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Coaching Volleyball and the Speaker Parallel

This year I was fortunate to coach volleyball at the high school level. I began to relate the coaching position to being a speaker. Although your audience is smaller and more captive, you still follow a lot of the same steps you would do to prepare to speak.

You must pick your theme/message for the address (presentation topic) and make sure you have done the research and put it together properly for presentation.

Then you must decide the length of time you have to deliver the message as that will allow you to tailor the content that you can deliver. In the coaches case it may be as long as 10 minutes and as short as 30 seconds.

Now it is on to deciding if you are going to use a medium with your delivery (power point,video) or just speak.

Now it is all about practicing the delivery. Using the old cliche practice makes perfect is so true, this will allow you to deliver it exactly  the way you want it.

The coaches job is to show up to the gym early, to make sure
that the equipment is in place and look for any obstacles (ie a low hanging basketball net etc) that might impede performance. As a speaker you need to be at the venue early, test your equipment and make sure you understand the room you are in to ensure you can make it work for you.

When you present, you need to be sure you grab the audience’s attention. Make sure you are making eye contact and making sure your presentation has energy. Remember your audience will feel the same way you do. If you are energetic and excited about the presentation your audience will be too and this is where you make the connection with them.

When you have finished your presentation you must get your feedback. Whether it is seeing how the volleyball players went back onto the floor and performed or getting the feedback from the event organizers, it will allow you to continue to hone your craft of speaking.

So whether it is motivating a volleyball team or speaking at a
function remember to cover all the steps. Make a good pass (ie have a good researched topic) get a good set (practice the presentation) and hit the ball down the line for a winning presentation.