad now speaks with more confidence and style!
Do you know a talking head who's really a subject matter expert in disguise? They can learn to let the expert emerge and dazzle with their ideas.