Public speaking groups FAQs

Speaking Groups for Business Professionals

Frequently Asked Questions

(Click for downloadable version of FAQs)

Who should attend this program?

Business owners, professionals and executives join this program to develop speaking confidence and to learn to engage business audiences in a way that authentically connects and engages their audience.  Most participants speak regularly in front of teams, clients, upper management, or at industry events.  This program is a “must have” if communication is a critical factor to your career success.

What is the goal of the program? 

It is challenging for many business professionals to feel comfortable in traditional business speaking formats.  As human beings we are made to be in conversation with other people. Standing in front of the audience, and speaking “at” them feels unnatural and awkward. We often compensate for our lack of comfort by pulling back into a “presenter” mode that distances the audience and dulls our content.  Too often we find ourselves presenting to audiences fatigued by presentations that demand their time, but fail to zero in on their interests and needs. Our unique and pragmatic “Business Edge” speaking process shows you how to discover the interest factor people need to stay engaged, and to develop a speaking style that authentically connects with your audience.  When you complete the Business Edge Speaking Group series you will be able to “Stop Presenting and Start Connecting!”

What can you expect from a speaking group session?

You can expect to gain knowledge on a wide range of speaking topics to more effectively know how to structure and deliver both short and long business presentation. In order to embed the “Business Edge” process into your authentic speaking style, you will stand up and speak at every session.  In addition to receiving feedback from your group peers and professional facilitator, every talk you give will be videotaped so that you gain deeper insight and an objective view of your progress. Session by session you see your speaking confidence grow as you work towards your goal of mastering connection.

What makes this program unique?

No other business presentation training program has a unique four-part process that focuses so strongly on the art of connection.  No other program is designed around business standards and business content to transfer speaking technique into real world practice.  No other program offers a practicum where you can experience how it feels when you stop presenting and start connecting.

What is the “Business Edge” process that leads to being a master connector?

In order to stop presenting and start connecting we show you how to master these four elements:

  • Confidence in the speaking environment.
  • Using an authentic and conversational voice.
  • Developing content that is audience-focused and designed to influence.
  • Engagement strategies that maintain audience interest and energy.

Is this a one-time program or an ongoing one?

The answer is “yes” to both.  You have the option to attend one three-month program (six sessions) or continue for multiple programs.  About 30% of members return two or more times. Completion of three programs leads to the Connection Mastery Certification.

Can I start and stop at any time?

This program is designed for busy professionals.  Many people find the consistency of attending multiple sessions leads to faster results.  Others join for a three-month program, take a break, and join again at a later date. The process and combination of sessions is flexible to your needs and time-frame.

What if I can’t make it to one of my sessions?

We know that practice leads to growth and learning, so we want you to complete all six sessions. We also understand that business professionals are busy and have demanding schedules.  If you find you are unable to attend one of the sessions at your current group location, you are welcome to join us at any of our other Speaking Group locations.  We have five running concurrently in the Twin Cities.

Are we videotaped?

Every talk you give is videotaped and sent to you after your session.  This is the most powerful tool you have to make significant leaps forward in your ability to get the “Business Edge” and connect when you speak.

How much time is needed to prepare for talks prior to each session?

Participants are assigned one long and several short talks during the course of the three-month session. We estimate 30 minutes to one hour to prepare for the short talks. Longer talks may take between 2-4 hours.

How is this program different from Toastmasters?

The Business Edge Speaking Groups complement other programs that focus on public speaking.  Many of our members have attended Toastmasters prior to or along with our program.  The biggest difference is that our program is specifically designed to address the issues that business professionals and executives have when giving business presentations to business audiences.

Who runs the programs?

Business Edge Speaking Groups: A professional facilitator and program manager.
Toastmasters: Volunteers.

Who receives feedback?

Business Edge Speaking Groups: Everyone who attends the meeting gives a talk and every talk gets feedback.
Toastmasters: Only the scheduled speakers.

What are the topics about?

Business Edge Speaking Groups: Business! – from marketing to strategy to sales to technology – it’s all about what’s happening in business.  We share business challenges, business concepts and ideas.
Toastmasters: Any topic you would like.  Most topics are personal in nature.

Minimum commitment:

Business Edge Speaking Groups: Six sessions that meet every other week for three months.
Toastmasters: Weekly sessions for six months.

Outcomes of the program:

Business Edge Speaking Groups: Stop Presenting and Start Connecting. You accomplish this in our program by:
·      Developing confidence in the speaking environment.
·      Using your authentic and conversational voice.
·      Delivering content that is audience-focused and designed to influence.
·      Incorporating engagement strategies that maintain audience interest and energy.
Toastmasters: Be more comfortable speaking.

Educational Topics:

Business Edge Speaking Groups: There are 10 workshops focused on content and delivery topics included in the program to support you on your journey to become a “Master Connector.”
Toastmasters: You have a book to work on independently at your own pace.


Where do I get more information and register?   Click here

Business Edge Speaking Groups Terms & Conditions

Business Edge Speaking Groups:
Cancellation/Change Policy

  1.  If you cancel 30 days prior to start date you will receive a full refund less $25 processing fee.
  2. If you cancel in the one month period before start date you have two options:
    1. transfer registration to another person – and there is no charge or
    2. receive credit towards future Speaking Group program less our $150 set-up fee
  3. If you cancel after the program starts you will receive credit towards future Speaking Group program less $150 set-up fee and less $75 for each session you have attended. Credits for future groups are valid for six months from the date of the original registration.

Recorded Webinar Terms and Conditions

On Demand (Purchased) Webinars
Cancellation/Change Policy

  1. Purchase of an on-demand recorded webinar gives you unlimited viewing access to that webinar for 30 days from the date of purchase.
  2. The 30 day access is only for the individual listed as attendee on your registration confirmation. (Our recordings are not designed for conference room (group) settings.)
  3. Refunds or extensions are not available should you not be able to view the video within 30 days of purchase.