public speaking

Behind-The-Scenes Public Speaking Training for a TEDx Talk with Dr. Katherine Helm

We all could be more successful in our relationships.

Dr. Katherine Helm is a professor of psychology and a practicing psychologist. She has authored several publications about couples’ issues.

Dr. Helm reached out to me for coaching before her TEDx Talk on how to revolutionize your relationship.

She agreed to let you watch along.

It’s fitting, because she’s a professor, that even in a moment she was being taught, she is teaching – because you can learn from this!

Here is a peek inside our public speaking coaching session.

We talk about facial expressions, why it’s important to get vulnerable, attributions, storytelling, how to make sure the audience doesn’t get lost, and more.

I learned a lot from Dr. Helm – and I know you will too.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode: 

✔️ Have a natural performance quality. Facial expressions can get lost and forced, especially when you’ve practiced the same piece repeatedly. Be conscious as you speak to naturally convey the emotion when needed.

✔️ Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Being on stage is a golden opportunity for you to show your authentic self. Share the most intimate (and necessary) details of your story to create a lasting impact.

✔️ Present real-world examples. Bring the audience closer to your story before they can say, “I can’t relate.” This helps them connect your message to their experiences and deeply understand the core of your speech.

✔️ Assume your audience knows nothing. When mentioning celebrities or prominent figures, give a title or a description so they won’t feel out of the loop. Present all the important facts of your story along with the emotions your past self would have felt. Act as if your audience is your therapist.

P.S. Want more tips? Be sure to sign up for my LinkedIn newsletter where you’ll get exclusive tips on strengthening your mindset to become a better communicator. Click here to subscribe to Thought Leaders Amplified on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training program for healthcare professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in healthcare. Check it out even if you’re not in healthcare. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are a few more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Need actionable strategies to be a more trusted, authentic, confident, and inspiring thought leader? I just launched a podcast called Thought Leaders Amplified – you can listen to it here.
  2. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  3. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  4. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

Secrets of success from a prisoner of war with Major General John Borling

I’m often flown in to train executives on how to reach people internally and externally better. I teach them how to make deeper connections so they can be more successful.

Sometimes I’m asked if being vulnerable on stage, in the media, or with the people you lead makes you look weak.

I answer: you can’t get people to follow you unless they feel you.

They need to feel your mission, understand it, and know why you’re so hell-bent on accomplishing the goal.

I want to use a real tough guy example to prove my point.

Major General John Borling is one of the strongest men I know.

He was a fighter pilot with the U.S. Air Force and a prisoner of war during Vietnam. He was Senator John McCain’s “roommate” while they were held captive.

He’s now a chairman of a biotech company, a national public speaker, and writes a weekly column.

He knows how important it is to be vulnerable to be an effective leader.

I decided to interview him so I could share this with you.

Major General Borling also shared his advice on dealing with trauma, wrestling with sadness, regret, anger, and loneliness — and succeeding.

He also describes the importance of leaning on others and how he did that to survive 6 ½ years as a prisoner of war, why it’s important to shine a light on your mistakes right away, and knowing when to fight. Great advice from this retired fighter pilot!

You’re going to learn a lot from this conversation. I did.

Here’s Major General John Borling – Secrets of Success From a Prisoner of War.

Here’s what you’ll discover in this episode:

✔️ Just keep marching. Thoreau said, “The mass of man leads lives of quiet desperation. Confirmed desperation is resignation.” John Borling advises to never resign and continue progressing.

✔️ Lean on others. How did John Borling survive 6 ½  years in a Hanoi prison? Talking with others – even between walls. He opened himself up to his fellow inmates’ skills and personalities and learned French in the process.

✔️ Know when to fight. Leaders must accept that they’re also imperfect. That means rest is crucial to avoid burnout. “When the struggle times come, that’s when you do it. You have to get all the altitude you can,” John Borling says.

✔️ Serve beyond yourself. Self-improvement can be for the greater good. But the true meaning of life comes from committing to helping others.

✔️ Look back, but don’t stare. It’s perfectly okay to remember your past traumas and failures. As you wrestle with the sadness, regret, anger, and loneliness, fight as much as you can to move forward.

✔️ Shine a light on your mistakes right away. It’s all part of being human. Pushing it aside will only make it worse. Showing that level of vulnerability propels your credibility as a thought leader.

P.S. Want more tips? Be sure to sign up for my LinkedIn newsletter where you’ll get exclusive tips on strengthening your mindset to become a better communicator. Click here to subscribe to Thought Leaders Amplified on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training program for healthcare professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in healthcare. Check it out even if you’re not in healthcare. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are a few more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Need actionable strategies to be a more trusted, authentic, confident, and inspiring thought leader? I just launched a podcast called Thought Leaders Amplified – you can listen to it here.
  2. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  3. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  4. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

Panicked your Zoom audience is bored? Follow my 3-part framework to alleviate your stress

The first time I presented after starting my company was a nightmare.

I was terrible.

A major Chicago publisher asked me to talk about how small businesses can land TV interviews. There were about 100 people in the room.

I wasn’t that nervous.

But I felt like I had to prove myself.

So I spit out about three hours of information in about 45 minutes.

It was too much. I was not entertaining. I never told a story. I never paused to let them absorb. I didn’t read body language.

I just “puked” information at them.

How could they absorb it? I was going too fast. There was no way to make an impact.

I sucked. I failed. I was never asked back.

I didn’t let it stop me.

In the seven years since then, I’ve presented hundreds of times.

I’m more prepared now. Audiences learn more from me. I’m more memorable. I’m asked back over and over again.

How can you be asked back and be more memorable when giving a presentation online?

Here’s my 3-part framework

It can feel impossible to have a meaningful connection with your audience online. Some executives think it’s okay to just fly through slides for 45 minutes. It’s not. That’s the easiest way to lose people and not be invited back to speak.

Before Your Presentation

The key to being a successful presenter is changing your mindset from a “speaker” to someone having a conversation with a group of people. But, of course, it’s not a real conversation unless you know them and can see them. Here’s how to do that: Do not present blindly.

Do not present blindly.

  • Empower yourself to ask questions ahead of time about your audience to help you build a better presentation. You need to know them, so you know what to teach them.
  • Ahead of time, practice the technical aspects of Zoom or Microsoft Teams so you can see the faces in the audience. If you can’t see them, that’s a technical problem you need to figure out ahead of time. Invest in a second screen to help you see more windows.

During the presentation

Here’s where the magic happens. Like to dance? We don’t just pick someone up and throw them around the dance floor. You move and your dance partner moves according to your body’s movement. It’s similar when presenting. Here’s how:

Watch your audience.

  • Look at your audience once in a while. You should know your slides well enough that you’re not reading them, and instead, you’re looking at people’s reactions while you’re presenting. This lets you gauge their reactions and adjust as you go. They don’t like that you sped up your dancing feet? You’ll be able to see that and feel it. They will look lost. They’ll start checking their phones. Watch their body language.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak to it directly if you’re losing people. “It looks like I’ve lost some of you – is there a specific question I can answer?” See frowns? Don’t be afraid to speak to that. “I’m seeing many of you may disagree with what I just said. What am I missing?” People will appreciate your honesty, and you’ll be much more effective in teaching the information.
  • Change your presentation in real-time. Your audience is giving you feedback and telling you what they need. You, as the speaker, need to react because this is a two-way conversation.
  • Try to stand if possible. Raise your desk or prop your computer and camera on something higher. This helps get more oxygen to your brain. When you slouch, you compress the space for your lungs, reducing capacity and sending less oxygen to your brain. When you have increased oxygen flowing to your head, your brain functions better, helping you think, focus and concentrate better. If you have to sit, be sure to sit nice and tall in the front one-third of your seat.
  • Be sure to give adequate breaks. If you see people dancing in their seats at that hour spot, provide them with the option of a quick break. They can’t concentrate with full bladders (I do an earlier break for those first thing in the morning presentations).

At the end of your presentation

The end of the presentation is when you share your email and website, right?

No.

The call-to-action is not your closer.

  • If you have an “ask” or a “call to action,” don’t make that the end. End on a solid note they’ll remember. Ending with “go to our website” is not a powerful way to end a presentation.
  • When you do so well, there will be a lot of questions. Do everything possible to finish on time – to respect their time. You can always follow up with the organizers and offer another presentation or send supporting materials to the audience. It would be great to email them within 24 hours while you’re still on their mind.
  • Also, offer the organizers ideas for future presentations. Before you know it, you’ll be back to present to a new group eager to hear what you have to share with them.

You’ve got this!

P.S. Want more tips? Be sure to sign up for my LinkedIn newsletter where you’ll get exclusive tips on strengthening your mindset to become a better communicator. Click here to subscribe to Thought Leaders Amplified on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training program for healthcare professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in healthcare. Check it out even if you’re not in healthcare. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are a few more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Need actionable strategies to be a more trusted, authentic, confident, and inspiring thought leader? I just launched a podcast called Thought Leaders Amplified – you can listen to it here.
  2. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  3. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  4. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

How to stop using these 10 filler words when public speaking

Do you have a problem with those pesky words that come flying out of your mouth when you can’t think of anything else to say?

They’re filler words or crutch words. The “uh’s” and the “like’s” that buy us a few seconds of thinking time when our mouths try to keep up with our brains or vice versa.

Stopping this habit can be a challenge. But don’t fret. I’m here to share my advice on eliminating filler words for good, which will boost your confidence and credibility.

You can learn more in this video: How to stop using these 10 filler words when public speaking. ▶️

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

✔️ Amplify your voice. Filler words can muffle your message. No matter how passionate you are or how meaningful your mission is, just a few “ums” can diminish your credibility. You’re a confident and eloquent thought leader with a purpose to share, so make your voice and word choice clear.

✔️ Know your piece inside out. The best way to kill filler words once and for all? Preparation. Lots of it. You should know the steps like the back of your hand. Familiarize yourself with your mission and plan exactly how each part of your talk should play out.

✔️ Less confidence causes filler words. Butterflies in your stomach, stage fright, or getting jittery — that’s all quite normal before giving a speech. Allowing nervousness to consume us can lead to poor word choices, such as over splicing our sentences with “like.”

✔️ Get enough sleep. Cliché as it sounds, a healthy 7-8 hours of sleep can increase your reaction time. It also enhances your brain’s ability to fire up with ideas and transmit them to your mouth.

✔️ Lay off the alcohol and sugar. I’ve got nothing against alcohol and sugar, but I’ll never take them before a big speaking gig. These two bad boys cause inflammation and create brain fog. An unclear mental state reduces your speed and sharpness in forming cohesive sentences.

✔️ Keep your mouth closed. If you don’t have anything good to say, zip it — especially if they’re filler words. Get in the habit of taking silent pauses when emphasizing a point or buying thinking time. Those few seconds of dead air would be less distracting than throwing out an “um.”

You’re a confident and eloquent thought leader. Your voice and word choice should be clear and confident.

The world needs your voice.

P.S. Want more tips? Be sure to sign up for my LinkedIn newsletter where you’ll get exclusive tips on strengthening your mindset to become a better communicator. Click here to subscribe to Thought Leaders Amplified on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training program for healthcare professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in healthcare. Check it out even if you’re not in healthcare. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are a few more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Need actionable strategies to be a more trusted, authentic, confident, and inspiring thought leader? I just launched a podcast called Thought Leaders Amplified – you can listen to it here.
  2. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  3. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  4. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

Building common ground is key to reaching your goals faster

People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. But what do you do if you’re meeting someone for the first time and want to convince them to do something, such as hire you to speak or buy something else from you?

Those first few minutes are vital in making a solid first impression and earning their trust. The best way to do that? Communicate while quickly finding common ground.

Let me give you two examples I’ve recently used. They’re very different, though both connect to my business.

#1: Old Irving Park women’s business group on Zoom. 

The goal of this Chicago neighborhood group is to connect local female business owners in our area. I didn’t join it to get new business for my company; I did it to support other local women-owned businesses in my community and hopefully make new friends within walking distance of my home.

When I introduce myself to this group during our meetings, I keep it to three easy things to remember and build trust:

  1. What I do in my company, but I focus on how I help business owners and female execs.
  2. My exact location. Since it’s a community group, that makes sense. Plus, my home is on the corner, recognizable to those who walk the neighborhood. It is distinct and helps people remember who I am.
  3. The age of my daughter. I include this to attract advice on schooling and other things I need to know from the moms who either just went through this age or are going through it currently.

#2: The Fortune 500 exec. 

When I met with a prospect on Zoom last week, my elevator pitch was very different. He is an executive in his 50s who needs public speaking training. His company reached out because they saw him speak during their annual meeting, and he needs help before his next appearance. This is my forte. Every company expands my scope after witnessing the results from when I worked with the initial employee they hired me to help. Here’s how I tailored my introduction to this executive:

  1. Many of my past and current clients speak several languages. This person speaks four languages and the fact that he needs to present in his non-dominant language creates some confidence issues. I specifically chose to mention this so he knew I had experience and could successfully help him.
  2. I still needed to find a commonality to build trust. There wasn’t anything specific on his LinkedIn page, so I figured it out on the fly, using my journalism skills. As we spoke, I had a gut feeling he was a dad. So I asked him to share more about himself. It turned out he had three daughters–two professionals in Chicago and one in New York. I had found our commonality!

We had a warm conversation that included business and a little talk about family. He ended the conversation expressing he was hopeful about the chance for us to work together.

Think of it as personalizing your elevator pitch for the needs of your audience and aligning it with your goals.

An effective elevator pitch includes your skills and goals, of course, but more importantly, it should:

  1. Be tailored to your specific audience (you don’t just spit out the same speech each time you introduce yourself).
  2. Be brief. Restrict your speech to 30-60 seconds. It should last no longer than a short elevator ride, hence the name.
  3. Be positive. You could be talking about raising money for a rare genetic disease, but in the end, what is the good news? Can it be cured with the right help?

Landing a memorable elevator pitch gets easier with time. Practice by taking more opportunities to get in front of different groups with varying needs.

I hope to run into you on Zoom or in person soon and hear more about you.

You’ve got this!

P.S. Want more tips? Be sure to sign up for my LinkedIn newsletter where you’ll get exclusive tips on strengthening your mindset to become a better communicator. Click here to subscribe to Thought Leaders Amplified on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training program for healthcare professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in healthcare. Check it out even if you’re not in healthcare. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

Speaking to a group? 5 questions to empower yourself and be less nervous

Whenever we’re speaking — whether it’s to our internal teams, to clients, during an online webinar, at an event, or in the media — developing a solid mindset is critical to presenting powerfully and memorably.

But that needs to happen before we even step into the room, be it virtual or in real life. And it’s on you to make it happen.

Often, I see speakers act passively as soon as someone invites them to speak. Maybe they’re struggling with imposter syndrome. Perhaps they don’t want to be perceived as a diva or high maintenance. Or they don’t know they have the right to ask questions to prepare them for the event.

If you’re about to speak and do not have all the information about your audience or the event itself – you’ll be more nervous, and the audience won’t get the total value of what you can give. That’s a waste of your time.

Why mindset is essential to being prepared to speak

We cannot create a presentation in a vacuum. It doesn’t make a powerful lesson for the audience – and it makes us more nervous. You can command the room before the room even exists. And how do you do that? By asking these 5 questions of the session organizers.

Who is the audience? Mainly female? Male? Doctors? Customers? Vendors? What is their level of understanding? Should you explain certain concepts? The audience information helps you reach them more effectively. You’ll be more memorable and more likely to accomplish the mission of your talk if you speak to your specific audience.

How many have confirmed so far? This is particularly helpful when presenting a live webinar. Are you talking to dozens? Hundreds? Will this be recorded and sent around to thousands? This is important to know so you can avoid sounding dated when the majority of the audience is listening. For example: you may want to avoid saying, “Good morning!” if the majority of the audience watches later.

Will we have a handheld or lav mic? If you’re speaking on stage, you’ll want to practice your body language. Knowing if you’ll be holding a mic or if one will be attached to you is important. It’s also helpful when making wardrobe decisions. There are outfits that make it more difficult to attach a lavalier mic. If you get there and have to make a last-minute clothing change, that can mess with your mindset minutes before jumping on stage. Ask the question before you get there.

Are we sitting? What kind of chairs do you expect on stage? Barstools can be a speaker’s worst enemy. How will you sit? Will you stand and lean? If you’re wearing a dress or skirt that’s shorter… a barstool is going to make you feel pretty uncomfortable. Know before you go so you can alter your wardrobe. You can even ask to change to regular chairs. You’re not a diva. You’re empowered to make you and your fellow presenters more effective.

Is there makeup? Or are we doing our own? You’ll need at least a little powder so you’re not shiny on stage. I was on a big stage a few days ago training executives before their annual meeting. Some had makeup, others didn’t. You could tell. Those without powder looked nervous. Know beforehand if you’ll need to take care of this yourself.

Why mindset is only part of the solution

If you have all the information before speaking, you will create a more valuable presentation for the audience – because you’ll know who the audience is! Plus, you’ll feel much more comfortable about your content.

I hope this helps you become more empowered to ask the right questions, so you show up with more focus, clarity, and energy.

But that’s only half the battle when it comes to amplifying your thought leadership. We also need to talk about the specific tactics to keep your audience and make sure they remember your messages. I address that in my weekly newsletter focused exclusively on public speaking and media interview tips. To get the next issue in your inbox, subscribe here.

These are challenging times. Your team needs you to be a leader now. But, to be there for them, you must take care of yourself first. I’ll be back next week with more tips for strengthening your mindset so you can communicate with power no matter the situation.

P.S. Want more tips? Be sure to sign up for my LinkedIn newsletter where you’ll get exclusive tips on strengthening your mindset to become a better communicator. Click here to subscribe to Thought Leaders Amplified on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training for health care professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in health care. Check it out even if you’re not in health care. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

Stop touching your face in Zoom meetings

Body language is essential to get right whenever you’re presenting.

Even though we’re only seeing the top third of your body on Zoom (or Microsoft Teams or Google Meet), how you appear up there matters.

This is especially true when you need to be perceived as a leader.

This is not about lookin’ good.

It’s about gaining the trust of your audience.

Whether you’re giving a sales presentation, talking with a client, leading a meeting, or giving a media interview — here are three things I highly recommend you stop doing.

Touching your face

When we touch our face it tells the audience we’re nervous or uncomfortable.

We want to come across confident so our audience trusts us and the company we represent.

Touching your hair

When we fiddle with our hair or move it away from our face, it again makes our audience less confident in us.

Make sure your hair is always away from your face and it doesn’t move into your eyes so you don’t have a tendency to touch it.

Looking at other monitors

You wouldn’t stare out of the window or at your phone during an in-person meeting, would you?

This is why we shouldn’t look away from the person we’re meeting with and at another monitor.

You’ve seen it, you’ve felt it, you know how rude this is.

Making these small tweaks makes a huge impression on audiences.

Whether it’s an audience of one or many.

One specific VP told me recently his team is much more engaged now when he speaks.

And it happened right after he enacted the “stop touching your face” (for him, he touched his beard a lot) and “stop looking at other monitors” rules I created for him.

He says his team is more engaged.

That’s all it took.

Worth a try, right?

P.S. Want more tips? Be sure to sign up for my LinkedIn newsletter where you’ll get exclusive tips on strengthening your mindset to become a better communicator. Click here to subscribe to Thought Leaders Amplified on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training for health care professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in health care. Check it out even if you’re not in health care. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

A lesson from Elton John

Elton John finally made his way back to Chicago.

This was a show originally scheduled for 2020.

Like a lot of concerts, it was delayed because of the pandemic.

As the months passed, I didn’t think he would actually make it back.

As you may know, Sir Elton recently had COVID.

Was he going to be too nervous being in a big crowd again? Would he be fully recovered?

Instead, what I witnessed was a man who put every ounce of his being into the show.

From the first second to the last – he had endless energy.

He was like a kid.

And so were each one of the band members.

Many of whom are in their 70s.

But each one acted like they were… maybe 25.

So much energy and so much enthusiasm.

These legends have been playing on stages worldwide for decades.

We all would have been fine if they phoned it in.

But instead, they played like they were still earning our respect as musicians.

They genuinely acted like they were excited to be there.

Elton waved to the crowd for 2 1/2 hours like he was your grandpa and you were driving up to his house after he spent two years in quarantine.

Energy. Excitement.

Right from the top, no time wasted.

Preparation.

Practice.

True professionals.

They get it.

There isn’t time to warm up.

Once you hit the stage, you have to be ready.

To entertain.

To captivate.

This comes up with my clients all the time.

When they first call me, they explain how they were great in the middle of a podcast or another interview, but it took them time to warm up.

But we live in a world where we don’t have time to warm up.

If we don’t catch people right off the top, they will start checking their email or move to a different podcast.

We must captivate and entertain from the top.

Capture the audience and make them want to stick around.

Elton didn’t need to do that.

Nor did his 74-year-old percussionist, who has played for every major act in the world.

Yet, they acted grateful to be on the big stage.

The next time we’re on a stage or in the media – we have to act like we’re grateful to be there and that it’s not old hat.

We have to prepare and be ready on the first beat.

This is not a normal conversation.

This is something that takes a different level of preparation.

That first soundbite has to be a headline.

It has to encapsulate all of the excitement going on in your organization.

It’s an important lesson to learn from these pros.

They’re teaching us night after night, how to perform to make our audience keep coming back for more.

P.S. I had great seats (thanks to my United Center/Chicago Bulls client). If you want to see video from the show, I shared it here on LinkedIn.

P.P.S. I created a training for health care professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in health care. Check it out even if you’re not in health care. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.

They’ll love your snow stories

Have you ever met a really BORING person?

Been on a first date and wondered how someone could really be that bland?

Are you sitting in a Zoom meeting right now listening to a person go on and on… about nothing?

Or worse… are you afraid you might be that person?

The best piece of advice I give thought leaders I work with before they do a media interview or speech is:

Have a relatable story.

You MUST have a story people can relate to if you’re going to attract people to you, speak in public, or if you’d like to sell your brand by using the media.

No producer or writer is going to publish a story about your grand opening or sale.

But if you have a story, like you’re donating 40% of opening day profits to a charity that’s in the news… or there’s something special about the owner… you have a much better chance.

Numbers are great – but stories are even better.

You may have a great success story at your company. Numbers are way up. Bosses are happy.

The way to break through to an audience and show what those numbers really mean is to tell a story. Explain what those numbers mean.

Talk about how many people you were able to hire because numbers are up. Highlight a person you hired and their family.

You need a compelling story of human interest.

Remember: the media has a job to do.

They need to make sure their audience watches, reads, sticks with them even after a commercial, learns something and keeps coming back for more.

All you need to do is learn a few tricks to do it the right way.

Here are a few quick thoughts I shared on YouTube.

And think about how a story connects you to people in your day-to-day Zoom meetings.

I was on a call with an exec of a Fortune 100 company last week.

He showed up in a baseball cap and a hoodie.

Not his normal wardrobe.

He told me he had just finished shoveling his wife out of the driveway.

And then he drove her to work.

She’s a nurse.

At that moment, I knew I wanted to work with that exec – and I even happily altered my price when we negotiated my contract.

Give your audience an authentic story that makes them feel something and you’ll have a better chance of seeing your story in the media.

They may even become open to negotiating their prices because they just like you.

P.S. Creating a story that stands out is the critical component needed to grow your business or practice and ensure you get an ROI on your time and energy. I shot a YouTube video on this. Check it out here.

P.P.S. I created a training for healthcare professionals who need to discover their message and story, deliver it clearly, succinctly, and confidently, and present in a way that intrigues, entertains and keeps the audience’s attention. Share it with your friends in healthcare. Check it out even if you’re not in healthcare. The tips and tricks are universal. Click here to learn more.

P.P.P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are three more ways I can help you build your brand, own your voice, and stand out:

  1. Want more tactical advice you can implement today? Check out my blog here for great articles, stories, and lessons I’ve shared over the years.
  2. Looking for one-on-one coaching or a consultation with me? Schedule a complimentary call here to speak to our team about how we can help you.
  3. Follow me on Instagram here for more media and public speaking tips, videos… and a little fun.