April 5, 2015

Case Studies

Overcome fear of public speaking

Situation: A newly promoted executive came to us with a life-long fear of public speaking. Up until that point in his career, he did everything he could do avoid giving presentations. With his new position, he knew this was no longer an option and sought help from us to overcome his fear.

Methods used: We asked a lot of questions to help him get clear on his desired goal, his motivations behind the his fear, and the internal resources he needed to overcome his fear. Using techniques from Neuro-Linguistic Programming, we enabled him to reframe the way he thought about public speaking. We also developed his presentation skills. By improving the way he structured his talk and refining the way he used his voice and body, it increased his confidence.

Result: After our work, he gave a very important presentation feeling confident and comfortable. This was a huge win for him. Not only was it the first time he felt this way in front of an audience, the audience was rather large–5000 people!

Become a more dynamic speaker

Situation: A CEO came to us wanting assistance to help his Executive team become more dynamic speakers. Their presentations tended to be dry and boring. He wanted them to enhance their Executive presence so they could more effectively lead their team.

Methods used: We worked with the team over a 6-month period, holding both group meetings and private coaching sessions. Each Executive was able to focus on exactly what they needed to improve their skills. We worked on uncovering their personal stories and learning how to tell them with emotional impact.

Result: During the final group meeting, they each told stories from the personal life and related it to their business. The CEO was very impressed, and said everyone told “riveting stories.” He decided to bring us back the following year to continue the work with his Executives, as well their team members.

Discover your natural, authentic style

Situation:An executive had often been told she was a good speaker, but she didn’t believe it. She always felt a bit stiff and uncomfortable. She wanted to work with us to become a more natural and effective speaker.

Methods used: At the beginning of our work we videotaped her giving a presentation. This was an ah-ha moment for her. She realized people were not lying, she was in fact a good speaker. Now, she was motivated to become great! To take it to the next level, we worked on telling stories so that she developed a deeper emotional connection to her material and her audience.

Result: She became very confident in her ability to speak well. By telling stories, she also began enjoying presentations quite a bit more. She gave a high profile presentation at the White House and received accolades from the head of the company.

Bring stories to technical presentations

Situation: A nonprofit was holding a luncheon fundraiser and needed a scientist to give a talk that donors would understand, and a recipient to give a talk that would inspire attendees to donate to the organization. In past fundraisers, the technical presentations were dry and the recipient presentations not very effective.

Methods used: We gave private coaching sessions to both speakers. With the scientist, much of the presentation that he had been planning to use was set aside, and we created a new one that used a lot of metaphors to explain his technical work, and also included patient stories to show the benefit of his work. With the recipient, we worked on crafting her story, that included humor and inspiration.

Result: The speakers received standing ovations and the organization doubled the funds raised from the previous year!