Interested in WholeSpeak coaching?
Hi - this is Jonathan Bender writing, the founder of WholeSpeak. I've been coaching since 1996, and would like to speak to you about it in my own voice.
It's an incredible experience to work with clients individually, because transformation happens incredibly quickly - much faster than many imagine. Some clients come to me seeking to improve professionally (for example, with their presentation skills, as actors, or conscious entrepreneurs who want a full client load), while others have a lot of fear that gets in their way or even feels overwhelming. Common statements people say to me: "I just get so nervous," or "I just don't know how to get clients. Am I hopeless?"
Absolutely not. This happens to everyone - and I've been there myself, so I understand. I've spent 25 years working in theater and public speaking, with two graduate degrees. To be honest, I spent more time than I would have liked taking the long and hard road. My passion is helping you take the short path - I love helping those who are ambitious learn to speak in a way that makes others listen. We not only transform your outer skills, but your inner experience, so that you truly step into your own power, and project it in the world with effectiveness and heart.
Coaching and workshop specialties include:
- Intuitive Business Strategy and Coaching for spiritually-based entrepreneurs and holistic practitioners. If you already have a good degree of success (that is, you're beyond simply trying to get clients), this coaching support is designed to help you step further into your purpose. You may need to hone your niche or marketing strategies, or come up with offerings that truly light you up.
- Speaking and Presentation Skills Coaching including confidence, dynamics, presence, speech writing, enunciation and accent reduction.
- Acting, Movement and Vocal Training for performers and for speakers. Perform authentically, and even expand and enhance your voice.
- Everyday Performance Coaching - if you desire a fun, engaging way to grow and expand self-expression.
While I'm always happy to see someone for a single session and offer as much help as I can, there's only so much one time will do. I offer coaching packages, which provide comprehensive change, and offer increasingly good deals. Clients normally see me weekly, but may once every couple of weeks, based on your schedule and how quickly you desire to shift.
- The Nine-session Foundations Package. If you're ready to gain radically new presence, confidence and skills, I'm here to help.
- 6 Month Package. This is for clients seeking radical change, who are desiring to completely overhaul their speaking skills (and, for some, your business
A little Q&A:
What does a session look like?
The first time we meet, we'll spend 1.5 hours together, so that I have time to get to know you and your goals, do an assessment of your current skills, and set out a path of improvement. All other sessions begin with a brief check-in to see how your work is progressing, a quick recap to see how you're integrating what we've previously done, and learning and applying new tools and techniques. They are mostly 1 hour long, although some clients desire 1.5 or 2 hour sessions to improve quickly or meet deadlines.
What tools and techniques do WholeSpeak coaches use?
In the past 20 years of coaching, I've sorted through a huge amount of performance and speaking techniques, and brought together several methods that are easy to learn, yet truly transformational. They're largely drawn from somatic (body-based) methods sometimes more often found in European theater training, including aspects of Laban Movement Analysis, Body-Mind Centering, Grotowski and Chekhov-inspired physical acting, and Roy Hart Vocal Work. But the names aren't as important for you as knowing that you're working with an expert who will take you far very quickly. This coaching goes far deeper than traditional public speaking or acting lessons - it'll repattern how you walk in the world in general, creating healthier, life-sustaining habits you'll use every day of your life. Rather than learning techniques that feel forced or fake, you'll expand your self-expression in a way that feels joyful, fun, and integrated.
For public speaking and presentation skills, depending on your needs, we can work in many areas. I view effective speaking, communication and everyday performance as being composed of 5 elements, all of which we can improve:
- Content. Including attention getters, structure, whether to bullet point a speech vs. writing it out in full, etc. However, your words are at maximum 20% of communication - the rest (50-80%) is nonverbal, so there are 4 other parts:
- Comfort. Nervousness and fear can be transformed into ease and joy. (Yes, that includes you. Really.) We'll develop a warmup routine - not only to do before events when you speak or perform, but also ideally to practice frequently to enrich your experience of simply being alive.
- Connection. Great communication is both impacting others intentionally and deep listening - even if you're giving an hour-long speech with no interaction. We'll improve this too.
- Change. The key to keeping others' rapt attention, through fully inhabiting and exploring the voice and body language. One deep and comprehensive tool I utilize is Laban Movement Analysis (specifically, for those who've heard of it, the efforts and drives). I've adapted this system of movement for both body and voice, which translates to powerful speaking styles.
- Charisma and Presence. Most people don't realize that presence can be learned. Presence is the art of being fully present - emotionally, physically, and mentally. Learn how to be the most dynamic, engaging you.
Some clients specifically desire to transform the voice. Perhaps it's stuck in a particular area, such as being too high, or gets monotone, or you sense it could simply be more colorful and dynamic. I use three tools:
- Deepening your breathing through diaphragmatic and back breathing. This will give you access to the different resonators in the body, which most people don't fully utilize.
- Aspects of Roy Hart Vocal Work, a physical means of discovering and opening up different parts of the voice. In the first session we work with it, you'll likely hear your voice differently than you've ever heard it sound before.
- Diction/enunciation methods. You'll not only learn how to harness the power of the voice, but also to feel the words and create an entirely different relationship to the act of speaking, discovering greater enjoyment of the act of speaking (and also making others hear you very differently).
How much help is needed to create lasting change?
Less than you might think - you'll even get a good start with the first session. Five sessions is a good starting point, but we'll talk about what package is most appropriate to help you reach your goals.
Where does it take place?
In-person coaching is typically held in Oakland, California, right across the Bay Bridge on beautiful (and safe) Lake Merritt. For executives and corporate clients, on site coaching and workshops are available. I also coach clients nationally via Skype and on the phone, and it's highly effective.
Should I work with Jonathan, or with a WholeSpeak coach he's trained?
Jonathan works a very small number of clients who want the absolute top expertise in crafting a talk that gets a standing ovation, finding deep confidence, and/or becoming a dynamic, charismatic speaker; this comes with a higher investment. Our coaches are experienced teachers who have gone through an extensive training program, and are also recommended.
Who are your typical clients?
CEOs and executives. Therapists and holistic practitioners. Tech startup founders. Lawyers. Professional speakers. People with social anxiety. As you might suspect, the methods named above have a broad application. The one common denominator? People who want new skills quickly, and they don't want to fool around. They're ready, and willing to apply the training techniques - as well as the personal development comes with the territory of claiming your voice.
How do I know this is for me, and that you're so great?
Well, I've been doing this a long time, and have developed a unique style through combining the aforementioned cutting-edge techniques taken from acting, voice, movement, public speaking methods, and self-development. But don't take my word for it - check out what people say on Yelp.
Is it expensive?
WholeSpeak coaching is neither the cheapest nor the most expensive; they're based on combining true expertise with making it affordable for those I love to work with. Working with me personally is a higher investment; our coaches charge different rates. Email or set up a strategy session using the link below, and we'll go through the details.
What forms of payment do you take?
We accept cash, checks, PayPal, and all major credit cards.
When should I start?
How soon would you like to get your message heard, get clients and improve relationships, and make a lasting impact on the world? Right now is a great time.