Gary Was Not One of the Guys

Can you relate to his situation?

The executive assistant ushered me into a very impressive office with a great view. Her well-dressed and handsome boss Gary stood up to welcome me. Gary is a successful banker, and we had recently met at a conference where I delivered a speech titled How to Inspire Action and Commitment.

After the presentation, Gary asked, “Will you review one of my recent presentations to my team to see how I could improve?”

After watching for ten minutes, I said, “Please remind me of how well educated you are.” Although I knew the answer, I wanted him to hear himself tell me, “I have an MBA, two advanced degrees, and every credential in banking.”

My reply was, “Then why are you such a sloppy speaker?”

Without a moment of hesitation, out of his mouth came words he had never articulated before. Gary said, “Everybody who reports directly to me was in training at the same time I was. We began our careers together.”

My next question was, “Do you think you are trying to prove that you’re still one of the guys? Because you’re not. You would serve them, the bank, and yourself much better if you spoke the way you are capable of. You do not have to sound as if you are showing off your degrees. Just be clear, concise, and conversational. Don’t use words that sound too formal, but lose the sloppy, non-specific language. Be aware of your kind of and sort of language. Without saying it aloud, model this: ‘If you want to elevate your career and have a job with my title or benefits, this is how you speak and act.’ They will still like you. They will also admire and appreciate you more. This simple change will inspire more action and commitment.”

The happy end of the story.

We still work together every time Gary has an important presentation to deliver. He and all of his direct report colleagues have gone on to even greater success. He has also initiated a monthly meeting open to everyone in the office for an ongoing program called Executive Conversations.

“Patricia Fripp is amazing. As a speech coach, you’ll never find anyone with her wisdom, experience, and ability. Once I began to work with her, she improved my speaking style immediately. Her ability to listen to what her clients want to say and instantly give them the right words to use is incredible. Patricia can take an average presentation and quickly transform it to become great.

She takes time to explain and teach her clients how to think about their speech structure and language so that they are equipped to apply the same strategy moving forward. Patricia truly cares a lot about her clients’ success. You get both a coach and a fan when you partner with Patricia.” Bhavin Shah, CEO & Founder, Moveworks

Learn my techniques at my online learning platform, FrippVT Powerful, Persuasive Presentations is embraced as a “must-have” by speakers and companies worldwide.


Need help for you or your team on improving important conversations and presentations? The Fripp Customized Approach will work for you. Contact Fripp today!