Three Profit-Producing Public Speaking Topics to Generate Athletic Clients
By Isaac Wilkins, M.Ed, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Ok, so we all know that in order to be successful in marketing yourself as an athletic performance coach you need to not only be an expert, but be SEEN as an expert. I mean, nobody is going to buy products from or train with someone that they don’t respect or think of as an expert, are they? So the question at hand is how do you a) establish yourself as an expert, b) provide value (free or accessibly priced), and c) get in front of a group of targeted prospects?
The answer: Public Speaking.
Public speaking has become very popular as a marketing tool for fitness professionals and with good reason. It allows you to present your knowledge in front of a group of interested prospects (they did choose to attend, right?), and give a little sample of what you know and what you can bring to the table. It also provides you with terrific marketing leverage. Rather than make one sales presentation and sample to a single person, you’re now able to talk to 5, 10, 20 or more people at once!
Most public speaking opportunities for fitness professionals consist of “lunch and learns” at local businesses, speaking at networking groups, or being guest presenters at local clubs and organizations. That’s terrific if you’re looking for general personal training and fitness boot camp clients. However, that usually doesn’t help you a whole lot if you’re chasing athletes to fill your athletic boot camps.
Instead of aiming for corporations and civic groups, you instead should look to where you’re going to find groups of athletes: High school teams, athletic clubs, and athletic leagues.
Let’s say that you’re most interested in training basketball players at the high school level and beyond. Look around your city and think about the opportunities for basketball players to play organized ball.
Some examples might be:
-High school teams
-Small college and junior college teams (most Division I schools have strength coaches and it’ll be tough to get in front of those athletes unless you have a hook up)
-AAU or other organized clubs
-Local adult basketball leagues
Ok, so you poked around, got on the horn to a coach, and now you’ve been booked for a presentation with a local team. What are you going to talk to them about? Here are three of my favorite topics that have all garnered me clients and really show your expertise.
1. Game Day Nutrition: This is a really basic but awesome topic. It always is applicable and if you’ve trained athletes for any period of time then you know that most of them don’t even have the basics of proper game day nutrition down. Start by giving the athletes a quick rundown of basic nutrition (protein, carbs, fats, hydration, etc) and then how it applies to their performance. Make sure you stress how it applies to them. Athletes aren’t generally interested in a bunch of science, they are interested in how they’re going to get better.
After you’ve handled the basics of game day nutrition, go over some real world examples of what they should be doing. Don’t compromise quality of preparation, but do make your examples as “real-world” as possible. It’s a lot easier for them to imagine eating a turkey sandwich, an apple, and a multi-vitamin rather than some complicated shake with 47 different powders added to it, for example.
2. Training for Injury Prevention: This is a great topic, especially if you’re going to have coaches or parents (who end up paying your fees, after all!) in the room. Most young athletes have a sense that they’re bulletproof and don’t spend a lot of time thinking about injuries or injury prevention. Parents and coaches, on the other hand, dwell on it a lot.
Focus on a balanced strength and conditioning approach, a good comprehensive warm-up, recovery work, and tailor a few special areas for the sport you’re speaking to, if it applies. For example, talk about shoulder balance and health to a group of baseball parents and players or balanced quad and hamstring training to prevent ACL injuries to a group of women’s soccer players.
This topic allows you to get a little technical while still bringing the information to an approachable level. The fact that you can explain technical info in an understandable manner, and that it’s near and dear to the hearts of the parents (nobody wants their little Johnny to blow his shoulder) makes you really come across as knowing your stuff. Once you’re established as an expert they’ll line up at the door to have you working with the aforementioned little Johnny.
3. Keys for Speed or Quickness Development: Every athlete dreams of being fast and quick. In most sports an athlete’s speed is what truly leads to success. Luckily for you, speed can be taught, and you’re just the coach to do it!
Develop a list of 5-10 real keys to improving athletic speed. Pick things that most athletes need to do in order to improve such as drop body fat, increase overall strength, develop the posterior chain, improve flexibility, etc. Go over each one in brief and give the athletes, coaches, and parents in attendance a drill or technique that they can actually use that will improve their athletes. By giving them a free, USEFUL sample you will provide value and further establish yourself as a real expert.
Any of these three topics can easily be turned into a one-hour, dynamic, information packed seminar that will establish your status as an expert, promote your system of training/business, and help develop rapport with your target audience. Be sure to include your own little spin on things, be personable, and show these parents and athletes who you really are. This is your chance to shine and make a good impression.
Here are two more tips for a successful transition of your prospects from your seminar or lecture into your training program:
-Collect your prospects contact information and give them a free handout. Just have a sign-up at the beginning of your talk that includes their contact info. Most people are happy to sign up.
Create a simple 1-2 page handout that you can give them that will go over the salient points of your seminar. This should be a useful piece of information that they can refer to over and over. It also should have a call to action and your contact info on it.
-Give a one-time offer at the end of your seminar. After the Q&A and wrap-up your prospects will be the most excited about your information that they’re ever going to be. This is the time to make them an offer for some element of your services at a special price or deal to “thank them for attending and showing interest”.
Public speaking is one of the best ways to get in touch with your prospects, hands down. Sure, it can be tough if you’re not used to it, but there’s only one way to improve and that’s to practice. Get a good presentation built, practice it a couple of times, and then get up there and give it! The rewards far outweigh the risks!
Start training the athletes you want today with your own athletic boot camp business! Check out www.athleticbootcamps.com for more info!