Courtesy of Flickr user Audrey

You know when it’s time. You hit a point when you know you don’t know what you don’t know. I hit  that point a few weeks back. I knew I needed some coaching to refine my training processes to better serve my clients. Larger clients with more specific training needs had chosen me to support their teams and I wanted to make sure I could step up to the challenge.

So, I walked my own talk and sought out a coach/consultant to get the support I needed. I chose Don Thoren with the Thoren Group to assist me in refining my training practices. We met in his beautiful living room with large windows overlooking a shimmering lakefront. Ahhh . . .

Don is a genteel man with a beautiful head of white hair who welcomed me with a big smile and a hug! We sat down, steaming cups of coffee in our hands, and he said: “Bob Mager, one of the old-timers, once posed the question, ‘could they do what we are attempting to teach them if their life depended on it?’ If the answer is yes, no training is necessary. If no, then train. But know this, training does not change behavior. Standards change behavior. Training can support meeting those standards.”

Wow. Okay, got it. The first question in any needs assessment for any training must be, what are the standards?

You might think this is a given, but is it? If you’re in sales, that might be an easy answer. Close so many sales per month. For most of us, success is not always so easily measured. Often coaches, consultants and trainers are called in to determine that very thing, and then teach it.

When it comes to speaking, presenting and brand messaging, what are your standards, and could you do it if your life depended on it? The greatest speakers and presenters exhibit some common indicators of mastery. Are these yours? Do you have others?

  • Authenticity — we experience them as being real, sincere and open
  • Consistency — we can count on them to come through
  • Compelling content — their information causes us to think about the subject in a different way
  • The ability to engage and inspire — we feel hopeful and motivated to take action
  • The ability to connect emotionally — we feel seen and heard
  • Results — they’ve fulfilled the promised outcomes
  • Caring — we believe they want the best for us

To what degree could you do these if your life depended on it? No doubt, some of these you do extremely well. Perhaps, like all of us, others need a little tweaking . . . or a lot. 🙂

Do you know what your presentation standards are? Are you meeting them? Food for thought. I’d love to support you to find out! Please contact me at