Making a speech requires more

A Good Speaker Coach Sees a Bit More

As a result of voicing scripts for ten years, my singing performance experience, and recent Yoga training, I’ve realized an astute ability to coach speakers on their personal performance of a prepared speech.

I recently had the great fortune to work with “The Phone Lady“, Mary Jane Copps, on a speech. Initially, Mary Jane was very confident that she knew what she was doing as a seasoned communicator. She thought she was coming to me for a few constructive comments.

It came as a surprise to her that her own presentation could be improved significantly with coaching. Despite her extensive communication experience, I was delighted to be able to elevate her presentation. We transformed the delivery of her script to a powerful call to action, entwined with her fascinating backstory.

This is not to say the speech wasn’t well written. It was perfect. I didn’t change a word. I did work with Mary Jane to improve the following:

  1. Posture and breathing
  2. Volume and projection
  3. Mental attitude, focus, and intention
  4. Physical gestures
  5. Script pacing, conversational and natural tones
  6. Imagery, word emphasis, and “throw away” phrases

After our brief coaching sessions, The Phone Lady’s speech became a compelling story ready for any Ted stage!! As a Presentation Skills Coach, I was able to offer valuable advice to someone who was already a professional at communicating in her own right. While she is both a prolific writer and a stellar communicator over the phone, a live speech requires additional skills. She really didn’t have any idea that she didn’t know what she was doing.

I will follow up these six points with explanations in further posts. If you need to make a speech, consider the above list. There is more to your speech than the words on the page. Take it further. Take it all the way…



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  1. Linda Daley

    Love this article! I’m looking forward to learning more on each of those points.


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