This is a Good Speaking Example to Study

One area that I am hyper-vigilant on is speaking and teaching skills. The fastest way to improve the quality of your classes is by becoming a more effective speaker.

In this video, Victoria Payne from Smithville, MS tells the story of how she was teaching self-defense without a facility or any guidelines and how that all changed with COBRA.

What you will see is:

  1. She never breaks eye contact with the camera.
  2. She leans into the camera. (Your back should never touch your chair when speaking to the camera)
  3. She never refers to notes (though sometimes that’s okay)
  4. She never says “um” or “and um.”
  5. She doesn’t weaken her influence with useless words such as “like” or “ok.”
  6. She has strong openings to her paragraphs. “We’re not martial artists. We’re not…”

My only suggestion would be to learn to have a little smile throughout the presentation. The camera strips life out it’s subjects. That’s why a little smile can brighten up your face, even if you’re talking about a serious subject. Victoria is as pretty as a newscaster, and if you watch newscasters, they keep a slight smile even during serious reports.

I am currently writing a book and course on speaking skills for martial arts instructors.This is one of the rare instances that I see an instructor nail it.


John Graden
John Graden

John Graden is widely credited with leading the martial arts school business into the modern age. He is the founder of the first successful professional association and trade journal. MA Success editor John Corcoran first called him a “visionary” in 1995. Martial Arts World magazine dubbed him, The Teacher of Teachers. Mr. Graden’s leadership was recognized in many mainstream media outlets including a cover story on the Wall Street Journal, documentaries on A&E Network, and as a guest on the Dr. Oz Show and many others.

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