Top 5 things that can go wrong with public speaking coaching

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Sometimes things can go a bit wrong with speaker coaching

Hi. In this video I’m going to talk about a few things that can go a little bit awry, a little bit wrong, when you sign up for speaker coaching. I’m Shola Kaye, I’m a professional speaker coach and also a professional speaker and a professional entertainer. And I’ve been speaker coaching, coaching speakers for the last few years. And these are some of the things I’ve seen that sometimes don’t work when you’re working with a coach. Some of them are things that have happened to me when I’ve hired coaches myself and others are things that I’ve seen go on or that I’ve heard from coaching clients.

When dealing with fear of public speaking some may need the help of a coach or of a therapist

So a big one with public speaker coaching is people can come to a coach because they experience extreme anxiety and extreme fear around coaching … sorry, around speaking. And this can happen for a number of reasons. It could be that as a child you had a bad experience, maybe you spoke in school and everyone laughed at you or perhaps you had parents that were particularly exacting they really wanted you to be perfect and every time you weren’t perfect in their eyes, they punished you or made you feel belittled. There’s a lot of things that can happen. People can experience all sorts of trauma and this can lead to debilitating fear of speaking. And sometimes it’s a fear or it’s an anxiety that’s too much for a typical speaker coach to deal with. And in those cases, you may want to go and see a therapist or have some intervention, like a hypnotherapy or something that’s not just about learning to be a better speaker, but something that goes a little deeper than that.

Who you should work with will depend on your anxiety level and its root

So I think it’s important for people to recognize when they should be getting speaker coaching and when they should be getting therapy. And a decent speaker coach will talk to you beforehand about what it is that you’re going through and if they feel that you need therapy rather than coaching, they will recommend that. Because they know that they want the best for you and it’s not just about working with you against all odds and taking your cash, but it’s about you getting the quickest working solution to your challenges. It could be that they recommend that you go and see a therapist and then come back. Okay? But speaker coaching can’t solve every kind of speaker anxiety. Maybe you have cold sweats or some people even faint when it comes to speaking so it could be that you need to see a specialist before you get your speaker coaching.

If the coach is not a good fit you will feel like you’ve wasted your time and money

Other things that can go on, for example, it could be a poor fit between you and your coach. I’ve worked with coaches in the past where personality wise it just didn’t, we didn’t click. And I kind of knew that beforehand, I could sort of feel that this was not really the right person for me. But I persisted and carried on and ended up wasting a lot of money. So have a sort of kick the tires a bit, have a look at that person’s website, have a look at some of their training videos, ask them what their methods are and see if you feel that you will get on well with that individual. You don’t have to get on like a house on fire, sometimes a little bit of a professional distance can be good. But you want to make sure that that person doesn’t rub you up the wrong way, because you will not look forward to having your sessions and you probably won’t want to do what this person says because that personality conflict will just push you in the opposite direction.

Lack of practice can hinder your training process and lead to frustration

Other things that can go wrong with coaching, it could be that you do not practice. So if you’re learning anything from anyone, reading a book, listening to a podcast, if you don’t do anything with that information, then you’ve wasted your time. So getting speaker coaching is not only about learning what the coach has in store for you or learning some new insights, but it’s also about implementing those. That means that you’ve got to create some opportunities for yourself to speak. Maybe you’re getting the coaching to help you with a specific event that’s coming up or maybe you’re just getting some general help, but you’ve got to create some opportunities for yourself to speak in front of groups so that you can put into practice what you’re learning.

I suggest giving yourself opportunities to speak to increase chances of success

And you want to do that as soon as possible after your coaching and training so that everything’s still fresh in your mind. You don’t want to get some coaching one year and then it’s another year until you actually implement it. So you want to make sure that you’ve got some opportunities or you can create opportunities. And it might even be joining something like Toastmasters so you can use what you’ve learned and apply it to Toastmasters or just some other opportunities. Speaking club, could be speaking at a social event or a church or just even standing up and doing a few toasts for people doing the Powerball or whatever. It really depends, but you’ve got to give yourself some opportunities to speak.

Your coach may not have the right skill set and leave you disappointed

Other things that can go wrong with speaker coaching are that you want a specific set of skills from your coach and your coach is not the right person to give you those skills. So for example, you may want to learn how to sell your product or service from the state, perhaps you’re a business owner and you want to get up and speak at meetings and then get clients and get new leads or even get sales directly from speaking. And you may end up with a coach who doesn’t do that. Maybe you’re working with a coach who is much more about general public speaking skills, how to overcome anxieties, how to stand and speak in a confident way, body language, those sorts of things. Which are sort of basic level, sort of typical public speaking coach can help you with. So you want to make sure that you ask the right questions before hand so you understand the limitations of that particular coach or their specialisms, what they are focused on and who they typically work with. Because not every public speaking coach is the same.

When you don’t implement the tools you’ve been given by your coach you won’t see the results

And then the last one, the last thing that can go wrong with speaker coaching is sort of related to practice, and it’s that you are not implementing the things that you’ve been told. You might have opportunities to speak, but in the spur of the moment either you decide not to implement what you’ve learned or you forget. You just revert back to how you were speaking before your coaching and you carry on in that particular way without implementing those new tools and frameworks and strategies that your coach has provided you. And that’s of course, a bit of a waste of your time and effort.

Taking every change you get to practise will make a huge difference

So you want to make sure that you incorporate those tips, those pieces of advice into your speaking. It’s all very well to say, “Oh, well, I’ve learned this stuff. Hopefully I’ll just use it on the day.” When you’re practicing, whether it’s at home or with family and friends, before your big moment in front of an audience, you got to make sure that you incorporate those strategies when you’re practicing. And then you’re obviously more likely to incorporate them when you’re in front of a live audience, a real live crowd.

These are all common problems and they can all be easily fixed

So I hope that helps. There are a few things that can go wrong with speaker coaching, but also I hope that you could see from that how easy it is to fix those problems, those issues, those challenges. Because there are a lot of coaches out there. If you do your due diligence and then obviously implement what you’ve been taught, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t take your speaking to the next level. Take care. Bye.

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Shola Kaye is an award-winning speaker, author and professional speaker coach with clients around the world. Her work has been mentioned in Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar and on the BBC.
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