Chapter Fifteen Five Coaching Plans “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I would spend six hours sharpening my axe.” −Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President In this final chapter, you will find five sample coaching plans. These should serve as blueprints for creating your own. The sample plans have various goals and time lines. I offer them not as plans you should execute, but as models for customizing your own program for learning how to speak like a CEO. Think about what you want to achieve. Write it down. What will it take to get there? The more specific your plan, the more likely you are to be successful in the execution. Integrate these activities into your to-do list or calendar. Check them off, week by week, month by month. Soon you will look back and say, “Hey, I actually did that.” You may want to work with a coach. A coach can help you every step of the way: assess your needs, design a plan, guide your learning, give you feedback, and celebrate your success. If you don’t use a speaker coach, a media trainer, or another outside professionals, bring together an internal team. No matter where you are in your career, other people can help. Look at Tiger Woods. He had help constructing the best game in golf−from coach Butch Harmon. When he 183 16 (183-190B) chapter 16 2/28/05 11:43 Page 183 184 • Speak like a CEO broke off his relationship with Harmon, his game suffered. Sports com- mentators often suggested that he bring back Butch. All of us, at every stage, can benefit from having other people to help keep us on top of our game. Three-Month Plan: Keynote Speaking Project: Deliver an outstanding keynote speech to a major business group Goals " Write and speak with clarity s Learn to use stories to make points s Develop humor and be comfortable with it’s Make better eye contact s Appear completely comfortable and relaxed in front of the" " audience s Use voice more effectively s Speak more conversationally" Time allotted: Ten hours per month, 30 hours total First-month activities: Initial consultation with coach. Videotape/skills- gap analysis; discuss audience and theme of speech with writer; write stories, anecdotes, and elements; research and write first draft, review; start personal binder for speaker stories. Second-month activities: Videotape next draft, review; work on voice, body language, and gestures; practice telling stories, add humor, read book on voice, listen to tape of good speakers. Third-month activities: Practice at a podium, videotape/review with coach, practice at home; internalize messages, complete final draft, con- duct dress rehearsal, review outcomes with coach. Six-Month Plan: Presentation Skills Project: Deliver a technical/business presentation on a new initiative to investors, employees, or customers 16 (183-190B) chapter 16 2/28/05 11:43 Page 184 Five Coaching Plans • 185 Goals "Develop confident, relaxed presentation style s Present technical material so that everyone understands s Show relevance of solutions to audience’s needs s Learn techniques for persuading an audience s Stand in front without a podium, with confidence s Use hands and gestures effectively s Improve professional appearance" Time allotted: Eight hours per month, 48 hours total First-month activities: Meet with coach for skills-gap analysis. Research audience and topic, convene strategic planning meeting, outline presentation, read book on professional image, meet with wardrobe consultant. Second-month activities: Second strategic planning session, sit in on conference presentations to watch good speakers, pick up new techniques. Third-month activities: Create talking points. Third strategic planning meeting, talk through presentation, practice at home, read a book on PowerPoint presentations. Fourth-month activities: Videotape a dress rehearsal of the presentation, get feedback from team and coach, practice in front of mirror, practice voice with tape recorder at home. Fifth-month activities: Dress rehearsal, feedback and revisions, feedback on content and style of presentation from coach. Six-month activities: Review video of presentation with coach, assess progress, and set goals for next six months. Six-Month Plan: Media Training Project: Media tour to publicize a major new product/service/innovation Goals "Develop confidence speaking to reporters s Present ideas clearly and concisely" 16 (183-190B) chapter 16 2/28/05 11:43 Page 185 186 • Speak like a CEO "Manage interviews with confidence s Develop new strategies to prepare for interviews s Speak in sound bites with energy and enthusiasm s Deliver opinion effectively s Know how to handle tough questions s Show more on-camera poise for television s Stay on message and deliver key points without wandering" Time allotted: Four hours per month, twenty-four hours total First-month activities: Meet with PR/Communications staff to discuss strategic focus, message; meet with coach to develop talking points; review talking points and practice out loud; read a book on how to man- age the media. Second-month activities: Meet with coach/PR team to write up anticipated questions; videotape a practice session, a “mock interview”; refine talking points. Third-month activities: Practice delivering talking points into a tape recorder, listen to voice; practice with coach, second mock interview, review body language, voice; read a book on camera technique, video- conferencing, and television. Fourth-month activities: Dress rehearsal: news conference, videotape and review with coach and PR; dress rehearsal: one-on-one interviews, videotape and review with coach. Fifth-month activities: News conference, videotape; interviews, video- tape; review with coach and get feedback, assess progress. Sixth-month activities: Review newspaper, magazine clippings with PR/Communications staff; meet with coach to assess progress and set goals for next six months. Six-Month Plan: Presentations, Speech, Media Projects: Give outstanding presentations to the board; improve relation- ships with unhappy customers who had a bad experience; build support in business community through media interviews; motivate and inspire employees after period of bad news 16 (183-190B) chapter 16 2/28/05 11:43 Page 186 Five Coaching Plans • 187 Goals "Speak with clarity about vision s Appear comfortable and confident with board of directors s Fine-tune answers to tough questions from unhappy customers s Deliver strong messages to media Speak conversationally to employees s Motivate and inspire people to overcome a difficult situation" Time allotted: Eight hours per month, 48 hours total First-month activities: Write detailed communication goals for the year; personal history interview with coach; videotape board presentation and receive skills-gap analysis; read a book on public speaking skills. Second-month activities: Discuss talking points for media with PR/Communications; review talking points with coach; prepare or review Power- Point slides; practice at home. Third-month activities: Dress rehearsal: board presentation, videotape; practice and review with coach; read book on media skills; set up customer meetings. Fourth-month activities: Videotape mock media interview; compile list of tough questions from customers, discuss strategies, refine talking points with coach. Fifth-month activities: Review clippings and/or video of real media inter- views, role-play to prepare for customer meetings, record it on audiocassette and play back, refine talking points, read book on negotiations. Six- month activities: Conduct meetings with customers, review out- comes with coach, start preparing talking points for next board meeting, practice at home. Twelve-Month Plan: Leadership Communication Skills Goal: Prepare to move up to a new, larger role in the company by improving all aspects of communication: speeches, presentations, media inter- views, leading meetings, conversation skills 16 (183-190B) chapter 16 2/28/05 11:43 Page 187 188 • Speak like a CEO Time allotted: Eight hours per month, ninety-six hours total First-month activities: Personal history interview, coach conducts 360-degree interviews with colleagues, direct reports, supervisors, and top management; start writing professional goals. Second-month activities: Coach presents findings of 360-degree inter- views, review findings; discuss goals and strategies; work on to-do list based on goals and strategies. Third-month activities: Deliver a presentation and videotape it; assess skill gaps; get constructive feedback. Fourth-month activities: Review videotape; assess content and style of presentation; practice new skills; prepare speech with talking points and stories; research facts and anecdotes. Fifth- month activities: Videotape draft of speech; work on content and style issues; revise speech and practice again; deliver speech. Sixth-month activities: Review videotape of speech for content and style; get additional tips and recommendations; create agenda for meeting by determining issues, areas of conflict, and stakeholders. Seventh-month activities: Go through agenda; practice talking points; role-play discussions; discuss pre-meeting stakeholders to contact to lay groundwork; discuss techniques for managing difficult issues. Write introduction and important talking points. Eighth-month activities: Review outcome of meeting and strategies that succeeded; determine business event of importance and discuss participants, conversations, and background. Review business etiquette; deter- mine conversation topics; role-play conversations and videotape them. Ninth-month activities: Prepare talking points and questions for media interview; practice answers; review interview techniques; give media interviews. Tenth-month activities: Review videotape and clippings of media inter- view; identify what worked and didn’t. Research, write, review, and practice the major speech. Eleventh-month activities: Practice delivery of major speech, videotape, review with coach. Twelfth-month activities: Review goals and assess progress, make plans for next year. 16 (183-190B) chapter 16 2/28/05 11:43 Page 188 Five Coaching Plans • 189 Make the Journey Your Own “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” −Lao-tzu, Founder of Taoism As you look over these plans, you will see that they vary in length: three months, six months, and one year. Your program is your own. Modify the goals, time lines, and activities to meet your needs. By using the techniques in the previous chapters−such as delegate, delete, or delay−you can create and customize a plan that will set you on the right path to accomplishing your speaking goals. Taking the first step on your path requires two beliefs: (1) that you’re capable of achieving your goals, and (2) that your efforts will make a difference in advancing your career. You are capable, and your efforts will make a tremendous difference. While the end result for which you’re striving may seem daunting, just keep in mind that the strategies you’ve learned in this book will help break down the process into tasks you can work on day to day. Remember, there is no such thing as a natural-born speaker. You hold the power to become the successful leader you want to be when you have the tools and skills to communicate effectively with all of your audiences. It’s up to you to decide what kind of speaker and leader you will be. Don’t be afraid to take that first stride and make the journey your own.