Hello and welcome to my blog! I have been involved in coaching and teaching public speaking, debate and advocacy for over 20 years. The one thing that has remained consistent during that time, despite changes in technology, diversity, and so much more, is that the people who are often the most resistant to speaking out publicly are the ones we most need to hear. So, if you stumbled upon this website because you’re considering speaking out in a public setting, but you’re unsure of how to guarantee your experience is good and your goals are reached, a speech coach is exactly what you need!
The problem with public speaking is we see the end product of planning, preparation, and practice and we judge our ability against that end product. Public speaking is a lot like social media – we only see the best and the brightest and we measure our everyday performances against that. But, the best and the brightest didn’t start out that way. The speech you are seeing is the not the speech they had when they began. There are very few individuals who have a “natural ability” in public speaking and unfortunately, we have very few opportunities to develop the skill unless we are very purposeful about it (or we become famous and are forced into developing those skills). Too many people lack the confidence to get out and speak publicly simply because it is something they are not comfortable doing. But, how does one become comfortable doing something without actually doing that thing?
This is why I think everyone needs a speech coach. You may not currently be in a job that requires you to speak in front of groups of people. You may not be planning to go to the City Council or School Board or PTO meeting to advocate for something that is important to you. You may not have the next big idea that will be featured on a TEDTalk. But, at some point, you will be in a position where you have an opportunity to say something important in a context that can make a difference about something in which you believe.
A speech coach can help you make the right choices in your planning, preparation, and practice whether you have a specific opportunity at this point or just want to be prepared when the opportunity arises. The better and more strategic your planning, preparation, and practice is, the better your product will be in the end. The problem is those opportunities often arise without the lead time to do all the work to build confidence, plan a specific message, prepare for the specific audience, and practice delivery and so the opportunities slip away. But, just like someone who starts working out without a specific event in mind and later runs a 10K successfully because their workouts gave them confidence and strength and endurance to do so, a speaker can train for the opportunities that might arise without having a specific opportunity scheduled.
So, whether you are the person who knows they have the opportunity at school or work or in your community and want to be properly prepared for success or you’re someone who wants to build confidence and train for the opportunities that will arise in the future, a speech coach can benefit you. My years of experience working with high school students, college students, community members, and professionals have allowed me to see many different contexts in with public speaking can be effective.