Olympic Speakers


Olympic Speakers

Olympic athletes who want to build their career on their Olympic experience need to develop their presentation skills.

Enjoy this report from the Globe and Mail.

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Boardroom Olympians
Gifted athletes aren't necessarily gifted speakers. But with training, a career can blossom after the game ends

DAVE MCGINN
From Monday's Globe and Mail
July 14, 2008 at 9:40 AM EDT

The day after Katie Weatherston arrived back in Ottawa from competing at this year's women's world hockey championship in China, the 26-year-old Olympian began what might prove to be the most important training program of her career.

It had nothing to do with slap shots or stick handling. Instead, Ms. Weatherston found herself surrounded by entrepreneurs and aspiring CEOs, all of whom were looking to punch up their podium skills at a public speaking course offered by Dale Carnegie Training, an international business training company.

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Canada's national team athletes are expected to inspire both on and off the field, and are often invited to speak to schools and corporations across the country. But just because they are naturally gifted athletes does not mean they are naturally gifted public speakers.

So it is no surprise, says Jasmine Northcott, executive director of AthletesCAN, the association of Canada's national team athletes, that the governing bodies of amateur athletics in Canada place such a high emphasis on providing athletes with public speaking training.

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When Newfoundland's Brad Gushue won a gold medal in curling at the 2006 Winter Olympics, he was flooded with public speaking invitations, the majority of them paid engagements. The better a speaker an athlete is, he says, the more likely they are to continue to receive those invitations.

"There's probably about a year-long window after the Olympics where you're going to get speaking opportunities," Mr. Gushue says. "I think having the Dale Carnegie course allows athletes to open that window for a longer period of time."

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"I do a lot of public speaking and a lot of corporate events, and just wanted to find a way to be a little bit more comfortable when I'm up in front of people and a bit more confident when I speak," he says.

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