Personal Speech Coaching Speech Coaching

How can personal speech coaching help me?

This is a question posed to me recently by a prospective client. He said my reply shocked and challenged him. Although he felt himself to be a fairly accomplished speaker he admitted that most of his success was down to a natural talent that “carried him through”, as he put it. The finer aspects were escaping him. He knew this to be the case but he wasn’t sure how to achieve the next level, using solely his natural talent. After we discussed his ideals and how to achieve them he decided to book a block of coaching sessions to work on motivational speaking and speaking with integrity.

So how could you, as this gentleman did, benefit from personal speech coaching? Let’s look at this closer.

First of all, here’s what any good personal speech coach will do. They will challenge, cajole, teach, support, lift up, and inspire their client every step of the way. Through especially highly trained eyes and ears, and a highly developed sensitivity of feeling, the speech coach identifies what the client is doing well (to enhance and develop it) and what is problematic. This could be any number of things, but more often than not it can be excessive nervousness displayed in shaking hands or legs; or a tightness of delivery that shows a person is not at ease speaking in public; or an inability to connect with their audience; or a perceived uninteresting voice.

As a speech coach I’ve addressed these and many other challenges my clients may have. Many clients come to me knowing they need to work on one thing or another. So although my job is to work with them on the nitty gritty, we initially spend time to identify the bigger target, their main outcome. When pressed on what they wish to achieve, most clients will ultimately point to at least one of these 4 main outcomes. They want to:

  1. Become more themselves in front of an audience;
  2. Develop an ease of delivery and a sense of grace and genuineness in their voice and demeanour;
  3. Feel a sense of security in their ability to move seamlessly through a speech;
  4. Experience an inner cohesion that makes giving a talk effortless and even fun.

These 4 outcomes focus my clients to see the bigger picture, with them in it, which helps dispel fear. Because let’s face it, public speaking is feared more than death. A vast majority of people would rather ‘hand off’ a public speech to a colleague or someone else. But as in sport, the amount of touch time determines skill and performance. By shunning the chance to give a speech, however terrifying, skill levels and performance don’t improve.

And this is where my clients excel, because I drum into them that increased ‘touch time’ increases their skills. Be it articulation skills, managing nerves, delivery styles, gesture skills, floor and podium management, or imagining that feeling of ease, they all add greater experience and skill acquisition to make the job of giving a talk less daunting and more manageable, if not enjoyable.

So, what was my reply to my prospective client’s question of how can a personal speech coach help me? In a nutshell it is this: talent takes you only so far. If you really want to succeed in anything the basics and the talent need to be broken down in understanding, built up in practise, shaped through feeling, and personalised with heart. To achieve this level in public speaking – whether giving a conference speech, motivating the workforce, giving your views to the board, or giving a wedding speech – a personal speech coach is not only necessary: it is essential.

For personal speech coaching to build your confidence to speak, click here to be taken to the contact page on our main site

Donald Phillips is a highly successful and experienced Speech Coach, Executive Coach and Therapeutic Speech Practitioner. Donald is based in Aberdeen but works across Scotland and the rest of the UK.