A native Chinese computer scientist who founded a billion-dollar Silicon Valley business suffered from a serious fear of public speaking. He blamed his fear on his heavy Chinese accent. While he managed to avoid the spotlight for most of his career, once he was named Chairman and CEO, he was forced to face his fears.
We designed a two-prong Speaker Training Program that started with a Speech Pathologist who helped the CEO improve his English diction. Simultaneously we began the process of teaching the CEO how to discover his authentic “voice.” We discovered that his accent wasn’t the only thing holding him back as an effective public speaker. As with many executives, he hadn’t yet connected his business goals to his personal principles.
We worked with the CEO to help him identify his personal values and make them the foundation for every decision he made. Upon this foundation we crafted, clarified, and honed genuinely authentic messages designed to inspire employees, customers, and shareholders. Authentic messages raised the CEO’s confidence to ever-increasing heights. He quickly realized that as long as he spoke from the heart he could not embarrass himself. With his performance anxiety cured, the new CEO then learned and mastered the fundamentals of public performance and successfully assumed his role as the public face of this public company.
Over the course of two years the CEO established himself as one of the most popular and respected leaders in Silicon Valley. He became a highly sought-after speaker on the global industry convention circuit, bombarded with requests to address audiences as large as 10,000 people. His skilled leadership and confident personal appeal culminated in the exponential increase of his company’s value to more than $7 billion dollars.