Recently speaking to a very technical minded FTSE 100 CEO – I was asked point blank.
“How can you prove your Academy works – please explain..”
How the coaching methodology works… And ‘Why’ it works
I am accustomed to explaining in stories, in case studies, in testimonials, through examples but telling an analyst ‘Why’ made me start thinking on a deeper level. The fact our clients are working with professional speakers, observing, practicing tangible techniques in a fun and supportive environment is normally adequate an explanation for the unbelievable transformations we promise and see. We use our explanation to make the unbelievable, believable. However the question of “Why” warrants a more detailed response.
The Public Speaking Academy Experience
To answer part B of the question – I started to speak with a focus group from the thousand plus clients we have worked with, whom experienced significant shifts more so on our programmes than any other. To aid this I created a set of questions to explore the experience in detail with a focus on why the learning methodology was working, an approach that we have repeatedly honed, tweaked and perfected.
Findings – “Being in the Moment”
What I realised was that our delegates and clients refereed to finding themselves in a peak state, a peak performance state when speaking through the structures, environment and interventions. Whilst researching, I asked a delegate how it felt when delivering his presentation to which he responded saying “I lost track of time and who I thought was, I was just in a place where I could relax, be in the moment and speak from the heart”.
We found that all delegates that experienced their best performances were operating in a state of what we term ‘Speaker Flow’. They were in a heightened sense of self, heightened speaker confidence and with it heightened personal enjoyment. Their level of focus had peaked and they stopped thinking about their own inner dialogue but moreover were enjoying the present, moment by moment– as a delegate put it – ‘it was as if time had stood still and I could just be me – the best version of me’
What is Speaker Flow?
You may have heard of this idea called flow – where your brain is synchronised with your task – so deeply that you lose a sense of what else is happening including anxiety and time. It is associated with peak performance in numerous professions and disciplines – there is a significant body of research backing this.
However practically speaking as a speaker and speaker coach ! I have both experienced it and noticed it in others. It is highly enjoyable, useful and gets you the results as well as making you stand out – something we must strive for on any stage – especially the speaking stage.
Why Does it Happen?
Whilst it is hard for me to lay down exactly why it happens -I have drawn upon personal speaking, coaching and observations of students.
What I noted was a delicate balance between being stretched and supported. Ie: If you have a fear of speaking in groups, you must be pushed but also simultaneously inspired. We do this on our programmes through the use of technique, group think, modelling and” inspirational conditioning”. The system is in another article but the fact is by balancing all of this – the delegate is placed in an optimal state of skill adoption and personal challenge – leading to exponential growth.
Results are not Coincidence
Whilst as a business we have to be honest and admit that we get financial return for our results something bigger happens when you learn and teach in ‘flow’. You enjoy yourself and develop new ways of thinking – all of which are foundations of happiness. Happy thoughts =Happy people. Our programmes are getting so much attention because of the results they offer but if I am honest the fact that we make our people happier is possibly the biggest gift of all – and I attribute this to the conditions we create that allow people to enter their heightened state of “Speaker Flow”.
Whilst I write this article I will let you in to a secret – I too was in full flow!