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The WholeSpeak Coach Training Program

The WholeSpeak Coach Training Program

About the WholeSpeak Coach Training Program  

Right now, maybe you’re an acting, voice or movement coach or teacher making somewhere around $50-85/hour working with performers… and may be tired of only coaching poor actors. You may also know how performance training can change not just their acting skills, but also their lives… and you know that far more people could benefit from it – if only you knew how to transfer these skills to the business world and the general public, in a way they understand and value.

…Or, perhaps you’re already a somatically-oriented coach or therapist making a good living, yet desire a fuller body of technique to create deeper transformation in your clients, as well as to broaden your skill set. Regardless, you have experience speaking or performing - and desire to help others express themselves more fully.

Most graduate degrees and trainings teach you great skills – yet don’t teach you to directly apply these techniques in a practical setting, or to actually create a thriving practice. General coach trainings, on the other hand, may prepare you to be a coach, but don’t give you a specialized skill set with coaching public speaking and “everyday performance.” Would you like to learn both an amazing technique – and the pedagogy (teaching philosophy and style) behind it –  and learn the foundations to create a business?

This is an extremely thorough program that will provide expert training in all of WholeSpeak’s 5 areas of focus, as well as in how to coach others effectively. Think of it as a graduate degree – except, one where you’ll be able to improve your income fairly quickly.

You’ll be part of the very first group of certified WholeSpeak coaches, establishing you as a leader in this innovative approach to public speaking, self-expression, and empowerment.

What's in the WholeSpeak™ Coach Training Program?

The core training program is 6 months long, with multiple components:

  • 3 Live Workshops. Spread out over several months, these take place in the San Francisco Bay Area. The first is March 31-April 2, then late June, and late July. The first two workshops (3 days each) focus on building technique; the third (4 days) is focused on pedagogy and coach training.
  • 1 Private Public Speaking Assessment. Prior to the first workshop, Jonathan will look at your current skill set, and point out areas of strength as well as places in which to grow, to create a trajectory for your training.
  • 4 Private 1-Hour Coaching Sessions. You will receive private coaching from Jonathan Bender, via Skype, or in person if you reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. These can be used anytime by the end of the 6-month program, and will help you have powerful breakthroughs.
  • 6 Months of Group Coaching. Continue to learn and grow with others, guided by Jonathan, between workshops. One or two virtual (phone/video) sessions per month will take place as is most helpful.
  • Online Course: Claim Your Voice: Speak with Confidence, Heart, Power and Presence. This 7-week course, right after the first retreat, will help you integrate more deeply the skills you’ve learned.
  • Online Course: Craft Your Signature Talk. This 5-week course, takes you through the process of creating a powerful keynote that can be used either as a motivational speech or to get clients.
  • Inspiration Teams and Accountability Partners. Between each workshop, you’ll have the support of others to practice and to make sure that you’re moving forward.
  • Supervised Coaching Sessions. Similar to a therapist earning their hours, you must do at least 20 hours of coaching with a minimum of 5 clients, with reports submitted, in order to earn certification. Two must be videotaped or witnessed live by Jonathan Bender or Johanna Walker.

You will be part of the very first WholeSpeak coach cohort. One other coach, Johanna Walker, was certified in 2012; this will be the first group training. Jonathan is extremely dedicated to your success: if needed, components of the program will be adjusted to assure your competency and expertise, and your feedback throughout the training will be highly encouraged.

What can you do with the WholeSpeak™ coach training?

  • Start a public speaking coaching business - and dramatically increase your income
  • Uplevel your current coaching practice with powerful new skill sets, including how to diagnose and transform core patterns (psychological/behavioral, voice, movement and more)
  • Radically grow your own speaking and performance skills
  • Potentially, be hired by WholeSpeak for select projects and future trainings

At the end of the training, and upon completion of coaching hours and an oral examination, you can call yourself WholeSpeak coach. You will not be an employee of WholeSpeak, although being hired for coaching projects, and receiving direct referrals, is extremely possible.

And, as part of the first cohort, you will be one of the new leaders of this movement of bringing authentic expression to the world. Some will potentially end up as lead trainers for future WholeSpeak coach trainings.

Will this training be offered again?

It will likely happen annually, but no guarantees are being made at this time. As well, the cost of the program may be significantly higher next time.

Program Trajectory:

Early April:      First workshop: Power and Presence
April-June:      Claim Your Voice and Craft Your Signature Talk guided group  
Mid-June:        Second workshop: Charisma, Dynamics and Speaking Styles
June-July:       Crafting talks and practicing
Late July:         Third workshop, Pedagogy and Coach Training
August/Sept:   Supervised coaching
Fall 2014:        Building Your Practice Supplemental Program (3 months)

The Supplemental Coach Practice Building Program  

It's not enough to know how to coach: you also need to know how to attract clients and run it as a business. If you're not used to charging $150+ an hour - or, far more significantly, signing clients up for packages that are $1000, $3000 or higher - you are highly encouraged to sign up for this supplemental program. While making a great living as a coach is very possible, it's easy to struggle if you don't know how all the business-building "puzzle pieces" fit together.

In addition to becoming certified as a WholeSpeak coach, you may well desire to build a lucrative coaching practice – yet may not currently possess the knowledge of how to do so. Jonathan also specializes in helping coaches and holistic practitioners build thriving practices and get a steady stream of clients they truly love. If you don’t already know how to do this with ease, it’s highly recommended to enroll in this supplemental 3-month program, which begins in the fall shortly after the main program ends.  This includes:

  • A live workshop
  • 3 private coaching sessions
  • Inspiration team and accountability partner
  • At least six virtual group coaching sessions

Areas of emphasis for the Practice Building Program include:

  • Creating your vision and choosing your niche – and how it blends into everything else you do, so that it’s really your practice and not a replica of Jonathan’s
  • Putting together a strong business model and packages that excite your ideal clients to work with you
  • Marketing techniques to find and attract your ideal clients
  • How to do an effective enrollment conversation so that people sign up for higher-priced packages

    About WholeSpeak 

    What is WholeSpeak™ Coaching?

    WholeSpeak™ was founded in 2006 by Jonathan Bender, MS, MFA. An unusual approach to public speaking and self-expression, it uniquely blends public speaking with performance training (acting, movement, and vocal techniques) and self-development (personal and spiritual growth). Clients learn to be effective, confident and dynamic public speakers – and also to step into their power, open their hearts, and find a fuller level of freedom and self-expression in the world. This approach revolutionizes the concept of "public speaking!"

    Key Tenets of WholeSpeak™:

    • WholeSpeak™ is an approach, not a formula. While very detailed and with many areas of focus, it brings out a person’s authentic expression, instead of making them fit perfectly within a false premise of an ideal speaker. The goal is not just to become a great speaker or increase confidence; it also systematically transforms how you walk through your life.
    • WholeSpeak™ is a complete approach to every aspect of communication, both for actual speaking (e.g., at events, meetings, interviews) and when communicating in all areas of life. It improves everything involved with speaking, presence, and communication, from enhancing your voice and presence to crafting a powerful keynote; see the "5 areas of focus" below for further details.
    • This is a somatic approach – which means that making changes through one’s embodiment goes beyond improved body language, to transform confidence, enhance the voice, and improve one’s overall presence and empowerment.
    • WholeSpeak™ also focuses on the energetics of communication. Communication and speaking is viewed as an exchange of energy; different vocal dynamics, for example, affect an audience in different ways. As well, while not always discussed with clients, parts of the voice connect with particular chakras (energy centers), which allow a speaker to open up different aspects of herself (e.g., her power, or her heart).
    • This is a holistic, whole-person system. When transforming one area, such as comfort, a speaker is also enhancing presence and vocal technique.
    • Enhancing self-expression is a process of self-expansion. Everyone “performs” particular kinds of behavior, with the body and voice, based on how they were raised and societal norms. To move past and expand these is challenging to some degree, so expanding your expression helps you grow personally as well.
    The 5 Areas of Focus in WholeSpeak™ - or, the 5 Keys to Compelling Communication

    Most public speaking trainings discuss content and delivery; this holistic approach is more detailed and nuanced.

    1. Compelling Content. Great content means crafting a powerful presentation that grabs the audience’s attention, maintains it, engages them, and moves an audience to action. Content also includes how to do both memorized and extemporaneous speaking effectively.
    2. Comfort and Confidence. Most people suffer from some degree of fear, nervousness or discomfort when speaking. This area applies both techniques that by professional performers use to warm up for a performance (physically, vocally, emotionally, and more), as well as self-development. True confidence cannot be created through superficial ideas like picturing an audience in their underwear; it comes about by changing one’s relationship to oneself, as well as by transforming the stories we often hold about the people we’re speaking to (like judgment, disapproval and criticism) into positive and supportive narratives.
    3. Connection. No matter how powerful a speaker is, he will not be effective if he doesn’t authentically connect with an audience – as well as with himself. WholeSpeak’s 9 Facets of Connection is a thorough approach that helps a speaker – or anyone in the course of life – maintain an inner connection, while also connecting authentically and effectively with others.
    4. Change – Vocal and Physical Dynamics. “Change” means that a speaker knows how to utilize different aspects of self-expression to maintain the audience's rapt attention - and move them. This is comprised of three parts:
      • The vocal and physical foundation. These both increase speaking ability, as well as increase confidence. It’s essential to learn:
        • The basics of body language (stance, posture, walking, facial expressions and gestures 
        • Vocal essentials like “Delicious Diction” – also known as “Sacred Speaking” – as well as finding greater resonance and power in the spoken voice
        • Eliminating fillers such as “um” and “like,” as well as stammering
      • Vocal dynamics. Performance training allows you to find a much greater degree of vocal expression. Dynamics include pitch, tempo, volume, tone, pausing, and enunciation variation. Applying them directly to a presentation allows a speaker to “score” it in order to keep a talk dynamic and engaging.
      • Speaking styles. Beyond dynamics are 8 embodied speaking styles. These help a speaker recognize her habitual patterns, and provide a framework for both personal growth and for more dynamic speaking. Based on Laban Movement Analysis’ efforts and drives, these are synonymous with what Grotowski calls “psychophysical states.”
    5. Charisma and Presence. Unlike what most people actually believe, charisma and presence can be grown. The WholeSpeak philosophy is that “presence” is the art of being fully present – physically, emotionally, mentally and energetically – as well as being deeply connected with others and with oneself. Enhancing charisma begins with learning to be as comfortable in front of others as one may be when with trusted loved ones, or perhaps when singing in the shower; acting techniques can further grow your authentic charisma.

    WholeSpeak™ was created through of decades of performance and speaking research, study and practice. Techniques and teachers that influence WholeSpeak™ include:

    • Acting: Jerzy Grotowski, Michael Chekhov, Constantin Stanislavski
    • Movement/Somatics: Body-Mind Centering, Laban Movement Analysis, Viewpoints, Suzuki
    • Voice: Roy Hart Vocal Work, Cicely Berry
    • Philosophy: Performance Studies, Judith Butler, Buddhism

    Who benefits from WholeSpeak™ coaching and workshops?

    This flexible approach benefits those who want to become effective public speakers, as well as to gain more confidence, empowerment, and joyful expression in all of life. It is effective and beneficial when applied both professionally and personally. Over the years  people who have found benefit include:

    • Entrepreneurs who need to pitch for funding or speak to attract clients and customers
    • Performers and actors who wish to expand their range
    • People experiencing social anxiety, who want to become more comfortable and confident
    • Professional speakers and trainers who want advanced-level speaking and performance  training
    • Non-native speakers, seeking accent reduction and confidence with the English language
    • Anyone interested in growing speaking skills, confidence and self-expression in a fun way – who might otherwise have taken an acting or improv class, but prefer a training that directly applies to public speaking, and to life
    • People who’ve tried Toastmasters, but found it ineffective (as it generally is a very slow-growth format, and usually doesn’t teach actual speaking technique)
    About WholeSpeak's founder, Jonathan Bender, MS, MFA:

    Jonathan began public speaking at the age of 14 on his small high school speech and debate team, and soon began acting on stages. Previously very introverted and shy, he started to gain more of a voice and sense of self through these experiences – yet still needed to learn to integrate that into his life. At UC Berkeley, Jonathan majored in Dramatic Art and Anthropology and continued competing on their speech team, eventually becoming one of the top competitive speakers in California and in the country. In the mid-1990’s, working as a theatre director, actor and writer at night, he finally accepted the repeated request to coach for high school and college speech teams during the day; his students quickly became state champions and among the very best in the United States.

    With a desire to grow his skills and make a bigger contribution to the world, Jonathan resumed his studies. First, he earned a Master of Science in Performance Studies and Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he specialized in performance theory that views life and identity as performance, and its intersection with Buddhism. Then, Jonathan went to Naropa University to receive his Master of Fine Art in Theater: Contemporary Performance, focused on physical, ensemble-developed new works, as well as on somatic approaches to training including Body-Mind Centering, Viewpoints, Suzuki, Grotowski, and Roy Hart Vocal Work. There, he trained extensively with luminaries such as Moisés Kaufman, Meredith Monk, and members of SITI Company.

    Jonathan was aware of the profound shifts these techniques created, not just in performers, but also in everyone who encountered these modalities. Upon graduating in 2006, Jonathan Bender founded WholeSpeak™ to bring these cutting-edge modalities to the general public: while he also trains professional actors, Jonathan desires to help people perform more authentically, expressively, and freely on all the stages of their lives. He has coached thousands of professionals and performers, and through his coaching and online courses has worked with clients on 5 continents.

    Becoming a WholeSpeak Coach  

    Are you an ideal candidate? Maybe you…

    • Are already an experienced teacher of acting, movement, voice, or public speaking. Or, you’re already a coach or therapist with a somatic orientation
    • Have previously engaged in at least some public speaking and/or performing on stages
    • Have experience with self-development, and personal and spiritual growth
    • Possess a desire to apply this work professionally – as a WholeSpeak™ Coach, or to blend with your current professional background into your own unique offering
    • View yourself as an agent of change – and desire to make positive change, not only in people’s lives, but also in the world
    • Want to use performance technique to help more than performers – and be compensated very well for it
    • Would like to teach public speaking and/or self-expression, and desire a very strong foundation of technique
    If you don’t fit this exactly, don’t let that dissuade you from applying; just be frank in the application as to how you do and don’t fit this. We want to make sure you are a good fit for this first cohort; if not, there may be future opportunities as well.

    Time Commitment

    This is a low-residency program; it is nowhere near the intensity of a regular graduate program, yet it also requires regular practice and participation. In addition to participating fully in all of the activities named above, for the first four months cohort members should expect to generally be practicing techniques 10-15 minutes a day, plus perhaps another 2-3 hours per week (some weeks much less, some weeks a little more).

    The final two months of the program focus on working with clients, at least 20 hours’ worth of sessions. (This can take somewhat longer if needed.)


    The core program is $7200, or 5 payments of $1500. The supplemental Practice Building Program cost is an additional $2500.

    Early Registration for the core program, by February 28th: $6450, or 5 payments of $1350.

    • Both checks and credit cards are accepted.
    • A $150 discount applies if you pay in full with a check (for a total of $6300).
    • There will be two or three $1000 work-study scholarships made available, in exchange for assisting either with the coach training or at other WholeSpeak workshops. If applicable, note your interest when applying, your current financial situation, your availability to help, and relevant skill sets.

    In return, you will be able to teach workshops and work with private clients who enroll in coaching packages. For example, working with just a handful clients, who each enroll in a $1000-$1500 package would fully pay for the training. Note: this is not hard to do; you will be trained and get this started in the Practice Building Program.

    Theatre professionals who may be intimidated by the investment are encouraged to move past the typical "starving artist" mentality that pervades the industry. This will pay off many times over - far more quickly than a graduate school loan, because people literally need your help now - and are willing to pay you for it.

    In other words, this is an excellent professional investment that will pay off quickly. It is also likely a fully deductible business expense.

    To become a WholeSpeak coach, you must:

    • Attend all 3 live workshops (10 full workshop days in total) and participate in all coaching program activities
    • Craft and deliver at least 2 speeches, as you become powerful speakers
    • Demonstrate personal mastery of all core WholeSpeak methods
    • Coach 5 clients (at least 20 hours) and submit reports, with supervision, and submit 2 videotaped coaching sessions or be witnessed live
    • Pass an examination at the end of the 6 month training
    • Give and receive support with other members of your cohort

    WholeSpeak Coach Application 

    Applications are currently being accepted; around 8 people are expected to be part of this initial cohort. The early bird deadline is February 28th, 2014. As applications will be considered on a rolling basis, earlier applications are highly encouraged, as are informal initial inquiries (click to email).

    As soon as you apply, we'll set up an interview to assure a good mutual fit (that is, you are not committed simply by submitting an application). The cohort has already begun to fill, so please don't wait.

    Download the WholeSpeak Coach Training application here.

    Get Your Questions Answered - Informational Calls/Meetings 

    Register to listen to a recording of a recent informational call:  http://authenticentrepreneurspeaker.com/wholespeak-coach-training

    Live informational meetings, for those in the San Francisco Bay Area: