The 7 Best Public Speaking Tips for Coaches

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You’ve got amazing skills when it comes to coaching your clients one-on-one. But you know that your expertise and ideas have the potential to make a difference and move entire crowds.

This is where public speaking comes in. But if you get sweaty palms just by thinking about public speaking, you’re not alone! Keep reading to learn the best public speaking tips for coaches.

Why Public Speaking is Important for Coaches

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As a coach, strong public speaking skills can be a helpful way to grow your business and land more coaching clients. 

First of all, let’s look at some of the most successful life coaches in the world.

Bob Proctor. Mel Robbins. Tony Robbins. Shawnda. What do they all have in common?

They’re all seasoned public speakers who can move entire crowds

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So why have all of these top coaches developed these skills? 

Think of what needs to happen for someone to become your coaching client. There are several beliefs they need to have before they can say yes to hiring you, including:

  • The belief that they have a goal they want to achieve or a problem they want to solve
  • The belief that what they want is achievable
  • The belief that you can help them

Depending on your coaching niche, there may be other beliefs your potential clients need to hold as well. For example, let’s say you’re a relationship coach who helps married couples deal with infidelity and heal their relationship. Someone has to believe that it’s possible to move beyond the wound that infidelity causes to a relationship before they’ll work with you.

If they don’t believe it, what’s the point of hiring someone to help them through this conflict?

By default, a small portion of your potential dream clients will already believe everything they need to know to start working with you. All that’s missing is for them to believe that you, specifically, can help them, which is something that an effective marketing strategy can help you achieve.

However, most audience members who are your potential dream clients won’t be there yet. They’ll need to be inspired to take action. 

And this is where public speaking comes in.

Effective public speaking can captivate your audience’s attention, yes. But it also has a transformative role. Through the power of the spoken word, you can take your audience on a journey to shift their beliefs. 

For example, Dr. Brené Brown’s famous Ted Talk on the Power of Vulnerability helps listeners believe in the importance of vulnerability and empathy. 

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And for people to be ready to invest in a coach who offers The Daring Way™, which is a certification on Brené Brown’s methods, they need to believe these things to be true first. Otherwise, why spend time and money uncovering the power of vulnerability?

So, in short, public speaking can help you transform your audience into people who are ready to work with you – because you’ve shifted their beliefs. 

Of course, public speaking skills also allow you to make connections and expand your network. For instance, you’ll have a better time giving presentations at a virtual summit!

7 Public Speaking Tips For Coaches

So you now know why public speaking is important, but how do you develop a public speaking skill set? Let’s go over how to get better at public speaking for coaches!

1. Prepare and rehearse

Proper preparation is key to delivering a successful speech – unless you’re already a master at winging your presentations. Here’s how to prepare for public speaking.

Take the time to:

  • Plan your speech
  • Structure your content
  • Practice delivering it

Rehearsing your speech will improve your confidence and help you deliver a polished performance!

When preparing your speech, consider the purpose and desired outcome. What do you want your audience to take away from your speech? What key points do you want to emphasize? 

By having a clear objective in mind, you can tailor your speech to meet the needs of your audience and achieve your desired impact.

Plus, rehearsing your speech allows you to familiarize yourself with the content and flow of your presentation. This will help you anticipate potential stumbling points and ensure a smooth delivery. 

Practice in front of a mirror, record yourself or ask for feedback from someone you trust to refine your delivery. This can be a friend, family member, or anyone else whom you believe will tell you the truth.

Yes, it can be awkward to present in front of someone else. But they’ll have an outside perspective that you don’t have. 

Oh, and sometimes we can be our worst critics and think our public speaking skills suck. But people who see our presentation may perceive something else entirely. I know I often feel stilted and unnatural when speaking, but I’ve been told I speak confidently. 

So don’t believe what your internal self tells you about your speaking skills.

2. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is essential for effective public speaking. What do they believe now, and what do they need to believe for your speech to be considered a success?

Tailor your speech based on your listeners’ preferences, interests, and level of understanding of the topic you’re discussing. This will ensure that your message resonates with them and captures their attention.

Let’s bring back the example of a coach who helps couples through infidelity to illustrate this. Is your audience made up of people who have been through infidelity? Or is it for people who fear infidelity is happening in their marriage but don’t yet know? 

You can imagine how the speech will differ based on which of the two groups you’d be speaking to.

So, take the time to research your audience. What are their backgrounds, interests, and motivations? By understanding their needs and expectations, you can adapt your speech to meet their specific interests and engage them on a deeper level.

Consider using relevant examples or anecdotes that your audience can relate to. This will help them connect with your message and make it more memorable. By speaking directly to their interests and concerns, you can establish a stronger connection and increase the likelihood of your message being well-received.

Once again, you should choose these anecdotes based on the audience. If you only have one ideal audience, you can likely use all of your anecdotes no matter who you present to, but make sure to review each one to make sure it’s logical. 

3. Use storytelling

Speaking of anecdotes… 

Storytelling is a powerful tool for engaging your audience. That’s why you should incorporate personal anecdotes, success stories, or relatable experiences into your speech. 

This will make your message more memorable and impactful.

Why are stories so powerful? Humans are naturally drawn to stories. By weaving personal narratives or compelling stories into your speech, you can captivate your audience’s attention and create an emotional connection. 

Stories have the power to inspire, motivate, and convey complex ideas in a relatable and accessible way. 

Even Harvard has published papers on the power of stories!

Consider using vivid descriptions, evocative language, and a well-paced narrative when incorporating storytelling into your speech. Try adding a bit of each of the five senses to make your story come alive.

This will help paint a picture in your audience’s minds and make your message more engaging and memorable!

4. Add in visual aids

Visual aids such as slides, videos, or props can improve speeches and make a public speaker more engaging. 

Use visual aids strategically to support your message and help your audience visualize concepts or data. But note the name “visual aid.” They should be an aid, not a crutch.

For instance, the right visual aids can help your audience better understand complex information, visualize abstract concepts, or remember key points. But relying too much on visuals to convey information can overwhelm your audience or overshadow your presence!

Use clear and concise visuals, avoid cluttered slides, and ensure the visual aids are relevant and aligned with your speech objectives. Keep your word count to a minimum so your audience listens to you instead of reading.

If you’re unsure where to start, use a Canva template. You’ll find hundreds of beautiful templates that you can easily edit!

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You’ll also find several AI tools to help you create basic slides to start.

5. Pace yourself and use pauses

One of the best public speaking tips for nervousness is to watch your pace. Speak much slower than you think you need to, and it’ll sound normal to others.

Speaking too fast can make it difficult for your audience to understand and process your message. Practice speaking comfortably and use pauses strategically to emphasize important points or allow your audience to reflect on your words.

Effective delivery involves finding the right balance between speaking at a comfortable pace and ensuring that your audience can follow along. 

Additionally, make sure to speak clearly and enunciate your words. This will allow your audience to absorb and process the information.

Strategic pauses can be used to emphasize key points, build anticipation, or allow your audience to reflect on what you have just said. Pausing also allows you to gather your thoughts and maintain a steady rhythm throughout your speech.

6. Be confident and authentic

One of my favorite public speaking tips for introverts is just to be yourself!

Easier said than done, I know. But confidence is key to effective public speaking! Believe in yourself and your message, and let your passion shine through. 

Be authentic and genuine in your delivery, as this will help you connect with your audience on a deeper level. Don’t try to emulate another coach you admire.

Also, confidence is contagious. Your audience will likely trust and engage with your message when you exude confidence. Believe in the value of your words and the expertise you bring as a coach, and your audience will believe you, too.

Authenticity is equally important. Be true to yourself and your personal style. Your audience will appreciate your genuine approach and connect with you on a more personal level. 

Remember, public speaking is not about being perfect but about effectively communicating your ideas and connecting with your audience.

7. Be mindful of your gestures and body language

Your voice and spoken words will tell part of the story. But your hand gestures – in fact, your entire body language – also tell part of the story.

But I know how difficult it can be to know what to do with your hands. I’m the type of person who awkwardly fiddles with my hands, cracks my fingers, or tugs at my nails when talking with someone. And during a speech, these gestures can be wildly distracting for your audience.

First and foremost, don’t make your hands disappear. This means no hiding them in your pockets or crossing them behind your back!

Avoid wringing your hands as well. This can communicate a lack of confidence in what you’re saying. 

What you can do is use your hands to communicate emotions. For instance, you can place your hands on your chest to communicate a moment in a story where you were deeply touched. Or, if you’re talking about boldness, use big, sweeping gestures with your arms to accentuate the boldness!

Learn How To Prepare for Public Speaking as a Coach

There you have it – that’s all our advice for public speaking for coaches. Hopefully, these tips to overcome fear of public speaking have helped you believe that you, too, can deliver powerful speeches! 

Need help streamlining the admin side of your coaching business? With Paperbell, running a coaching business online has never been easier! Try it for yourself by claiming your free account.

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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.
October 2, 2023

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