Over the years I’ve worked with people from all backgrounds, industries, and levels of ability. Here are some of the questions I get asked a lot about individual public speaking coaching:
1. How many speaker coaching sessions do I need to take?
However many are right for you. Every speaker coaching session gives you new insights, and new skills to work on. How you schedule them will depend on your timeframe, budget, and goals:
- If you’re looking for an overview, or a jump start, 1-2 sessions will give you enough to think about and work on for months.
- If your goal is to build solid skills, many people find that a session every 2-3 weeks gives them enough time to practice and grow between sessions, while maintaining momentum.
- To prep for a high-stakes presentation or job interview, 2-3 sessions, close together, are usually enough to get you ready.
2. What do you charge?
I charge a sliding scale, with different rates for (a) students and people who are unemployed, (b) people with middle-class jobs, and (c) highly paid professionals and executives. Companies pay different rates than individuals. When you contact me about setting up a first session, we’ll choose the right rate for you.
3. Can anyone become a great public speaker?
You won’t become a carbon copy of your favorite speaker (because you’re a different person), but you can become your best — and that’s true greatness.
4. Is individual public speaking coaching like therapy?
No, but if memories of your childhood stuttering, lousy high school experience, or humiliating first boss are limiting your potential in the present, we’ll probably end up discussing that.
5. I’m speaking next Thursday. Can you help me?
If I’m not booked, yes, I can.
Next time, though, try to contact me as soon as you start thinking about a new speech. As with most things, early intervention can save you lots of time, money, and heartache down the line.
6. How do you know what to do to help me improve my public speaking?
In addition to from 25+ years of public speaker coaching experience, I’m certified to use two tools that help me understand you better: a personality test called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which I use with all my clients; and an emotional intelligence skills assessment tool called EQi-2.0.
7. What kind of clients do you work with?
Demographically, there’s no pattern; I’ve worked with people of all ages, industries, and backgrounds. The two things they generally have in common are a drive to do better, and a streak of self-criticism. (Funny how often those two things go together, isn’t it!)
8. How you seen other clients with my same public speaking issues?
Seriously. When you’ve worked with more than 1,000 different clients, you’ve pretty much seen it all.
10. Are there any differences between coaching in person or by video call?
Two big ones: video calls (on Skype, Zoom, Bluejeans, appear.in, etc.) aren’t good for coaching how you move onstage; that’s best done in person.
And if we meet by Skype, you’ll miss out on the snacks and espresso I serve in-person clients.
11. Can you help me get rid of my accent?
I don’t provide “accent reduction,” and in most cases, there are much simpler ways to improve how well you’re understood (which I do teach). If you really want to try accent reduction, I’ll make a referral.
12. Do you offer classes or group coaching situation?
No, although I’ll sometimes help a client gather a group of friends or colleagues so that they can practice a speech before a small “crowd.”
13. What other services do you offer?
The list of communications services I offer is long, and constantly growing, so contact me and ask about what you need. Some of my frequent offerings are:
- One-on-one speaker coaching sessions
- Individual coaching to develop a stronger speaking style, prepare for a presentation, etc.
- Strategy sessions, working out how to communicate particular messages, manage junior employees, present new ideas, get along better with colleagues, etc.
- Team coaching/practice sessions for a pitches, client meetings, etc.
- Speechwriting for important presentations, pitches, panel discussions, self-introductions, etc.
- Emotional Intelligence (EQ) coaching for people whose emotional patterns are blocking communications progress, or who would like to explore or develop their emotional skills