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Chapter 23: How to be Your Own Coach

Overview

'0 wud some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To See ourselves as others see us!

—Robert Burns

This resource has given you specific skills on how to become a more powerful speaker. But it would not be complete without some way to evaluate your progress, which can be a strangely neglected task. I once attended a gathering of professional speakers. A speech trainer was there to critique those who wanted to be evaluated. Only 10 percent of the speakers wanted this kind of feedback, and I was amazed. Getting criticism is the only way to improve as a speaker, and rarely do speakers get the chance to be judged objectively.

Professionals such as Luciano Pavarotti, Renee Flemming, the Williams Sisters, and Tiger Wood wouldn't dream of advancing through the ranks without some sort of equally professional coaching assistance. So they call upon coaches to give them the criticism and support that lead to improvement.

Speakers—especially the occasional corporate ones—have no such luxury and usually just rely on audience reaction before moving on to the next presentation, which may be months away. But speakers get power only through feedback and criticism. You can be an effective critic for yourself, but only if you go about it constructively. Getting reactions is the first step in becoming your own coach, and this chapter will show you how. You can use the forms at the end to evaluate yourself and others, or you can give other forms to people so that they can evaluate your performance.


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