Get Coached to Speak Champ Camp

Get Coached to SpeakThis past weekend, in Las Vegas, I spent two days with a dozen amazing champ-campers and two award winning speaking gurus, Patricia Fripp and Darren LaCroix, at the Get Coached to Speak Champ Camp.

Patricia Fripp was the first female elected President of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and is a member of the NSA Hall of Fame. Darren LaCroix is the 2001 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking.

On Monday, I was working out with my fitness trainer, Jesika Fleming. I shared some of what I learned in between the torture … er, exercises.  (Don’t punish me for that, Jesika, please?) At the end of the workout, she thanked me for sharing.  I suddenly realized I was doing it to help me as much as to help her. What?

I was employing the “teach-to-learn” technique I came across several years ago. Simply put, a good way to reinforce what you learn is to try to teach it to someone else. Learn, teach, do.

Here are some of the things I learned at Get Coached to Speak.

Patricia Fripp, Walt Grassl, and Darren LaCroix with Walt's Book, "Stand Up & Speak Up"

Patricia Fripp, Walt Grassl, and Darren LaCroix with Walt’s Book, “Stand Up & Speak Up”

As you analyze the current version of your speech, look for what is missing and look for what needs to be added.

  • Pause with a purpose
    •  Don’t step on laughs
    • Don’t step on thoughts
    • Give your face and energy time to change
  • One thought per sentence
    • Use micro pauses within sentences
    • Emphasize the important words
  • Time is a set-up, not the punch
  • Movement is good, if it is strategic
  • Avoid sameness
  • Tell stories using dialog, not narration
  • Collect perspective changing stories
  • Constantly rehearse you focused transitions.
  • Use quotes from real people feeling the problem
  • How can I say it better, in fewer words

One final thought. One of my Walt’s Rules is cross-training. I used Toastmasters, standup and improv to help my speaking.

Patricia mentioned other related skills I can add to my cross-training repertoire:

  • Copywriting
  • Screenwriting
  • Choreography

That’s how I spent my weekend in Vegas. I did not get a hangover, but my speaking got a makeover.

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