Are you Speaking or Training? 5-Steps to Design Training in 15 Minutes!

On Saturday, August 20, 2016, my coaching client, Darren Tay, won the   Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking.

 For the unfamiliar, it is a yearlong contest with over 30,000 contestants.  Darren was the last one standing. Think of it as “America’s Got Talent” for public speaking.

Not bad.  In a future post, I will explain how he did it, so check back soon.

Invitations to Speak or Train?

Since winning, he has received numerous invitations to speak from around the world. For example, this weekend he’s off to Sri Lanka.

More accurately, he’s received numerous requests to train, rather than speak.

They want him to teach an audience how he did it. And they’ve given him 90+ minutes.

However, this has lead to several problems.

  1. Darren has never given a presentation longer than 20 minutes.
  2. Darren has never trained before.

“Big Mistake! Huge!”

Most people run straight to their computer, create a huge slide deck and give a lecture.

In the words of Julia Roberts character, from the movie Pretty Woman, “Big Mistake! Huge!”

Are you making this mistake when you’re asked to train?

Difference Between Speaking & Training

There is a big difference between Speaking and Training.

Simply put, the purpose of a speech or lecture is to inform, persuade or entertain; or all of the above.

Training is about changing the participant’s behavior.

[I realize that many of you who follow me are both speakers and trainers, and there is more to both of these skills. However, this is a simple post, not a Ph.D. dissertation. Please save those “speaking/training is more than just…” comments for another post.]

Behavior change requires more expertise and tools than just putting together a cute set of slides and bragging about how you did it.

Training is about how they, the audience, can do it.

Speaking, if done well: the audience is impressed with the subject and the speaker.

Training, if done well: the audience is impressed with the subject and themselves. That is, their confidence has grown because they’ve learned a new skill.

5-Steps to Design Training in 15 Minutes!

If you find yourself in a situation, like Darren, where you have to train rather than speak, and you don’t have a lot of time to do it,  here is a simple 5-step process:

  1. Chunk Information: Darren’s topic is how he won the world championship of public speaking. He’s divided his subject into 3 ‘chunks’ or parts:
  • Content Crafting
  • Stagecraft
  • Contest Strategies
  1. Exercise: Create an exercise that will help the audience experience the chunk you’re training. An exercise can be a simple fill-in-the-blank activity, up to a full-blown event where you have the audience create their content. In this case, Darren has created an activity where the participants will get to create their content, aka world championship speech.
  1. Partner/Group Debrief: Immediately after the exercise, share with a partner or small group, what you learned. This approach allows audience members to test their ideas safely without potential embarrassment. Darren will instruct the audience, “Please share your thoughts with a partner or your group.”
  1. Audience Debrief: Ask the audience for examples and what they learned from this exercise.
  1. Repeat: Repeat this process for the next chunk of your training.

Darren might be stepping outside his comfort zone when asked to deliver training, but he has me, and my 20+ years of training experience, to help him quickly design and deliver a world-class program.

If you want further assistance developing and delivering training programs, join us in Las Vegas or on-line:

And for those of you who are interested in getting paid to speak:


About Ed Tate
Ed Tate is an award-winning international Keynote speaker, trainer, and author. Worldwide he is known as “The Speaker Who Energizes, Educates, and Entertains.”

Using the principles, he teaches, Ed Tate won the “American Idol of Public Speaking” and became the 2000 World Champion of Public Speaking. This award is Toastmasters International’s most prestigious speaking award among its 332,000+ members.

In 2008, Ed earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association. It is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform skill. It is an honor bestowed on less than 12% of its members.