Practice Like the Best

The best-selling books, The Talent Code, Talent is Overrated, and Outliers, bring to light “Deliberate Practice” a powerful practice process that increases skill development speed five to ten times that of standard practice methods.

SpeakPoint is Deliberate Practice:
Practice Made Perfect

SpeakPoint uses deliberate practice to move associates from crawl, to walk, walk to run and run to sprint. Your associates acquire your messages fast and get all the practice they need without practicing on your customers.

The Talent Code

"Deep practice (Deliberate Practice) is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways—operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes—makes you smarter. Or to put it a slightly different way, experiences where you're forced to slow down, make errors, and correct them—as you would if you were walking up an ice-covered hill, slipping and stumbling as you go—end up making you swift and graceful without your realizing it."

Daniel Coyle, The Talent Code

The author of "The Talent Code" has a great blog that illustrates many great examples of how practice can produce greatness.

Talent Code Blog
Talent Code Video





To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test

New research that indicates that testing or more specifically practice retrieval of knowledge leads to 50% greater retention than even the most innovative critical thinking/constructivist study strategies. This really turns on its head what learning experts have been pushing for over 40 years.

Currently educators work at great pains to create learning experiences that challenge the learners to aggressively think about the content matter and "Construct" a higher understanding of the material.

Research to support this theory of learning has always been weak. Regardless, Constructivism and the desire to create learning experiences that lead to the discovery of meaning have had the result of downplaying the importance of knowledge practice.

SpeakPoint is in full alignment with what this research is telling us. In fact, SpeakPoint is a series of continuous tests where the associate must constantly test their ability to deliver a message. When it comes to learning critical messaging, there is no short-cut to excellence. Practice makes Perfect.

NY Times: 'To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test'


The Making of an Expert

New research shows that outstanding performance is the product of years of deliberate practice and coaching, not of any innate talent or skill.

by K. Anders Ericsson, Michael J. Prietula, and Edward T. Cokely

Synopsis of Deliberate Practice research'

Cognitive Apprenticeship

While SpeakPoint is not a Cognitive Apprenticeship it shares some key strategies. Namely, the ability to encounter a variety of situations and learn the "best practice" solution quickly.

"A computer-based tutor called Sherlock, designed by the University of Pittsburgh and the U.S. Air Force, is one successful (and well-documented) implementation of the cognitive apprenticeship model. Sherlock was developed to train Air Force technicians in troubleshooting the sophisticated equipment used to monitor electrical systems in F-16 jet fighters. An evaluation of the effectiveness of Sherlock found that apprentices who used the system for 25 hours acquired the performance capabilities of journeymen mechanics with four years of equivalent field experience."

Dr. Ruth Clark

The Promise of Cognitive Apprenticeship




Fluency in Learning

SpeakPoint's process builds fluency of sales methodologies, product knowledge and overcoming objections. Learning until fluency is reached (face-to-face certification in SpeakPoint) has value that extends far beyond simple role-play.

"Many procedures, especially those designed to build complex problem-solving or 'soft skills' (e.g., responding to sales objections, dealing with employee complaints), fail to produce fluency because they require participants to role-play complex chains of behavior before providing opportunities to become fluent in the components of the chains. The results are frustration on the part of trainees, and subsequent failure to retain and apply new skills and knowledge."

Dr. Carl Binder & Dr. Claudia Bloom

Fluent Product Knowledge
Fluency and Remembering


Developing Skill vs. Finding Talent in Baseball

Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers manager best known for breaking the color barrier by hiring Jackie Robinson changed the game of baseball in more ways than one. His innovations changed baseball and sports practice in general. Branch innovated 'developing' players vs. simply finding talent. His success was huge. Instead of hiring the most talented players (and paying top dollar) Branch developed talent by creating the farm system. He won championships and saved money! Today EVERYONE uses Branch's system of practice and development. SpeakPoint and building a 'Culture of Practice' in a sales organization will have a similar affect--moving from finding talent (the status - quo) to truly developing talent

Branch Rickey - Wikipedia