America's Top Marketing Coach Shares Six Secrets to Speaking Success

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Speaking at seminars and trade associations is one of the fastest ways to grow a professional coaching and consulting business according to industry leaders. Here are 6 strategies you can use to find more consulting clients and generate more coaching revenues using speaking.

One of the fastest ways to grow a professional coaching business is through speaking at seminars and trade associations, says Stephen Fairley, a best-selling author and professional speaker. As a professional speaker Fairley speaks to dozens of audiences every year and regularly garners new business coaching clients from attendees.

It is not uncommon for 20% of Fairley’s audiences to sign up for a free coaching session and he often converts 50-60% of them into long-term paying clients. At the annual convention of the New York State Bar Association in January, he spoke to a packed auditorium of more than 250 attorneys and 61 of them signed up for a coaching session—a 23% conversion.

When using speaking and presentations to find more clients for your professional coaching and consulting business, Fairley recommends these six strategies:

1. Speak to the right audience. Your audience must be someone who needs, wants, and can afford your professional coaching and consulting services, which can average $200-$300 per hour for a top executive coach. If an audience does not meet these criteria, then either turn the opportunity down or consider charging a higher fee to compensate you.

2. Select the right topic. The presentation must be something they care about; whether it’s marketing strategies for small business owners or work-life balance for busy female executives, to be successful your topic must connect with the audience. At the New York State Bar, Fairley spoke on “Becoming a Rainmaker: Business Building Strategies for Lawyers,” a skill he believes every small legal firm needs.

3. Subtly talk about your services. Never sell from the platform, Fairley recommends. “There is nothing that turns a person off faster than to have a speaker ‘hard sell’ them from the stage. Instead, use practical examples of how you have former clients and use real-life testimonials when possible. Let them know you are available for individual consultations and who your ideal target market is.” As the author of 9 books, including Practice Made Perfect: 10 Principles for Marketing Your Services, he usually gives away two or three copies of the book during a presentation to generate interest.

4. Practice your presentation skills. You can be in front of the perfect audience and have exactly the right topic, but if you are not polished in your presentation, you will lack results. Fairley believes every professional speaker should have a professional development plan to help them become a better speaker. He joined the Chicago chapter of the National Speakers Association last year as part of his ongoing development plan. Try to master two or three talks on major topics of interest to your audience and then give those talks over and over again rather than trying to create a brand new topic for every presentation.

5. Follow-up is critical to success. At most you have two days to follow up with participants after a speech before they forget all about you. Have a plan for how you are going to contact attendees. Important questions to consider are: How will you get their contact information? What message will you send them? How will you connect with them—via phone, email, or snail mail? When will you start with the follow up efforts?

6. Measure your ROI (Return On Investment). When all is said and done, how many people showed up for your presentation? What percentage signed up for a complimentary consultation? Of those people, how many were you able to convert to paying clients? Fairley says, “As with any form of marketing, if you cannot measure the results, you probably should not be doing it.”

For more information about Stephen Fairley call 1-888-588-5819 or visit on the web.

About Stephen Fairley and the Business Building Center:

Stephen Fairley is a professional speaker, the best-selling author of 9 books including Getting Started in Personal and Executive Coaching (Wiley, 2003; ISBN: 0471426245) and co-founder of the Business Building Center, the number one resource for coaching business success. His work has been featured in Harvard Management Update, and Entrepreneur and Inc magazines. Last year Stephen was named "America's Top Marketing Coach" by CoachVille, the world’s largest professional coaching association and given their top industry award. In his work with the Business Building Center, Stephen helps professional coaches and consultants to create and implement strategic business development plans which result in increased revenues and finding new clients fast.

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Stephen Fairley

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