What can a bootcamp for public speakers look like?

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:

A snapshot social album from today’s #Give2Max fundraiser breakfast helping Miriam’s Kitchen

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

What a great morning!
Give2Max breakfast.jpg-large

And more:

TODAY: Join us for a flash mob breakfast at Ben’s Chili Bowl for Give2Max

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Quick context about Nov. 9th, an invitation to you, and overall purpose here at LiveYourTalk

At the core here at the blog is talking about speech making and speech craft in general — and how to emerge ourselves into distinct, resonant public speakers….serving our audiences along the way.

This aspect of service is apart of conversation here too — how to use voice (and deed) to help those less fortunate and the organizations that achieve this purpose.

That’s why I support the GiveToTheMax event, a great day of online giving — on November 9th — to raise funds and awards for DC’s regional nonprofits.

Want to get involved with GiveToTheMax?

On that note: your breakfast invitation
And this is your invitation to join a flash-mob-breakfast-for-fun-fundraising event hosted by my business LiveYourTalk along with the ever good Shana Glickfield, partner of Beekeeper Group.

Shana Jill pic

What inspired this flash-mob-breakfast idea?
In the spirit of Digital Capital Week and the GiveToTheMax fundraising drive — we wanted to plan a coffee and breakfast to enjoy our community, gobble up some good food from a DC institution, and donate whatever we all can to help Miriam’s Kitchen — an area nonprofit which assists thousands of DC’s homeless and less fortunate

The who, what, when:

  • When: Wednesday, Nov 9th
  • Time: the fun morning time between 7am to 9:30am
  • Where: DC’s historical Ben’s Chili Bowl
  • Directions: how to get to Ben’s
  • More on menu: Coffee is on us….; if you crave more breakfast, Ben’s has a great menu for you to purchase from.
  • Just bring your sense of giving; and we’ll have donation stations set up for you.

So if you’re in the DC area:
Shana and I look forward to seeing you, enjoying breakfast, and helping out Miriam’s Kitchen!

More info and how to donate:
Here’s more insight about our efforts to support the GiveToThe Max drive, and Mirima’s Kitchen, on Nov. 9th.

1 minute video story: a refugee advocate, Africa, and $5

Posted: August 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Tinu Abayomi-Paullives her talk” …regularly speaking-up for the underserved and taking action to attain a greater good.

Thanks to her for this video conversation about Africa and how $5 can overcome “situations of scarcity.”

Tinu is a friend, BlueKey Campaign Champion, and refugee advocate. She has shared great appreciation for the work by USA for UNHCR. And in this video, Tinu shares striking examples of how a few dollars impact living standards in Africa.

To show support for refugees, please visit TheBlueKey.org.

Hilarity Alert: Are you THIS good with words?

Posted: July 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

From the Nedroid cartoon’s fantastic wit: here’s Like a cool Shakespeare.


An inner bout that led ‘To Mama with Love’

Posted: May 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

As an expression of giving to the moms you care about, what would your heartspace gift look like?


Wrestling with Mother’s Day & a renewed perspective
Sometimes Mother’s Day gets me anxious. It feels silly to admit.

But Mom and I have lived apart for years now, with her and Dad in Colorado, with my husband and me in DC. When Mother’s Day rolls around, anxiety has often seeped in my brain. It feels like a pensive, tugging inner voice that says:

“Whatever you do for Mother’s Day, it will fall short. Your mother is THAT fantastic. What gift could possibly honor that enough? And by the way, how can you live so far away from your momma?!”

Darn those inner voices of guilt! Do they ever talk at you too?
But this year, it’s time to re-focus that silly inner guilt. There’s something and someone in particular who helped to re-direct that anxiety to something with greater purpose and uplift. Stacey Monk and her To Mama With Love initiative motivated this re-direction and a great reminder too:

Our mothers give us many reasons to celebrate.

To more consciously embrace that mindset – and to swallow up those habits of angst with nothin’ but love – I’ve created a heartspace for and about my mama over at Stacey’s compelling social art space called To Mama With Love.


It’s more than celebrating just one mama (that’s my Mama Melba at right!)
This initiative and art project create a unique forum to celebrate our moms. But it’s also a chance to recognize – and support – specific mothers around the world who are impacting their communities for the better.

Folks can both celebrate moms in their lives with “heartspaces” but also help foster the efforts of mothers like “Mama Lucy” Kamptoni. She sold chickens in her Tanzanian village and turned her income into a primary school that now serves over 400 children.

Here’s an excerpt below of a letter written to my mother; the full letter was apart of the heartspace dedicated to her. Thanks to Stacey and the Epic Change team for creating this meaningful place to express mama goodness.

A heartspace excerpt: mom speaks up for self-respect:

But then open house night arrived, as did the chance to meet Mr. Novak directly with you and Dad. And it was then your strength and grit made a distinct impression on all of us. You let Mr. Novak know he was a “sexist pig who had no right to downgrade your daughter or anyone else’s daughter for that matter.”

I was stunned. Dad was grinning and silent.
The force of your words carried a sense of championship. I had never seen a line drawn in the sand like that before. It was the first time I consciously realized the real consequence of that teacher’s treatment. It was unmistakeable and that moment changed my outlook toward gender perceptions and self-respect.


Happy Mother’s Day(!)

Top image Heart of Palm by Gare & Kitty, Creative Commons

The Silent10 video project and working with silence

Posted: May 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

How was your week? Were there ever moments where you craved silence and the chance to intentionally practice being silent?

I appreciate silent meditation although I’m inconsistent in practicing it. I find the benefits of silence have great effect — in creating a sense of calm and clarity of mind.

Video is a favorite tool too. And this #Silent10 video project is an experiment at combining the two interests. It’s a simple project where each week I and sometimes others just look silently into the camera for 10 seconds.

All this works with a few questions churning in my brain: Can practicing silence and using video effectively unite? And if so, can a meditative impact emerge for those on both ends of the video clip?

Happy International Women’s Day

Posted: March 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 13 Comments »

Girl talk beautiful pic

…and their authenticity.

…and their humor.

…and their big-picture thinking.

…and their creative side.

…and their self expression.

…and their grit.

Today, what women will you celebrate?

Image by Roy Sinai, Creative Commons

Very Happy New Year!

Posted: December 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Our 10th anniversary (and Happy Thanksgiving!)

Posted: November 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

This year has been one incredible experience in learning about great stories, the people that share them, and the impact those stories can make.

We are in a pivotal point in time
…one that has unique distinction for stories and conversation in general especially in light of social tech — it appears a true “age of speech” has emerged.

And on this Thanksgiving Day, the story at the forefront of my mind and heart is marriage to my husband of 10 years.


Wedding sean jill

Years ago with a sense of delight, adventure, and a wee bit of youthfulness, we married in Washington, DC on Thanksgiving. Since then, new stories of our own have formed – some gleeful, some difficult, yet all brought irreplaceable clarity to the value of time.

My husband’s “what if” curiosity helped to fortify vision for a new business – LiveYourTalk (…and helped to maintain resolve when next steps in business weren’t as clear). Experiencing life with him is a fantastic story in motion and a powerful, fun way to spend time. I love him.

On this holiday, may your favorite stories and storytellers be all around whether at turkey dinner or through vibrant memories.

Very Happy Thanksgiving.