The 3 Biggest Mistakes Coaches Make When Speaking
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I believe that speaking (locally or online) is hands-down the best way to get clients, fill your programs, and grow your list.
Many times, coaches share with me that they’ve given talks, but they weren’t successful at getting many clients from their talks.
I know how deflating it can feel to put energy into lining up a talk, promoting the talk, spending hours and hours writing the talk, and delivering the talk – only to find that it didn’t help you bring in clients or revenue.
I know because I’ve been there!
When I was starting out I gave lots of talks, but I was winging it. I thought “I’m smart. I can figure this out.” And I did figure a lot of it out, but the problem was that didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I was working really hard! And while I was getting clients from my talks, I should have been getting a lot more.
What I finally learned, after researching and taking courses on speaking, is that there were some BIG mistakes I was making. For years I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong. I just thought there must be something wrong with “me” and that’s why more people weren’t signing up to work with me.
The good news is that after I figured this out, I started getting much better results from speaking. I know you can too!
Today I’m going to share the 3 BIG mistakes I made early on when speaking. If you’ve also made these mistakes, you’re in good company because these are the blunders I see health coaches make time and time again.
Mistake #1: The topic isn’t compelling
The starting point of a successful talk that gets you clients is to speak on a topic that your ideal clients desperately want to know more about.
I often see coaches giving talks on topics that are too general, such as “Whole Foods Nutrition” or “How to Achieve Wellness.” While you may be passionate about speaking on these topics, they aren’t specific enough or compelling enough to attract your ideal clients.
The other mistake I see is coaches speaking on specific topics such as “Superfoods” or “Raw Foods” without relating the topic to a specific pain point or desire. Most people don’t walk around thinking “I want to learn how to eat raw foods.”
While you certainly may get people to attend these talks, you’re not likely to attract the types of people who will want to invest in your programs and services.
In order to come up with your topic, you first need to understand your ideal clients. What are they struggling with most? What questions do they ask you most frequently?
Answering these questions will help you zero in on a topic that will fill the room with your ideal clients.
Mistake #2: Overwhelming the audience with too much content
The second mistake I see coaches make – and I certainly made this one! – is trying to cover too much content in an hour long talk.
As a new coach, I thought “I have to prove myself. The more content I share, the more people will see me as an expert.”
My thinking was logical, because I knew that giving talks was a way to build trust. I wanted my talks to convince my audience that I was an expert who could help them.
The problem with giving too much content is that you end up overwhelming your audience. When you do this, your attendees end up walking away feeling more confused and stressed than when they arrived. This is certainly NOT the experience we want them to have!
If people walk away from your talks feeling overwhelmed, they’re not likely to want to work with you.
If you’ve ever worked with a coach of any kind, think about the types of people you’ve been attracted to…
Have you been drawn to mentors or practitioners who pile on loads of information and suggestions? Or do you feel compelled to work with people who share a digestible amount of content and are able to break down the information step-by-step?
My guess is that you’ve chosen the latter.
While you absolutely DO want to share valuable information during your talks, there’s a balance to be struck.
Think about having 3-5 teaching points (no more!) and for each teaching point, be sure to focus on the “why” – and include some of the “how.”
Here’s an example: Imagine that your talk is about increasing energy and one of your teaching points is about hydration. You can focus on the “why” by sharing how dehydration affects the body – and what happens when the body is getting ample hydration. When you’re explaining this, be sure to relate it to your audience’s main pain point. For example, if their main pain point is their weight, then you would explain how dehydration slows down the metabolism. This will help to convince and motivate them to make a change in this area. Though they likely already know that they should drink more water, they probably didn’t know exactly why. Sharing this information differentiates you as an expert.
By focusing more time on the “why,” you’re able to convince your audience of the importance of what you’re teaching. You’re able to get them on board!
Mistake #3: No time-limited offer at the end
The third and critical mistake is ending your talk without making a time-limited offer at the end.
If you’ve given talks before, you may have skipped making an offer at the end because you ran out of time (this relates to mistake #2). Or, you may have felt shy about making an offer and either left it out or only mentioned the offer briefly.
Here’s the thing…
You’re running a business and that’s no surprise to the people you’re speaking to. They won’t think less of you if you make an offer. In fact, they are at the talk because they want support. Chances are they’ll be grateful that there’s a way to take things further with you!
Perhaps you thought “If they’re interested in working with me, they’ll take the initiative and reach out to me.”
The truth is that if you don’t make a specific invitation/offer at the end, your audience won’t know that you’re taking more clients. Or they won’t know about your upcoming program.
One of the mistakes I made for years was making an offer that was NOT time limited. I wasn’t creating a sense of urgency, so people were less compelled to take action. I also didn’t spend adequate time “talking up” the offer.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
If you’ve given talks before, what has worked well for you? Have you made any of these blunders when given talks? If you haven’t yet given a talk, what would help take that step?