The Winning Difference for Presentations and Performances


    I’d like to tell you a story. It’s a story that helps people see what is different about the Zimmer Method for presentation, public speaking and performance. It’s a story about my client, Tyrone and his success.      

Tyrone Moncriffe is a criminal defense attorney who was one of the first lawyers I trained.  When Tyrone came to me he complained that he could not connect with his jury panels – in fact he pushed them away and alienated them, making it hard to win cases. Tyrone learned what I call subtle communication skills – to ground himself and be present with listeners, to open himself to receive his audiences and to tell his stories simply from the heart.  These subtle skills transformed the way he practiced law in court so that he won most of his trials.  This way of being with them created such a connection with jurors that at the end of trials, the jury members often wanted to talk with him for hours about the case… because they felt he was their friend.    

In 1995, Tyrone decided to challenge his speaking abilities by entering an international speech competition at the International Platform Association.  Every summer the IPA holds a three-stepped speaking competition in Washington DC. They had been doing so for over 100 years when Tyrone signed up to compete.  He prepared his three talks and asked me to coach him in the little spare time he was not in court.  I mostly reminded him of what he already knew how to do.  He flew off to Washington DC to compete against 75 other speakers from around the world.      

At the end of his first speech, at first there was a mesmerized silence, then applause, then everyone gathered round him.  The audience, the judges and even other contestants asked him what he was doing differently.  They could sense he was doing something different than the other 75 contestants.  At the end of his second speech…the same thing happened.    

At the end of the 3rd round with only 7 finalists, Tyrone had the highest score and won the whole thing.  He was the first person to win the first time he competed in the 140-year history of The International Platform Association.     He later told me that he had been able to watch the 6 other finalists.  They were great speakers.  They had great material.  But he said, “There was something missing – true audience connections.” Not one of them had been grounded enough to magnetize the audience to them.  Tyrone had been able to ground himself, open up his spiritual energy and connect with the souls of the audience.  He said he felt “at one with them.”

That was the winning difference. Tyrone was being with that audience and those judges rather than performing for them. The Zimmer Method draws out each person’s natural abilities to speak authentically and be with listeners. No matter who you are, how tense you are about speaking in front of others or what kind of talks you wish to give, you have a natural gift that can be freed up. 

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