Thank you so much for joining me here at CreativeLive for How to Coach a Keynote. 15 years ago, I sat across the table with a colleague of mine, after we had both taught a communication skills class, a deep three-day class on communication skills, where we would see every possible profile of business person, struggling to make sure that they speak from an authentic place. I really realized, in that moment, and declared, in that moment, that my job is really to love my client. So I can see around the things that might be blocking their ability to speak from the heart, and really access the most powerful version of themselves, and help bring that forward. Since then, I've built, on that platform, a coaching methodology that, for the first time ever, I've written down for you, here, at CreativeLive. And I think this is important, because you, watching, whether you're already an existing executive coach, whether you are a producer, or maybe you work in-house in a communications function, t...
hat you are really right at the front lines of being able to impact the kinds of people that I work with every day. And because I can only work with so many folks, I want to give you these skills, and this framework, and these coaching capabilities, so that you can touch as many people as you can, with it. Because nobody, I think, should be alone with those vulnerable moments of stepping in front of an audience and showing themselves. And more importantly, I believe that if you use these coaching skills that are rooted in that story I mentioned, about my life 15 years ago in this work, that you're gonna go with your clients, with your mentees, with the people that you manage and collaborate with every day. You're gonna go from valuable to invaluable. My hope is that these skills will empower you to do just that. I'm looking so forward to the rest of this class together. So when I think about communications coaching, the kind of coaching I'm really after, and the kind of coaching I wanna invite you to step into, is a coaching that is super courageous. So often, the success of an engagement that I have, the courage that my client is gonna bring forth, is really dependent on my being courageous. I don't actually get to hide, and expect them not to. So that is sort of the work of coaching, in my mind. How do I help you act and coach in a way that is as courageous as possible? Secondly, that the kinds of coaching is just quickly trust building. So much of what I do is based in being able to build trust super quickly with my clients. Sometimes, especially since I've worked backstage a lot with folks I have no rapport with, they come into a rehearsal with me, I've got 45 minutes. They don't know me from Adam, and here we go, we gotta get into rapport quickly enough, to build enough trust, to do something meaningful in 45 minutes. So I'm really aimed at how de we build trust very quickly, so we can do real work together? And then, lastly, bespoke. This idea that, although I'm gonna share with you, a methodology that is, I hope, will feel repeatable, to you, we always have to recognize that every person we work with, our experience with them must be bespoke. We have to come to them with fresh eyes and open heart, with this idea that we're working with somebody who's very unique, and has their own voice, and that we have to treat them, and the engagement, in a very bespoke way. And to me, that is a really honoring of the people that we work with every day. When I try to do these three things, my aim, always, is to do high-impact communications coaching. High-impact. I've been doing this work for, I don't know. I guess it's been 20 years. I have 20 years written up here, it's actually 18 and a half, but it's about two decades, and I came across this work-- I came across this work after a year of sort of searching, but I didn't really know what it was. But the moment that it really hit me was the moment I sat in a class, when I first heard about a thing called the world of training and development. At that time it was called training and development. Now, it's usually just a development function. So I sat in a class, and I watched-- It was a very interesting class, also a well-known technology company, you probably have a fair bit of their silicon in devices all over your house, right now, and it was like a mid-level training session for a bunch of director-level folks, but it just so happened that, for some reason, the CFO of this organization decided that he would attend that class during that time. I sat at the back of the room, and over the course of those three days, it was a three day class, over the course of those three days, I really, I saw an incredible transformation in this gentleman. From speaking from a place that was very tactical, to speaking from a place that was really about his purpose, was really about the role that he played in the world, was really about helping the world understand what he looked for, and how they could use that insight to also grow, and maintain, and contribute to the health of the business. It was super compelling, and in that moment, I had never-- There have only been a few times in my life where I felt that compelled by something, that I thought, I have to do this, and if I don't do this kind of work, I'm gonna die. And in that case, that was one of those moments. I felt so-- I don't know. It was so clear to me that this was a place that I could have impact. And I chased it, and so now, here I am with you today. So this work is meaningful. I will say that it's really niche-ey in that, you're looking at having a very specific impact on a person, and their crucial communications moment, that is very specific to time. It could be 15 minutes that they spend on stage, it could be a half an hour pitch that they give in their life, but the ripple effects of them being able to really speak in a way that is aligned to who they are, and what matters to them, is much bigger than that 15 minutes. So when I'm thinking about the work that I do, like I said, it started, really, when I saw it, and I'm hoping that, over the course of today, and when you leave here and start to play with these skills, that you'll also be looking for it, so that when you see it, you can recognize it and go, ooh, there was an impact that just got changed. So when I think about communications, these crucial communications moments, they're really pathways to activate personal power, and elevate the impact in the context of work and leadership. That's really what I'm aiming to do all the time. So since then, that moment I sat in that class and was sort of taken aback by the power of what it means for somebody to really step into their full voice, in a business context, I've executed like, over 5,000 coaching sessions. I mean, when I tally them up, I'm probably somewhere in there. And that is a combination of teaching classes, one-on-one coaching, as well as so much work for conferences, where I just get, every hour on the hour, for weeks upon weeks, working with individuals that have a huge range of who they are, and the kinds of business problems that they're solving in the world. I'm pretty product and business territory agnostic, 'cause to me, my job is to love people. My clients find a way to see around the things that might be getting in the way of my really feeling who they are, and then help them unblock that and show that more authentically. Doesn't matter what product you're selling, to do that. It doesn't matter what kind of work you do, whether you're a social worker, or you work in marketing. So I am product agnostic, I'll say. So yes, this class is called How to Coach a Keynote, but maybe you are not coaching a keynote in the near future. Maybe your clients aren't doing that. Maybe your clients or mentees, for that matter, are folks that are looking for other opportunities where their voice has to sort of show up very much in alignment with who they are. And that might not be in the context of a keynote, so I thought I'd list, here, a handful of the other kinds of contexts where it might get you thinking about where this might be useful. So keynotes, for sure, industry events, all hands meetings at your organizations, executive road shows, panels, acceptance speeches. Acceptance speeches feel really small. Like, it can be a thank-you-very-much in a one minute acknowledgement, but it's not. It's a great opportunity to both do the thank you, but also to help elevate your impact in the room and help you solidify, for the people who are listening, who you are, what your role in the world, and what kind of impact you're wanting to have. Of course, PR, podcasts, whatever they can pretty much throw at you. Commencement speeches, fireside chats, campaigns, and town halls. I think town halls are a place that are really important organizationally, because they are a conversation to have with your organization. So how do you get to be in conversation and not just performative in a way that still maintains, depending on where the conversation goes, still maintains your own consistent voice.