Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Simone Biles Has a Coach – Why Don’t You?

As we come to the end of the year and reflect back on 2016, one of the highlights was the Summer Olympics in Rio. 

I was mesmerized watching the Olympics.  Having made 2 trips to Rio to facilitate training for a global company with large operations in South America, I was delighted to see the spotlight on Brazil’s beautiful beaches and warm, friendly people.  I love watching the Parade of Nations during the Opening Ceremonies and was wowed by so many spectacular performances, including Usain Bolt and the U.S. women’s basketball team. 
A photo I took in Rio a few years ago, after walking up
more than 200 steps to the base of the 125-foot
Cristo Redentor atop Corcovado mountain

I noticed that every Olympic athlete, including all-time greats Michael Phelps and Simone Biles, has a coach.  And no one thinks that their having a coach means they are weak or any less than high achievers. 

But somehow, that “elite performers have coaches” mindset hasn’t translated completely to business, where many people still view coaching as remedial instead of a means to achieve the next level of performance excellence.  In fact, some of my executive presentation skills coaching clients want to meet with me away from their offices, so no one knows they are working with a coach.  

Here are 7 reasons why you should follow the example of Olympic athletes and work with a coach to optimize your presentation skills and executive presence.  Remember, while your presentation may not be telecast to millions of viewers across the world or come down to one one-hundredth of a second, it does make a difference to your brand, success, career and impact.

1.     A coach can accelerate your performance.  Using a wealth of experience gained from their own background and working with other clients, he or she can show you how to move from good to great and take your presentation from okay to outstanding.
2.     A coach takes the guesswork out of success.  You’ll learn exactly what to do to deliver a successful presentation and connect with your audience, instead of taking random steps and hoping your presentation works. 
3.     A coach saves you wasted time working on the wrong things.  For example, if you spend hours memorizing your presentation and then panic when you can’t remember it in front of a live audience, a coach can suggest an alternate way to prepare and practice that is more effective than rote memorization. 
4.     A coach provides unbiased, specific feedback.  Unlike your colleagues who may just say, “good job” after a presentation, a coach knows what to look for and will tell you specifically what you did well and what you have to improve. 
5.     A coach provides custom guidance.  He or she focuses on your individual needs and specific situation rather than a cookie cutter or a “one size fits all” approach that wastes time on irrelevant elements. 
6.     A coach provides practical and hands-on tools and techniques.  This means that you know exactly what and how to practice, rather just being given theory that you have to figure out on your own how to implement.
7.     A coach provides external motivation when your energy and enthusiasm are flagging.  In fact, I have a client who says, “I work better on creating content for my strategic presentation when you are in the room with me to help me focus and stay on track.”

So when you want to take your presentation or executive presence to the next level, don’t go it alone.  Be like Simone Biles and every other high-performing athlete and get a coach. 


 (And I’d welcome the opportunity to be your coach - contact me to find out how we can work together to help you achieve Olympic-worthy presentations.)

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