Questions to Ask a Speech Coach Before You Hire

If you are ready to take your career to the next level, it may be time to ask for some outside assistance. A number of professional services exist that can help you to polish your overall presentation. Most people would benefit from additional training regarding their speaking skills. Hiring an executive speech coach can help you to take your career to the next level. It is important to be sure that you are getting your money’s worth. First ask challenging questions to help you get the most out of your experience. 

Area of Expertise

Public speaking challenges people across many different professions. Clear communication is required in order to achieve success. Finding someone with expertise in your area of need will provide you with the best results. Do they have professional experience in your industry? Ask them for examples of specific knowledge in your field. 

Working Process

Are they willing to provide samples of their process? Ask them about the methods they use for training. There are several different conceptual frameworks that are commonly used amongst professionals in this field of coaching. Find out more about the working process so that you will be prepared for the experience. 


Once you know their preferred teaching methods, it helps to do a little research. Look into the different styles of teaching in order to see what you would be most comfortable with doing during your training. Some approaches have been shown to be far more effective than others. Find someone with a style that will suit your preferred learning method.


Before proceeding with any training, it is essential to find out how feedback will be delivered. Part of learning is the ability to grow from mistakes and errors. If you aren’t provided with enough carefully constructed criticism you will not have an opportunity to grow. On the other hand, it is not helpful to have a constant stream of negative feedback. Positive reinforcement is an essential component of learning. 

Ask them how they will provide criticism to you throughout the process. Find out if it will be verbal correction or written assessment. While both are important, written assessments can provide a clear benchmark for gauging improvement. 


Learn more about how the instruction will be delivered. Some people prefer to have instruction performed in a one-on-one basis. Others are more comfortable in a group or classroom atmosphere. 

In-person instruction has a number of benefits. It provides the additional challenge of facing any public speaking fears in front of another individual. Virtual instruction has its benefits as well. You can receive lessons from any convenient location. Finding a speech coach online will also allow you to broaden your search to find the best possible match for your learning style. 


It is also important to ask yourself some questions prior to making a hire. Are you impressed with the level of skill shown by the coach? Hiring someone with an impressive background and clearly demonstrated expertise will help you to become a better presenter and speaker. 

Claudette Roche is a dialect coach who teaches accent reduction in the Los Angeles area.  She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives.  In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.