How Bryan from Decker Communications transformed his executive communications coaching business with AI
December 9, 2023
4 min read
Click here to watch the full episode on Banter, the Yoodli podcast.
Bryan Lemos is one of the world’s best communication coaches and consultants. He started his career as a struggling actor and director in LA – before an eye-opening experience working in foreign aid taught him what inspires people to action. When Bryan returned home, he immersed himself in executive development and was asked to begin coaching Fortune 50 clients at LinkedIn, NBC, and Delta, among others. Bryan is now a Senior Consultant and Executive Communications Coach at Decker Communications, leading executive communications for clients such as Google, Fidelity, and Workday.
Slow coaching sales: Despite his impressive credentials, Bryan spent too much time convincing companies that they needed communication coaching help (especially for executive leaders and L&D teams with volatile budgets). Typical contracts took anywhere from 1 – 3 months to close
Manual work: While the most fun of Bryan’s job is to help clients be their best selves, he spent over 10 per week on admin work (recording client videos, reducing the file size to share over email, transcribing client speeches, critiquing tactical elements of their delivery as opposed to focusing on empathy and story)
Client churn: Most engagements involved 3 X 1:1 coaching sessions or one-off workshops. Given the infrequent nature of speech coaching, most clients would churn after their initial training sessions and Bryan would need to source new leads.
Solution and Results
Bryan signed up for a bespoke coach version of Yoodli’s AI coaching solution. With this, Bryan got a customized version of Yoodli with his branding, logo, and custom content that he could configure. His primary benefits from Yoodli:
Lead Generation: Bryan now uploads a prospective client’s speech to Yoodli, leaves comments, and sends it to the client as part of the initial proposal. When a client sees their speech critiqued quantitatively in a judgment-free way, their eyes light up. This has increased inbound discussions by over 20%+ Here are examples of celebrity speeches you can see as reference.
Time savings: With Yoodli, client speeches are automatically transcribed, can be shared with 1 click, and include AI coaching across executive presence, eye contact, word choice, etc. Bryan can quickly skim through the metrics, instantly tell where to double down, and leave timestamped feedback – this saves him up to 10 hours a week. Moreover, Bryan can show clients an instant replay of what they said during Zoom calls and then do run-throughs over and over again (without waiting for the Zoom recording to process)
Retention: With Yoodli, Bryan sells clients access to a one-year subscription. They can practice with AI anytime and can send Bryan speeches to asynchronously critique, thereby keeping him on retainer. The best part? Yoodli integrates with their online meetings – so clients can get (private) feedback anytime they’re speaking without anyone knowing (or without needing to schedule the time to practice)
Most importantly, practicing with AI gives his clients a better overall experience. They have an extension of Bryan by their side at all times – they can access his content on Yoodli, practice with AI, and then focus on the more nuanced pieces of speaking during their live coaching sessions.
Bryan’s initial concerns with AI
Bryan is more tech-forward than most speech coaches but was initially concerned about using artificial intelligence. His reasons:
Confidentiality: Most of his clients are C-Suite and high-level executives practicing extremely sensitive content – what if this leaked?
Intellectual Property: Bryan’s method is bespoke to him and built on years of experience. He wanted to ensure only his clients could access this coaching (and that it’s not used to train broader machine learning models)
AI could take jobs: Bryan was skeptical if AI might replace him. Even if the coaching isn’t as good, what if clients moved to AI as an alternative to their live sessions?
AI is too tactical: Most of Bryan’s coaching is focused on the nuance of storytelling and understanding the audience. He worried that AI may not be able to understand this context and provide feedback that is unhelpful or simply incorrect (thereby hurting his credibility)
How Bryan overcame his AI skepticism:
Bryan was intrigued by AI given all he had heard about ChatGPT but wasn’t quite convinced at first.
Confidentiality: By signing up for the customized coach version of Yoodli, Bryan got access to the most advanced privacy features on the market. His clients’ speeches are private by default (not even visible to him unless explicitly shared), instantly deleted, and locked behind enterprise-grade security and encryption
Intellectual Property: Bryan’s content belongs to him. On the advanced Yoodli plan, his content is not used to train AI models and is only accessible to his clients
AI could take jobs: Bryan realized that AI could not replace him because his coaching was far too bespoke. However, another coaching company using AI might. As a result, he switched his approach, positioning AI as his assistant. Yoodli is to Bryan what TurboTax is to accountants or a medical report is to doctors – a tool in his toolbelt
AI is too tactical: Bryan doesn’t always agree with Yoodli’s suggestions (every coach has their personal method). However, he’s now customized Yoodli with his learning content, his method, and custom prompts – he can engage with AI comments and tell his clients what to focus on.
What’s next for Bryan?
Bryan is now on the Yoodli coach advisory board and shaping the roadmap of AI and communication coaching. He advises coaches and companies around the world on how to use AI to scale themselves. You can connect with Bryan on LinkedIn. If you’d like to get started with a bespoke version of Yoodli, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
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