10 Public Speaking Exercises for Online Coaches

public speaking exercises

As a coach, you want to influence and impact the lives of many. Typically, this means going beyond your 1:1 offers, speaking on stages, or offering your own events.

You’re confident in your methodologies and messaging and know they can help people. But when you finally land a big speaking gig, the spotlight turns on, and you freeze.

The words feel heavy and awkward. You stumble on simple sentences you speak to your 1:1 clients daily. You’re feeling anxious.

The silver lining here? This isn’t a unique problem. 

Many coaches face challenges with public speaking. Just as you coach your clients, you can coach yourself to become a better public speaker.

You just need a few public speaking exercises and public speaking tips to polish and perfect with practice. 

In this post, we’ll cover all you need to know about public speaking practice for coaches, including:

  • Why do public speaking as a coach? 
  • The 7 P’s of public speaking
  • 10 public speaking exercises to try

Why Do Public Speaking as a Coach?

If you’re a coach, you may think your existing offers are the most important part of your business. You may ask, “Why is public speaking as a coach important?” 

The answer is simple: 

It’s one of the best ways to up-level your visibility and credibility to land even more coaching clients.

You can showcase your expertise, create emotional connections, and strengthen your overall communication skills – which will only serve you well. 

These are just a few reasons public speaking should be part of every coach’s toolkit.

The 7 P’s of Public Speaking

public speaking exercises

All that said, the value of this skill for coaches is indisputable. So, how do you improve when you don’t know where to begin or if you have stage fright every time you think about public speaking? 

The 7 P’s of public speaking are a fantastic place to start. Mastering these skills will make you an expert public speaker and help you grow your online coaching business.

Preparation

Preparation involves understanding your audience and tailoring your content to their needs.

As a coach, you want to ensure you have success stories, case studies, and practical tips that demonstrate the effectiveness of your unique approach to coaching.

Purpose

You started your coaching business for a reason. Use your visionary goals and infuse them into your presentations with clear main points. 

Practice

They say practice makes perfect – it applies equally well here, too! 

Regularly rehearsing helps reduce anxiety and improve your delivery style for engaging sessions.

People

Who is in the audience? Especially with speaking gigs, you may speak to different people than you’re accustomed to.

Always tailor your presentation to the audience you’re speaking to. This is the key to engagement and growth!

Planning

Is there a logical flow to the ideas and information you want to share in your online coaching sessions?

Think about how you’re storytelling and sharing your message.

Personality

In many cases, coaching clients are choosing you because they connect with you on an emotional level. Show up as yourself on stage, just as you would in a coaching session or for an online presentation for your community.

Let the true you shine through!

Performance

How are you showing up? Speaking is only partly about the content – it’s also about the presentation. 

Variation in voice pitch keeps the session lively, preventing monotony from setting in. Make sure you’re performing (authentically, of course) on that stage as much as you are influencing.

10 Best Public Speaking Exercises for Coaches

So, as a coach, the key to mastering the 7 P’s and up-leveling your coaching business comes down to one thing – learning how to practice public speaking at home. 

That’s where these exercises come in! 

Exercise #1: Watch others

One of the best ways to become a great public speaker is to watch those who do it well. Find presentations given by coaches you admire or watch TED Talks online.

If you search for the most popular TED talks of all time, you’ll come across talks by Simon Sinek, Amy Cuddy, Brené Brown, and many other high-level coaches and consultants. These TED talks didn’t become popular by accident.

image 16

Take note of how the people in these talks show up, tonality, hand gestures, etc. Then, implement it yourself.

Some examples of talks to watch include:

Exercise #2: Tongue twisters

Tongue twisters are not just fun but also one of the best articulation exercises for public speaking. Each funky phrase will help you with clarity, diction, and pronunciation. 

Start slow with the goal of eventually saying them as quickly as possible without tripping over your words. Focus on each until you say each word clearly! 

Here are seven you can try:

  • She sells seashells by the seashore
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?
  • Unique New York, unique New York. You know you need unique New York.
  • The great Greek grape growers grow great Greek grapes.
  • Six slippery snails slid slowly seaward.
  • I saw Susie sitting in a shoeshine shop.
  • A proper copper coffee pot.

This is an easy, stackable habit. Do it while washing the dishes or showering!

Exercise #3: Breathing techniques

Breath control plays a crucial role in delivering powerful speeches. Breathing exercises for public speaking can significantly improve speech delivery by ensuring you don’t run out of breath mid-sentence. 

But that’s not all. They can also help reduce anxiety so you can up-level your presentation skills!

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing (Deep Belly Breaths)

This technique involves inhaling deeply into the diaphragm rather than shallowly into the chest, allowing more oxygen to enter the body and promoting a sense of calm. 

To practice this great exercise:

  • Sit comfortably with one hand on your belly.
  • Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your stomach expand as it fills with air.
  • Exhale gently through pursed lips while contracting abdominal muscles.

2. 4-7-8 Breathing

The 4-7-8 method, developed by Dr Andrew Weil, is excellent for reducing anxiety before a big presentation or coaching session. 

The process includes:

  • Inhalation for four seconds,
  • Holding breath for seven seconds,
  • A controlled exhale over eight seconds.

3. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana)

An ancient yoga technique that can help balance both sides of the brain and reduce stress levels before delivering speeches or conducting coaching sessions. 

To do this exercise:

  • Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale slowly through the left nostril.
  • At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with your ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Repeat this process on both sides for several rounds.

Yoga Breathing | Alternate Nostril Breathing

4. Humming Breath

Humming breath is one of the best vocal exercises for public speaking. 

It’s a great way to relax the throat and improve vocal resonance – aka the intensity of your voice. Good vocal resonance allows you to project your voice effectively to reach a larger audience without straining.

To practice it: 

  • Inhale deeply through your nose.
  • Exhale slowly while making a humming sound.
  • Feel the vibration in your chest and head.

These public speaking breathing exercises are great tools to add to your public speaking warm-up exercises. Don’t just practice at home! 

Exercise #4: The Power Pose

A power pose is about adopting body language that radiates confidence – think Wonder Woman or Superman. Practice your power pose every morning in the mirror to boost your confidence and energy levels. 

Make it a part of your public speaking prep routine right before you head on stage!

image 15

(Image Source)

You can learn more about power poses from Amy Cuddy’s TED talk here.

Exercise #5: Practice with a mirror

A lot of coaches wonder how to practice public speaking at home. It seems counterintuitive to practice something intended for an audience while you’re flying solo. 

But, it’s actually the best time to practice because you feel safe and you can make mistakes and correct them.

While you may feel silly at first, practice speaking in front of a mirror. Public speaking is only partially about the words you’re sharing. The other piece is the delivery.

Practicing where you can see yourself allows you to observe your eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to improve non-verbal communication.

Exercise #6: Record yourself

Record yourself! Use the voice notes app on your phone or record a Zoom call. 

Listen back to notice any repeated phrases, filler words, or places where your tone might need adjustment.

Exercise #7: Peer feedback sessions

Connect with fellow coaches and exchange feedback on each other’s presentations. 

Or find a local chapter of Toastmasters International. This organization is known for helping professionals build confidence and public speaking skills in a supportive community environment.

Exercise #8: Expressive reading

Select passages from books or articles related to your coaching niche and practice reading them expressively. This exercise enhances your vocal range and expression. 

You can combine this with exercise six and record yourself reading to listen back and improve.

Exercise #9: Impromptu wisdom

Choose a random topic and set a timer for two minutes. 

Speak on the fly about how that topic relates to your coaching philosophy. This hones your ability to think quickly and articulate thoughts.

Exercise #10: Q&A Session with current clients

Host a live Q&A session where clients can ask questions. Practice responding in a clear, concise, and informative manner.

This puts you before an audience and helps you build confidence surrounding your message.

These Exercises Are the Key to Honing Your Public Speaking Skills

The art of public speaking isn’t some mystical talent bestowed upon a chosen few. It’s all about having the right tools to help you practice public speaking and master the 7 P’s.

Take these easy public speaking exercises and make them your own. Try them out in different combinations, or repeat the ones you find most challenging until they become second nature to you. 

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day – neither will your public speaking mastery. Practice makes perfect, so use these public speaking activities to your advantage.Need help streamlining the admin side of your coaching business so you have more time to practice? With Paperbell, running a coaching business online has never been easier! Try it for yourself by claiming your free account.

public speaking exercises
By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
December 13, 2023

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