CommCore Blog and News

Public Speaking Lessons from the NCAA Basketball Tournament


Isn’t the goal of any speaker to motivate the listener to respond to the information and take action?

With few exceptions, we’re not just there to hear our own voices – we want results.

The men’s NCAA Basketball tournament is replete with many stories – triumph, defeat, overcoming injuries, Cinderalla’s. Perhaps my favorite this year is about University of Michigan assistant coach Bacari Alexander.

A former Harlem Globertrotter and a true “character” in the positive sense, Alexander would be a fine CommCore instructor with all of the techniques he employs to get the most out of the Wolverine players.

He uses props such as potato chips and nutcrackers, humor, serious talk and he’ll even lie on the floor if that gets the players to give one more ounce of energy in a basketball game.

Proof of his skills: the last coach to speak before storming out on the court to take on a worthy opponent is not the head coach, it’s the assistant with the charm and persuasiveness.