Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Why You Should Pay Someone to Coach You in the Toastmasters Int'l Speech Contest

Image result for toastmasters trophies

My First Thought?
You probably shouldn't. I mean, c'mon, it's just some trophies in a contest determined in a completely subjective manner, and there are a ton of people around in your club and district who will give you totally free advice.

But Let's Go Deeper...Not So Good, Good, Great!

Not So Good Reasons: You believe you have a realistic shot of going far - and even winning the title of World Champion of Public Speaking, and darn it, you want to WIN!

Good Reasons: You want to learn from a coach who has been where you have not, and you want more time than just a few minutes after a contest or in a meeting.

Great Reasons: You want to write the best speech of your life, you want to shorten your learning curve as a speechwriter and presenter, and you believe your real trophy is your improvement and the difference you make for each audience.

What are Coaches Charging For, Anyway?
#1 Time - real coaching, vs. random advice, takes time. Phone calls. Speech editing. Video Review. Sometime being there in-person. The more a coach is in demand, the less time they have. Everyone's time is worth something - whether you're a plumber, a salesperson, or an engineer.

#2 Expertise - their level of expertise, and whether or not what they are charging is equitable for sharing it with you, is up to you. How far have they or their coachees gone in the contest? How happy are their past clients? Do they focus on areas you lack, ie: humor, storytelling, props, stage presence? Do you believe they can help you as a speaker?

#3 Outside Perspective - You can't see the breadth of a storm from inside of it. Your friends, family, club members, home district - are either biased or lack the experience to get you further than you've gone before. Usually.

Coaches are not charging you, or shouldn't be, at least, to get you a win. Winning a contest is out of everybody's control. Create your best speech, and let the chips fall where they may. If a coach is guaranteeing you victory, then, as 2003 WCPS Jim Key advised me, run away as fast as you can.

How Much Do Coaches Charge?
It varies wildly. Sometimes thousands - this even from some who have never won. They may charge by the hour, by the contest level, by the season, or by the speech. Me, I charge less than most, and from what my clients say, less than I should.

But It's Not the Toastmasters Way, You Say?
No, perhaps not. The Toastmasters way is also not intensive coaching, editing, and prepping for other Toastmasters, and spending copious amounts of time outside of club meetings on a specific speech. If you don't want to pay for a coach - don't.

My Rules.
Here's who I don't charge:
Friends - though they often pay me anyway.
People in my club.
My District's Champion if they move on to the next level.
Anyone who beats me gets free coaching for the rest of the contest season, if they want it.
Past Finalists.

How To Get Coached By Me. 
Email me at We'll have a 30 minute free consult, see if we're a match, and go from there. You'll get, if you take full advantage, weekly calls, unlimited emails, edits, video reviews, and a whole lot of behind the scenes advice along with some wild stories along the way.

My Credibility.
Oh, by the way, if you don't know me from Adam....I've won the District Int'l 8 times, gone to the Finals twice, taken 3rd in the world in 2006, coached dozens of contestants in the last ten years as far as 2nd place at the Semi-Finals, have been in Toastmasters 20 years, and am pretty much a nice guy.

But Remember - 
You probably shouldn't be paying a coach.

Do Your Goals Support Your Message?

Do you even HAVE a message? Consciously? That you live to embody?


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