Choose Your Speech Coach Wisely

Speech Coach for Executives
Executive Speech Coach
How do you choose your speech coach?

Working with a speech coach can be an intimate and unnerving experience.

What might you want from your speech coach?

An effective speech coach must be confident and capable enough to be direct with you – to encourage you, to challenge you and to guide you.

An effective speech coach must be able to identify and build on your strengths.

An effective speech coach must understand your needs, your audience and your message.

An effective speech coach must ask you direct, discovering and guiding questions.

An effective speech coach must demonstrate experience and success as a speech coach and speaker.

An effective speech coach must be an effective public speaker and communicator.

An effective speech coach must be constructive – not sarcastic.

An effective speech coach will help you uncover the best way for you to convey your message.

An effective speech coach will leave you a far better speaker.

An effective speech coach will leave you feeling good about yourself.

George Torok

The Speech Coach for Executives

Mary Kay Ash

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important’. Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”
-Mary Kay Ash (1918-2001)
Founder Mary Kay Cosmetics

George Torok
The Speech Coach for Executives

Smile - say cheese!

Do you remember the photographer saying that?

It might have sounded corny – but it worked. Smile for the camera. Why? Because you always look better when you smile. In fact the best beauty secret is not a cream or lotion – it is a smile.

It looks better for a picture and it looks better for your presentation.

read more

George Torok
The Speech Coach for Executives

Presentation Question Two

When you deliver a presentation - in fact every time you speak there is one question that pops up often in the mind of your listener. If this question is unanswered you might lose them. If you don’t answer this question your listener might ignore the rest of your presentation.

Too many presenters fail to answer this question. They fail and they wonder why.

Maybe you have good information to present. Maybe it is true and important. But if your listener doesn’t get it – your presentation failed.

This question is especially important when you are presenting information. Because of information overload we are trained to ignore information. It is a survival technique; helps keep us closer to sanity. (When it comes to sanity – close is good enough)

So what is this question?

“So what?”

You say, “The competition launched a new product.”

Your listeners think, “So What?”

You need to tell them why that is important and what that means to them. You need to convey relevance to the information.

Here are two phrases that you might use:

“What that means to you…..”
“The reason I tell you that…..”

Before your next presentation think about the “So what?” and answer that question every time you present information. Give relevance.

George Torok
The Speech Coach for Executives

Presentation Question One

Before you deliver your speech or presentation you must ask yourself one critical question. If you ask yourself this question before every presentation you will create a better presentation and write it faster.

Ask this critical question and you will be more successful in your speaking. You will be better able to adapt the length of your presentation to last minute changes. You will look and feel more confident and convincing. You will be better prepared to handle questions and interruptions. You will be able to avoid wasteful tangents. You will stay focused.

The question that you should ask yourself before every presentation is this:

What do you want your audience to do, think or feel when you are finished speaking?

If you don’t ask this question you might be wasting time – yours and theirs.

If you ask this question – you will know why you are speaking. If you don’t know why you are speaking – you are wasting time and embarrassing yourself.

When you know what you want your audience to do, think or feel, then you can test every phrase you speak, every slide and every prop for how well it helps or hinders your purpose.

George Torok
The Speech Coach for Executives

PS: This question also applies to everything you write – including your marketing material.

PPS: The first question I ask an executive when coaching their presentation is, “What is your purpose for speaking?”

Cliché hell

Cliche hell

Please stop using clichés. It is like vomit - Regurgitated bile. Hell is a place where everyone speaks in clichés. Most of us are already suffering from listening to clichés. Some of us are guilty of spreading them.

It reeks of unoriginality. It is not clever. It is lazy.

Every time you parrot something that we heard before – you diminish yourself. And we tend to stop listening when we already heard it before.

The exception to this is the use of distinctive quotations – which I will discuss in another post. For example, Shakespeare never goes out of style.

So, which clichés push my barf nerve?

Pushing the envelope

Thinking outside the box

Raise the bar

Win – win

There is no ‘I’ in team

Go over his head

Bend over backwards

Just business – nothing personal


Nose to the grindstone

The full nine yards

Thirty thousand foot level

Working my fingers to the bone

Another day, another dollar

Put your money where your mouth is


Clichés are boring, unimaginative and destructive.

If that is the way you want to be remembered – use clichés. You will be quickly forgotten.

If you want to be different – be different. And you will be remembered.

In another post I will talk about how to twist clichés to make you more interesting, effective and memorable.

George Torok

The Speech Coach for Executives

Do Not Think on your Feet

Thinking on your feet bad idea
Don't Think on Feet - Your Feet don't think well.
Stop trying to think on your feet

It is too dangerous. When you try to wing it you leave too much to chance. You might be sharp today. Or, you might be ill or even in a foul mood.

Stop thinking on your feet. It will get you into trouble soon.

Instead, be prepared. The only thing you should do on your feet is consider options.

Analyze your presentation, the strengths, the weak points, and your audience. Consider the possible questions, objections and interruptions. Then prepare and rehearse your response to all of them.

Why should you do that much work? Because the pros do it. Plan strategies and tactics to deal with the possible challenges.

But – don’t think on your feet. That is pure suicide.

George Torok
Speech Coach for Executives

Donald Trump on Boardroom Presentations

Donald Trump's rules on boardroom presentations
Donald Trump on Boardroom Presentations

Watch Donald Trump on the Apprentice. You might notice these unwritten rules about surviving in the boardroom with Mr. Trump.

1. Hair doesn’t count – when you are the boss.

2. The one who enters the boardroom last has the most power.

3. Make them squirm before you skewer them.

4. Pretend to offer them hope.

5. Pretend to give advice while you torture them.

6. Encourage your underlings to fight amongst themselves.

7. Sit in the position of most power.

8. Don’t mince words – you’re fired

9. Never gloat. Appear to be the reluctant but righteous deity.

10. Make the disgraced leave the boardroom first.

© George Torok has delivered many boardroom presentations over a 20-year corporate management history. He now works with executives and managers to help them succeed with their boardroom presentations.

Torok is the “Speech Coach for Executives”. Get your free presentation tips every month by registering at You can arrange for George Torok to work with you and your executives by calling 905-335-1997