"I so much appreciate your teaching skills. I ended up speaking to over 300 people in Salt Lake City. They loved me and it is largely due to what I learned from you."

Patrick O’Reilly, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes DeFinis Communications different from other professional public speaking companies?

We believe that every time you speak you have an opportunity to powerfully transfer knowledge and influence others to take positive action. Our success models—The Connection Loop, The DeFinis Navigator and the Line by Line Coaching™ process—provide greater depth and rigor to help you accelerate the learning process and achieve long-term success. We are invested in helping people reach their personal best, move to the next level, and learn to be competent and comfortable in every communication. Because we know how to drive results and accommodate the needs of each person we work with, we stand on a dual platform of pragmatism and compassion. We are proud of our ability to provide a highly sophisticated and balanced training and coaching experience—one that will last a lifetime. Whether we’re working with a C-level executive or a rank beginner, we set a high standard for each client and then provide our powerful success methods—the coaching, tools, and resources—needed for success. And what truly sets us apart: We get results every time.

How do you diagnose a person’s ability?

Everyone starts somewhere and we work with people at their starting place. We use a variety of tools to help us reach a mutual understanding of the benchmark, including written assessments, learning models, and discussion. Our primary tool, however, is the camera. We teach success principles and then we record a speaker in action and measure the speaker’s abilities against those principles. We also look at the speaker’s personal and professional goals. Everyone wants to achieve some measure of success, and once we know what that is, we plan accordingly and coach to individual goals.

What is Line by Line Coaching™?

We developed our signature Line by Line Coaching™ process after years of trial and error. When we started in the business, we used a more standard coaching model still used by many companies today. This model required the participant to be the primary source for feedback and we have found that this is not an effective method for change. The DeFinis Consultants are highly trained experts in the Line by Line Coaching process. They are trained to give feedback and coach using our innovative coaching method. Once we have established the strengths and development areas in each client we begin the process that helps them refine their strengths and eliminate the gaps. We work with each client individually and focus on just one line of content. We make immediate changes as the line is delivered and practice the line over and over until we get it right. Then we move on to the next line. The Line by Line Coaching process is a slower, deeper, more challenging and ultimately more transformative process than any other on the market today. When participants see what is possible in just one line of a well developed and delivered message, they are immediately motivated to extend that same level of quality to their entire presentation.

What is the most common challenge your clients face?

After working with thousands of people, we have found that a presentation’s basic structure and organization is the biggest challenge for most people—even more challenging than the nerve-wracking fear of public speaking. Many people have grown dependent on PowerPoint™ to help them organize their materials. While PowerPoint is a useful tool, it is not reliable for presentation content development. Once people move away from using PowerPoint and learn to use a content design tool like our DeFinis Navigator, they are able to structure their message and deliver it in a thoughtful, organized, and systematic manner. Knowing the logical flow of their content brings great confidence to most presenters.

How can some people get away with not using your skills and techniques and still be considered effective?

This is certainly an interesting phenomenon! One reason is that some speakers are extremely charismatic, highly personable, and wildly extroverted, so they keep us entertained and engaged by the pure force of their personalities. Another reason has more to do with celebrity status and position power. We tend to excuse famous personalities and others in authority if they don’t use highly polished communication skills. We believe that their message is so brilliant and powerful that we forgive them if they slump and mumble and ramble on and on. But DeFinis Communications believes this is truly a lost opportunity. Because people in positions of power generally have more sway over their audiences than others, they have the potential to set a higher bar for quality communication. If they take the time to refine and polish their presentation skills they can set an impressive standard for others to follow.

Why don’t the speakers we see every day—politicians, news reporters, CEOs—use these skills?

Many people in these fields have not been adequately trained to use these skills so it can be hit or miss. Sometimes their communication is clear and strong and they create a meaningful connection with their audiences, and sometimes they have low energy and do a poor job of using the skills with the precision and attention that is required. Not using the skills will distract an audience and this will keep us from listening to the message. So part of the challenge for these highly visible speakers, is to invest in learning and practicing good mechanics so they can use the skills consistently.

How do you help individuals maintain their own speaking style?

Style is one of the most important factors in giving an authentic presentation and we believe that getting the mechanics in place will help you develop your own unique presentation style. Our philosophy is simple: You can’t play a piano sonata without practicing the scales. The same is true for giving a presentation. You must learn the fundamentals. Once a speaker is comfortable using solid fundamentals, then he or she can step out, become more spontaneous, and cultivate personal style. But to be effective your personal style must be anchored by a reliable foundation which includes strong technique and good mechanics.

How do you measure success?

Because we record our clients’ performance, results are usually quite visible within minutes of our coaching process. When we see our clients adopting the skills we teach and accelerating their performance we know they are moving in the right direction. Additionally, we hear rave reviews from our clients and their managers that communication has improved. Our clients report that they feel more confident, poised, and powerful as a result of working with us and that their audiences respond more positively to them and their message. We have thousands of testimonials from satisfied clients—and we measure success from these inspiring client stories.

What can I do to work on these skills outside of my next presentation?

Our entire approach to presentation success is based on the idea that practice must be an everyday activity—it must be on your daily “to do” list. Practice occurs every single day, in every communication you have. When you are sitting in a staff meeting, practice your gestures; when you are on the phone, practice pausing; when you are standing in line at the grocery store, practice standing in an erect posture. There are hundreds if not thousands of opportunities every day for you to practice your skills and become a better communicator.

Who is your ideal client?

Our ideal client is anyone who is open and willing to learning new skills and who understands the benefit available if they are willing to engage in the Line by Line Coaching™ process and tackle the hard work of practice. When you work with DeFinis Communications you will be asked to move out of your comfort zone. If you are willing to do that you will make great progress. We are more interested in your availability to our learning process then your ability as a speaker. If you are willing to work with us we will help you become competent and confident whenever you step in front of a group. YOU are our ideal client. We look forward to celebrating your success!

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