Often, we take for granted the things we do comfortably and naturally. Take public speaking for example. Three out of four Americans fear speaking in public. It is a condition called Glossophobia (speech anxiety) and it is a form of social anxiety disorder. However, for twenty-five percent of Americans, public speaking poses no anxiety at all. Some people even find public speaking enjoyable. If you are a coach and one of the few Americans who have no fear of speaking in public, now is the time to get serious about public speaking to help build your coaching business and brand awareness in 2018 and beyond.
Public speaking allows you to market your business and build brand awareness for your coaching business face-to-face with potential clients. Through the types of topics you choose to speak on, you signal to potential clients your areas of expertise, your temperament and personality, and other aspects of your brand that helps them know if they want to hire you or, at least, if they want to learn more about your business.
If you desire to add public speaking to your business marketing mix in 2018, there are a few basic things to consider and implement for a strong start:
- Expertise and Passion – what are you good at, what do you know a lot about, and what gets you so excited you could talk about it for hours? When expertise and passion merge, your speaking topics become evident. Don’t over think your topic selections. Speak about what you know and what you love to share with others.
- Presentation Preparedness – your expertise and passion is the foundation of a good speaking presentation. However, in order to make your presentation appealing for listeners, you have to organize it in a way that is clear, engaging, and emotionally and intellectually stimulating to various audiences. This takes time and effort, so, even as a passionate expert, you cannot “wing it” here. Be intentional about the appeal and structure of your presentation and your audience will thank you for it.
- For Free or for Fee – without an established speaker’s platform, it will be tough to demand payment for every speaking engagement. However, keep an open mind and heart. Some speaking engagements may place you in front of people who need to be inspired by what you do, while other engagements will place you in front of people who can and will become paying clients.
- In the Know – if you are not a hobbyist coach, don’t become a hobbyist speaker. Learn as much as you can about public speaking and the industry from coaches that you admire and respect who are successful at speaking to market their own coaching practice.
Here are a few resources to help you get started. Click on the titles to learn more.
- Kim Avery, Public Speaking is Easier Than You Think
- Professional Christian Coaching Today, Effective Public Speaking Podcast
- Carol Kent, Speak Up Conference and Speak Up Speakers Service
Vistage – a sixty-year old executive coaching organization comprised of leadership peer groups. A Vistage Chairperson, who is responsible for providing a daylong group coaching session each month, leads each peer group. Each daylong peer group session includes a presentation from a Vistage Speaker. Becoming a Vistage Speaker is a highly competitive process, but may be worth your time if you are looking to diversify your coach speaking opportunities. To learn more about becoming a Vistage Speaker, visit this link.
If you are not afraid to speak publicly, take full advantage of that trait and make it work for your coaching business. Remember, people hire coaches that they know, like, and trust, or they hire through trusted recommendations. Public speaking is an awesome opportunity to let your knowledge, interests, and personality shine in front of diverse groups. Your potential clients are waiting!
Author: L. Marie Trotter is a business writer, book and magazine publishing expert, speaker, radio host, and trained life coach. She received her coach training through Erickson College, and she is a PCC member of the International Coach Federation. Her coaching niches are author and book development, community and organizational capacity building, leadership development, and communications. Marie is the founder of L.A.M.P. Sessions (Leadership Accountability Mentorship and Prayer), which connects and trains Christian women in leadership. Marie is currently the CCNI President-Elect.