Collaborate on your next speech

If you need a fresh approach for your next speech, presentation coach Patricia Fripp suggests collaborating with a trusted colleague or friend to generate new ideas and share techniques.

Fripp regularly collaborates with at least two other people. During one brainstorming session, she and her collaborators had a conversation that they will never forget. As one of them humorously recounted an experience in the hospital, Patricia took notes. Afterwards, they were left with the skeleton of a hilarious and heart-warming speech.

In a  survey for American Speaker, we asked “Do you collaborate on speeches?” and we were pleasantly surprised to see that nearly 76% of our readers collaborate on some level when you are preparing speeches and presentations.

Follow these steps adapted from the Essentials of Effective Teamwork training kit to make the most out of your collaboration effort:

  • Look at the larger picture. Focus on the end result, whether the presentation you’re creating is self-help or promoting a product. Discuss the goals of the presentation and share anecdotes and ideas that support that goal.
  • Think cooperation, not competition. Brainstorm together and consider everyone’s ideas. Don’t disregard others’ input because you want to put your mark on the presentation or because you want to outshine the rest of the group.
  • Communicate openly. Set these two ground rules: Participants will weigh in if they are concerned about the direction the presentation is headed. And you won’t force an idea if everyone doesn’t agree on it.
  • Show respect for each other. Stick to the common rules of courtesy. Show up to your planning sessions on time, and devote your entire attention to the session. Don’t text, make calls or keep your collaborators waiting for any reason.

Adapted from “Have You Considered Collaborating?” Patricia Fripp, Essentials of Effective Teamwork, Briefings Media Group LLC,


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