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.
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).
Heading to the wonderful Willard Hotel to relive a moment in speech history related to the day’s training (second leg).
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.
Tinu asserts the day’s main video project, with great success.
“Bootcamper down! Bootcamper down!” Nakeva asserts the video project with great success, and celebrates in playful collapse.
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.
Have you ever experienced a public speaker bootcamp, or something like it?
What knocked your socks off about it?
- Tinu Abayomi-Paul: National Building Museum (top).
- Nakeva Corothers: Conversation at National Building Museum; Willard Hotel; Tinu’s video project.
- Lisa Byrne: Nakeva’s playful collapse moment.