Is it the right choice? What if you fail? Is there enough money in this?
Public speaking – for some people, it has been the most terrifying experience since the first time they read that book report in front of the whole class in school. And for many, while not terrifying, it still is something that makes them nervous and anxious.
I’m sure either you or someone you know will have a friend, colleague or relative who still shies away from the spotlight as much as they can. Doesn’t that make you think about how many people there are around you who could really use help in becoming more confident public speakers?
A lot, I would imagine. Don’t you agree?
And if there are as many, I believe that presents a great opportunity for you as a Public Speaking Coach. To not just help people express their thoughts confidently and clearly, but to also establish a successful business for yourself as well.
Today more and more people are tired of being in the background, and be it to advance their careers or just to build self-confidence, they are turning to Public Speaking Coaches to help them transform themselves.
To give you a clearer idea of what sort of demand there could be for Public Speaking Coaches, let me refer to a survey conducted by Chapman University in 2014. It found that the fear of public speaking was the biggest phobia among respondents, with 25.3% people saying they feared speaking in front of a crowd.
25.3% is a pretty high percentage, don’t you think?
This is not something that is only damaging to someone’s social relationships. In fact, it is even worse for their career. Communication and presentation skills always have been the top skills a company looks for when they hire an employee. And it’s importance only increases the higher you go up the corporate ladder.
But can you really teach someone to be a more effective and confident speaker? Yes, and you can be the one to make that difference as a Public Speaking Coach.
I’m sure you have many questions.
“How do I become one?”
“Where do I start?”
“How do I even know if I have it in me to become one?”
And I’m here to answer as many as I can to help you get started on the road to become a Public Speaking Coach. So keep reading!
Who is a Public Speaking Coach?
Be it a CEO who has to face crowds of thousands of people or a business executive giving a presentation to his team of four, confidence is key. And as a Public Speaking Coach, it is your responsibility to help your clients express their thoughts effectively and concisely.
When I said your clients could range from CEOs to business executives, I was not kidding. Some of the biggest companies in the world are turning to Public Speaking Coaches to help not just their employees, but even their top management be more effective.
This is because even the most talented and confident people have very obvious flaws. But not obvious to them. And these unconscious habits actually hold them back from being the best public speakers they can be.
So as a Public Speaker, your job is a 3-step process:
Step 1: Establish flaw
Step 2: Find the root of the flaw
Step 3: Eliminate the flaw
When I say flaws, I mean anything that keeps someone from communicating confidently and effectively in front of the audience. Now that may be something as small as the movement of one’s hands to something as big as extreme stage fright.
And obviously, it’s not as simple as what I’ve broken it down into; but you get the idea. To really be a great Public Speaking Coach, you need to be able to understand people, and how habits from subconsciously, so you can get to the core of the problem and help your clients overcome it.
This is no small job!
But it is an extremely profitable field once you establish a name for yourself and if I have piqued your interest, I can tell you how to be a successful Public Speaking Coach.
What types of people hire a public speaking coach?
Where do I even start?
From the new intern trying to make a mark to the Director of the Board who wants to wow his investors, anyone and everyone can benefit from the skills of a Public Speaking Coach.
This means you can expect your clients to come from a range of backgrounds, each being driven by the same need to better express themselves. While this may make it seem like a job that could get repetitive, that is far from true.
Each of your clients are individuals, and as individuals, they have had different experiences and a different outlook towards life. This makes every client a new and interesting case for you to solve, trying to find a unique way to help find an answer to a unique problem.
Be it a childhood experience holding them back or an inherent problem expressing themselves, each client will be someone who struggles with being in the spotlight. But they also realize that there comes a point when they need to embrace the same spotlight to find success in whatever they are doing.
However, their self-awareness is limited to the problem they have, and not extended towards the actual cause of it. Their problems, many a times, are completely subconscious. This makes them feel intimidated and subdued, forever in the shadows.
But you have it in you to make a difference in their lives, don’t you?
Because if you do, then you are the type of Public Speaking Coach they need, and once they become your clients, they will depend on you to help them get to the bottom of their problems. That’s the only way they’ll find the confidence to take the spotlight and be the best they can be.
How can you become a Public Speaking Coach?
So you believe you have the right skills and knowledge to help people become better at holding an audience. You’ve thought it through, maybe even helped a colleague, friend or family member get over their fear of public speaking.
But where do you start when you want to become a professional Public Speaking Coach? I’m glad you asked, because that’s exactly what I’m here to help you with.
Keep reading and I’ll tell you exactly what steps you can take to become a Public Speaking Coach, and run a profitable business while you’re at it.
- Find your niche
Before you take your first step towards becoming a Public Speaking Coach, it is important to sit back and really think about what you offer as one. Take a stock of your skill set and figure out which area of public speaking you can optimally utilize them to attract the right kind of clients and get the most out of your business.
There are many niches in Public Speaking Training which you can research on your own time, but I’d like to start you off with two that I believe are the most basic, yet the most important.
- Content Coach
Knowledge doesn’t necessarily guarantee great content. Even the best minds can struggle to perfectly articulate what may be a groundbreaking idea. As a Content Coach, your job is to help people structure and polish their content, helping them communicate their ideas effectively.
This type of of coaching requires an understanding of all channels of communication, and not just public speaking. How you type an email is completely different from how you make a presentation, and putting a speech together is an even more complicated process.
By understanding the medium and the sort of people your client is communicating to, you can help them be more effective in how they reach their audience.
- Delivery Coach
Even the best written pieces can fall apart without the right inflection and delivery. Gestures, vocal variety, posture – all of these factor into other people’s perception when someone is talking, and as a Delivery Coach you train your clients in honing these skills.
The perfect Delivery Coach will have a skill set that spans acting, expressions and even vocal coaching. Because sometimes all your client needs to is to modulate their voice better and they already become better public speakers.
With your understanding of body language, you can help your clients become more assertive, maintain eye contact, enunciate better. Or any other change they may need in how they carry themselves to be able to deliver communication in and effective and impactful manner.
2. Get a certification
While not something that’s absolutely necessary, getting a certification as a Public Speaking Coach is invaluable in quite a few ways. The first and foremost of which is earning the trust and respect of whoever is hiring you.
Many clients, especially corporates, will judge you based on your certification before you even have a chance to talk to them. This means getting a certification is a great first step to establishing your expertise.
There are many courses that are offered specifically for someone who wants to become a Public Speaking Coach. Most of them will cover subjects such as public speaking, business communication, leadership and persuasion.
But as with any course, you need to do thorough research depending on your budget, the time you have and obviously, the niche you want to get into. Once you’ve found a course you feel fits you best, it is time to dive straight and in learn everything you can do become the Public Speaking Coach you want to be.
However, there is one important thing to remember no matter what course you choose. Join a course that gives you the opportunity to practise what you’re learning. You don’t want to learn a bunch f theoretical subjects, start you business and realize you have no clue how to use what you’ve learned in a real environment.
And if you can find a knowledgeable mentor to guide you, there is nothing better.
3. Get experience
The most successful Public Speaking Coaches are those that get experience before they even start their business full-time. Ask your friends, family and colleagues if you can coach them. They won’t just be thankful, but you’ll also have your first set of happy clients before you even set up.
This is a great starting point for new Public Speaking Coaches, and their success stories can be used to market yourself, and what you offer. Because that’s what will prove to any prospective client that you know what you’re doing and can actually help them become better public speakers.
4. Market yourself
This goes without saying, but a great Public Speaking Coach needs to be exactly that – someone who is great at public speaking. This means, whenever you get the opportunity, speak to people about what your ideas, what you offer and even your client success stories.
Name dropping might not be polite in any other conversation, but here, it is the best way to position yourself as an expert. If you do end up coaching for an organization, or even someone who will be recognizable in certain social circles, be sure to mention it when talking about your Public Speaking Coaching business.
Additionally, a good website never hurts. While initially you may not have the funds, as soon as you can afford to, I suggest your first priority should be creating a website for your business.
This will be the first point of contact for prospective clients, and will be the place where you can share your ideas as a Public Speaking Coach to attract clients who are looking for someone like you.
5 things corporate clients look for
when hiring a Public Speaking Coach
As corporate communication becomes more and more integral to success, companies everywhere are hiring Public Speaking Coaches to train their employees.
That’s why as a Public Speaking Coach, your best and biggest clients will be corporates looking to make their employees more effective and precise. This means, knowing what corporates are looking for can help you grow your business and make it profitable.
Lucky for you, I happen to know a few things about what they look for. So keep reading to see where you can change your approach to your coaching business and attract these big clients.
- Put your style out there
Corporates have a lot of options when it comes to Public Speaking Coaches. In fact, more often than not, the communications team already knows exactly what they need and are just looking for the right fit to help them achieve it.
A website works best to market yourself to them, making you seem professional while also giving the decision makers an idea of what you can offer to their company.
- Have a process
Corporates like nothing better than working with someone who is methodical and has a proven process behind what they offer. So sit down and understand how you can break down what you offer in easy, understandable terms and make sure you have an action plan that can be customized based on what they need.
- Be knowledgeable
Every industry is different. Just like you won’t hire a batting coach to teach you kicker how to kick, every corporate is looking for a Public Speaking Coach who understands their industry and the inherent pressures it comes with.
If you have a meeting with a communications team of an organization, make sure you do your research. Not just into what they do, but the what the industry is all about and what is expected of the employees in a corporate environment.
- Get your references in order
Your past clients are your best ads. No matter how much you market yourself, no one will do a better job of it than someone you’ve helped become a better public speaker.
Make sure you have references from all the people you’ve worked with so you have someone who can articulate how you’ve helped them improve. This will help cement your reputation and expertise, helping you stand out from the crowd.
- Be the right fit
If a corporate hires you, you need to be a Public Speaking Coach that their employees will respect and enjoy working with. This means you need to find ways to ensure you get along with their employee no matter which company you enter.
Here is where the research you did helps, because you will be able to put yourself in their shoes and truly understand the pressures they are under. Which will allow you to empathize with them and know exactly how to help them match the expectations the higher ups have from the coaching exercise.
5 simple tips to give at your first session as a Public Speaking Coach
As a Public Speaking Coach, your first session is as much a way for you to understand your client as it is for them to get an idea of how you work. This means it is almost like an audition where your first impression could be the difference between getting a client who believes in you and a client who will never show up again.
Here are 5 simple tips you can share with your new clients to put them at ease right from the start.
- Be yourself
The best public speakers are not those who rely on gimmicks. They are the ones who let their personality and their authentic self shine through while they are in the spotlight.
And I feel that this is where a lot of Public Speaking Coaches falter. Instead of trying to change the personality of your client, it is more effective if you can hone what they already have to make them better speakers.
- No one’s laughing at you
The biggest fear that people have when being put in the spotlight is that people will laugh at them. While it’s true that your client might be judged, even harshly, no one really wants to see them fail.
In fact, having been in the audience myself, I know that there is nothing more painful than seeing a speaker up on stage falter. If someone has come to hear you speak, they almost definitely will want you to do a good job of it.
- Forget the past
Your client needs to treat every public speaking opportunity as a fresh start. Whether the last time they were up on stage was a disaster or an absolute success, the current audience has no idea.
But that’s easier said than done. Memories, especially of past mistakes, have a bad habit of cropping up at the least opportune moments. So it’s important to get your client to understand and treat each opportunity as one to succeed, and do their best irrespective of what’s happened in the past.
By focussing on these three areas right from the beginning, you will establish yourself as a Public Speaking Coach who is there to get the best out of a client. And not to mold them into someone they believe will be better at public speaking.
This will really be the difference between having a client base that will stick around and one that is full of new clients who stop coming to you after a few sessions.