005: Scott Voss - On Empowering With Stories
Scott Voss - high school speech coach and teacher, reading specialist, comedian, writer, meaning-maker and generally awesome human. He was my speech coach way back in the day, and was formative in my approach as a coach, and my belief in myself as a speaker!
Scott - along with his fellow nationally-acclaimed coaches - has developed and taught hundreds (yes, hundreds) of national speech competitors. On the show today, Scott brings his telltale humor, storytelling and wisdom that I benefitted from as a high school student, and that I am so glad to be sharing with you today.
Scott as Coach: Lots of philosophies on how to coach. There's mimicry on one end, and conceptual on the other end. Being a good coach is understanding what style fits with your student. But most importantly - especially with creative categories - it's about playing.
Speech vs. Theater - There's more crossover than it seems. The most accomplished performers utilize the crossover between the analytical speecher and the passionate/creative actor.
On Feedback - It's a huge part of coaching. How do I help this student? It's all about relationship. The stronger the relationship, the more straight I can be with them. And that comes with time. But there are always moments when we need to be careful. And as a coach we have to read that situation.
On the Art of the Moment - There is another factor - call it art, or charisma, or poise - you can't just technically walk through that speech.
"I can't accept too much credit for what these students do..."
Favorite Moment: A student who, after completely re-writing his speech, had become "outstanding." He ended up breaking into the final round in nationals - from a pool of 2,000 students."The moment when they dropped the banner and his name was on it... you are just swept away. He had nothing a few weeks ago, and then realized, 'I can do this.'"...The lesson for him - If I keep my head down, and I work hard, and I set high expectations, and I keep my vanity and my pride in check... I can get better."
Purpose: Scott is a Storyteller. And all the stories come back to this idea of empowerment... that we have within ourselves a powerful ability to change our lives, and the community around us.
"My purpose is to interrupt or disrupt. We tend to buy into a lot of master narratives that perpetuate and grow, and people stop questioning these narratives."
Scott's students, though they're in high school, some read at a 4th grade level. They feel disenfranchised in some way. "The biggest thing we have to fight against is that it's a permanent position and not one that can change."
Scott tells a lovely story about a quintessential teaching moment that he soaked in.
"They have not given up yet. They're still there. They are still willing to give me another chance, to give school another chance."