MM #85: Using Speaking to Build a Practice

1. Announcements/Offers

What People are Saying About ’10 Super Coaches’

To find out how 10 ordinary coaches are earning $30,000 to $1.4 million per year, and how you can do it too, click here:

“I have enjoyed and most of all gotten inspired by reading “10 Super Coaches Share their Secrets”. This is a tool for every coach to have when they require inspiration and/or different ideas to explore, when building our practices.”

Martha Tellez

“David, the product is awesome! I cannot express it any other way. I’m still digesting the nuggets on every page and relishing every interview. Thank you for the your brilliance in its development.”

Heather Fraser


Do you listen to audio books?

It’s so nice to be able to hear the voice of the writer. And it turns your travel time into productive time!

Michael Port’s big bestseller, Book Yourself Solid is in the “New and Notable” category at So, now, not only is it a bestselling book, it’s also a bestselling audio book.

If you have itunes, I recommend you get it today:

Michael is an awesome guy. He believes that virtually every old-school marketing tactic is dead and that there is a better way to connect with the people you’re meant to serve… he calls it the book yourself solid way.

2. FEATURE: Using Speaking to Build a Practice

Perhaps one of the quickest, and in some cases, most effective, ways to build a coaching practice is to give speeches at different organizations in your area. Before you launch a campaign though, a little legwork can be helpful. Here are just a few tips and tricks you can use to get speaking engagements and use them as an effective marketing tool for filling your practice. This information is drawn from the audios in our Explode Your Practice CD set.

Who to Present to

As with defining your target niche, begin by determining who you are presenting to.

I’ve found it MUCH easier to tap into an existing organization’s membership and meetings, than to try and fill a hall myself. To make things easier on yourself, once you have identified a target audience (say, for instance, a women’s entrepreneur group), find a pre-compiled electronic spreadsheet database of organization names and contact info plus the categories each organization or association falls into.

There are many such databases and a quick search of the Internet should turn up one for your specific country. For instance, in Australia, “Information Australia” can provide you with this information and in the United States, the “Directory of Associations” from Concept Marketing Group is a good reference.

In Australia I contacted Rotary, Lions, SWAP and Zonta (business women) clubs. I joined the National Speakers Association and let them know I was available to speak to ANY group. (This got me a couple of referrals, which I leveraged into more talks). I also recommend calling 5 top speakers and asking if they would refer me for the speeches that they can’t fit into their schedule, or that don’t pay enough.

What to Present

During the previous step, hopefully some possible topics came to mind that you could develop into a 20-30 minute presentation.

Some quick examples are: “How to double sales by connecting with people”, “How to truly live life”, “How to create a life you love”, “The benefits of a life of integrity”, “Follow your dream career”, “Designing your perfect relationship”. Choose something you care about, and something where you have related skills or experience. Even if you’ve coached three people on this issue, you’ll have some tips to share.

Flush out the topic into an outline form so you have a good idea of how the speech will flow. Look to see what the audience members will learn from your speech.

Armed with this information, you are now ready to create a mini “media kit” of yourself that you can use to promote your presentation. Draft a letter explaining the presentation and the benefits to the audience. You might also want to include a brief bio of who you are along with a photo of yourself, so the organization knows why you are qualified to speak on your topic.

Lastly, if you already have some awards or testimonials for previous presentations or work, be sure to include those in your materials, too. Once assembled, you should have a nice package to send any organization looking for a dynamic presenter.

Set a Practice Date

Set a date, NOW, for your practice speech, and invite some close friends to come and hear you. You’ll provide snacks and speech, they’ll provide feedback and written testimonials.

Tip: Set the date BEFORE you have the speech ready. This guarantees you’ll work on it ;-)

How to Promote

All this upfront work can be lost if no one shows up. How do you get people to hear you speak?

Try this technique: in the agreement with the organization or association, ask if they would be willing to send out an email before your presentation inviting everyone to attend and prepping them for what to expect. This email will be written by you so it makes it a win-win for both parties. It’s the first contact you’ll have with the audience so you will already be starting to build a relationship, and you might offer a free download from your web site.

The next contact they will have with you is during your speech and if you have any products to sell, be sure to check with the leadership of the organization or association to see if you can promote them or not.

Finally, after the presentation, ask the organization to send out another email (again written by you) thanking the members for coming to listen to you. Be sure to include in this email a free resource that will be of value to them as well as a link to your website so they can explore your products and services further. Using this approach to promote your presentation guarantees that you will ‘touch’ the membership three times in a short period of time maximizing the value of each one.

Your Coaching

I dropped references to my coaching throughout the speech. At the end I had a form passed out, and asked them to fill in the feedback section at the bottom, plus said: “If you’d like to be in contact with me, receive my newsletter, have me speak to your company, or even experience a coaching session, just tick the appropriate boxes”. It was quite exciting to go home with 30 new subscribers, and sometimes 10 complimentary coaching session possibilities, after each speech.


If you enjoy making presentations in front of a group, a natural way to build your coaching practice is to use this passion to your advantage. Through the steps outlined above, you are sure to fill your calendar in no time – with both speaking engagements and new clients!


Want more? This, and 100 other topics are covered in more detail in the full Explode Your Practice CD set, available now.


Decide if speaking is right for you. Look into Toastmasters or another organization to help you with your speaking.

Look up places to speak in your area and put them in a computer file or spreadsheet.

Decide on a topic or two to use in your speech.

Post your current status, and the plans you’re committing to on the blog .



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5 Responses to “MM #85: Using Speaking to Build a Practice”

  1. harriet Says:

    Very interesting and useful article – I’m just working on building my coaching practice and this article gives clear and concise advice. I have already bought the Explode your Coaching Practice series, but haven’t found/taken the time to get started – this gives me a push to finally begin using them(hopefully I’ll find tips to set better priorities and to generally stop procrastinating too…) Does this ring any bells with anyone…;-) ? Thanks again! Harriët, Brussels

  2. Suzanna Britt Says:


  3. MM #113: Building Confidence Quickly - Out of the Box with David Wood Says:

    [...] Get a speaking gig. [...]

  4. Claudia Says:

    David I must say your courage to just do what you do with confidence is inspiring… :)

  5. Helen Wood Says:

    I have a current subscription to the monthly mentoring program that I want to cancel. I have attempted to call the numbers that show up on my credit credit statement and the message received is that it is nonworking number, even though it was on my latest bill. I have not found another way to cancel subscription on any of your web sites, no straight forward way to contact you, and the ‘support center’ was an archived article page.

    I would appreciate my subscription being canceled and receiving an email confirming that.


    Helen Wood

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