Reach, Don’t Amplify…

Susan Cain at TED

It is hugely exciting when a client you haven’t worked with for a while makes a recommendation. Even more exciting when the piece of work turns to be one on one coaching for a senior executive which is among my favourite ways to work.

I always ask new coaching clients to choose from a handful of challenges to take part in before our first session. These are designed to help me see how they see themselves, and from that to figure out what particular support they need to become the best presenter they can possibly be.

When Susan Cain’s TED talk is chosen, I know I have the challenge of a the presenter who has identified as an introvert. This, in companies where there is a sales channel, and the classic ‘strong presenter’ is the Head of the Sales division who is confident with dynamic vocals, can handle tangents standing on their head, and moves comfortably around the stage, usually leads to the introvert thinking they have to learn to amplify their delivery, have to become bigger to win over the audience.

The reverse is true. I teach introverts to reach, not amplify. To find the story that shows your expertise so you don’t have to shout it. And today, as a result of this work, I’ve just seen an entire Exco change their opinions on a colleague’s ability to present, as a result of that person absorbing my training. It’s a great feeling.