Speaking engagements can be a powerful way of building your coaching practice. Establishing yourself as a speaker allows you to enter professional and civic organizations where you can present topics related to your coaching practice that are also of value to the groups to which you present.

Many clubs and organizations have weekly or monthly needs for speakers. If you can identify some of these groups, you will find it relatively easy to build your speaking platform. You may belong to some of these groups or have friends or other contacts who belong to your target groups. Ask the people you know if they belong to any organizations that need speakers.

In addition, research local groups which might need speakers and find out what topics are of interest to their members.

Who do you know?

• From your old job
• From school or college
• From your place of worship
• From your sports or hobbies
• From your old neighborhoods (or your current one)
• From your volunteer activities
• Through your spouse and/or children
• Who is changing jobs
• Who are your fraternity brothers/sisters
• Who is a salesperson
• Who is the president of a civic organization (Rotary Club, Lions, Kiwanis, etc.)
• Who is your banker
• Who edits your local newspaper

Once you’ve gotten a list of groups together, get the name, email, mailing address and/or telephone number of the contact person, as well as any relevant information related to the group. Such information could include what topics interest the members, what projects the group might currently be working on, and what values the group espouses as a whole. Prepare a script to use while speaking to them or an email or letter that you can send. Then it’s off to making contact.

If you’ve received a referral from a friend, you can use a script or email similar to the one below:

Sample personal contact script

‘Hello, Joe Program, Sue Smith mentioned it would be a good idea to contact you because the Rotary is looking for speakers for their monthly luncheons. Are you the person that I would speak to about this?’ If Joe says yes, then say, ‘Good. Is this a good time to talk?’ If there’s another yes, and continue with: 'Would you be so kind as to let me know what is the process to get scheduled for speaking to your group?’

Write down the process so that you can follow it.

‘Sue told me a bit about your group and the fabulous work that you did with the kids over at 4th Avenue School. It sounds like you have a very generous group.’

‘When I spoke with Sue about the group, she thought that the topic of Empowering Communication would be very beneficial. I’d like to hear your opinion about that.’

‘What would be the most valuable concept for the members of the Rotary to know about communication?’

‘Thank you so much for your time and ideas. I will email you a copy of my bio and a promo piece for my speech [or whatever the next step in the process is].’

And that’s it. Follow up with whatever you have committed to and stay in the process. If you meet with resistance anywhere along the line, just say thank you and get off the phone.

Sample group contact script

If you do not have a referral, you can change your opening statement to:

‘Hello, Joe Program, I read about the Rotary’s 4th Avenue School program in the paper the other day, and I was very impressed with the group. I was wondering if you are looking for speakers for your luncheons because you are just the kind of group that I love to connect with. Are you the person that I would speak to about this?’

There are thousands of speaking opportunities every year in the United States alone. Many groups don’t even know how to find speakers. Build your group and contact list and watch your coaching business take off!

Author's Bio: 

Karen A. Cappello, PCC, CLC is a mentor coach, coach trainer, professional certified coach, and motivational speaker. She mentors new coaches, and supports them in utilizing spiritual principles to develop their coaching practices with ease and joy. She also works with executives and entrepreneurs to promote beneficial business outcomes. In her first month of her coaching practice, she had eight paying clients. In less than one year, she served over 30 clients and logged almost 300 coaching hours. She also obtained her Professional Certified Coach designation after only two years of coaching. To learn more Karen, visit: www.karencappello.com/