Established CEO. Charismatic. Extrovert.

Situation: Established CEO. Charismatic. Extrovert. Appointed to high-profile board of national industry organization.

Engagement Objective: To polish his public speaking skills and help move him from a folksy off-the-cuff style to a more commanding and concise style so that his message is always deliberate and clear. He was self-conscious about his speaking style, and the national board appointment made this undertaking more urgent for him.

Coaching Relationship: I got to know him and his background, had him share anecdotes and even re-enact recent talks he had given, and began to identify what exactly we would work on together. Interestingly, I advocated for him to keep the folksy style that he wanted to eliminate. Instead, I offered him quick preparation strategies and some structure. He downloaded the “SmartMouth Public Speaking Toolkit” mobile app to his iPad and iPhone, and we worked on understanding and then using each of the speech elements in the SmartMouth framework. In particular, I showed him exactly where his folksy stories would fit in when building an outline and also how to prioritize the information he shares so that his message is never lost.

Result: He now prepares ahead, feels good, and gets great feedback when he speaks. He is notoriously concise and to the point, winning huge kudos for that from his board of directors. And he goes off to large national meetings in Washington, D.C. and New York, knowing he can hold his own against the best.


Beth Levine

Posted on

May 7, 2014