Speaking For Your Business The Right Way… And The Wrong Way

If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge proponent of using speaking as a marketing tool. I find it’s the fastest way for health coaches to get new clients.

When I was a new health coach, speaking was my go-to marketing technique.

The very first talk I gave was in the group fitness room of a local gym. It wasn’t a fancy high-end gym, but it drew a crowd of about 20 people. I got 2 clients from that very first talk, and after that I was hooked on speaking (even though I was very nervous those first few times)!

I occasionally hear from our health coach clients that they aren’t getting results from speaking – they aren’t getting people to show up for their talks or they aren’t getting clients from talks that they give.

When we dig a little deeper, I find there are usually a few mistakes they’re making that are rendering their speaking gigs ineffective.

Speaking as a marketing tool isn’t an exact science, but there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

So today I’m outlining the steps that go into giving a talk along with the mistakes coaches make with each step and points on the right way to do it.

Speaking for your business the right way - Pinterest

Step 1: Finding speaking opportunities

The first step in giving a good talk is picking the right venue. This takes a little bit of legwork, but skimping on this step is the first mistake.

The Wrong Way

The right venue depends on your clients and local scene, however there’s one other key piece to consider…

You want to make sure you’re giving talks at places that are going to do most (if not all) of the promotion.

If you decide to rent a space, or even use a free community space, instead of partnering with a local business or clinic, the promotion will be 100% on your shoulders which means you will have a difficult time reaching people outside your circle.

The Right Way

The best place for you to give a talk is at a venue where your target client frequents and has a large following that they can promote the talk to.

The venue should have a built-in audience and a way of marketing the event to them. This could be through their email list or social media, or through word-of-mouth as their clients come in.

Brainstorm places in your community where you ideal clients hang out. This could be yoga studios, doctors offices, juice shops or cafes. Make a list and reach out to see if they ever host talks or events.

Step 2: Choosing Your Topic

The second step is creating the content of your talk. This step usually takes the longest, but all you really need is one great talk.

The Wrong Way

It’s tempting to give a “one size fits all” talk, where you discuss health and wellness in a general way. Many coaches think that being broad with their topic will compel more people to want to work with them. The reverse is actually true. When you give a talk that’s too broad or vague, it won’t resonate with your audience.

The Right Way

Pick a specific, compelling topic. Your topic should speak to your ideal client in a way that really piques their interest. This is done by relating it to the main challenge they’re experiencing.

A talk called “5 Strategies to Reduce PMS” will be much more interesting to your target audience than something like “5 Strategies to Get Healthier”.

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?

Step 3: Creating Your Talk

Once you’ve got your topic, I suggest using an outline to create your talk so you have a structure to follow and fill in.

The Wrong Way

It can be very tempting to include a lot of information in your talk (you’re an expert after all, so you’ve got a lot to say!). However, doing this will overwhelm your audience with too much information. And, if they find your talk overwhelming, they may feel like they can’t possibly tackle their health concerns and won’t be as likely to want to work with you.

The Right Way

When putting your content together, think about having 3-5 teaching points and no more. For each teaching point, be sure to focus on the “why.” Always ask yourself – why does it matter to them? This will help your talk really connect with your audience on a personal and emotional level, rather than feeling like they’re sitting in a dry lecture.

Once you’ve addressed the why, include some of the “how.” How can they start to implement what they’re learning? This will leave them walking away feeling like they got a lot of value from the talk.

Step 4: Making An Offer

After you’ve delivered the bulk of your talk, it’s time to share how the audience can get more support and work with you.

The Wrong Way

Your offer is a really important part of your talk, so be sure you leave enough time for it. I see a lot of talks and webinars that are so packed with information, coaches barely have time to make their offer. Or, they feel shy about making an offer and they end up breezing right through it.

This is doing yourself and your audience a disservice because you’re not allowing your audience the opportunity to see the real value in your offer.

The Right Way

The best offers are specific, relevant and time limited. Your offer should hit on each of these elements.

  • Specific – whether you’re offering a free consult or a group program, be specific about what it includes.
  • Relevant – make your offer relevant to the talk you just gave. If your talk is about Intuitive Eating, a 14-day Intuitive Eating program is very relevant and enticing to your audience.
  • Time limited – putting a time limit on your offer makes people jump into action instead of thinking about it for too long (and eventually forgetting).

Step 5: Following Up

Most sign ups don’t happen on the spot. People need to think over your offer before committing. It’s up to you to send a reminder and keep your offer top of mind once they leave.

The Wrong Way

The worst mistake you can make with your follow up is assuming that anyone who didn’t sign up at the talk isn’t interested. Think about all the times you’ve seen a product or a program, and you took several days to make a decision about buying it. People often need more information and a few reminders to finally pull the trigger.

The Right Way

First of all, in order to follow up you have to collect names and emails at your talk. Do this with a form or an iPad that you pass around.

Next, create a follow up email series that continues to foster the relationship, add value, and remind them of your offer.

Your email series should include a thank you email to send right away, and 5-6 more emails with more information, client testimonials, and restating the offer. If you’ve created a time-limited bonus, be sure to send an email before that expires too.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You
What do you plan to do differently in your next talk?


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