How To Structure Your Weight Loss Public Speaking Talks

Without a doubt using public speaking as a means to market your Personal Training is particularly good for three good reason:

 A smart use of time
 Cost effective
 Influential

Smart use of time; because you’re able to address a number of people at one time as opposed to one to one. You could easily be speaking to 10 – 20+ people, imagine converting just 20% – 30% of an audience whenever you speak.

Cost effective; because when done correctly it’s just a matter of petrol money to get to a location and possible a small investment in some presentation materials.

Influential; because any potential future clients are seeing and hear you up close and personal nothing can beat that. Also whenever you stand in front of an audience you are immediately elevated to ‘Expert’ status therefore your stock value goes up and you become a more credible.

Now if you’re anything like I was in my early days of public speaking a bit of a ‘nervous wreck’ you can learn to overcome this with a little bit of structure and practice, practice does not necessarily mean having to practice in front of a live audience it can be done looking into a mirror or in a quiet room.

So here goes with a very simple and effective structure for delivering your public speaking gig:

 Smile – believe it or not it will relax you and relax your audience. Assuming this is a speaking engagement which people have opted to be at they want you to do well so seeing a smiling happy looking person will relax them and instill some confidence in them about you.

 Introduce yourself and what you’ll be speaking about – make you introduction brief (more to follow later) and confirm the topic you’ll be speaking about.

 Ask the audience ‘what are the challenges you’re having with weight loss or challenges you’ve had in the past’ – you may be met with an initial ‘wall of silence’ don’t worry if you are. You may have to give an example to get things started i.e. ‘do any of you struggle to find time to fit in exercise’ this will usually break the ice and get the vocal cords working. Take 3 – 5 five minutes of this type of feedback and make a mental note. What you have just done by taking these questions is taken the spot light off yourself and reduced any nervous pressure you may have been feeling plus, you’ve opened up the floor and got the audience involved in the event, but equally as important you’ve put people in an emotional state which is when they are more likely to want to speak to after the event.

 Now back up your initial introduction with some more details about yourself – experience, successes and qualifications. People are more prepared to listen and take on board some details about you after you’ve given them the chance to speak first, they almost feel obliged to listen and normally very willing.

 Re-introduce the topic you’ll be speaking about – but this time ask if there are any specific questions anybody would like to ask about the subject before you get started. You tell them that you will try to answer as many of the questions asked as possible during your talk. Believe me when I say you’ll get a wide range of questions when you ask, some to do with diet (a lot normally) some exercise and some motivation perfect. Provided you’re giving an effective and balanced weight loss talk you’re going to cover all of these areas anyway. So regardless of what they ask you’re going to be able to answer it but in a more personal way.

 Thank them for their questions – important that you recognise the fact that some people have stepped up to the plate and shared something which is probably quiet emotionally charged for them and done so in a public place.

 Now make it clear you’ll be available to speak to people after the talk & your contact details will also be available – Why do you make this very important announcement now? Because you’re going to go through your presentation pretty much for start to finish without taking any questions (possibly the odd one) and you can do this because you’ve already taken the questions up front – remember!. The format also limits the possibility of you having to answer questions which take people out of an emotional state; questions like ‘How many calories in a bagel’ or a ‘Cheese and onion sandwich’ these type of questions are not worth your time answering certainly not during your talk.

 Into your talk – keep it general often repeating things you guess people already know. Now you many be thinking but surely I need to be delivering some new radical thinking or concepts well you don’t and ‘ll explain why. First of all the odd gem is useful and will hopefully raise an eyebrow. The psychology of human nature is that when we are been taught something we have a real passion to succeed in it is best to take people from what they are familiar with to the not so familiar and then onto the unknown. If the content of your talk is mainly the latest stuff you’ve learned on your last fitness course / workshop chances are you’ll alienate your audience and you may come across as nothing more than a ‘jumped up smart arse’. Save your more detailed stuff for those that are more serious about working with you. Trust me when I say that people will feel more comfortable around you when you’ve just spent time reminding them of things they already knew or where a little un-certain about but now have clarity.

 End your talk with a thank you for their time – remind them about your contact details at the back of the room also have a blank sheet where they can leave their contact details, probably the best option as it shows some real interest anyone can take a business card out of politeness or a sense of pressure with others looking on expecting them to take a card. End your talk and just make yourself available.

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this structure especially if you’ve either carried out a few talks or are planning on doing one.