Your Speech Coach Says, “Play to Your Strengths”

Loved watching every moment of the NBA Finals—tweeting with millions of others as I watched!  I looked for a connection between those fast-paced, close-scoring games, and coaching you to present yourself and your business with confidence.  I found 3 points of intersection.

1.  Know your opponent (in sports), or audience of potential clients (in business).  My 2 videos (3 to 4 minutes each) are here and here, if you’d rather see me up close. Before you speak, you need to do the real work—embrace the grind, as athletes say about practice.  You need to do the work to find out about your audience.  Talk to people:  previous speakers, the person who invited you, audience members who will be there!  Don’t be afraid to ask questions;  the more you know your customer, the more your words will flow.

Find out:

–What’s their level of jargon?  And how technical can you get?

–What’s their time tolerance?  Do they need details, or the bottom line?

– What do they already know about you?  How predisposed are they to your product?  Your service?

–What are their “hot buttons?”  What do they LOVE?  What do they HATE?

Only when you do this work, can you lead with their need.

2.  Define what you do.  In sports, it’s your role on your team.  In business, it’s your value to the people you serve.  Play to your strengths.  Not all of us are jump shooters.  Not all of us are strong enough to take the ball to the rim.  You can’t be everything to all people.  If you don’t do what they need, be their trusted advisor:  refer them to others in your “circle.”  Know them well enough to “be Pandora” for them, and anticipate what they like and need.  And more hard work: you need to be the expert on your product or service, by knowing a hundred times more about your product or service, than you will ever say in a presentation.  Then, the Q &A will be a breeze.  My client supplies her muffins to two very large international chains.  She needs to know the history of the muffin.  No kidding.

3.  Set yourself up to win.  We saw one of the best of all time in LeBron James, who sets up his teammates by distributing the ball in the first quarter to get the whole team involved.  In our work, we need to get people involved in achieving our goals with us, so we let them “touch” a part of it, to feel ownership.  In the fourth quarter, LeBron comes up HUGE to close the game, because he has to. How well do you set up your team to win?  When do you have to step back, and when do you need to step up?  Clarity in this arena breeds success.

To play to your strengths, you have to first know your strengths.  You may need a speech coach to help you find your inner inspiring speaker or your inner comedian.  I can help.

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  4. Inspiration Till PreSeason
  5. What a difference a coach makes!
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