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.
Then, 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 not saying never offer your words, but if and when I do, I ask them not to use my words but to use their words.
Coaching content: 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 9 pm Eastern time which is 6 pm Western time. It worked for both of us. You will have a blast doing this task, coaching. Make it enjoyable for both of you. You’ll have a life long new friend, too!
Coach Chuck McMaster & Dr. Dave Schramm at TEDxEustis 2020 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?
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 will be on the website soon. Watch for it!
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