Personal, customized, and confidential assistance in essential areas.
Do you struggle with speaking and writing? Are you unsure about your career path? Do you have questions about the confusing world of publishing? If any of these areas is inhibiting you from achieving your professional goals, I’m here to help.
Career Advice and Planning
Some people know almost instantly what they want to be when they grow up. On a personal level, some of my friends wanted to be lawyers from the time that they were children. Today, they are successful attorneys. For many if not most of us, though, our paths are not nearly as linear. Perhaps you’ve seen the statistic about Americans averaging seven different careers over their lifetimes. Brass tacks: It can be difficult to make a much-needed career change and even harder to determine what that change should be.
The Solution: A Personal Career Coach and Sounding Board
Sometimes we need career advice from honest sounding boards.
I coach early- and mid-career professionals as they think about leaving their current jobs to embark on new adventures. Specifically, I do the following:
- Serve as a honest sounding board
- Balance my clients’ skills, preferences, and desires with current and future economic, employment, and economic trends
- Determine a plan from making the jump from old career to new one
Effective Public Speaking
Many professionals fear public speaking and would rather go to the dentist than get up on stage. The very idea of addressing a large group of people sends shivers down their spines. And then there are those who routinely bore their audiences with a litany of safety words, truly horrible slides, uninspired deliveries, and generally mediocre performances. You might have been able to get away with this 20 years ago. After all, what else would audience members do in their chairs?
Speaking is much like singing: Anyone can do it, but most people don’t do it well.
Today it’s never been tougher to command an audience’s attention. Whether it’s a conference, corporate retreat, seminar, or training class, it doesn’t matter. Nearly everyone comes packing a smartphone, tablet, or laptop—or even all three. Speakers who fail to engage their audiences will quickly be ignored. Bored attendees look down at their devices, not up at the speaker. Make no mistake: They aren’t taking notes or tweeting. They’re checking their e-mail, tooling around on Facebook, texting, or surfing the web. As was certainly the case below, the speaker’s message fell on deaf ears.
The Solution: A Personal and Experienced Speaking Coach
Speaking is much like singing. Yes, anyone can do either, but both are skills. (Trust me: You don’t want to hear my belt out a tune.) Over the past 20 years, I have addressed more than 30,000 people at more than 300 events on eight continents.
Along these lines, as I coach I help speakers:
- Craft their messages
- Develop their slides in a collaborative manner
- Offer detailed feedback on ways to be more effective and dynamic
- Practice before the big event
Effective Business Writing
Writing is often overlooked or minimized as a skill. Sure, anyone can do it, but how many of us do it well? To boot, in my experience very few people realize that their writing is confusing, ineffective, or anodyne.
The results can be catastrophic. Indifference, crickets, and lack of page views are the often least of many writers’ problems. Poorly written prose has cost many individuals and companies credibility and sales.
The Solution: A Personal and Experienced Writing Coach
Poor writing reflects poorly on its author and organization.
I help writers crystallize their short- and long-form content. I teach them how to bring readers in with compelling stories and interesting facts. Although I dispense plenty of writing advice on this site, some professionals need more personal assistance to make their writing resonate with others.
Along these lines, as I coach I help writers:
- Craft their messages to their audiences
- Develop their content in a collaborative manner
- Offer detailed feedback on ways to draw readers in
Publishing a book is easier than ever; it’s just not easy.
Thanks to new technologies like print on demand (POD) and the demise of gatekeepers, it’s never been easier to write a book. Put differently, publishing a book is easier than ever; it’s just not easy. The bevy of options available to would-be and even established authors can be, well, confusing. Many first-time and even repeat authors aren’t sure about how to proceed. Questions typically include:
- Is it best to pursue a deal with a traditional publisher?
- Is self-publishing a viable option for me?
- How do I decide among different publishing offers?
- I’d love to write a book, but how and where do I even start?
Here’s where I come in.
The Solution: A Personal Publishing Coach to Navigate the Chaos
To be sure, I consider it a side project; it’s not my full-time gig. Still, the company has published six books, including The Age of the Platform and The New Small. (As for the other four, two were from companies that wanted to turn their blogs into professionally produced books; the other two were from first-time authors who knew that traditional publishers wouldn’t give them the time of day. After all, they not amassed any track record selling books.)
I coach a select number of serious, non-fiction authors in few critical capacities. Our work is confidential. I help them formulate their ideas. They bounce ideas off of me. I challenge them. I help them make the best decisions possible. In short, I act as the type of invaluable resource and partner whom I could have used when I started writing books back in 2008.
As a publishing coach, Phil Simon helped me break the logjam for my next book.
—Mike Schrenk, author, speaker, and consultant
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