Coaching a group the other day and was faced with the comment, “This is a lot easier when we’re on the road in front of strangers. It’s harder doing it in front of your peers. They know the material and the pressure is greater.” While I don’t think any of the skills I was espousing are particular hard in front of any audience, it was worth thinking about. Is it easier to speak to a group of people you will never see again?Then I spent a couple of days with these folks and never heard a single word other than encouraging ones. They genuinely wanted to help each other, and their coaching was every bit as good as my own. By contrast, the stories they told of their audiences hinted of personal agendas, landmine questions, drunks destined to disrupt, and downright hostile. Tell me again you want the strangers?!This organization had something special that every speaker should want — a group of peers that share the same pains, the same desires, and had a wide enough variety in skills to be good for one another. My parting challenge was for them to do exactly what their comfort wanted — I wanted them to schedule times to practice in front of their peers. Only through that time of refining and honing their craft will they get to the point they convinced me they wanted to achieve.
Get the coaching and help you need BEFORE you hit the road.