What can a bootcamp for public speakers look like? [stellar scenes from a photo recap]

Posted: April 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Bootcamp NBM Pic Tinu Credit

What a day!
Last Friday was the first ever public speaker bootcamp for my business LiveYourTalk to host.

What’s a public speaker bootcamp?!
There are many iterations available in the industry, with some offered to very large crowds. Generally the bootcamp’s intention is to provide immersive training and resources to participants about public speaking skill.

People have been inquiring to LiveYourTalk (and myself to facilitate and coach) for a particular bootcamp experience which:

  • involves a very small number of participants, no more than four;
  • clarifies points of view and potential messages to represent as a public voice;
  • offers expert training to exercise more confidence as a public speaker (and to build off their inherent strengths as communicators) ;
  • teaches ways to utilize and manage anxious energy;
  • trains on use of stage space, vocal variety & strength, breathing technique, and avoidance of inarticulates like the dreaded ums/uhs;
  • provides technique for persuasive speaking skill, basic media training, and on-camera work.

This type of client insight and curiosity has been critical; and after shaping curriculum – LiveYourTalk’s first bootcamp went live last week.

And it was a blast.
It was a day of teachable risk, training, and speech history.
It was an addictive forum for me to teach in; and I can’t wait to host the next one!

First bootcamp debrief: (4) factors that stand out

1. Group support framed one-on-one attention.

It was a small enough group (3 bootcampers) where each received the benefit of group interaction, group stimulus, support, and also one-on-one attention from myself as coach.

2. A multi-tiered curriculum worked.

Curriculum was based on (3) values for shaping resonant public voice:

—> all of the above tenets with an emphasis on point of view and message discovery;
—> use of group feedback, anxiety management, theatre training, and on-camera work;
—> all set to the unique speech-history backdrop of Washington, DC, where the bootcamp took place and included a speech history excursion to two historical venues.

Was this too aggressive for a one-day bootcamp?
That was my initial concern.

But in light of the participants’ goals (and feedback since), these structured values worked well.

The day included a brief excursion to two historical sites in Washington, DC which have heavily influenced my thinking toward powerful public voice. It was motivating to engage with bootcamp participants in this way. Then the day culminated with an onsite video project where each bootcamper applied technique in timed conditions.

3. Trust was a conscious part of education.

As in, the bootcampers Lisa Byrne, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, and Nakeva Corothers chose each other to participate in the program together. They trust eachother professionally (they are friends too), and viewed this trust as a useful ingredient to their bootcamp results.

Bootcamp Uber Lisa Tinu Nakeva

This shared trust made the bootcamp dynamic.
The program’s rigor & vulnerability invite a ton of emotional investment. It invites focus. And their confidence in each other made the difference toward achieving their bootcamp goals.

4. Anxiety was a useful asset to building strength.

Based on their feedback so far, there was a balance of content engagement, theatre work, play, and critique.


Each segment enabled them to exercise a key principle: anxiety is useful energy for engaging audiences if utilized (and managed) well.

By the time the final video project rolled around, there was a strong group focus to assert and conquer.

I’m still butterflies-in-belly exhilarated, and look forward to the next one.

Scenes from the day:

Engaging at the National Building Museum -pictured above too- during the bootcamp’s speech history excursion (first leg, with transportation supported by Uber DC).
Bootcamp B.W. Jill Lisa Excursion

Heading to the wonderful Willard Hotel to relive a moment in speech history related to the day’s training (second leg).
Bootcamp Willard

Lisa, Tinu, and Nakeva arrive at the main conference room …armed and ready with their LiveYourTalk ‘idea kit and archive’ complete with an (11) page resource-template guide.
Bootcamp Begins Lisa Tinu Nakeva

Tinu asserts the day’s main video project, with great success.
Bootcamp Video Project Tinu

“Bootcamper down! Bootcamper down!” Nakeva asserts the video project with great success, and celebrates in playful collapse.
Bootcamp Nakeva passed out

The first ever LiveYourTalk Bootcamp graduates(!)

Congrats to all of you for your accomplishments (during the bootcamp, and beyond too). Thanks also for investing your unique voices and self-assertion through your day.
Bootcamp Grads Nakeva Lisa Tinu Lisa Credit

Have you ever experienced a public speaker bootcamp, or something like it?

What knocked your socks off about it?

Photo credits:


5 Comments on “What can a bootcamp for public speakers look like? [stellar scenes from a photo recap]”

  1. 1 Tinu said at 7:07 pm on April 24th, 2012:

    It was definitely not too aggressive. It was just challenging enough. Probably the best bootcamp/workshop I’ve ever attended, largely due to the intake beforehand. You zeroed in on what my issues were, but also had plans for the group. And with the group setting, I learned from my peers too, but also didn’t feel like I had to be “on” all day. Having breaks between the times I was on the spot gave it a very realistic feel. I feel like I could have left there and given a great presentation, with my nervous energy re-channeled into focus on my audience’s experience.

  2. 2 jillfoster said at 9:41 pm on April 24th, 2012:

    @Tinu — This is GREAT feedback. Your observations help clarify what decisions influenced particular results. Congrats again on everything, and for your persuasive video pitch project. I appreciate your openness here.

  3. 3 @Nakeva said at 2:05 am on April 25th, 2012:

    @Jill The bootcamp really created an inspiring influence on connection and communication. The best part was being there with friends that I trust and respect and receiving their feedback! I think that is a key factor in small groups. It also helps we all have a good sense of humor!

    I was particularly impressed with your level of pre-bootcamp interaction, materials provided during the session and your flexibility to meet each of our individual needs relevant to our industry. Bravo for planning every detail from the excursions with speech history right down to the Uber DC transportation and final agenda! I (we) appreciate what you do!

    Thank you!

  4. 4 jillfoster said at 3:21 pm on April 25th, 2012:

    @Nakeva – thank you for this, and bringing your unique creativity and insight to the day. It was irreplaceable experiencing the bootcamp with you three.

  5. 5 The New Rules of Blogging | Ultimate Social Blog said at 12:07 am on March 5th, 2013:

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