How Effective Coaching makes the difference
Have you ever wondered what the difference between coaching and evaluation is, in terms of public speaking? I used to think they were mostly the same and could be used interchangeably, but while there are many similarities between coaching and evaluation, there are significant differences as well. The number one difference is how coaching can be directly applied to any of the skills you may be working to improve.
Evaluation, at its core, is identifying whether things are “good” or “bad.” But it tends to stop there. Evaluation is somewhat like monitoring; it is there to point out and bring awareness, but not to correct and reconfigure or take action. It is essential to new speakers to learn how to identify what works in a speech versus what does not work in a speech or presentation. Once they have a firm grasp of evaluation then, it could be time to look at embracing the next step and closing the loop.
Coaching is the step that closes the loop. Coaching takes everything noted in the evaluation phase and continues by giving clear action steps to help improve the outcome the next time. Example: Simple blocking, your positioning and movement on stage, can be fine tuned to be more purposeful with the help of a coach.
In this video clip, we show a great example of how the coaching model is applied at Speakers Roundtable to help the speaker that night improve her speech for the next time she presents it at the club or at other venues. Keith Schroder uses a compare and contrast form of coaching to point out the ways that our speaker Cassandra could focus her impromptu speaking for the next time. He starts off by pointing out what he enjoyed about her speech. He then continues to find one thing that she can change that will make her speech more effective for the audience. In this example he helps her identify which structure would work best for her chosen speech model, impromptu or “off the cuff” speaking. He explains his coaching by pointing out the reasons why one structure works better than the other in this speech and then he models the coaching for her to further clarify his example. Once he has made his point, Keith wraps up with a quick recap and closes his coaching time in under one minute.
Keith is an easy example to use as he has been a consistent Top 3 Finisher in many Toastmasters Evaluation Contests.
If you will notice in the clip, Cassandra is practicing another advanced speaking technique that is crucial to reaping the benefits of coaching. She is taking notes while she is being coached so that she can then apply what she has heard to her speech.