I think first and foremost, your speaker’s paper must be read, simply to get a feel of voice, style and content. Then, a non-paper discussion with your speaker, just getting to know each other.
Next, the paper…. As a coach, you now have formulated some changes you would like to suggest. IT IS NOT YOUR PAPER OR TALK! Ask about those areas as if you need clarification in order to better understand what your speaker might be trying to convey. Either they will see they need clarification (a rewrite) or you will have a light bulb moment and understand. Remember always that the paper, which ultimately is the future talk your speaker will do, isn’t your paper or talk. Coach is your role. Guide but don’t force your thoughts into their work. They are the subject expert. Suggest in a limited way for emphasis, body language, etc. I'm not saying never offer your words, but if and when you do, I ask them not to use my words, but to use their own words.
Coaching content: Is the talk too long? Are their illustrations (stories) concise and pertinent to the talk? Is the talk too long? Are the stories just the same point but told over and over? Pick the relevant ones and polish them. The redundant ones, throw out. After you both decide that their paper, and ultimately their talk, is the best ever... Practice, practice, practice and practice some more.
You have to be accessible when your speaker is free to practice.
I have had two west coast speakers so we practiced at 9 pm Eastern time which is 6 pm Western time. It worked for both of us. You will have a blast doing this task called coaching. Make it enjoyable for both of you.
You’ll have a lifelong new friend, too!
P.S. Chuck McMaster graduated! He was a speaker at TEDxEustis 2023!
Coach Chuck McMaster & Dr. Dave Schramm at TEDxEustis 2019 in Eustis, Florida
Our speakers start working on their talks right after we select them and work on them until they are on stage. That means several months of coaching. Are you up to that? Can you spare the time? Will your family go along with it?
You absolutely MUST be able to attend everything your speaker does. That means that on rehearsal day (the day before the event) and the day of the event, you must be in our audience. That is part of your role as a coach. YOU CANNOT LEAVE UNTIL EACH EVENT IS COMPLETED FOR EVERYONE.
Before working with our speakers, our coaches get training with our Co-Organizers and our Curators. You will find that our previous Speakers and Coaches can give great advice, too!
The purpose of a coach is to mentor and develop a speaker in their specific goal to be on the stage as a TEDx speaker. You build a very strong personal relationship as your guidance is provided.
Not every coach is the right fit for every speaker and if that turns out to be the case, we will make adjustments.
It is extremely important that we have communication with all parties, and the coach must communicate with the curators frequently.
Your speaker may not be as gung-ho about the work as they need to be at all times, and it is up to the coach to bring them back around. They commit to you and you hold them accountable to those commitments.
Has someone said to you, "You would make a good TEDxEustis coach" and you thought, "Maybe I would." That is not an invitation to coach. That is an opening for you to investigate and see if the Co-Organizers and the Curators think you would fit.
The application to become a TEDxEustis coach is below, but only during the time we ask for new coaches to apply.
1. How often do I meet with my speaker?
The frequency of meetings is between your and your speaker, however it is recommended to check in at least once a week to have your speaker read aloud their talk and then answer any questions they may have.
2. What do I hold my speaker accountable to?
The priority of a coach is to assure your speaker meets all submission deadlines for their talk’s drafts. This is essential to move forward the process of revisions and editing to develop the best talk possible.
3. How many rehearsals do I have to attend?
The number of rehearsals will vary from speaker to speaker. However, we do schedule group coaching on Zoom and welcome your speaker to rehearsal up to six times on Zoom for group coaching and you should attend the sessions when your speaker presents. Live or in person rehearsals will depend on where you live and where your speaker is from. However, we do encourage you to have your speaker perform their talk in front of a small group for a live audience experience at least twice prior to the TEDx event. This live in person rehearsal should not be recorded for publishing anywhere. The speaker can record it for their personal evaluation.
4. How do I help my speaker edit their talk?
We recommend a document sharing platform such as Google Docs or Evernote where both you and your speaker can make edits and suggestions to the script. Please advise your speaker to always have a backup outside of the shared document platform.
5. How much time weekly will my coaching require?
Typically, it is fair to say, the time commitment will fluctuate high during edits and revisions and then stabilize during rehearsals and weekly check-ins with your speaker. You should allocate 1-2 hours per week for your coaching role.
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Our Office: 1809 S. Bay St., Eustis, Florida 32726-5666, USA
The quickest and most preferred way to reach our all-volunteer team is always via email.
This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.
Licensee: Timothy Totten
TEDxEustis was founded in 2017.