Transforming Talks: Inside Look at Speaker Coaching

From crafting your big idea to mastering delivery, here’s an inside look at what it takes to deliver a killer presentation– from the perspective of an Articulation Speaker Coach.


Imagine going to a conference and where every breakout session contains insights. Where each presentation leaves you thinking. Where you’re never tempted to check your watch part way through.

I want to live in that world.

Story Time

In 2018 Rehgan Bleile (Avon) reached out to our founder Ruth Milligan. Rhegan was on a mission. She knew women were making an impact in the analytics space, but as she attended data conference after data conference, she rarely saw those faces on the stage. She imagined a conference where only women took the stage as speakers, so that they could lead the conversation around analytical research, development, and applications.

But there was one problem–many of the incredibly smart women she knew had little to no experience standing on a stage and delivering a great talk for a large audience. Of course they didn’t! They were rarely invited.

With that, Articulation could help.

Since 2016, Women in Analytics (WIA) has grown into a world-class organization with thousands of attendees flocking to Columbus for their annual DataConnect Conference. And from almost the beginning, they have partnered with Articulation to provide coaching to anyone taking the DataConnect stage– all at no cost to the speaker!

What it takes to give a great talk… from the perspective of a conference speaker coach

We are kicking off this year’s speaker cohort this week. Here’s an inside look at what they will experience:

  1. The first step is clarifying what the “big idea” is. A north star that each speaker aims keeps in their sight. Since you can’t boil the ocean, it helps to think about what you really want the audience to take away.
  2. Then come the case studies, the stories, the metaphors, and, of course, the data. All that information needs to be wrangled into a structure that is easy to follow.
  3. Then you gotta start embodying the talk. No scripting. Just repeated rounds of practice saying the words out loud.
  4. Finally, you need feedback– particularly from people who think like the audience. When we coach for conferences, we use a peer group coaching process that ensures the feedback comes not just from Articulation coaches, but also from fellow speakers–  people who will actually be in the audience!

It’s our mission to help speakers give great presentations. And we are so grateful to work with Women in Analytics and DataConnect to align with their mission to elevate the voices, experiences, and perspectives of marginalized communities on the stage.

If you have a conference coming up and would like to discuss speaker coaching, reach out.

And if you’re into data and analytics, get your tickets to the 2024 DataConnect conference HERE.

Prepare your conference speakers to shine

Mastering the art of public speaking takes clarity, practice, and feedback. If you have a big conference coming up and want to ensure your speakers shine, contact us for speaker coaching. Or check out our Transforming Talks program.