September 17, 2023

Our Executive Seminar: What to Expect

The Buckley Experience , Public Speaking , Welcome to Camden , Alumni

What can you expect when you attend our seminar in Camden? It's a common question. You can find a lot of information here on our website about our approach to teaching that program. But many of our longtime client companies prefer to keep an air of mystery around the particulars of the seminar, loving to tell colleagues, "You’ll see!"

For those of you who are trying to decide if the program is right for you, we realize an air of mystery might not help. So without providing any spoilers, here's a little more about what you can expect.

A lot of practice and personal attention

You don't become a better speaker by listening to presentations full of tips. We get you on your feet often and use your performances as a means for teaching everyone best practices.

A focus on your strengths and what makes you great

Many students seem surprised we're interested in telling them what they're doing right—instead of focusing on what they're doing wrong. From 35 years of running our program, we know every speaker has unique strengths and that's where improvement begins.

Our coaches watch every speaking exercise carefully, keying in on what you do well. Yes, we also notice what you're doing that might get in the way—and we'll let you know about that, too. So if you come to us with a goal of getting rid of ums or speaking more slowly when you're nervous, we'll help you make progress.

No one-size-fits all solutions

We have no interest in creating a world full of Buckley clones. There is more than one way to give a great speech, and we're convinced that's what makes work (and life) more interesting.

We know some presentation skills training can lean on formulas and templates, because our students tell us how they've found that kind of training frustrating. While we do give guidelines and recommendations, we're firm believers that speakers need to use critical thinking and find what works best for them. We provide feedback that encourages speakers to pay attention to their own experiences and make deliberate choices about how they approach speaking assignments. 

Practical skill development that can transfer to the work you do

When you attend our public speaking course, you'll find yourself in a class with people who have a range of experiences and needs. We show our students how they can incorporate and elevate communication fundamentals in their work, even if they're not planning to speak to the media any time soon or give a keynote address in the near future.

Clarity of message, connecting with audiences, and knowing how to anticipate and respond to challenges make all of us more effective (and less stressed) in our work and personal lives—and help us reach our goals, whatever they may be.

A mix of think-on-your-feet and prep-and-practice strategies

We provide impromptu speaking and media training exercises that provide practice and feedback for unscripted communication. We also provide a final speaking exercise that challenges students to write, revise, and rehearse a message. Our goal is to introduce students to an array of processes they can use every day to feel more confident and speak more persuasively.

Three days of encouragement—and a room full of new friends

Our students will tell you that something magical does happen at The Buckley School. You arrive at our school, away from your work world, and settle into your seat in a cozy historic house. Right away, you start participating in speaking exercises and working in teams. Through class dinners and activities that encourage students to get to know and support each other, strangers on Day 1 find themselves part of a family by the end of Day 2. And on Day 3, they're sad to say goodbye.

Another part of the magic is the progress you'll see. Our final speaking exercise is not only where new skills come together, it's also a moment to celebrate how well everyone's speaking has grown.

That's what our September 2023 graduate went on to explain when she said "It was magic." A bank vice president and former corporate trainer, she was in awe of the progress she saw in others, not just herself. "When I think about where we were on Wednesday and where we all are today, I don't have any other words for it," she said. "Just magic." 

Learn more

Find details about our Executive Seminar here.

For a look at the different types of training we offer, this comparison can be helpful.

And (spoiler alert) find a little more here about the rationale behind our final speaking exercise.

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