Recently, I was interviewed for the Heart & Hustle Podcast and the hosts of the show asked me a question I’ve never been asked before:
Why should you hire a speech coach?
Actually there’s a better question to ask here:
How do you know if hiring a speech coach is a smart decision for you?
To answer that, let’s talk about your goals for speaking. Do you want to book more speaking gigs? Do a TED Talk? Appear at the premiere conference in your industry?
Then when you’re clear on your goals, How do you want to make money from speaking? Have an endgame for how you're going to measure your ROI for investing in a coach?
If you have a solid goal and a plan for how you’re going to get a ROI on your investment, then you need to find the right speech coach for you. Ask yourself:
What type of speech coach do I need?
There are 3 different types of speech coaches:
- Content Coach: This type of coach specializes in helping you write, structure, and wordsmith your speech (this is what I do). Writing a speech that creates an experience for the audience is the most difficult step to becoming a speaker. A speech is a product that you sell again and again in your business so you need a good one. Find out more about my process for writing a speech.
- Delivery Coach: Once you’ve got a remarkable speech, it’s time to work on your delivery skills and your stagecraft. A speech coach who specializes in delivery typically has a background in acting. They can help you with gestures, vocal variety, staging your talk, and gestures. Some can even help with accent reduction. Check out Michael Port’s book Steal the Show for some amazing delivery tips.
- Speaker Marketing Coach: When you have a speech, you need to market it. This type of consultant can help you with your positioning, pitch letter, speaker one-sheet, and all your speaker marketing material. Lois Creamer is a great resource for this type of coaching.
If you find a coach who tells you they can do it all, buyer beware. Public speaking is a broad topic and it’s better to find a specialist in the type of coaching you need versus one who claims they can do it all.
Once you know what kind of coach you need there are 3 more questions to ask yourself
- Do you trust (and like) the coach? Hire someone you jive with. Someone who you can laugh with and who you know is going to give you solid feedback in a way that builds you up and not tears you down. (I’ve heard HORROR STORIES of coaches humiliating clients in the name of making them better speakers).
- Is there a method behind their coaching? Many coaches intuit what works based on their own experience. They don’t have a solid reason behind why they coach the way they do. Ask about their methodology and how they developed it. For example, my Speak for Impact program is grounded in communication, psychology, and neuroscience research. There’s nothing in the program that doesn’t have a solid reason for being there.
- Screw formulas! I don't think the cookie cutter formula programs are worth it. If you follow a formula, you’re going to sound like everyone else. If you do invest in a program like this, make sure there is a mechanism to get feedback from the coach. Spending a $1000 with no way for feedback on your message is setting you up for failure.
What kind of results can you expect from a speech coach?
I can’t speak for other coaches out there (I do encourage you to ASK the coach about the results they get for their clients), but I can tell you the kind of results that my clients have achieved in the past.
- They feel more confident that their message is right for their audience and they get rave reviews
- Some go on to book speaking gigs around the world (or across the United States)
- They increase their conversion rates – the audience goes from “good job” to “how can I work with you?”
- Many are able to double their speaking fees
- They take ownership of a repeatable process to create other speeches that their business need.
What you get out of hiring a speech coach depends on your goals, the type of coach you choose, and how you work the system that coach has created.
If you know that you’re ready to work your content and create that killer signature talk, check out Speak for Impact. I may be the right coach for you.