So the coach needs a coach…really?
Over a year ago, I was asked to do a SUE Talk—not TED—SUE. It stands for Successful Unstoppable Empowering women—and they are. As the website says,
“Join us for one incredible evening of bold, passionate and inspiring talks by successful, unstoppable and empowering women changing the face of business! Hear their experiences, their journey, their passions, their opinions, and their pursuits! Learn how successful, unstoppable and empowering women are leading the way in business today!”
I knew they wanted me to tell MY story. Although I love mentoring others, my whole speaking career has been about “it’s not about me.” It’s about teaching others: presentation skills, leadership skills, stress management, time management, negotiating and more.
During all my years of keynoting, no one at the yearly conference of aerospace engineers or purchasing managers was interested in anyone’s “story.” Besides, I have led a life of privilege–I don’t have a hard-luck story to tell.
So I resisted. Until now.
One morning last week, I woke up at 4:19 a.m. In my head, I heard one of my favorite quotes. Eleanor
Roosevelt said, “You must do the things you cannot do.” For me, to be coached on a stage presentation? I’m the expert. . .I know how to do this.
I preach to people they need a coach. I say, “Just as you can’t edit your own writing, you can’t edit your own speech.” Yet, I had resisted.
It turns out that these women who coach the SUE speakers are incredible—and patient. After I was kicking and screaming and full of “yeah, but” during the first session, I calmed down to learn the lessons for myself that I teach others! Here they are:
- You don’t need a hard-luck story to be interesting. You just need to relate the lessons of your dues-paying activity and your life to the listeners’ needs.
- You don’t have to start your story from the beginning, chronologically. Start with the most impactful story, and then do a flashback or flash-forward.
- Every word in a speech should move the story along. Beware the extraneous stuff. Never make the audience wonder, “What is the point of this?”
I’ve been teaching this to others for years, but I had a blind spot when it came to me.
Interested in being coached?
Meanwhile, I invite you to talk to me about coaching you to speak to grow your business. Please call to schedule your valuable 30-minute complimentary call.