Anne Denmark sees every day as a “gift of discovery” from God.
Through her business Life Discovery Coaching, Anne encourages the self-discovery of your inner world – where life really simmers – in order to maximize effectiveness in your outer world.
This interview is part of a continuing series, introducing faculty and staff from the Professional Christian Coaching Institute and Community to the larger coaching community.
CLC: Please tell our readers a little about yourself, Anne.
Anne: Nine years ago, I reached a defining moment. Equipped with a fresh master’s degree in adult education, limited by a recent life threatening car accident, and living in the new season of empty nest, I asked the familiar question; “What do I want to be when I grow up?”
God answered and I followed Him into Life Coaching. Many experiences such as being the owner of a Christian Book Store, a staff member at two churches, a Bible study teacher, and trainer for Speak Up with Confidence Conferences brought a rich tapestry to my Life Discovery Coaching business.
Strengthening relationships, spiritual formation and equipping speakers are my special interests.
I also serve on the faculty of the Professional Christian Coaching Institute teaching live, on-line courses to coaching students.
My husband Don and I are prayerful parents of three adult children, two spouses and three active ‘grands.” We live on the high Sonoran desert of Tucson, AZ.
CLC: Few coaches consider themselves speakers. Yet, speaking is a great way for coaches to snag new clients. What advice would you give a coach who wants to break into speaking?
Anne: Speaking is a great way to help people know, like and trust you. It gives you visibility and credibility. If your message connects with them deeply, they will want more of what you have to offer.
Your motivation for speaking needs to come from a sincere passion about the message you have to share others. Speak because their lives will benefit from what you have to say. Do not speak if it is only a marketing tool.
CLC: In your opinion, are good speakers born or made?
Anne: We are all born with the ability to communicate. Some of us have more opportunity, more interest, or a personality style that gravitates to speaking, but just like learning to walk, everyone can learn to speak. However, you must learn the skills of developing content and presentation practices along with lots of practice and helpful feedback from an experienced speaker.
I love the words of author and speaker Carol Kent.
The person who knows the power of God and is willing to give his or her potential to Him will live in the humble realization that God often allows the person with little natural ability to do His greatest work.
Get Clients through Speaking
CLC: How can coaches use speaking to get new clients?
Anne: As you are introduced, your audience will automatically learn what you do and the name of your business.
Try to make one of your personal illustrations or comments tie into coaching. For example, of I am giving a talk on life fulfillment or living the abundant life, I might say something like this.
As a life coach, I often work with people who say they want one thing but when they really look closer at their life, they discover that their actions do not line up with their values. Common areas where I see this are …. Do you recognize any areas of disconnect in your own life?
If people want to speak with you after your talk, it is because something you said resonated with them. This can be an opportunity to offer a complimentary coaching call to discuss this further. Then hand them your business card.
CLC: Fear of public speaking is still the number one fear of most people. What are some tips for overcoming that fear?
Anne: There are several things you can do that will help:
- Think of public speaking as a tool God can use to increase your faith and trust in Him. If God has called you to speak, He will equip you.
- Focus on the people in the audience who need to hear your message. You will make a difference in lives.
- Realize it is normal to have some anxiety before you begin. With practice, you will learn to manage that anxiety.
CLC: What first steps can coaches take to move toward public speaking?
Anne: Identify your areas of passion, personal interest, knowledge, or experience and begin to study them diligently. Have something of substance to say.
Start small. Offer to introduce someone, give a toast, explain coaching to the next person that asks, and be prepared to share your faith story.
Let those in your sphere of influence know that you are interested in speaking.
CLC: What do coaches need to know about setting their speaking fees?
Anne: When you are first starting out, it is far more important to book speaking engagements than set hard and fast fee structures that could close opportunities.
Be willing to negotiate. At this point, your exposure as a coach and a speaker is worth more than your fee.
CLC: In your opinion, what are some must-read books for coaches seeking to break into speaking?
Anne: Several excellent resources come to mind:
- Speak Up with Confidence by Carol Kent
- Fearless by Max Lucado
- Platform by Michael Hyatt
CLC: What others resources would you recommend?
Anne: Attend a training conference or a college course on communication skills. Join an organization such as Toastmasters. Hire a coach.
CLC: What other advice do you have for coaches who want to break into speaking?
Anne: This is a process. Be patient. Be persistent. Both your skills and opportunities will grow over time.
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