3 Reasons Why You Need A Presentation Coach
In the last few years, TED and TEDx Talks have rapidly become the gold standard of public speaking: the presentations are informative, witty, innovative, and demonstrate the best of what a killer presentation can do. But did you ever wonder how they manage to maintain that level of consistency and quality in every Talk? Are all of these subject matter experts also naturally brilliant orators as well?
The truth is much more ordinary, and much more attainable: the secret is that every single speaker is paired up with a speaking coach.
I worked as a speaker coach for TEDx Atlanta, and before stepping into the role of Co-Organizer, I helped manage the coaching program for our particular TEDx organization. If you want to attain the level of presenting that TED and TEDx speakers do, then here are a few reasons why you should consider working with a presentation coach:
You probably know too much about your topic
Remember that old adage, “Those who can’t do, teach?” As a former teacher, this used to drive me nuts! The implication was that teachers were somehow inept in their subject area. But what happens much more often is this: “Those who can do, can’t teach.” As in, they know so much about their subject area, they are incapable of communicating it clearly and simply to a lay audience. Experts can easily get caught up in industry jargon, lengthy explanations and tangents, and trying to manage too much information because all of it seems vitally important. A great speaking coach helps experts sort through, organize, and translate info to be accessible to the target audience.
The Emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes…and neither are you
We often turn to our friends and loved ones for feedback about various aspects of our lives, including upcoming important presentations. But the role our loved ones usually occupy is that of cheerleader. Our loved ones want to make us feel great! And receiving feedback can feel not-that-great. So they tend to not be as honest with us as they could. A speaking coach is a neutral third party who is specifically looking to coach you to greatness, and it means they’re going to be honest (though still gentle and constructive) in order to help you get there.
Everyone needs a Mickey in their corner
Rocky couldn’t have accomplished anything without the fierce, persistent Mickey in his corner of the ring. And that’s what a great speaking coach can do for you: instill confidence, train you to achieve greatness, and be there for you afterwards to celebrate your successes, and evaluate your opportunities to improve. Just knowing there is someone there to fill that role can help alleviate some of the natural nerves that come with presenting publicly.
A great coach can help you explore and refine your ideas, shore up your weak spots, and give you the emotional support you need as you prepare for a big (sometimes scary) challenge. Still not convinced? Check out what Kelly Vandever, an experienced leadership coach and speakers, has to say about hiring a coach right here.