The SCOTT System 

Do you like to know your journey as a client or a learner before you start? 

At BESPOKEN Voice and Speech, you can understand the process of the work you will do, using the acronym SCOTT. Like most creatives, Fiona starts in the middle with ‘O’ and works outwards, though, just like she puts you and your identity at the very center of her work. 

The Discovery Call – ‘O’ is for Outcomes 

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“In a Discovery Call, I get to know my prospective client a little before we home in on outcomes,” says founder, author and coach, Fiona. 

Due to her Time to Think coaching work, Fiona speaks about the importance of thinking… then doing. 

“There is a danger in MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries) that we become more information-consuming than action-producing. In the words of author of Time to Think, Nancy Kline, ‘The quality of everything we do begins with the thinking we do first.’ 

“In business and especially in leadership, it’s essential to identify or at least explore where you want to go before you set out. Wandering and ambling is fine in your own time, but when there’s a clock ticking and overheads to cover, action is essential for the leaders I work with. 

“Before identifying Strengths and Challenges for any project, it’s important to look at the outcomes we want to accomplish – what will success look like? 

“It’s important to use positive language to list them, to take time and to ask, ‘And what else do I want to accomplish?’” 

Here are examples Fiona has heard and helped people accomplish across the years of doing this: 

🎯   To speak up confidently in meetings 

🎯   To succinctly get my point across (I’ve shortened that!) 

🎯   To know how to present with confidence 

🎯   To be considered most likely for promotion 

🎯   To be offered the job 

🎯   To make a great father of the bride/Best Man/Groom’s speech 

🎯   To be a good role model for my team/family/community 

🎯   For people to say, “That was a great speech” 

🎯   To win the competition/funding 

People often use phrases like ‘not to hate presenting’ or ‘to get through a presentation without messing up’ or ‘not to embarrass myself/shake/have a blank’ but positive language that’s aspirational is essential is where the real power lies. 

And then, the prospective client either commits to moving forward or doesn’t. Sitting with dreams, visions or outcomes has a point, but it’s pointless if we don’t move forward. 

As Fiona says, “Enough thinking – act, enough, dreaming – do and enough outcome identification – execute! 

The first step in that process is the Voice and Speech Profile and this is the first step a new client takes. 

The Voice and Speech Profile – S is for Strengths

If you’re going to engage stakeholders with authority, clarity, confidence and ease, where do you begin?  
A voice and speech profile which identifies their strengths and challenges (the S and C from SCOTT). It’s important to have an expert feed back what you’re good at as well as where you need to improve. 
Did you know that more than ¾ of what we say to ourselves about ourselves is negative? 

Photo source: Wikipedia

So, when clients received an inventory reflecting their strengths, most are surprised because they’ve never thought positively about their voice, speech or engagement style. Sadly, this is often because many adults raise children not to think well of themselves. 
It’s vital that they take on the truth that they’re given in this session and believe it. As Fiona says, “The insights that I share have the power to build their confidence – but only if they let it… if they put this into action.” 
How do you think that information travels from the cognitive brain to the conscious brain? From the head to the heart? 
Fiona loves to help these ‘penny dropping’ moments to take place. She loves to see the faces of clients who realise what potential they’ve got. 
The next step is to repeat that positive knowledge in behaviour going forward: 
🛑 STOPPING the negative self-talk. 
🔁 REPEATING the truth which is believable because it’s expert insight. 
🗣 SPEAKING, MOVING and ACTING in that truth so that it becomes you – a changed, improved more engaging you. 
Is there something you have learned recently that you’re now doing? The advantage of having a coach is that you’re kept accountable for getting it done. 

Doing Good Work to Learn from Mistakes – C is for Challenges

Photo source: Fiona Brennan-Scott

“Never fear your shadows, they simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby” – Ruth E. Renkel 

It’s wonderful to be told what we’re doing well. Encouragement and appreciation are important. But if we’re not told where we’re going wrong, we won’t achieve our potential. 

Let’s look at C for Challenges. 

It’s very important to face our challenges so that we can improve ourselves and benefit those around us. 

At BESPOKEN, Fiona identifies vocal, speech and presentational challenges that impede a client from fully engaging with their audience. This could be physical movements, vocal or speech habits such as poor phrasing or talking too quickly, or perhaps accent. 

“It’s essential that when I identify these, that I am sensitive and thoughtful in how I present them. The client already knows they’re not reaching their potential, or they wouldn’t be with me. 

“More importantly, it’s essential that I’ve got the solution so they’re not disempowered or discouraged, sitting with a challenge they can’t do anything about (so often people know how to criticise but aren’t solutions-oriented or don’t know how to fix the problem)” 

This is why the encouragement and appreciation that comes through highlighting Strengths is so important. As a certified Time to Think Coach, Fiona seek to embody both these components of the Thinking Environment in her coaching, training and speaking. 

“Our voice and speech are a core element of our identity as we share our thoughts verbally in a room. It’s so vital to tread softly when we share challenges.” 

Incidentally, the C part of this mnemonic was developed in 2019 when Fiona was delivering training to the NHS and I introduced the SWOT analysis as a coaching tool. One participant said in jest, ‘you can’t call them weaknesses now, they’re challenges’! 

With a surname like Brennan-Scott, Fiona was delighted to rename it a SCOT analysis.  

Equipping with the Tools and Techniques Enables Implementation

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How do you take insights from intention to implementation? In order to change for the better, we need to take what we learn, insights, and put them into action. 

In leadership, insights aren’t enough. Intention isn’t enough. Implementation is essential – and that can take courage. 

What helps with great implementation is having the tools and techniques at your disposal to do the work. They will give you the confidence to lead your team and execute any task. 

The two t’s of the SCOTT system are Tools and Techniques. 

Having identified the desired Outcomes, and then identifying the Strengths and Challenges, we need the correct Tools and Techniques to confidently implement any presentation requirement from running a meeting to presenting at a conference. 

You can’t succeed if you don’t have the tools and techniques and the ability to use them at the right time. 

You can read about them in Fiona’s book ‘Breathtaking Communication – Tools and Techniques for Everyday Leaders’ but broadly, they fall into the following categories: 

🔩 Foundation work – breathwork, posture, connection, resonance, projection 

🔨 Modulation work – using your voice to engage an audience 

🔧 Articulation work – maximising your delivery of words 

🗜 Presentation Process – preparation and practice of content using the best aids 

⛏ Feedback – does it work? 

If this sounds like an appealing process to take you from where you are now to where you want to be, why not reach out and book a call with Fiona today? 

#audienceengagement #voiceandspeechcoaching #presentation skills  

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