What’s more effective? Private coaching vs group classes

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Private coaching vs group classes – making a choice is very personal

Which is the more effective way of learning? Is it private coaching or is it group classes? Hi, I’m Shola Kaye. I’m a professional speaker, and a professional speaker coach. And this is a question that I have to answer often for my potential clients, because some people think, “Well, it’s public speaking, I need to do it in a group, because then I will have the opportunity to practice in front of the group,” which of course, mimics real life. And then of course, other people come and they say, “Well, look, I don’t think I’m very good at this. So I want to work with you one-to-one, so that I can improve, and then, and only then will I be ready to actually unleash myself on a group and speak to the group.” So which one is better, which is more effective?

It’s worth thinking about where you are at, what you need and how you like to learn

Well, I would say that it really depends. It depends on you, because if you feel that it’s so stressful for you and you’re going to do such a poor job speaking in front of a group, and joining a group class from the get go, then yeah, take a couple of private sessions or even enroll in an online course, so that you could understand the basics before you jump in, and you start speaking to groups. Now other people are different, and they want that immersive experience immediately. So they want to immediately be in front of other people, they want to see other people get coached. So typically if you’re in a workshop setting, as people come up and speak, their speaker trainer will give them some tips, et cetera. So they want to be part of that, they want to watch other people get coached first, or they want to just jump straight in, and have a go and then get the coaching in situ, in real life versus in a sort of safer space, just you and the coach.

Both options are effective but it’s important you pick the right one for your circumstances

So both of them work, but the important thing is to know yourself. Now some people don’t have a lot of time. So for example, executives, when I work with executives like CEOs, CFOs, et cetera, CMOs chief data people, because they don’t tend to have a lot of time, they prefer to have one-to-one coaching, and those people are typically thrust into situations daily, where they have to speak anyway. So they’ll get, day-to-day plenty of opportunity to practice, and to put into play the things that we work on together. If you’re in a situation where you don’t typically have a lot of opportunity to practice, then you may well want to start off with group classes, because then you’re getting your practice opportunities when you’re doing the classes.

You can select the format based on your learning stage

And then as you progress, you may think, “Well, I’m not learning enough about body language here, or I need to work on my structure a little bit more. I think this is time for me now to get a private coach, and I’ll work on those things, and I’ll continue with the group or may be even stop, stop working with the group and then get some coaching.” So whether you want to get a bit of coaching first and then work in the group or speak on a day-to-day level in groups, or whether you want to start in the group and then fine-tune and hone your skills later by having a bit of private coaching, both of those work, both of them work fine.

Get in touch if you’d like to find out about my tailored training offers

So it really does depend on you, and what you think is the best path for your particular situation. So I hope that helps, and please do get in touch. If you were thinking about taking some private coaching, I also run classes every few months. So please do get in touch, if you’re interested in one of those. Of course, I go into companies and I run training for groups. But that’s tailored specific to your industry or the desires that you have, like speaking at a big conference or a trade show, or whether you need something that’s a little bit more off-the-shelf and generic, just to bring up the speaking skills of your team. That’s it from me for now. Take care, speak soon. 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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