A strong, direct connection exists between therapy and communication. When therapists and counsellors are able to communicate effectively, they are able to deliver great value to their clients. They can better understand their clients’ situation. They can provide insight and guidance in a clear, professional and relevant manner.
Communication plays a crucial role in building a marketing strategy as well. That’s why public speaking skills—which include speaking and listening well—is one of the key factors for growing one’s therapy practice.
Being good with public speaking is useful not just when therapists or counsellors are talking in front of a group. It’s also a necessary skill for a wide range of situations: when you’re having a private conversation with a client, making a presentation during an event in front of a huge crowd, recording a video or a podcast, and basically engaging in any activity that requires you to face your target audience, deliver a message and interact with them.
Developing your public speaking skills can help build credibility and boost your audience’s trust in you. Whether you have a natural flair for it or you feel that you need to add more polish to you current capabilities, these proven public speaking tips can offer your next speaking engagement a boost.
Prepare and plan.
Remember that the most relaxed, natural public speakers most likely achieved their sense of spontaneity through rigorous preparation and practice.
When you invest in the necessary preparation, which often includes reviewing your topic and organising your presentation, you’ll have a clearer and more complete outlook of how your speech should turn out. This level of clarity will give you more confidence, which gives the audience confidence in you, too.
Now that you’ve got everything planned and plotted, make sure you got the practicalities covered by making time for rehearsals.
Practise in front of the mirror, ask a trusted confidant to critique you, or record a video of yourself to fine-tune your delivery. Practise not just your speaking part but also the technical side, such as the slideshow timing or your blocking on stage. Covering these details early on will free you from worrying about the technicalities and allow you to focus on making an emotional connection with your audience.
Keep it simple.
One of the biggest mistakes of newbie public speakers is their tendency to over-complicate their message. This usually happens because they are so eager to prove themselves and show the public how brilliant/smart/great they are.
The best approach is to stick to an easy-to-absorb, easy-to-digest structure to deliver the information you want to share. Keep your points to a minimum, and make sure you share it in a way that will be interesting and relatable to your audience.
Develop a pre- and post-talk process.
Public speaking to grow your therapy practice does not begin and end with the delivery of the speech. What you do before and after the speech will likewise impact your ability to attract clients and gain new business opportunities.
Make sure to collect your audience’s contact information, whether it’s a live event or an online-based activity such as a webinar. Seek opportunities for networking and contacts-building. After your presentation, ask the audience to answer feedback forms that you can use to review your strategy and make the necessary changes to improve your outcome.
For more useful tips for growing your practice, sign up for my FREE 5-part eCourse 5 Ethical Practice-Building Strategies for Counsellors.