Speaker Coaching TEDx Berlin/Hamburg
The TEDx conference gives the brightest minds in such interdisciplinary fields as brain research, architecture, and design 18 minutes to present their outstanding ideas on stage. Its motto: “Ideas worth spreading.”
Those presenting their ideas at a TEDx conference face a particular challenge. It is not only a matter of sharing one’s expert knowledge with the 500-strong audience. Each speech should also touch the audience’s emotions and inspire. To hold the perfect speech at TEDx, extra preparation is required.
I have offered guest speakers at TEDx Berlin/Hamburg individual coaching since 2009. Over the course of several sessions, they learn to redesign their speeches from scratch, and practise delivery.
After receiving coaching, the speakers feel thoroughly prepared and can hold their speech freely and with ambition. Training with the Story Embodiment™ method allows them to completely internalise their speech. This transforms their performance into an intense, inspiring experience for both the speakers and their audience.
Telekom Laboratories Creation Center
Deutsche Telekom’s Creation Center in Berlin is the Bonn-based telco’s ideas laboratory.
Telekom invited me to develop a new departmental presentation in conjunction with the Creation Center team. The presentation was to introduce the Center to others both within the company and at external conferences.
The storyline for the new presentation was developed over a one-day workshop. It was designed so that each participant could adapt it to his or her needs and personality.
The Creation Center felt exceedingly well represented by the final presentation. The storyline was also used for a superb mood-film about the Creation Center, which charmingly illustrates the work and essence of the Creation Center in just one minute.
Next Conference Media Consulting
With more than 150 international speakers on 5 stages and almost 2000 attendees from all around the world, the Next Conference is one of the largest internet conferences in Europe.
At the Next Conference, the leading minds of the internet industry take the stage to share with their audiences their knowledge about the World Wide Web. This information was also to be made available to the wider public in high quality via live stream on nextconf.eu and on Facebook. Shortly after the conference, the talks were to be released as downloadable videos.
To achieve the desired TV-broadcast quality, we developed new, camera-friendly stage designs in conjunction with the Berlin creative agency Monomango, and reworked the motion design. For enhanced quality, we also engaged an experienced TV director for the live stream. This also allowed videos of each individual speech to be pre-produced for later use.
The hoped-for quantum leap in quality was achieved in every media-related aspect at the Next Conference, from stage and motion design through to video production. All the videos meet international production standards, and can be viewed at nextconf.eu.
C/O Berlin Team Coaching
With its exhibitions of such internationally renowned photographers as Annie Leibovitz, René Burri, or Anton Corbijn, C/O Berlin is one of the most important institutions for photography in Germany.
C/O Berlin offers a comprehensive cultural programme, including guiding visitors through the exhibitions, organising lectures for specialist audiences, and welcoming guests. This last aspect has become increasingly important. Time and again, the C/O team finds it must introduce the manifold aspects of its activities to others.
In a one-day workshop, we explored the C/O Berlin ‘story’ and used this as a basis for training presentations given by the executive team. This workshop also acted as a starting point for subsequent individual training sessions, which addressed the particular responsibilities of each employee.
With fun and creativity, each employee of the C/O team contributed towards finding and defining the C/O ‘story’. This not only strengthened the organisation’s collective identity, but provided a good basis for the individual coaching sessions that followed.
Fabian Hemmert Advanced Training
Fabian is a design researcher at the Design Research Lab in Berlin. His work on “The shape-shifting future of the mobile phone” caused an international sensation.
I began working with Fabian Hemmert in connection with the TEDxBerlin 2009. At that time, we were preparing for his speech at that conference. This can now be viewed on the official TED website - ted.com. As an internationally sought-after speaker, Fabian always wishes to improve his presentation skills.
Through our continuing work together, we have been able to build on previous sessions and to employ more advanced training methods based on acting techniques. This has allowed us to refine the Story Embodiment™ method in a controlled environment. I see myself in this as Fabian’s sparring partner - one who, like a personal trainer, readies him for his performances on stage.
Fabian’s fantastic ability to learn and the trust that has developed between us mean he can prepare more and more independently over time. He has been able to improve what was already a good stage presence. I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with Fabian!
Skype Coaching Professor Janine Wedel
Janine Wedel was presented with the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order for her work, an honour previously bestowed on Mikhail Gorbachev and Samuel Huntington.
For the TEDxBerlin 2010, Professor Janine Wedel was invited to give a speech on her latest research results, published in her book “Shadow Elites”. Since she lives and works in Washington, the coaching took place via Skype.
The audio and video connection through Skype meant the coaching sessions went off without hinderance to communication. Each level of the coaching - from the concept through to the actual training for the lecture - was worked through without difficulty, with the speech for the conference prepared perfectly.
When we met in person on the evening of the conference, we were able to build directly on the work done over the internet. We were able to put the finishing touches on her lecture. The audience was inspired by her speech and equally impressed by her far-reaching research.
Psychophysical Acting Training
Charisma, stage presence and communication skills can be trained and significantly improved with the help of special acting exercises.
My own experience and work with actors has repeatedly shown me you can improve your stage presence through regular acting training. Especially those who were previously somewhat reserved learned to be much more open in their expressiveness, and gained significantly in charisma.
Until recently, training with Michael Checkov’s psychophysical exercises had been reserved for professional actors. In my seminars, public speakers now, for the first time, have the opportunity to benefit from this knowledge.
The psychophysical exercises used directly impacted on the presence of those participating. Once learned and internalised, the techniques reliably yield results. They not only improve charisma on stage, but in every form of interpersonal communication. The effect can be recalled at any time.
Estée Lauder Sales Coaching
The American firm Estée Lauder is one of the most successful cosmetics producers in the world.
There are certain parallels between the work of actors and salespeople. In both professions, it is imperative to know what kind of story one wants to tell, before stepping onto the stage or in front of clients. In a film, the script determines the roles. At Estée Lauder, it is the products and their presentation that are prescribed by the headquarters in New York for salespeople in Munich.
In a workshop lasting several days, acting techniques were used to work with the pre-existing presentations. The aim was for each participant to link the content of the presentation to their own personality and to internalise the history of the product in an individual way.
Since every detail of the presentation was examined minutely for its effect and meaning, employees were perfectly prepared for their first contacts with clients and for making sales with the new products. Both the group and management reported clear positive feedback from the contact with clients. The upshot: Only when you embody a story completely can you present it convincingly.
Soho House Group Reiss Profile Coaching
Soho House Group London is a private members’ club for those in film, media and the creative industries.
The Reiss profile is a highly effective scientific diagnostic tool used in professional sport and in executive professional development. It provides a personality profile that is as individual as a fingerprint. My task was to produce profiles for the entire management board of Soho House Group and to go over the results in individual coaching sessions in London.
The Reiss profile method uses a two-step process. First, the client fills out an online questionnaire. The responses are evaluated and consolidated into a personality profile. Then, the results of the individual profile are discussed in a personal evaluation session.
Working with the Reiss Profile usually triggers an intensive process of self-reflection, through which clients come to better understand themselves. In the area of self-management, this means developing more nuanced perceptions of oneself and others, recognising personal behavioural patterns, and broadening the range of possible action.