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Don’t Get Stumped on a Speech, by Marcie Thomas

Sep 30th, 2010 | By | Category: Web Marketing Guest Posts

This is a guest post by Marcie Thomas of Coaching Shift.

In developing your coaching business be sure and look for opportunities to speak. It’s one of the most effective methods of building trust and gaining name recognition while “advertising your services” in front of a captive audience. You may have to speak for free, but if it results in traffic to your website or you schedule a couple of free coaching consultations, then it’s time well spent.

This article outlines what to do if you’re asked to deliver a “stump speech” or brief presentation lasting anywhere from 5-to-15 minutes. Your main goal in this presentation is to pique the audience’s interest and provide something of value so that they will invite you back for a longer session or contact you for an initial consultation.

A stump speech should consist of an introduction, a three-point message and a conclusion.

Start with a powerful introduction by asking a question that sparks the audience’s interest and is easily relatable.

  • “Why do normal people do weird things?”*
  • “Have you ever wondered why some people are just plain difficult to get along with?”*
  • “If you could change anything about your life, what would it be?”
  • “What would your life look tomorrow if you won the lottery today?”
  • “What is the one area in your life you would ‘fix’ if you knew how?”
  • “What to do when your boss is on a tirade?”

Then develop a three-point message about that subject. If this is a 15-minute speech, limit each point to about three to four minutes so that you have time for your opening question and closing statement. If you have a longer time period, create fill-in-the blank handouts for the audience to complete that help make your point.

You want to elaborate on those three points:

  1. Introduce the problem/issue/desire and the typical response to it.
  2. Reflect an idyllic response to the problem/issue/desire.
  3. Offer a quick coaching process the audience can use to help them overcome the gap between Nos. 1 and 2. Grab your coach training book for ideas on processes.

Your conclusion should be a call to action. They need to do something about what they’ve discovered about themselves. Invite your audience to contact you after the speech because you’re giving away a free coaching session to the first three folks who contact you. Have your business cards handy.

If you’re interested in a stump speech that you can customize for your own purposes then sign up for my newsletter at I’ll send you a copy of it via email.


Marcie Thomas, CLC, is the coach in COACHINGshift. She’s totally invested in helping her clients build and expand their coaching businesses. For more information visit



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