It's a real plus as a life coach to also become a motivational speaker and use your presentations or workshop as a tool to grow your practice. Here are 10 tips on getting started as a speaker and ways to ensure a trouble-free presentation.
There is a certain kudos that comes your way when you take on a stage persona and present to an audience. You have credibility almost from the moment you stand up to speak.
And if you can follow through with a persuasive presentation, you will soon be recognised as articulate expert and be in demand for all sorts of occasions - not to mention attracting new clients.
So to get started on your journey to become a life coach and a motivational speaker.
If you suffer, as so many do, from public speaking panic - it terrifies you - get some confidence and presentation skills training.
And if you aim to become a motivational speaker as well as a life coaching, one of the best ways to get good advice is to join one of the many international Toastmasters speaking courses or in Australia the local branch Rostrum which helps aspiring speakers develop confidence and skills.
And a good book to have on your shelf is The Magic of Public Speaking by Andrii Sedniev. Written specifically for new speakers it is a useful reference book with lots of good information on presenting and some great gems to avoid having those "learning experiences."
Make the subject of each of your presentation something that can be tailored to different time slots. It can be nerve wracking for you and the organizer of your presentation if you finish too early, or have to be cut short because you have run out of time.
However if you do finish early you can always fill in time by calling for questions (and praying that you get some!☺)
At a networking breakfast or lunch you will most likely get between 20 and 40 minutes to get your message across, whereas in a conference you might get 45 minutes to an hour or even longer.
And please, please remember to ask when you are booked to speak, how long they want you to speak for – and be prepared to have less if the other activities of the function run over.
Unfortunately some hosts at networking functions will talk on and on about their organization and upcoming events and will be oblivious to the fact that you are sitting, sweating with nerves and just wanting to get on with it.
It’s always a good idea to ask your host, just before you stand up “how long have I got?” This will enable you to edit your content if necessary. And remember to allow enough time at the end to promote any yourself products you have.
Conferences are a different matter as they are usually well organised and well timed.
Handouts: To compensate for the eventuality that you may not get to cover all the points you planned, have a value-adding handout to leave with the audience. Maybe a list of tips or a special offer. Make sure it has your contact details and website on it. (Obvious I know, but you’d be surprised!). See more about hand outs in Tip 4.
However you are framing up your presentation on coaching, it’s important that your audience gets who you are and what you stand for.
Creating a powerful marketing message to adapt and weave into your presentation will anchor the benefit of working with you.
Stuck on what your basic message is and how it should sound?
My colleague Cindy Schulson has a wonderful website, Marketing From Within, with lots of free information, trainings and tools to help get you there.
Have a value adding handout for them to take away and remember you by after the presentation has ended.
I gave away a simple handout on 21 Ways Successful People Achieve Their Goals, which I now give to new subscribers to my Coaching Accelerator.
It is a smaller version or my original tip booklet 54 Things Successful People Do To Achieve Their Goals, which was the foundation for my proper books.
One of the first steps to take to become a motivational speaker about your life coaching is to develop two or three presentations that demonstrate the benefits of coaching and get the audience involved.
But don’t just stand up there and waffle on about coaching and how great it is. That is not the way to motivate your audience.
I usually present using a theme related to the life skills and goal planning information in my book Be Your Own Goals Coach and, within the time frame I am given, base the presentation on three to five of the key point.
So pick a favorite coaching process or two build your presentations around them.
Include personal stories and relate
experiences you have had with clients (anonymously of course) and leave the audience with some valuable tips they can use in their lives.
One of the best techniques to successfully motivate your audience is to get the them to participate,
even if it is only a show of hands in answer to a question or ask them to share with the person next to them on a particular topic.
Maybe start your presentation or workshop by telling the audience briefly what you are going to cover so you get them interested in what is to come. Tell them they can either ask questions as you go or you will take questions at the end of the presentation.
However, one of the dangers of saying you will take questions during the presentation is that you can get off track and run out of time to get all your message across.
If you use PowerPoint (and personally I never have so I can’t give you any tips on that☺.), don’t just stand there and read off your PowerPoint slides - that is not the way to engage and motivate your audience.
Make sure your PowerPoint presentation is used just as a prompt, an anchor or a summary and is interesting to look at with graphics or pictures rather than just words.
One of my most successful presentations was at the end of the first day of a conference, late in the afternoon, when the audience was tired and literally suffering “death by PowerPoint”, after numerous informative but boring presentations.
I had been invited to talk about networking (I had framed it up as
"Networking as a Tool to Achieving Your Goals"), and had the audience up,
moving, interacting and having fun.
Because I engaged the participants in activities, I got the highest speaker rating at that conference, even though my information was pretty basic and not even that much on topic.
When approaching a networking or business organization you would like to speak to, try and find out what sort of subjects their members are requesting information on.
If you know what they are looking for you can frame up your proposal to match and adapt your content to suit. Let’s face it many aspect of life coaching can be customised to suit almost any industry or situation.
Also, take the trouble to familiarize yourself with the profession or industry so you can drop in information that relates to your audience and shows you have done your homework about them and are not just giving a rote presentation.
Mingle! If you have the opportunity mingle and chat with the audience before you speak so you become a little familiar with who they are and where they are coming from and can even refer to them during the presentation. I have observed many great speakers doing this.
Feedback is essential on your journey to become a great motivational speaker. Ask the organizer of the speaking event to give you a written testimonial of about your presentation. Many times the audience at an event will be given a feedback sheet to fill about their satisfaction with the event overall and how good they found each speaker.
Make make sure you have an arrangement to get a copy of these as they will be invaluable as feedback on what you may need to work on and material for testimonials to help you get more engagements.
Don't be too upset if someone didn't like you - you can't please everyone - it's the overall rating that matters.
10. Practice, practice, practice
Maybe the most important tip of all if you want to make speaking part of your marketing strategy is to practice on any audience that will have you. Offer to give presentations to local community organizations. You may not get clients and you almost certainly won't get paid, but these occasions are a great opportunity to hone your speaking skills and have "learnings" that don't matter so much.
As you become more confident and proficient and known as a speaker as well as a life coach, you can approach various speaking bureaus to list a profile of you and your speaking subjects.
The bureau will then have you on file for when they get a request that matches your profile and you may score paid speaking engagements at industry conferences or business meetings.
Ask any speaker how their presentation went and, in many cases the “hitches” were not caused by their content or delivery, but by peripheral things that went wrong in the room and could have been avoided.
The logistics of the room such as how it is set up and how handouts will be distributed will greatly affect how the audience receives you and how you profit from your speaking efforts. Here are six seminar preparation tips that can save the day on your way to becoming a motivational speaker, and a website I found with some more useful information on seminar preparation checklists:
That’s about it from me folks on how as a life coach you can become a motivational speaker. I'm sure
there's more so please add your experiences, ideas and comments using the form
below. And here are some more creative and affordable marketing strategies for coaches for you to consider.