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How We Learn with guest Lauren Waldman ‘The Learning Pirate

What’s the best way to really learn something?
Are learning styles still a thing? What about speed reading?
What’s complete BS in accelerated learning and what actually works?
What does Neuroscience tell us about how we should teach or learn?
Why is Lauren called ‘The Learning Pirate’?

If you’re curious about the answers to these questions and the latest developments in learning science, you’re going to love this episode of Speaking of Influence with The Learning Pirate Lauren Waldman.

Lauren specialises in translating the latest scientific developments in neuroscience and learning science to implementable action we can do to improve our own learning and our teaching of information too.

There’s a lot of BS out there in the personal development world, so we get into what’s real and what isn’t. As someone who is fascinated in this area, it was great to separate the science from the pseudoscience and speak with a real expert. Lauren really knows her stuff and I’m sure you’ll enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Who’s ready to be an even better learner?

Discover more about Lauren and learning science at https://www.learningpirate.com/ and maybe connect with Lauren on Linked In

Don’t miss our next episode with former cult member Brooke Walker. We discuss cult recruitment, why people stay, the damage they do and Brooke’s personal healing journey afterwards. It’s powerful stuff.

Transcript

 

John Ball
Welcome to the speaking of influence podcast with virtual business speaker presentation skills and influence Coach John Ball. Remember to like and subscribe. The speaking of influence podcast is uploaded and distributed using Buzzsprout. Buzzsprout makes it really easy to get your podcast started and out to a wide audience with lots of tips and useful tools to help you on your way. If you’re interested, check the link in the show notes and start your podcast today.

Welcome back. I am really happy to have with me my guest today because we’re going to be talking about an area that I find incredibly fascinating. I certainly hope you will as well, I think it is and I don’t think we can really get a better expert in the area of scientific learning. This is her expertise. She is known as the learning pirate so we’ll be asking more about that. name is Lauren Waldman. Welcome to the show, Lauren

Lauren Waldman
Such a pleasure John

John Ball
It’s really great to have you on and we when we had our pre-call chat, that could have been the podcast episode itself. It was so interesting talking to you. And I think one of the things that was so interesting for me was just getting into understanding how people learn best and that we don’t generally take very much time out of our lives to stop and think about how we learn as much as we might think about what we learn. And so I know that this is going to be a good call today. One thing I have to start by asking you though is why the learning pirate what’s the significance of the pirate for you?

Lauren Waldman
So I feel like that’s like the most asked question like it’s, you know, the pirate comes in a variety of forms. I’m convinced at this point in my life that I was probably a pirate in a past life. It was just kind of part of the little child in me that loves adventure and curiosity. And you know, I think that has a lot to do with learning it’s when you’re chasing your curiosities because you’re excited to learn or to know something. And so that’s kind of where the pirate originated from. And then I think you know, when I started learning pirate it became more of a symbol of changing the way things were done a little more aggressively you know, and plus it’s you know, now I’m just known as the pirate I don’t think anyone knows my real name anymore

John Ball
That’s all great fun as well and it’s a nice playful name for what you do and maybe doesn’t get straightaway about the seriousness pilot, but that’s good because we want people to come to this with to come to learning with a sense of playfulness and fun about it, because we learn better when we’re having fun, right?

Lauren Waldman
Yeah. And I think that it’s that sense of curiosity. You know, if you when you’re watching children as they’re learning and as they’re exploring their worlds for the very first time that is Just inherent curiosity is something that, you know, we tend to lose a little bit as we get older. And for me, I just, I guess I just never did. I’m, you know, I see something over there. I’m like, ooh, what is that? So, and that’s also where the pirate came in from is giving us that sort of, you know, permission to have fun, because learning should be fun. And you know, we’d like it to be fun, but not taking away from the fact that learning is incredibly challenging and it’s hard. But, you know, we can chase our curiosities, and enjoy that part of the adventure.

John Ball
Who’s your favourite pirate? Real or fictional?

Lauren Waldman
Oh, man. Um, so, oddly enough, there were five female pirates back in the day. And I’m gonna forget the name of the one who there was Grace O’Malley. And she was one but there’s this one and China. And she had at one point, I think the largest fleet and the largest crew of any part. And so I was just like, Oh wow, that’s I respect that because back in those times, that would have been unheard of. So I have to look up the name but she was phenomenal. So although she pillaged and did all the bad things.

John Ball
You’ve done a bit of homework on pirating, that’s for sure. When it comes to learning, you have a bit of a journey yourself a bit of an adventure for getting into this whole area in the first place, which I found fascinating and a real sense of your level of commitment to what you do. So perhaps you could share a bit of that journey to your to what you’re doing now and what it took for you to get there.

Lauren Waldman
So I think like most people, I went through a very standardised educational process Elementary, high school, University, College and there was nothing spectacular about it. I can honestly say I’m not sure that I remember much of anything from those years. But when I got into learning and development. And I started designing and instructing I was facilitating, I was training trainers and teachers, there was always this very instinctual feeling that something was missing. And as my career progressed, and I got the opportunity to meet some phenomenal people, and one of them introduced me to the neurosciences. And it was that missing piece for me it was that this is what I think I intuitively knew but didn’t know that I knew it. But it was the learning process then of, well, if we want to understand what learning is, or the process of burning, while the place that it happens is in the brain. So I went back and started studying the brain. And for me, I was about 35 at the time, and I could not get my head around it. It was so challenging. I never had a scientific background. I didn’t do exceptionally well. In math in school, and all of a sudden, here I am with no previous experience learning some of the most challenging things that I’d ever learned as an adult. And I think, you know, in our previous discussions I had told you that it was going back and looking at things like a child, learning how to pronounce words, again, getting very frustrated and upset because I couldn’t grasp things. But at the same time, I became my best learning experience and experiment, which is I had to put myself through a very true process of what learning was, and it was excruciating, and it was frustrating, but it was also incredibly victorious at the end.

John Ball
So was it more sense of preaching what you practice than practice what you preach?

Lauren Waldman
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. But had I not had that experience I wouldn’t have been able to, to sort of really understand from a designer’s perspective as well; how do I make that process easier for the people who are I’ll be designing for? So it really it helped me with my own learning it. You know, and I think mostly as well it helped me with because when you deep dive into the brain, you’re learning about yourself as a fundamental human. And that changes everything. The more that you understand your operating system and how we process and whatnot, it really does change the whole game about how we look at not only learning but as ourselves.

John Ball
I’ve read a number of books about bad ways of learning methodologies for learning and how best to work with comprehension. And definitely there’s some stuff out there that is a bit ‘out there’. There’s some stuff out there that that’s pretty solid and does seem to work and what kind of stuff have you encountered that that just is rubbish and should be avoided as well, brain myths if you like about learning, and what’s the kind of stuff that we should be paying more attention to?

Lauren Waldman
So I mean, as far as brain myths go, I think this has been the year of, I think just nailing the final you’re putting the final nail in the coffin of learning styles. I think we’ve heard. We’ve heard that across the board. And it’s already been empirically proven by science, that learning styles aren’t really a thing. The brain doesn’t just learn with one particular section, it learns with its entirety. So that’s definitely one of the larger ones. I think that for retention of learning, again, I think it goes back to what most of us probably would have experienced when we were going through school is we would sit there and we would cram. And we would do rote memorization. I grew up in Toronto, Canada, and to this day, I can remember sitting in French class and just right after the professor would say something, just repeating it back over and over and over again. And it just wasn’t the way to, to learn and to encode. So those types of methodologies, they do have their place like, you know, rote memory. has its place. But this sort of looking at our brains and looking at learning as just get it all in there as fast as you can. It just, it doesn’t feel good. We don’t remember anything. And so it’s essentially ineffective learning. So, you know, things like that. But on the flip side of it, you have phenomenal methodologies and theories that come directly from research and science and experimentation. It’s just unfortunate because they’re not out there as you know, widely uses. I’m sure the scientists would love to see them.

John Ball
Yeah. I think one for myself and possibly for people who are going to be listening to this as well. And that may be in the world of online course creation. understanding some of these things is going to be critical because a lot of things moving that way like online education is big business right now. And you know, lots of people are saying, Well, you know, this is gonna be the future. Education and, and I would say, you know, for me, I blend far more in my online education than I did from academia. My time at university, although that was a great experience as in terms of learning. My own self directed learning has been much more valuable to me since then, then then it was at that particular time. But I think a lot, of course, creators are really going to want to try and get a sense from you about what sort of things they should be doing to make sure that they’re creating content and course materials in a way that’s going to be understandable, learnable memorable and work best with the students?

Lauren Waldman
I think that that’s, you know, that’s the first place that I would start as far as perspiration goes is, is to, for me, knowing about the brain and its limitations and its resources. It’s as a designer, we want to protect That we want to sort of we want to utilise it effectively and efficiently. But we want to protect the resources as well. So to that point, I’d say, for me, when I’m designing something, I’m really taking into consideration the cognitive load. And the cognitive load is really how much can the brain has taken in its working memory at any one given time, without getting completely exhausted and shutting down. So a really great example for those who are course creating, especially in the online world, right now, if you can imagine your brain as almost like your house, right, and there are different places in your house and Each place has a certain function. So you’ve got your kitchen, that’s where you do your cooking Well, in my brain, let’s say it’s a part a small part that that does all of my emotional processing. But that’s one part my visual centres that are going to process everything that I’ve seen as far as what’s on my screen, and the pixelation on the screen. You know about my length. I’ve got all of these little different places in my brain that do everything essentially, but when I’m designing and what I’m going to recommend for designers is that you’ve got to sort of say, if I’m using too much energy, if I’m using too many of those resources, then you’re gonna get tired a lot faster. So if you’re an online learning designer, and you’re like, Oh, this is so cool, I want to put this music in the background and this really great colour. And I’ve got this text font that I want to use. Oh, and that video, right, that video, you’re already using so much energy and so many of those resources, which means the cognitive load is going to you know, it’s going to exceed its limit before someone probably gets 15 minutes in. So my, my first recommendation would be, again, not everyone’s going to go out and learn everything that there is to know about the brain. That’s all you’ve got people like me. But if you just kind of take those little things and look at your screen and go, Hmm, maybe I need to just kind of power down a bit. Maybe I can like take some of those texts out and I don’t have to narrate here or and really start being intentional about what is on that screen. You’re To help your learner to be able to give their attention to the thing that you need them to focus on,

John Ball
when it comes to delivering information, and one of the things that I’ve often heard time and time again, in public speaking clubs, for example, is creating content as if you were directing it to children of eight to 12 years old. And I sometimes get concerned that that might be for some people oversimplifying, like they say, talking about some level of simplification, but it’s simply simplifying the right things. And sometimes I think taking things down to a level that some, some adults may find a bit condescending or a bit do you think is important to find some level of balance in there about the level of information that you’re giving?

Lauren Waldman
Absolutely, there is a professor out of UCLA, his name is Robert Bjork, and I admire his work so much. And I’d encourage people to look up some of his because he has been in this for decades, and he has a theory of desirable difficulties and desirable difficulties being that we want to insert challenge, we want to insert things that are difficult because when we make it too easy, then the brain just goes oh, I know this, we’re good. And like, okay, we’ll just move on. I’ll just go shop on Amazon while you play in the background. So you want a level of difficulty and it’s almost you know, that the brain’s natural, natural places to go. I’m comfortable and safe. I’m good, I’m good right here. We want to push it out of that comfort zone to be. I’m not so sure about this. This is kind of confusing me but let’s keep going. So it is quite a balance of those two things in saying that though, for those of your audience who are in elearning and image design, is learning does not happen immediately. And It certainly doesn’t happen after a one-hour module or something, the encoding process of memory is very intricate and it takes a lot more time than we actually realise. So, you know, we have high hopes and high expectations of how people can learn and how fast they can learn but in actuality, the human process of it is not that fast.

John Ball
Right, so this is an area that I find particularly fascinating and I like to read a lot I like to listen to audiobooks, especially because I find I can get through a lot more learning and information. And but even then, sometimes I get to a point where I was like, I need to put something aside for a while or go and listen to a bit of fiction or just put some music on and give my brain a rest, you know, like lifting too much weight in the gym. But there was certainly a time when I was listening to like Blinkist and getting all these like blinks or key points or nutshell books and listening to other book reviews and just getting tons and tons of information as well as running alongside doing several online courses at the same time. And you just get to a point where thinking, How much can you really take in and this really learning, if you’re reading Blinkist, or listening to blinks or going through an audiobook summary or something, really, that’s all you’re getting, in my opinion, is familiarisation. Right? You’re not really learning because if you are asked to recall that you’re probably going to refer back to the materials you don’t actually kind of own that knowledge. How do you get to a point of, of getting that knowledge solidified and having it for yourself to be able to draw on as part of your own knowledge bank?

Lauren Waldman
Really, first you have to define whether, you know, what is your goal here? Do you want to learn which is more long term and coating of memory, or do you want to perform and performance is short term and you can you know, you can google You know, Google something or YouTube, you know, watch the YouTube video again or revisit the book. And so first established which one is more important? Is it you just want to perform something? Or do you actually want to learn for the long term, if you want to learn for the long term, it’s really a matter of strategizing, how you’re going to space out your learning, when you’re going to do it, I can give you an example of an experiment I’m actually conducting on myself right now. I decided, as someone who can learn a skill, I’ve been able to learn, obviously, everything I’ve learned about the brain through my studying, but I never challenged myself to learn anything with my motor skills. So I said, I’m gonna teach myself how to juggle. And it’s very, very difficult, but knowing what I know about how the brain is going to encode and how it’s gonna form the pathway, is that right? Where are the steps I’m going to take? Well, first, I’m going to watch a YouTube video. Why not? Let’s go basics here. So I’m just going to take in that little bit of information. But I also know that I have to create pathways in my brain to be able to do the motions. But I’m not going to try to grab three balls right away and just, you know, go for it. So it was that progressive build-up of, I’m gonna start with one ball, and I’m going to get that feeling down. I’m going to get this and let my brain understand what that feeling is because most of us aren’t used. Most of us, I don’t think are omni-dexterous, which means we’re not really good at using both of our hands. So that was the first step, second step. Okay. I do that for a couple of days, I take a break. Now I don’t practice every day. That’s my key. I want to do spaced repetition so that my brain has time to just relax and then I challenge it with those desirable difficulties to retrieve what I have already learned. And then start integrating and more and more and more so I’m consistently practising but I’m not cramming, practising until I can finally and I’m not there yet. By the way, I’m not there yet I’ve hit myself in the head you know so many times. But I’m not there yet but it’s really being intentional about that memories are encoded while we sleep as well. So it’s really important to allow for that process to happen to get your rest and to let you know while we sleep is the only time the brain is remembering and forgetting things at the same time. It’s actually really cool and so to give yourself that time to rest to sleep, so those memories can start getting a little bit more solidified and then go back and make them stronger and stronger and stronger through practice and repetition.

John Ball
Yeah, I just recently listened to get Matthew Walker met his book on Why We Sleep. So well that was fascinating and was talking about memory encoding and things like that and the effects that even just like mild alcohol use can have a memory thing and how much harder it is to remember things? And so yeah, Sleep is a critical part of all this process as well. In terms of ingraining information on maybe a more studious sort of level like for example like I one of the areas that I am particularly interested in is influence and persuasion skills. So if I’m looking wanting to read books and really master them and know them and be able to recall them and cite them, and I’m going to use this spaced repetition as part of my process for doing that. What what are the best ways to approach that and to get the best results there?

Lauren Waldman
Definitely zero in on your content. I think when people think about wanting to remember something, they start incredibly broad and large, right? Like I need to remember that whole chapter. I need to remember this whole book, I want to cite it correctly. But like I said, take care of your own resource, right? And how much you really want to put in there. And what are those really important points that you want? And then why is it important for you to want to know this right? We do, as far as we know thus far have unlimited capacity to remember, our memories are unlimited, as far as we know, at this moment. So if you can actually remember the whole book or whatever, but zero in on what’s really important and what you want to focus on, because then you’re saving your cognitive load, you’re saving your working memory. That’s number one. There are mixed reviews on highlighting and taking notes. Note-taking is 100% effective, but there are different ways that you can go about it, so that you can encode in a different way. So if I’m, for example, I read a lot of white papers and a lot of scientific journals and if there is something like you that I really want to remember, then I thought my notes but on one side, I’m just going to take a quick like, you know, written note but on the other side, I’m encoding with pictures. I’m triggering my brain to remember in a different way in a different space and place. I’ll leave it for a day or two, and then I’ll come back and revisit it. However, before I revisit it, I’m not gonna look directly at the sheet. I’m going to try to retrieve what I can before I go and look and just start to memorise again. So it’s again, it’s not only part of the process of seeing what do I know, which is metacognition, but it’s also if you already know something, then I can move on from that and if not, then I can just reinforce it by going back and reviewing and practising again. But always challenge I think that’s the thing is we always want to take the easy route because that’s the that’s what we’ve known our whole time. You know, growing up with cue card like front-back, front back. Flashcards are great too. But again, it’s Are you instantly just looking at the answers, or Are you challenging your brain to say, Do you remember that? Can you bring that forward for me? And that’s the part that we typically miss

John Ball
So something like maybe asking yourself questions about what you’ve been learning, that would be a good way to help with the spaced repetition?

Lauren Waldman
Absolutely. There was, you notice I mentioned the word metacognition, metacognition very simply, Well, maybe not so simply put, is thinking about what you were thinking about. So it’s being aware of your own cognitive processes. Now, those are things that have to be learned as well, because they’re, you know, it’s not easy to stop in the moment and go, what did I just think that or do I know that or do I think I know that? Often as learners, we overestimate or underestimate what we know. We don’t know. So when you have that conscious awareness of ‘I actually don’t think I know what I’m doing right now because I’ve stopped to think about it. I thought in the moment Do I really understand what I just read there? Maybe not. Okay, go back.’ And that’s, that’s what’s really going to help somebody learn is when you develop those skills to know how to direct your attention. So that you can be more self-regulated and more self-aware in your learning, then you’re a step ahead because you can actually catch yourself and you can almost like give yourself feedback saying, Oh, you know what? I thought I knew that. Can I prove it to myself? Okay, can I retrieve it? Actually, I can’t retrieve it. Can I recall what that sentence was? No, I actually, I can’t. So, go back and do it again. So those are also skills to build upon as learners. But also, if you’re designing learning as well, you want to integrate these skills into your design so that your learners can also be a little bit more self-regulated. And you can do that through different varieties of retrieval practices and tasks and quizzes and whatnot, that give them those opportunities to challenge themselves because what’s the point of getting through a whole course and then realising I don’t actually remember what or I didn’t really understand or grasp that concept from module number three, but I’m at module number eight. It’s too late.

John Ball
So those things seem to lead to the whole point of learning is to be able to practically apply what you’re learning as well, to a great degree, that is a solidification of what you do as well if you can actually apply what you’ve been learning, then you can show yourself that you know it,

Lauren Waldman
Right. And then it’s a matter of, you know, depending on what the skill or the behaviour or you know, what it is that you want, that you’re trying to accomplish, you’re gonna want to get somebody to either monitor that or test you or, you know because we can’t necessarily trust our own judgments. We’ve got our own personal biases of what we think we know and what we don’t know. So it’s always important. That’s why feedback is so you know, so critical, sometimes no burning process, because you might think you know it somebody else is like, a little bit more work there.

John Ball
For areas that I want to know really well one of the things that I do is, and I guess I’m being completely aware that I’ve been doing it but I certainly have is creating beaches talks about it that I give to my Toastmasters club or somewhere else. But I’ll actually go and present on information and teach it because that pushes me to have a greater level of understanding about what I’ve been learning. Because if you kind of talk about it, it’s very different than just reading.

Lauren Waldman
Social learning is incredibly powerful. And for so many different reasons. I mean, when you think about us, as individual humans, we all have had so many different life experiences, and we’ve got so many different memories. So you know, if we’re all looking at one thing, we’re potentially all interpreting that one thing very differently based on our memories and experiences, which means that there’s such a plethora of information that us as individuals hold that can then connect it differently for somebody else. So it’s how do you know and those are networks and those are schemas in the brain of like, how we interpret our world and how we group things together to make sense of them. But you know, I can’t remember I told you but there’s one thing that I’ve done workshops where I’ll take these people on this magical journey through the brain. And they’re drawing pictures of them writing down words and interpretations of the same thing. I’m saying the same thing to hundreds of people. And then we look at these and you walk around the room, and not one picture is the same. And it’s fantastic. They all interpret it differently. They all pull upon their memories and experiences. And when you look at a collective consciousness like that, it’s absolutely fantastic. So as a designer, again, if there is ways that you can embed social learning or collective memory, it’s, it’s phenomenal. It’s definitely phenomenal.

John Ball
One thing that I have been wanting to speak to you about in the area of accelerated learning, because again, as I mentioned that there are some places where there’s a lot of bullshit around and there is there’s a lot of good stuff around in terms of being able to speed up our learning process. What in your opinion Is his real works and what’s kind of bullshit and doesn’t really work.

Lauren Waldman
I think, you know, if you sort of summarise all the little things that we’ve been talking about thus far, I mean, those are the things that really work. It’s being intentional and strategizing, it’s using space, using methodologies like spaced repetition, interweaving, it’s knowing the limitations of your own brain and how to operate and work without a little bit more, you know, anybody who is you know, and again, hey, if you’ve got the time to dedicate to learn to juggle day in and day out, you’re probably going to learn it a lot faster than I am. But it’s really that timing factor of it, how much time do you have to dedicate it to and then are you utilising the proper methodologies in order to help that process? You know, so that’s the, you know, there is for me, and I think that’s where especially in an organisational world where we have to, we have to level set the expectations on How fast somebody can learn versus how fast they can transfer to produce something. It’s been very skewed for a very long time and you know, who suffers the humans suffer because I can’t perform, because I didn’t learn this or my sales metrics are down because of this, or my compliance numbers are off, because, you know, we didn’t pass our compliance test. But you went to that eight hour day of training, oh, but you went to that workshop, but you did that elearning It doesn’t work like that, you know, so we’ve got to be a little bit more sensitive to the human process. And you know, more aware of that process so that we can really level set expectations on what we can and cannot do and what times we can. So as far as accelerated learning goes, Yeah, if you’ve got all the time in the world to dedicate to that one thing, you’re going to do a lot, a lot more a lot faster than most but if you’re like everybody else who has a job or has a family or has other you know, life commitments things are going on. You just have to be a little bit more intentional about the time that you spend and be released. strategic about it as well.

John Ball
I got very interested in accelerated learning as an area for a while and I even did a workshop and online workshop round two that I run for a while as well. And the things that I’ve done several speed reading workshops myself as an attendee and I really am thinking I may end up increasing my reading speed but I always find it comes at the cost of comprehension for me. Would you say that’s generally true for these things?

Lauren Waldman
I haven’t done extensive research on this. But I actually I was asked to come in and an audit, a speed reading course. And I did and then I did some research on it. And it turns out just to your point, speed reading isn’t really a thing. You can get through something a lot faster, but the retention and the comprehension rate is a lot lower. So yeah, from from the research and from what I understand thus far, it’s not really a thing I mean, it’s a thing as far as like I can like scan something really quickly and get through a book faster. But if that’s your only objective and yes, congratulations, you can speed read.

John Ball
Yeah, the only thing I’ve ever found it useful for is in constructing speeches or finding bits of information for content I already know a bit as well not for some reading something just off the bat, but speed read and find stuff that you want to utilise.

Lauren Waldman
Right.

John Ball
Or getting specific chunks of information. Like if you want to create a set of flashcards or some prepared information for you to review that, for me has been the only place I found it useful. I’m open to people who know guys saying that it works and I use it and I would remember it all, I’d love to hear from them.

Lauren Waldman
Yes, for some people it does, but I mean even to that to like for the purposes of what you’re using it for. It seems like Well, you’re already before you even open that book, or open that website. Whatever it is, you’re already priming your brain to say we’re looking out for this Yeah, so just focus on that. Look for those keywords look for that, right. So you’re not reading through everything in which case, you’re being again, more strategic and intentional about where you’re directing your focus and attention to.

John Ball
One of the things that occurs to me that where there is a perhaps a problem with online learning because you saying how important social learning is. And I see this as well. And when you learn with a group, like in a workshop, or even an online group, you learn from the things that other people get that you may not see, and they’ll learn from those bits for you. Whereas we’re very sort of self-contained, self-directed online learning is often just new on the computer.  And so, there’s perhaps an important bit that’s missing there is Is there any way around that or any compensations that can come in and help?

Lauren Waldman
Yeah, I mean, depending on who or what you’re designing for it, you can design it in, you can Go communities within learning you can you know whether or not you can utilise, whether it’s social media, Facebook pages, or Twitter groups or whatever, whatever that is, you can design that intentionally in, maybe you want to go, maybe you want to do a live session, every one or two weeks, if you have the luxury, you know, it depends on how large scale you’re going and how many people it is that you’re trying, you’re trying to reach. But you can do that. Maybe as part of your design. You want to encourage people to go find those, you know, you know, like your book club, if you will, and create that community. But at the end of the day, if you’re alone with your computer, and you’re just watching some videos, it’s really going to be up to you. And that comes back to the metacognition to self regulate, and to self-test and, you know, to go out and seek people who can validate your knowledge. So, you know, I mean, myself dealing with the sciences, I don’t trust myself at all when it comes to these things, you know, I’m not going to, I’m not going to leave it into my own hands, I’m going to reach out to you know, to the Where behavioural sciences so the neuroscientists or whatever to say, Do I have this right? Because I’m translating their work, I’m translating science, right? And I don’t have an extensive I didn’t do a PhD. And I don’t have the extensive knowledge that they do. So I might do an online course but I’m going to find somebody who’s done this for a lot longer than I have to make sure that what I think I know I actually do know.

John Ball
Which is a much better attitude than people thinking they know enough about a subject after watching a couple of YouTube videos.

Lauren Waldman
If that were the case and I’d be able to juggle right now.

John Ball
We all suffer from the Dunning Kruger effect and even people who are aware of it and have the awareness that they may not always know as much we still we’re still subject to it thinking yeah, you know more than we really do or that we’re better at something than we really are.

Lauren Waldman
There’s a classical psychological experiment where and I think I think all of us have point, you know, and ones have partly participated in these is if you show somebody a jar of gumballs, or pennies, or whatever it is, and you ask the person, like, take a good guess what do you think is in there, you know, they’re going to be usually significantly off. But when you collectively get a group of people to do it every time, they’re closer to the target. So that collective, you know, that collective sort of consciousness and that collective sort of, you know, it really does make a difference in the way that we understand, you know, what we’re thinking about and what we’re looking at, but it’s that networking aspect of it. I’m sure, you’ve probably had an experience of saying that I have when you’re like, I’ve never thought about it that way. oh, and like, and then all of a sudden just makes sense. Yeah. I just never thought about it that way. Hmm.

John Ball
Yeah, sometimes you just need to hear something put in the right way by the right person at the right time. And it clicks

Lauren Waldman
Absolutely!

John Ball
Yeah, I think I can actually think of very specific things. There was something that I used to work at a lot of live training like weekend events. And I would often hear the same thing again about having the right mindset as guy work with Harv Eker. He says, he didn’t become a millionaire, didn’t come in until he made the decision to become a millionaire. And I just thought, Oh, I just have to make that decision. And then one time, it hit me that just made sense, all of a sudden, and it was from him as well. It was from hearing him say it, that just maybe after just having heard it so many times, I suddenly got, it’s not just the decision. It’s like, the decision that this is who I am now. This is who I’ve decided that I’m going to be so I need to be that person now. Not just I’m going to get that at some point in the future. And so yeah, it definitely that makes real sense to me that that learning doesn’t always happen. At birth first introduction of the…

Lauren Waldman
No, not at all. I mean, I mean, if when I look at my own experiences and just you know, it was almost embarrassing, you know, to have a, you know, to be into my career like I started off as a teacher in academics overseas and then have this like, long, you know, almost 14 years of organisational learning and teaching, you know, thousands of people at this point designing thousands of lessons. And then neuroscience comes into my role to go Oh, man, how did I never think about the brain? Like how did I miss that for all this time? And it was just that moment, it was like, how did I know this? How did I not okay, good to know everything.

John Ball
But there is a good level of shame attached to this right. And yeah, and yet we’re all ignorant of a great minute. We don’t always know exactly what we’re wrong. And, and so I hope at some point, as a society, we might get But we can move past having this shame for not knowing things that I’ve worked very hard on myself and getting to a point in my life where I’m okay. Sometimes we’re saying, I don’t know. Yeah, because I don’t need to have the answers to everything. But yeah, there are still I still encounter this online and sometimes discussion forums and things. I try not to do too much on the social media interaction, but on more discussion forums, where some people who do have expert knowledge and treat that as if well, doesn’t everybody know this?

Lauren Waldman
So it’s interesting like I was having a conversation the other day and, you know, in in the work that I do, you know, it’s, for me what I learned very quickly, not just about learning, but especially about science. And again, we’re looking at the most complex thing on the planet, our brains. And I was very quickly humbled by it incredibly humbled by the science and by the process and by the extreme amounts of work that have to go in to just learning the smallest piece of information about us. And then you’ve got the other side. So you can either be humbled by it, or you can have a massive ego about it and say, Yes, well, now that I have done these courses and spoken to these doctors, I will tell you everything there is to know the brain. No. So you’re either you know, you need to be humble with yourself and vulnerable. We hear that word a lot. And, and, you know, I wanted to talk some, I think, you know, I do a lot of speaking and I just decided, you know, if people want to see what the true learning journey for me look like, I’m going to show you and there are pictures up and we were talking like massive movie size screens, and there’s a massive picture of me crying, just absolutely in tears and my hair is a mess. And like, there’s a stain on my shirt. And I’m like, this is that was learning. It was this like, crazy, like, challenging, but it was. I’m going to show you how it really is because I’m going to also tell you I’m not a neuroscientist, I’m a translator. I do have my credentials in neuro, but I don’t know it all. I don’t want to know it all. Because very, fortunately, we have billions of people on this planet who can fill in those gaps for us.

John Ball
Yeah, you don’t need to set yourself up as the ultimate authority. You can set yourself up with the expertise to say I can talk about this. But I don’t have to have all the answers to be able to do that.

Lauren Waldman
No, that’s basically stunting your learning right there. And then, you know, when you lose your curiosity, and you think that you know it all woman tomorrow is gonna feel and look a lot like today.

John Ball
I’m a very committed lifelong learner. And I think it wasn’t always so as I went through quite a long period after leaving university to probably my 30s where I didn’t spend very much time learning if I didn’t have to do it for work. But then when I got into Paris, Development started investing money in my learning and some of it was great some of it was dubious. I missed a lot of money in learning NLP and that some of it again, some of its great some of its not and many other areas but now my learning is very self-directed and you know, I choose very specific things that I want to learn like I when I started getting into public speaking, I started trying to learn as much as possible about public speaking. And with stuff, I’m doing on podcasting. I’m trying to learn as much as I can about podcasting. You know, I really like to, I don’t need to become an expert, but I like to at least get a good general level of knowledge right and say, I’m comfortable with what I know in this area. And I know some stuff rather than as I’m doing it, but I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. And but in terms of self-directed learning, which can be challenging, do you have any recommendations for people to keep themselves excited and motivated with their own life?

Lauren Waldman
You know, everybody’s gonna be motivated by something different. And you know, and I can only share from my own personal experiences, right is you know, okay, so I learned about the brain or I sort of had that revelation like, Oh my gosh, the brain, that’s the thing doing the learning, I should probably know something about that. And I was highly motivated, because, you know, again, I misled myself, Oh, this is gonna be easy. I’m just gonna go and study and fine, you know, and it wasn’t, it wasn’t but what kept me going, was understanding why I wanted to do this so badly, and how it was going to change. You know, when I started that journey, it was very much related to work. And I was like, I need to learn everything that I can so I can bring this back into learning and learn how to be a better designer and I was really, really, really motivating me to do so. The further I got into my studies, I then realised Oh, wow, I am learning a lot about me. I’m learning a lot about me as a human at the time. I had a 98-year-old grandmother, who was, you know, declining, obviously. And then my motivation got turned towards her. She had dementia, I said, There’s got to be something, you know, if I study a little bit more, if I learn a little bit more about this, I might be able to connect with this gorgeous woman who I’m losing, you know, piece by piece, but it was motivating for me to do that. And, you know, the last few months of her life, I was able to connect with her and because of what so my motivation was very high because of that. So I think it’s always going back to, if you’re learning just because you’re curious about something, then you’re already going to do it. It’s not like you’re going to be motivated to do it. You’re going to chase that curiosity, when I find that you’re learning to change something that you’re doing functionally, or practically. That’s when you kind of go back to yourself and be like, how is this really going to affect X or Y? And for me, if what helped me and I would you know, I recommend anybody. Give it a go. Just treat it like an experiment. Make yourself your own beautiful scientific experiment. You know hypothesise what, why? You know, what is it that I think I’m going to learn and why am I learning it? But what am I going to do with it afterwards? What is that end result going to look like? And be okay to fail. Like, just be okay to fail. One of you know, when I was saying, you know how humbled I am by science. I, I’ll never forget this conversation with one of the scientists on teaching hospital here in Toronto. And I said, You know, I really feel like I’ve been humbled by everything I said, I’ll read your papers. But it takes me like two or three days to read one paper because I need to I can’t I need to uncoded and, and learn and not and he’s like, now imagine, me and my colleagues will spend years doing the same research and maybe at the end of three years, we realise there was nothing there for us to learn and we have to start all over again. And I just like at that moment, I was like, Oh my gosh, okay. fastest it is no, you know, I, we’re all motivated by something that’s inside of us.

John Ball
Yeah. You know, I love what you’re saying about that you were learning specifically to connect with your grandmother. And I sometimes hear things about learning as a tool to at least slowdown or combat cognitive decline. Is there’s solid evidence or solid research for that?

Lauren Waldman
There is and I don’t I mean, it’s nothing that I dive into that much myself. For the hospital that I affiliate with. In Toronto. It’s called the Rotman Research Centre, and they specifically focus on learning memory, Alzheimer’s and dementia. And it’s, yeah, they’re finding out new things every single day. We know that. I mean, whether you like it or not everyone you’re learning every day. Like your brains, just do. It, it’s what its job is to continually, you know, look around and learn to keep you safe and keep you alive. There are significant amounts of research happening right now to you know, look at these things. I know it just in passing probably when I was doing some work or whatnot, I probably came across some articles on new new new techniques for Alzheimer’s But yeah, I mean, I think the best thing that we can do is keep your brain stimulated keep challenging it you know, like anything else like a muscle if you just don’t do anything, it just kind of stays the same and stay stagnant. So, you know, I always when I looked at my grandmother, you know, she was wheelchair-bound for several years and you know, before she passed and, and I always thought you know what, scared I don’t know what scares me more, even to this day is knowing as much as I do now, is if my brain is stronger when I get older, my body’s still gonna deteriorate, which is worse. But no, I’d say you know, this is what keeps us alive. You know, this is what makes us this allows me to speak with you to look at you to process everything that’s going around. And for the most part, I’d say myself included, we take it immensely for granted. So, it’s very complex and it’s very, very, very, you know, intricate what’s going on in there. But even if you can learn just something small, just a little something like these conversations that you and I are having, it really does make a really big significant difference to understand you as you but also look at other people around you a lot differently.

John Ball
Yeah, interestingly, the anti-ageing or ageing sciences is heating and there’s a lot of money going into combating that and from what I’ve read over recent months, a lot of that is focused more on slowing ageing, something that they believe is easier to do than trying to reverse or stop it. So that one of the biggest things that are being focused on now is slowing that down. They’re making lots of discoveries all the time and lots of development. So who knows how soon we’ll see them and probably they’ll go to the people who can afford it first before it rolls down to the rest of us mere mortals. But in terms of neuroscience, what do you at least think the future holds in terms of learning and where we’re going?

Lauren Waldman
It’s so phenomenal. You know, every time I think that you know, the coolest thing has come out something even cooler comes out, and I’m just like, wow, like, how, how did you do that? And, you know, one of the latest things that I saw that really, really impressed me was a university, I think it’s called Oola Ola, in Finland. And they’ve got, I believe, the first dual MRI. So typically, only one person can go into the MRI at a time, they’ve got a dual MRI. So now that they can actually look at the interactions happening in the brains of two people at the same time. So you know, They’ve got they’re doing a current study with couples, they’ve got 10 couples, they’re putting them into the machines together, they’re asking them to do things just like you know, touch each other’s faces or, and eventually that is going to that research is going to expand and expand, to look at things like how do we problem-solve with one another? And what is the communication look like and the executive functions so that that is one side of it, then you’ve got, you know, all of the phenomenal there’s so much in the field of neuroplasticity, and, and really understanding how the brain rewires itself to allow people who have never seen before to see. And that, you know, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the talks. I’ve seen the research. It blows me away every time. You’ve got electrical stimulation for people with Parkinson’s.

John Ball
It’s exciting when I read it. Albert Doidge. His book The Brain that Changes Itself.

Lauren Waldman
Yeah. Norman, Norman Doidge. He’s amazing Norman, Norman. Yeah, there is And you know, and I, you know, books like that are just absolutely phenomenal. There’s another gentleman V.S. Ramachandran, whose work I just got obsessed with, because I just couldn’t believe the magnificence of our brains. And his topic was more on what they call phantom limbs. And when there’s when, you know, you’ve lost a leg or an arm, but you still believe it to be there. And you can make people perceive and feel the pain. And the experiments that he did with this to sort of like rewire and re-engineer to sort of put things back in place as like this. This is just phenomenal. So the right now there’s, there’s a, there’s a lot of scientists right now who are trying to answer the question of what’s consciousness? Yes, you know, and that that itself is really, really interesting research. For me. I’m just always going to be fascinated with memory, and how that is, you know, all the magical places in which that is stored and how it happens and how it declines and anything that has to do with the data It’s really sort of what I’m very curious about. But like I said, it’s, for me, it’s a rabbit hole. It is a rabbit hole of wonderful information. And I only see that we’re going to learn so much more about ourselves in the future, that we’ll really be able to effectively change, you know, things that we’ve never been able to change before in the past.

John Ball
We can only speculate, I guess, would you say that neuroscience then as an area is still in early stages?

Lauren Waldman
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, neuroscience is still one of the more infant sciences and, you know, I say, the interest in the brain. I mean, that goes back thousands of years, you know, it’s just the methodologies of being able to study it were a little disturbing bag. A lot had to do with like, you know, physically drilling holes into people’s heads and you know, whoops. And but yeah, I’d say the there’s so many endless possibilities in this field, and Can’t I’m just so privileged that I get to even you know peek into it and speak to the people that I speak to and just be completely amazed and wowed at how this all this three pounds of just you know jello come together to make us up.

John Ball
Other than speaking and talking like we are now about this Where are you applying your work and your knowledge what kind of areas and people are you work with now?

Lauren Waldman
So, um, you know, for quite some time I was doing a lot of organisational design, so anything that had to do with them, you know, in enhancing employee experiences when it comes to what they needed to learn, I was brought in to basically redevelop and redesign so I did a lot of that. Currently, it kind of sort of fits into what we’re talking about is yes, learning is the overarching topic here. But as a translator, I found it was very important for me to start sharing This with a lot more people not just in the context of learning but in in the sort of the context of understanding us as humans better. So spoiler alert, I am developing, there’s, there’s a course that courses I just realised it wasn’t just one. So there are courses that are in the works that will be released, hopefully by the end of September. And those will be online, they will be public, and they will be scientifically designed as well. So everything that we’ve just spoken about, you know, the repetition, the interleaving, the community, the social is all going to be in there. So those will get released sometime then. And for the most part, I get hired because people want to just leverage the expertise of the brain and they want to know more, whether that be for learning design, or you know, for everyday life design.

John Ball
Yeah, I mean, it’s been, honestly it’s so fascinating to hear what you do and I even saying that you’re not like the total authority on this. You just work in this area, you know a lot about it and you’re helping other people to understand it more. In terms of getting up on a public stage and speaking about this, is that something you had done before?

Lauren Waldman
A lot? Yeah, a lot. So as you know, we’re in a, we’re in a time of history right now where that’s now no longer feasible. But yeah, there’s still I do a lot of podcasts. I do a lot of speaking engagements. And I’m always I think, anybody who’s curious enough to reach out to me to say, Hey, would you mind coming and talking to us about this? Absolutely. Absolutely. So the speaking engagements will definitely live on I should probably, you know, make a list of all the podcasts as well. Yeah, so I’ve got to get out of my own learning and research holes to put this all out there. But yes,

John Ball
They’re a great resource for you. And I was listening to one of the podcasts that you put out a recording that you did, and with The Behaviourist and I was loving it, I was thinking oh, I need to try not to make the questions do similar attract, but nonetheless it wasn’t so much thinking about that because I just got engrossed in the information and find it such a fascinating area and love listening to it. I think it’s super interesting. I don’t plan to move into working in it myself but I definitely think there’s a lot of application there that I can utilise and bring into what I do, especially with even things like I’m working on a book writing a book and creating online programmes is all stuff for we can get a lot of value and benefit from that people

Lauren Waldman
So much practical application, and it’s really, you know, if I had a magic wand and I could just like you know, teach the world to teach everybody how to learn again, and in a different way in a way that is challenging that makes you feel exceptionally wonderful. Then you know, I would do it but you know, right now we can only put out what we can put out those who know You know, and you’ll see like it’s tattooed on my arm is the word yar. And Yarr stands for you are really ready, you are really ready. And that, to me is that moment where you’re like, got it. Let’s do this. I can tell I can share this. I’m confident I know that I’ve learned. And so for me spreading the ideology of VR. That’s, that’s what makes all of the hard work and the research and the crying and the frustration, but the victory it makes it so sweet. So, YARR to everyone

John Ball
I always like to ask my guests for a book recommendation. And yeah, I’m happy if it’s my guess, own book, or if there’s a book that I think in this case, maybe a book that may be a good place for people to go to to get a bit more if they’re interested in the neuroscience and the learning what would be a book that you would recommend as a good place to further their education?

Lauren Waldman
Oh, I am actually I So I’m currently rereading Daniel Kahneman ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’. Yeah. But it’s a little bit of a heavy read at times. And that’s why I’m going again, I’m relearning I’m going back to really dive into it. I like that book only because it gives you a good base of view of the systems. And I think that’s a great place to start is just understanding those couple of systems. If you are a designer and learning and you want to learn how to do, you know, sort of start integrating more of these things. You’ve got, you know, Julie Dirksen who wrote a wonderful book, we’ve got Margie Meacham, who I think she’s phenomenal. There are so many wonderful people who I could cite at this point. So it’s just a matter of No, my biggest advice for everyone is just, you know, really be intentional and make sure that you’re not falling into the myth of you know, the marketing. So look at who As that’s, you know, make sure that you’ve got a credible resource because I can tell you from on behalf of the scientists and other people who spend their lives, you know, trying to get us all this information, we owe it to them to to be credible and to try to maintain ethics and value in the work that they’ve provided for us.

John Ball
Hopefully, and far too many people undervalue that or get more attracted to a flashy styling. the egocentric message then to the maybe not so not always so sexy looking and flashy. But the real knowledge this stuff actually works and it has substance to it. And often people can’t see past the sort of surface things but to take a look behind the screen to see what’s really going on with the Wizard of Oz.

Lauren Waldman
Yeah, yeah. And it’s something that, you know, something that I started to do my cell phone during this time that we’ve been online, I’ll do presentations. And I’ll ask people at the end of it I said, Do you want me to do let me show you how I designed this? Do I, you know, there’s, there’s when you’re learning, there’s you don’t hoard learning, don’t hoard your secrets, you know, and the amount of people said, we’d actually, you know, spend an extra 20 minutes or half an hour online with me, and I’ll take them through my whole presentation, I’ll be like, I will show you how science was used to design this. So…

John Ball
We might have to record another episode and do that.

Lauren Waldman
I’d love to, I’d love to Yeah, yeah, I’d love to I love doing that.

John Ball
I know one thing that I’d love to get to some point, but not today is like you posted something recently about the taxonomy of learning and then some stuff that was advancing or taking a look at what’s replacing things like Bloom’s Taxonomy and that was an interesting area for me and just understanding that level levels of learning that we go through and, and how we utilise our knowledge and what actually and What is actually scientific or not scientific about, that was a bit of a rabbit hole in itself. And that could be an interesting area to come back to in the future. But I don’t want to hog too much of your time. So much great information today. And I really loved this conversation and I don’t even need to ask you for the closing thoughts because I think you’ve already shared those really but I will ask you how people can come and find out more about you?

Lauren Waldman
I am taking a little social media break, but I am usually quite active on LinkedIn and that’s where you can find articles I’ve written. I’d actually recommend to anybody who does have a parent, a grandparent or someone who has gone through or is going through dementia, Alzheimer’s, I did a tribute article to my grandmother last year when she passed. So, you know, I would love for people to sort of take some comfort or solace in that. LearningPirate.com is the website where you can see what this brain has created and what’s going out there. I should be on Twitter more than I am Quite honestly, you can connect with me on LinkedIn there is right now there’s only one learning pirate on LinkedIn and it’s me so

John Ball
It’s a good place to connect with you. And I’m very glad we got to connect there and conversation today. I really enjoyed it. And I certainly hope to come in at the end and maybe record another episode with you in the future.

Lauren Waldman
Anytime,

John Ball
It has been an absolute pleasure, Lauren Waldman, thank you so much.

Unknown Speaker
YARR, thank you.

How to go BOOM on Zoom with guest Shelley Golden

Since I started the podcast I have been wanting to bring on an image consultant who could discuss image and style as a part of personal branding and as a tool of influence. I could not have hoped for a better consultant than the effortlessly stylish Shelley Golden of Shelley Golden Style. You’ll fast see that I was quite out of my comfort zone talking about style and image but I did enjoy the chat and learned a lot.

Shelley is a personal branding image consultant who is specialising in giving people a Zoom makeover, which, let’s face it, most of us can do with. I’ve been busily working to implement some of the great suggestions Shelley shared in this episode and I’m certain you’ll find some tips and image hacks that you haven’t come across before.

This is one of those episodes you might just prefer to watch on YouTube, so you can see some of the things Shelley was demonstrating. Here’s the episode link and please give the channel a little love with a link and subscribe, as I’m working hard to build things up and keep offering you great content https://youtu.be/7oPFJ4Bl2vM

Shelley has offered this fantastic offer just for you:

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We said we would include a link to Shelley’s great article ‘It’s all about the shoes’ and here it is https://shelleygoldenstyle.com/fashion/its-all-about-the-shoes/

I hope you enjoy the show and make sure you’re subscribed for future episodes, like my next guest Lauren Waldman, The Learning Pirate, who is an expert in learning and helps us to know what really helps us to learn and what stuff is kinda BS or outdated now. I was fascinated, I am sure you will be too.

Business Building on Linked In with guest Angela Dunz

What are some of the worst mistakes people are making on Linked In these days?

Can you really use Linked In to grow your own business and become known?

Angela Dunz knows a lot about how to build and grow your business on Linked In and she’s my guest on this episode sharing some of those juicy Linked In secrets and strategies that can help you too, as well as being a thoroughly delightful guest.

Angela’s business is called Cowgirl Creative Coaching, which might give an insight into Angela’s style of doing things, getting the hustle going and letting your freak flag fly. I’m always interested in finding out more about how to maximise presence and engagement on social media channels and Angela adds nicely to the expert advice from previous episodes, such as my ‘Genetically Modified Marketing’ episode with John Espirian.

I hope you enjoy the show and if you want to connect with Angela, please find her on Linked In, I know she’ll be delighted to connect with you.

 

Presentation Mindset

One of the biggest reasons why people fail in presentations is that they get caught up in their heads worrying about everything that could go wrong or what other people are thinking, instead of being in the moment, fully present to the audience and what they are there to achieve. Let’s start changing those unsupportive and disempowering narratives that cause us to self-sabotage our presentations and replace it with an empowering inner narrative that supports and build us up. If you want to go further and work with me on your presenter mindset and performance ability, email john@presentinfluence.com

Who Run The World? With guest Joanna Martin founder of One of Many™

I am truly privileged to have Dr Joanna Martin as my guest on my podcast. Jo was my trainer when I first learned neuro-linguistic programming and she was also one of the people who taught me presentation and public speaking skills. Since she is the person who inspired me to want to become a speaker and trainer, it was a delight when she agreed to come on the show.
Jo is a renowned visionary, coach, speaker and entrepreneur Her message and work have directly impacted over 120,000 people on four different continents. She initially qualified as a medical doctor and spent a number of months in oncology where the death of a favourite patient provided a wakeup call to get her life “on purpose”. Then, she changed her career and was accepted to the Actors Centre Australia.
She went on to study human psychology, behaviour and growth and in 2003 launched her own coaching company in Sydney, with no network and no business experience.  Within a year her business was thriving, consulting with the likes of ANZ bank, John Fairfax Publishing and eBay.
From there she worked as Head of Research and Training at one of the fastest-growing personal development companies on the international stage and in 2008 launched her own business Shift Speaker Training, which she took to 7-figures within just 12 months. There she shared her speaking success secrets with over 23,000 business owners over four years.
Her evolution continued in 2014 when she founded One of many, to help women to step up into leadership and increase their impact without burning out. One of many has so far reached over 70,000 women around the world. Jo is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning speaker, a diplomatic wife, a sometimes-too-tired mother, a protective sister, and a caring friend.
Don’t miss this fascinating and inspiring conversation and find out how Jo is just one of many women changing the world.
For anyone who gets/got a bit lost when we talked about values systems, it was referring to Gravsian Values as defined by Clare Graves in Spiral Dynamics. A very worthwhile and surprisingly accessible book. The book Jo spoke about in relation to this is called Reinventing Organisations by Frederic Laloux.
Jo’s FREE gift to you is Seven Rituals to Calm the Daily Chaos: https://oneofmany.co.uk/rituals/
Here are some ways you can connect with Joanna Martin on social media:
Facebook – business page: https://www.facebook.com/OneOfManyWomen/
LinkedIn – business page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/one-of-many/
LinkedIn – profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joannamartin/
Instagram – business page: https://www.instagram.com/oneofmanywomen/
Instagram – profile: https://www.instagram.com/drjoannamartin/

Hope you enjoy the show. If you listen on Apple Podcasts, please leave us a review. It helps people to find the show and helps me to keep improving.

Have a great week, John.

Transcript

John Ball
Welcome to speaking of influence with John Ball from present influence.com. Each week we talk about presentation skills and public speaking and the tools of influence and persuasion with experts and incredible guests. Stay tuned and enjoy the show. Speaking of influence is uploaded and distributed to all major podcast networks through buzzsprout. Buzzsprout is the simplest way to get your podcast started with tons of great resources for new podcasters. You could start your podcast today, follow the link in the show notes. I’m really really happy today to help me get through I’ve wanted to bring on the show for quite a long time and I wanted to wait until things were a bit more running with the show before I did. And one of the main reasons for this is because this is the person who I would say inspired me the most want to become a speaker and to do some presenting as a trainer and get up on the stage. I don’t think it would have happened without her inspiration. I’m very happy to introduce this person to you because she’s an amazing businesswoman. She’s an amazing speaker, and still a massive inspiration to me, and to many people I know, and to particularly now to women all over the world with what she’s doing and her work now. So, please welcome to the show, Joanna Martin.

Joanna Martin
Thank you so much, john. I’m so looking forward to today.

John Ball
I’m really glad to have you here. And you know, we’ve had a bit of a chat before we did our recording about things well, but we’ve known each other for quite some time. I think 2007 was probably the year I first met you so it’s been a while

Joanna Martin
Don’t, it makes me feel way too old.

John Ball
But it’s been really lovely as someone who has learned so much from you to see even your development since that time as well. And I know that like presenting and speaking and running a business was not your first port of call as a career, you’ve ended up on a very different path altogether.

Joanna Martin
Yes, absolutely. I started my working life actually, as a medical doctor. I think when a little eight-year-old girl announces to her to pharmacist parents that she wants to be a doctor when she’s grown up, it is met with a lot of encouragement and a lot of positive reinforcement. They were pushed me into it, but I suddenly ended up there and a lot of that was unconscious. And whilst I was a very good doctor, and everyone loved me, I was great with patients and so forth. It didn’t really feel like my kind of calling, you know, it didn’t feel like my kind of difference to be making in the world. So alongside that at school and into university, I’d always done a lot of acting. And I had that little What if question, you know, what if I wonder if I could ever make a career with that? What if I was an actor? What if I was a director? And so after my intern year of medicine, I auditioned for drama school and I got into a great drama school. It is the same drama school that Hugh Jackman kicked off and Nicole Kidman, there have been some very good people there. And it was an amazing, amazing time because finally, I was doing something that felt much more aligned with who I was. But oddly enough, whilst I was there was when I had my first introduction to the arena that I now work in, and that is in coaching and training. And as soon as I saw, I saw a speaker up on stage, you know, weaving stories and telling tales and teaching tools that people could use to change their life. For me, that was it. It was the great marriage of the helping and the performing aspects of myself, I guess. I think maybe if I bought have been born in a different culture would have made a great shaman, you know?

John Ball
Quite possibly, but you know, you were certainly one of those people for me, and when someone is there like it was the first training was learning, neuro-linguistic programming from you, which maybe perhaps has, it’s been a long time since you’ve taught that now.

Joanna Martin
Well, I think like every great toolkit that you learn as a coach or a speaker, you learn it consciously you practice with it consciously and then ultimately it moves into your unconscious and becomes a part of, you know, the great toolkit. You know, I don’t think any of us that have been doing it for a great number of years or even decades now. You know, have one thing that is the key and critical piece, but yeah, absolutely. When I first started learning about life coaching, the toolkit that I first learned was, was NLP and I still say to anybody who is serious about becoming a fabulous trainer that it is a great toolkit to have, I don’t these days. Like if you if you’d asked me back then I would have said it was the one that was the only I mean, I didn’t have anything to compare it to right. But since then, I’ve done a lot more further development, a lot more research a lot more of my own evolution and crafted things for myself, because I couldn’t find anything. And it’s certainly one of many things that I use still.

John Ball
Yeah, I mean, you made the transition from that from essentially that was like a time when you were working for another organisation to working for yourself and actually doing that as, as someone who is training and teaching tools or presentation skills, what was it that inspired that decision for you?

Joanna Martin
I was harangued by clients. Basically, I first launched my very own coaching business as a little solopreneur back back back in the early days, and that grew up to about you know, I was doing about 60 K a year with that I did it for about 18 months before then, my trainer who had trained me and everything approached me to become his head of research and training for his organisation and to help him grow. So I took that contract and it was fabulous. You know, it was absolutely brilliant. The opportunity to on somebody else’s platform was probably the fastest-growing company on the international stage at that time. You know, we were travelling to loads of different countries which was fabulous. So many, so many awesome opportunities, and I guess to be able to hone my skills with a fast-growing company and something I highly recommend to new speakers now if that opportunity Does, does come their way, but it was I nearly burned out, I nearly burned out is what happened. You know, I remember my 30th birthday was probably the first day when I was Skyping. Back to my family in my boyfriend at the time is now my husband Greg. And I was exhausted, I was absolutely exhausted. So while on the outside, it was a very glamorous lifestyle. You know, here I was nearly burned out by 30. It clearly wasn’t working for my body and system. So not long after that I resigned from that organisation and ended that contract. And talk. It was my husband who actually gave me some really good advice. He said, You know, you shouldn’t make a decision for four months, he said, every single company in this space is going to have been watching what you did over the last three years for the organisation that I was working with. And they’re going to want to, they’re going to want you to have you as part of their team. So if it’s a great opportunity to still be there in four months time, don’t make any decisions for four months. And sure enough, within like a month of the word getting out I was people were offering to give me half of their business to come and do what I did like it was huge time and it was so hard not to make any choices. But I needed to rest. the best advice I’ve ever had was that advice from Greg, four months turned into nine months, but during that window of time, the other thing that was a constant was all of the people who’d been in audiences with me at that time. You know, that’s where, where we first met John. Were reaching out to me and saying, Jo, could you please teach me the business of speaking? You know, they’d seen, I guess the impacts that I’d had in Chris’s organisation. they’d heard my expertise and my business wisdom, I guess and what I learned on the inside of a big organisation like that, and they wanted to know, you know, can you teach the business of speaking how to sell from the platform, how to how to run a speaking business? And I think eventually, you know, a couple of friends who were also have always been kind of like mentors to me and Greg as well. Eventually, they just kind of, you know, twisted our arm and we thought far out all right, we’ll do it. So I’ve got to say that first step into our own business with me and Greg was not necessarily one of God, this brilliant thing that I want to do in the world. Don’t get me wrong, it was always aligned with my purpose. Helping people that wanted to make the world betta was very much what my purpose was about. It was just kind of one aspect of that but it was just demand. That’s what people wanted. And what they wanted from me at that time. So it’s what we did.

John Ball
Yeah, well, I wasn’t at all unhappy when you came back on the scene where we do speaker presentation training, because I can come to one of your events and had the best time learn so much. And one thing I’ll say with you, particularly as a speaker, I still remember some of your stories from that event from some of the training that I’ve done with you. And consider I consider myself very lucky to have had that time when I first my first ever speaker trainer, you were there as one of the lead trainers and it was an incredible experience. I can remember good words of advice that you gave me on my first day, I had just flown in from Los Angeles on a night flight, and it comes straight to the training from work like jet lag, not much sleep. And I said you’re not sure maybe I should go mutagen it’s nighttime. He said note your absolute perfect, just go and do it and let your unconscious take over it. Probably better than everyone who’s well-rested. And I think you’re probably right.

Joanna Martin
Yeah, yeah, I think we lose our conscious resistance when we get exhausted. And indeed, to this day, I still designed training that were people out at the conscious level, you know, early on so that we do open up unconsciously, not in quite the same way as you know, a Robins would like sleep when you’re dead. That’s not my philosophy. I trained women these days and we need our sleep or we need rest. But I think there is something to be said for, for well-crafted training that allows our conscious mind to get out of the way so that we can just really soak in the learnings and get it deeply embedded as quickly as possible.

John Ball
Right, so so let’s talk about what you’ve moved into now then as the next step in your business evolution, which is now to working with women, particularly around leadership, and very much needed. But again, what prompted that for you?

Joanna Martin
Well, I was getting more and more messages from my own unconscious if you like on my soul, I don’t know how you want to say that. But, Greg, it started because Greg and I had been trying to conceive, we’ve been trying to have our first son, James, for a number of years. And, and it wasn’t happening. And I was just getting all of these hunches and clues and you know, in my writing and in my physio, very much my physiology as well, that I needed to take a break from the speaker training, a break from a business break for speaker training, I wasn’t really sure what it was so, so we did kind of one final round of training To that end, and then within and I’m not even kidding. Within a week, was it two weeks, maybe two weeks of completing our final speaker training event. Greg and I had moved back to the UK signed a lease on a place completed that training within two weeks we were pregnant with James it was just so clear that my system wanted a break. You know, so that was the first piece. However, I’m always so grateful for what that business provided for us and for so many people got so much from what we shared and taught during that period. And it was then whilst I was there was must be good 10 months later, I was breastfeeding James. And I just had this big insight, you know, there are moments when you just see through to the truth of it, whatever it is. And it just became really I was reflecting on that. The quote, which gets bandied around a lot in personal development spheres for women, especially from the Dalai Lama saying that the world will be saved by the western woman, which is quite controversial really because quite frankly, I don’t think it is just Western women. I think what he was trying to get out at the Vancouver peace summit in 2009. Because, you know, his for me to tell the Dalai Lama, what he was actually trying to get at But I think I think a more valid point that, that he’s burying itself to be true is that the world will be changed and shaped by women who have access to resources. And the reason that I think that is critical is that we women and not exclusively women, right? It’s not exclusively women. But, but what we women do when we are in positions of leadership, is we bring with us generations upon generations of compassion and caring, which has been bred into us, you know, up until 50 to 100 years ago, we weren’t allowed to be anything other than caring, nurturing and compassionate. Do you know that was the one power centre that we were allowed, we weren’t allowed any of the other spaces because of the way that the system was set up the very masculine paradigm that we live in and in leadership right now? Well, there is so much research, which is showing that the sorts of qualities that are required in leadership today are systematically being demonstrated more by women leaders than by my latest, you know, yeah. So I got this at this time when I was I was there we’ve James in his darkroom breastfeeding, it would be all of a sudden, I realised that he wasn’t talking about just prime ministers and presidents and global corporation CEOs. He’s talking about me, and he’s talking about my sister, and my neighbour and my mom and my grandma. You know, he’s talking about women with access to resources and all those of us with privilege those of us with more privileged than others, it’s our role I think and responsibility to actually harness our own energy and juggle and balance our own lives. Make that impact and the reason as I looked around at all of these people, this is who needs to step up here. It’s not waiting for someone else out there. If some leader on hire to come and make the world better, it’s us we’ve got to do it. But as I looked around at, you know, my sister and my grandma and my aunt and my neighbour and everybody else, everyone was just tearing around like headless chickens trying to make ends meet, trying to juggle the child care with who’s buying the Christmas presents and trying to be a good person and maybe doing a bit of fundraising for some charity on the side. It was just like Bedlam in most women’s lives. And I thought to myself that that’s it that’s what I can do. Do you know if I’ve gotten really good at anything over the years it’s what I call fierce prioritisation fiercely aligned to my purpose to my values giving energy to those things which feel like they’re my soul’s contribution to make on the planet and nothing else and ability to say no, I’m very good at saying no Wasn’t a wise I haven’t always been, but I’m very, very good at saying no. And to those things which don’t feel great and aligned, and I thought, God if I can, if I can, if I can create a space where women can come in and, and get that Do you know, to be able to handle the juggle of their day to day life to be able to step up and have a greater impact, whether it’s leading their family, their community, their organisation or their country, and increase their impact without burning out that that’s what I want to do. And so that’s how one of many was born.

John Ball
And the name is very appropriate, then based on exactly how you’ve explained how it came about and how you understand it.

Joanna Martin
Exactly. You know, I truly believe that is there’s nothing special about me, you know, really, I remember trying to explain this to a very American masculine paradigm mentor at one point, and she couldn’t even conceive that it wasn’t that I wasn’t the guru. I’m like, No, no, no, really. I’m not the guru. I think Things that I, these things that I can teach and that we do. I haven’t nailed it, none of us nails it and to the extent, they’re out there touting the fact that everybody’s got this now than if you haven’t, there’s something wrong with you. And you know, that’s the whole point. That’s what we need to move away from. A more recent mentor of mine wrote a fabulous manifesto recently called we the unfinished and I love that. Do you know, I think for all of us, all of us is imperfect. All of us is unfinished. All of us wish we were better than we were or wish we could do more than we are. But we’re the ones who have to make that contribution. We’re the ones who have to just keep growing as fast as we can. And I am just one of many women who are going to contribute to the world. I’m one of many women who has organisations like this you know, there are multiple but we what we’ve created, I think beautifully. And this is where you know, you’re truly aligned with purpose, because it’s well beyond what I ever could have conceived of in my little brain. But what has come to pass with one of many is an extremely Ordinary community we’ve had, I don’t know about 60 or 70,000 women come through our grants gate, some stay some head off. And in that space now we have a beautiful ecosystem of women who are consistently standing next to each other, being a fierce, committed stand for one another’s best selves, you know, encouraging each other to step up when it’s time to step back when it’s time to rest when it’s time to go hard when it’s time. And it’s, it’s extraordinary. And, you know, we’ve now got, we’ve now got nearly I don’t know, it must be close to 250 certified coaches. We’ve got 30-year-old certified trainers who are now taking our tools out as well. So it’s some it’s grown faster than I could ever have conceived. And I think it’s because just that deep soul level I’ve heard most clearly what my beingness was ready for, you know, just like this is it. Just Feel like one of many is actually like an entity separate to me. And my job is just to listen really carefully to what she wants, and do it. If I keep doing that we do great.

John Ball
I love it. And I think for me, like, female leadership is such a needed thing to begin training and giving more I’ve been seeing more women stepping up and stepping into their power and achieving so much more is more like, hopefully, getting closer to balancing the scales a bit more so that we can have that paradigm shift. And I think in recent times, we’ve seen that it has been female leadership in the political world, perhaps that has been really stepping up above most of everything else we see in the world and as exceptional leadership, I’d say

Joanna Martin
has been some really exceptional leadership through this global crisis, you know, that we’ve been present to it’s been absolutely extraordinary. I mean, Jacinda Ardem, my pinup woman of the type of leadership that we talked about, and it’s really Interesting from a drone because even three or four years ago, there weren’t in the media, visible examples of the type of leadership that we talked about. There were women in leadership, but most of the women who are very visible in leadership were still operating in the masculine paradigm. Do you know they were still operating from a very competitive and individualistic kind of approach to things, whereas Jacinda and, and indeed, many of the many, many, many of the leaders of the Nordic states, now Iceland and Norway, some exceptional examples of what we would call soft power leadership at play, women who are not coming from that place in a very collaborative, compassionate, strong, have gravitas and can make the big decisions, and frankly, are willing to step in and make the tough decisions, the unpopular decisions, which, you know, which I know, which I know is more difficult when When we’re in that kind of profane, masculine energy and for men and women alike, you know, it doesn’t, I think it is, it’s not a gender thing, it’s more of an energy thing, if we’re in our masculine energy, when, when any one of us can be a man or a woman can be masculine energy, and we have that competitive streak where we need to win or at least avoid failing, then, you know, it becomes this popularity contest or the or the how do we be the best? Or how do we do the whatever? Whereas if we can be in that feminine energy when it’s actually much more about community and collaboration and connection, if we can make decisions of what’s best for the greatest good and the great, you know, for the whole, and move away from this fiercely individualistic pursuit of rights that I think is happening in so many countries. I think that’s actually one of the key things that are made, made the navigation through this really difficult, you know, health, political-economic time, you know, is that ability to go this isn’t going to be popular, but this is actually what is required for the greatest safety and, you know, and preservation of, of society as much as we can, you know?

John Ball
Yeah, it’s, I mean, it’s my hope that that kind of leadership is going to steer us away from the muzzle, or authoritarian and aggressive styles that we generally tend to see this whole definition of power being tied in with really what I would call sociopathic qualities is something that needs to be broken.

Joanna Martin
Exactly. The system is broken, right the system is well, I so saw some articles saying the system’s not broken. It’s working perfectly for the power plays involved, but I think what has happened, and we’ve seen it, we’ve seen the fracturing of it. We’ve seen people calling it to account you know, through so many of the different movements that have come out I mean, it was starting to happen with the climate change movement. And look at Gretta at you know, we have a tiny little small child leading the charge on climate change. Do you know I just think it’s extraordinary. And that I think opened us up then we’ve obviously we’ve had Coronavirus, and we’ve seen amazing responses from New Zealand, Taiwan, Nordic States, Germany, all led by women not so great in countries that are led by our authoritarian you know, blokes when I guess it all depends on what do you say is great, but I would say death toll, you know, that for me is pretty much up there.

John Ball
I tie this in really with something that I think I first encountered from you and certainly from Chris, who you were working with at that time, the spiral dynamics is the values levels like this is a shift in values levels from I guess, we’re talking about level five values.

Joanna Martin
I think that’s it, I think I think a lot of nations are still very values level five oriented you know, certainly the UK UK still got a lot of four it to frankly, hasn’t it but the states is all about five, you know, Australia’s where I come from, there’s a lot of five, there’s some more six there. I think the problem that we see is that I’m not sure that many nations are going to be very happy to go through the values level six as a, as a centre, where it’s all about, you know, decision making by consensus that’s never going to work for a country. But what we see you did, right, I think it’s nice to have this chat with you, because no one else I’ve been able to talk to about that. But yes, what we see I think, with so many of these, especially female leaders is values level seven style leadership. You know, it’s it’s effective. It’s systemic, it’s, it’s, there’s a great book actually, I don’t know if you’ve read if you read Frederick Lou’s book reinventing, reorganise reinventing organisations.

John Ball
I haven’t but…

Joanna Martin
You would love it. It’s a great read on he calls it teal, right? Same thing, values levels is what he’s talking about to organisations. And I think that style of leadership is what we need right now. It’s got enough of the embedded community and, and holistic kind of approach, but it’s still very focused on systems that working and getting the right outcome and, and allowing leadership beyond one’s self, you know, like it can be leadership for different, you know, whoever’s the right person for the job can lead on that particular plate piece. I think that’s what we’ve seen. What’s working really well at the moment right now is that kind of leadership. You’re right.

John Ball
And that’s the kind of values that you’re working on bringing more into reality into real-life experience. Yeah?

Joanna Martin
Yeah. Yeah. And in fact, just helped me to realise exactly what we started off in the conversation, which is these things become embedded in us and our unconscious but yes, that’s very much about what one of many is about where supporting women to be able to I guess have that In a values evolution to be able to be effective to step up and be the best leader at the front, if that’s right for them to be able to hand over when it’s necessary to hand over to be able to work with them through others for the greater good of all, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

John Ball
Which is fantastic. I love that you’re doing that. I mean, I, I hope that the work that I do, and certainly a lot of stuff in podcast I do includes a lot of female empowerment because it’s something that does matter to me. But I know that as a guy even as a gay guy, it’s like it’s not really an area I can work in it really does need to be women who were teaching that and leading the way for each other with that, but certainly it can be my role to support that and to to help progress that as well.

Joanna Martin
I think that’s it we all need to be allies. Right. I think that right now this is a time where those of us with more privilege need to ally with those with less you know, whether that be around gender, whether it be around race, whether it be around sexuality, you know, whether it be any of these different kinds of issues which are so fiercely coming to the fore at the moment as they should. It’s the job of all of us, I think, to make each other’s voices heard in the right, you know, in the correct way. And that’s why it’s so beautiful to be able to chat about this stuff with you, John, I think it’s critical.

John Ball
I think it’s always important to do that you have a very clear vision. What would you like to see like in terms of maybe more like, legacy? What would you really like to see come from one of many?

Joanna Martin
Do you know, I didn’t know. When I envisage the future. I’m out five or seven generations. Hence, you know, that’s the vision I’m working towards. I don’t know how much of it’s going to happen in my lifetime, and I’m okay with that. For me, when I look at my vision there, I see parity in leadership. I see just as many women in justice Same leadership roles as I see men and everyone on is working together. There’s nobody doing, you know, 80 hour weeks anymore it’s a thing of the past where we’re far more collaborative and recognising you know skill strength so that it doesn’t disclude having children and you know, all of that kind of stuff. So so I really do believe I was on Necker Island last year with the virgin unite foundation and Jean Oelwang, who’s the president of virgin unite, which is Branson’s Family Foundation. She gave a great presentation, she said, I think the time for silver bullet type thinking is long gone. But there are certain silver levers that we can pull. And for me, I think striving towards parity and leadership politically at an organisational level at community level, and even just in the domestic level at farm, right if we can achieve partnership power partnership within couples and parity of representation across those spheres. I truly believe that that’s the silver lever. Because if you open the doors in order to achieve parity, we have to change the systems because women are opting out at the moment because they think it’s either the 80 hour week and no babies right? Or the 80 hour week and babies but my kids won’t know me. And so that will fuck it. I’m not going to do it. Right. I’m sorry. I hope we can swear on this point.

John Ball
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Joanna Martin
I’ve done pretty well to get this far in actually…

John Ball
No, I highly encourage it.

Joanna Martin
So I think so that’s for me, the vision that I have is parachute because of all of the systemic changes we would need to have implemented in order for parity to be able to be there. That is what’s going to make the world better. Not that it is not that we achieve parity, but it’s the things we would have had to have changed. About how we relate to each other about how things about equity, you know, equity at home equity in organisation in cross politics, it for us to see the results of parity, so much would have had to have changed and that’s what I want to. That’s what I want to, I don’t know sow the seeds for, you know, I don’t. And I think if one of many were right at the beginning of seeing the kind of female leaders that I think can help us there, and if one of many we’re a breeding ground for visible female leaders, that will start to be those role models for the next generation. So it becomes normalised that you can be a great mom and a very busy visible leader, you can be a great mom and also do these other things or not be a mom and that’s okay, too. You know, like, just having the full menu on you know, being able to select from the whole menu as a woman and be able to make the impact that feels like it’s called to in your heart If that could be what we show to our next generation, if we can impact you know, I’ve got a vision to equip a million women with these tools to be able to sustainably change their corner of the world. And that’s kind of where my first milestone is, I mean to that end.

John Ball
Which is a fantastic goal.  And I truly admire everything you’re doing here. I think it’s wonderful. Thank you. Do you think recent times that with Corona and all of this, which was you shouldn’t mention the podcast, but what the heck do you think that maybe might be something that’s exacerbated change and may be made people realise in this big wake up. We’ve had this huge pattern interrupt into our life experience.

Joanna Martin
Hugely. Absolutely. I think I think this global pandemic has been… I truly don’t think we can even conceive of how society is going to look after this. Right? I really don’t think we can. I think this is a possibility point where a bifurcation point where we can go to, you know, a new way of being or it’s going to get way messier than it was and to be honest, I think the jury’s still out on which way that’s gonna go. But yes, at a very individual level we saw women in our community, having powerful conversations with their partners for the very first time about partnership on the domestic stuff, you know, they’ve just been putting up with it. But when you’re both at home, both homeschooling both were trying to work full time. You can’t ignore the fact that you’re the one doing all the fucking laundry and everything else. You know, we’ve seen women having conversations with their bosses where it was this one moment where I’m one of our great one of our members in our lead to change programme, which is a year-long leadership programme came to one of the causes and she was just like, everyone I should have said something, but I didn’t. This is what just happened. She’d been on a call with her boss, who was a man who had said to her, Well, you’ll need to take this because unfortunately, we’ll call him James, your co-worker is at home, you know, caring for the kids at the moment because of the pandemic, blah, blah, blah, you know, working from home, multitasking, childcare, and our lead to change. Woman in question at the time was like, Oh, yeah, of course. Then she got off the comment. Like me too like, I’ve got my kids here too. But just because I’m better at it because I’ve been doing it for 20 years. I didn’t speak up. And so she was like, she went back and she spoke up and she said, this is not okay. This is the pointy end of the gender imbalance thing. It didn’t even enter your consciousness that I’ve got kids at home, just because I’m better at keeping them out of the space. He’s hopeless at it because he’s never had to do it before doesn’t mean that it’s okay for me to have to do more. And so we’ve had lots of those conversations with bosses. We’ve had lots of lots of women in very personal ways, recognising the inequity around them and starting to champion themselves and champion that space. We actually put the qualities, the equalities office, the woman equalities office was looking for evidence on the unequal impact of COVID-19 on protected communities of which gender is one but race, you know, a whole bunch of different things. And we surveyed our entire community got some incredible information of what was actually going on at this time for women. And there is absolutely no doubt that women have been hit harder even though you know, oh, men do worse with Coronavirus. Okay. Yeah, maybe you do. But everything else about it, the economic impact, the mental health impact, you know, the relationship. Everything else has been just so stressful. You think about women at home who are now over here who had been suffering, abuse at home then got locked up with their abusers. You know, it was just messy. So I think it is, I think, absolutely it’s one of these moments and we’ve seen it in Black Lives Matters. We’ve seen it in trans Lives Matter, you know, all of these sorts of movements coming out saying no more, you know, no more. This is not okay. Yeah. And I think and we’re economically things are going to change dramatically. Right, absolutely, dramatically. I think we are still very much shielded from what is going to happen. And I truly do believe that it is in the way that we recreate from this and that we demand better from our leaders. You know, leadership is not just about being out there and being a visible leader leadership is also about demanding more from our politicians, demanding more from our places of employment, demanding more for what it is that we require, right? They’re in our home in our partnerships, you know. And I think, I hope, I truly, I know the opportunity is there for this and I deeply, deeply hope that we can equip and empower ourselves all of us men and women alike to advocate for the better as we come out from this.

John Ball
One of the things that I think would be great to touch on is really how you go about doing that now talk about the vision is inspiring, but how then do people go about empowering themselves to actually step up as the leaders in their lives? And then you’re focusing that specifically on women at the moment, but I know it’s relevant to anyone who might be listening to actually make yourself a person of influence a person who’s listened to

Joanna Martin
his I think, yeah, I’m gonna answer this differently, perhaps, and I may have answered it before but just what I’m most present to from our conversation at the moment and that Is that I think there are a few key pieces. If you want to be a person of influence, if you want to be someone who’s listened to, you’ve got to have something worth saying. And the only thing worth listening to is what moves your soul. You know, I think for so many of us, we can get so tied up in the marketing of our business and the packaging of our messaging and the, you know, the creation of products and all of the rest of it. But the more I move in this space, and the more extraordinary people I’m blessed to meet, you know, I’ve had incredible conversations with leaders, you know, leaders of countries, gang leaders, you know, ex-gang leaders, like extraordinary people that I’ve met in the last few years especially. And it’s not about clever language patterns and you know, how to package things and how does, it’s who that person is, right? It’s how It is who they are being and what’s happened in their life that that makes them that you can’t not listen to them. Even if they’re just talking about you know whether or not we should go sailing on the OB cat or whether we should go do this thing. You just can’t not listen to them. So what is it that has someone be that have that gravitas? You know, I think there are a few things that go into that. The first thing is self-awareness. there I’m yet to meet a great compelling influence influential person who doesn’t understand themselves, right that doesn’t have so and they’ve all the ones I’ve spoken to on different practices of how to get to that self-awareness. But that might be a journaling practice. It might be a meditation practice, but there is some way they know what they’re great at. They know what they’re not great at, but here’s the most critical pace. They know what sets them on fire, because at some level, either through happenstance, or like something’s happened to them, like a significant emotional event if you like, or because they’ve made it their journey to discover it, they know why their soul chose to be on the planet at this time, right? They might not be able to answer it exactly that way. But the way they speak, they’ve just got that resonance, I suppose about themselves in their whole being, you know, I’m thinking of like, last year, I had the great privilege to meet Juan Manuel Santos, who’s a Nobel Peace Prize winner. He was the president of Colombia at the time who negotiated the peace treaty with the FARC guerrillas. It wouldn’t matter what that man was saying, right? You are listening. It’s not that he was, you know, I was he was one of the guys on Necker Island, you know, so where he’s hanging out and boardshorts and, and we’re literally literally Just banging around. And equally the Prime Minister of former prime minister of Bhutan, I also met there a called Lokko. L O double K T O highly worth following call on social media, he former gang leader who totally transformed his life and started going into former gang territories, you know, with his hands up in the air saying, I’m sorry, I love you like, you know, building these bridges across you know, keep feuding gang territories, each one of these people. And hello, Thomas Dakota, who ran for president of Iceland and, and ran the only financial institution in Iceland not to go bankrupt when the whole country did, for instance, these extraordinary people when they speak you listen and why do you listen? You listen because they care deeply and passionately about what it is That sets them on fire, they know where their skills are, and they know where they need to bring counsel where they need to bring others. But I think at the core of it, it’s this.

It just can’t stop. You just, they just deeply care about why they here, whether they’re clear about whether they speak to that exactly or not. And I see that in the women inside of my community. I have a slightly different take on leadership than a lot of leadership training organisations out there, in that I believe, if you just strip away everything that is not the authentic self, authentic self,  his soul’s purpose, and you just start speaking it, yes, you can go get some public speaking, you know, public speaking training after the fact. Yes, you can shape your messaging that more and do I when I put together a presentation, follow all of my rules, and you know, all of that kind of thing. Yeah, absolutely. I do. But I think that’s shaping. It’s like, you know, it’s shaping the rosebush. You know, the rose is beautiful, the roses individual it is unique, it would be beautiful. If it was scrambling all over the place you couldn’t ignore the beauty of the Rose, but you can take care of it and prune it and let go of the pieces that are not necessary for the exquisiteness. But the Rose has got to be the rose. So I think if, if if you want to truly influence people, the journey is an inward one. It’s like who are you? Why are you here? And what are you being called to do? You know? I mean a lot of people talk about legacy and they talk about what do you want to leave I it’s like um, I kind of not even thinking really about what I’m going to leave I just think that where do we need to go and what’s my role in that? How do I be of service to where I see that we can go and I think if we can if you can fall in love whatever is calling you forward and be of service to it deeply and passionately, Holy moly, that’s the best thing about life. Right. Why would you want to do anything else

John Ball
where there’s passion, you will find a way?

Joanna Martin
Yeah, yeah. Yeah,

John Ball
Exactly. Exactly. So it’s interesting. I always think about, I tend to relate more to thinking about maybe artists like musicians and painters and performers. But it’s, it’s really not like precision or specific ability that makes people the best at what they do. It’s always the passion that pulls in people. That’s what people connect with. And I think that’s very much in alignment with what you’re saying here is that passion, and how important it is to find that you find the way through that’s what will attract people, people won’t care if your talk if your talk isn’t perfect. Or if you say things are one way around. If you have the passion there for what you’re doing and for your message. I think if you if you know who you are as well, this is one of the most no if there’s only one thing that people take away from listening to this today. I hope that’s it.

Joanna Martin
I think so. And for me, it’s, um, it’s, it’s, it’s almost sometimes I think passion gets bandied around as a word you need to be passionate. But for me, it is a much deeper, it’s almost deeper than passion. It’s like, and it’s not something that it’s sort of at a surface level. It’s something which is at that deep soul level. So for thinking passion, you know, and I used to talk about this, I think, you know, the Passion of Christ. There’s that deep religious kind of connotations to that aspect of it, it’s that it’s, it’s what is your What? Yeah, what have you really burn, you know, what has you really, that drives you so much, you couldn’t, you could no longer ignore it. You couldn’t possibly ignore it without actually denying your whole soul and your whole self that is that, that that depth, and, you know, my advice to anyone would be don’t stop until that it’s that deep Don’t judge yourself if it isn’t there yet. That’s okay. You know, it’s a lifelong journey to discover it, you know, I mean, I, I had a great life when I was coaching and training had a great life when I was teaching speaking, you know, but was I plugged into that depth of that, you know, soul expression that time? No, of course, it wasn’t. And I bet in another 10 years I’ll look back at this and go archaeology kid, you didn’t know a thing, you know? But I think if you make that your mission to just keep learning that next level about yourself, it’ll everything else pales into insignificance.

John Ball
Yeah. And that kind of leads me to think about one of the issues that comes up so often with so many of my private coaching clients, and even with my group coaching, I’d say that people are waiting to find that perfect thing before they even get started. And it just doesn’t work that way. I know some people do. Some people just know what it is. They know straightaway what fires them up, but most people I think don’t and aren’t even getting started or thinking What if I choose the wrong thing? Or what if it isn’t? It may turn sour, you think he’s not gonna do the right thing that will develop over time. But if you don’t get started that journey that evolution won’t even happen?

Joanna Martin
Absolutely, I truly believe that one cannot discover one’s life purpose or one’s calling in inertia. You just can’t. The only way that you can actually navigate. And actually, that makes me think I’d quite like to look up the etymology of that word. But you know, if you want to navigate, you have to be in motion. You know, you can’t, you can’t remember I used to use a, I used to use an analogy of this, like if your car is currently you know, parallel parked between two cars facing in the wrong direction. In order to turn the car around and get going the way you want. You’ve got to go into reverse, then you’ve got to go off at a 45-degree angle and you might have to do a whole lot of different things to get yourself pointed in the right direction. But until you stop moving, you can’t get pointed in the right direction. And I believe Often, I use them as another analogy of what I call the indecision roundabout. It’s like this roundabout outside Oxford that I run into a lot and it’s got so many exits. I get confused almost every time but you know, you’ve got your, if you’ve got your Sat Nav, and it’s all plugged in and says, okay, you’re going to take the third exit, so you’re driving into the you driving into the roundabouts, big one, you can’t see the whole way around. And then you come to an exit is that the second exit is at the third exit. So you skip it, then your next one, I’ll shut it was that was the one I was meant to leave on. So now you have to go around again. But you’re still not quite sure. And if you are going around and around and around on around about you know how your Sat Nav is always like two seconds behind like it’s recalculating two seconds behind. It’s just the same way in life. If we are trying to work out whether something is more on purpose or less on purpose if this is good for our business or bad for our business. It’s like we’re on a roundabout and our Sat Nav won’t ever catch up like the feedback until you play if until you do something. You don’t get the feedback. You don’t get the feedback. From your clients, you don’t get the feedback from your soul. You don’t get the feedback from God or source or whatever you know relate to in that path. You don’t get the feedback until you’re in action. So to get off the roundabout, you just got to pick an exit, any frickin exit doesn’t matter. But you get off the exit, then the satellites catch up, and then you like to hear, you know, take the next left or you’re here turn around when possible, right, like one or the other. But it’s not until you commit to something that you can get the feedback that tells you whether or not it was the right path. people that get so attached to making the right decision. I don’t think I’ve ever made the right decision. But I do believe I truly believe that your success in business and possibly even in life is in direct proportion to the velocity with which you make decisions.

John Ball
As our mutual friend Taki Moore says don’t aim for perfect, aim for done.

Joanna Martin
Yes, indeed.

John Ball
Yeah, that’s much more workable. Now. You use that a lot with my class. as well to many people in for, for getting it right rather than just doing it and then working on it from there and that is the best way getting process get stuff happening. I want to come back around quickly before start wrapping things up to something you mentioned earlier about burnout and overwhelm, particularly in recent times where and see especially with, as you said, especially with women, there’s been high increase in stress and I many people are feeling that and still feeling that level of overwhelm and maybe even moving towards burnout. I know for me, I’ve been with quarantines and stuff here, just throwing myself into work is my way of dealing with that. But also realising that not something I can do at that level for forever, has been great and I’ve made a lot of progress and it’s been good But even now sort of thing. Now sort of coming out of that and throwing myself into it and dealing with what’s going on again in the world. It’s kind of emotional sometimes and I know a lot of people have even much more to deal with and I do, what advice would you give, especially for women who are dealing with all these things at the moment and struggling to keep afloat with it?

Joanna Martin
Do you know this? This is this has been the most common question that I’ve had over the last, you know, well, I mean, it’s, it’s what launched our business was how to deal with overwhelm, we’ve got a great little resource called the overwhelm first aid kit for exactly that point, because this is the most critical thing that a lot of women have to face. Having said that, in the last, you know, in this kind of period of quarantine, and so on, it has reached overwhelming heights. Because we have not only are we juggling more tasks, and more emotions than ever before, and more decisions like even just the decision of Do I go to the supermarket today or do I try and stretch that out bearing in mind the fact that that’s another exposure, but let me make 183,000 decisions before breakfast during quarantine, whereas in the past that executive functioning we were just in our usual routine. So if you add the amount have extra decisions were making to the amount of extra emotion. We’re all carrying around recognising that emotion is contagious. Fear is contagious. Anger is contagious. We feel it from each other, and emotions have been high. And then add that to the multitasking that has been required by so many, especially parents. And not this is not mums exclusively parents, men and women. It’s been absolutely burdensome and incredibly difficult. So, so I there’s a few ways to approach it. Critically, you have to work some time into your day for what I call spaciousness. And what you do in that time is completely up to you. But something that gets you connected. So personally, I’ve got a journaling habit. I’ve been doing it now since I was 18 years old. I first learned about it in the artists way. It’s called morning pages. I write three pages every single day. During the lockdown, I wasn’t it got worse when I started again, surprise, surprise, things got better. My other critical habit is for calming the daily chaos is a walk in nature. I’m blessed to live in the Cotswolds where I can get out and walk in the fields. And, and I can get out and harness my five women’s power types as we talk about here, one of many during that so get that getting that spaciousness in and prioritising self-care now not I’m not about doing your frickin nails, I’m talking about at the kind of self-care that we have needed. The radical self-care that we’ve needed in this last period of time has been things like a lot of emotional what I call emotional hygiene, you know, we get filled up with fear or we get filled up with anger or full up with hurt because you know, whatever has been going on at home, we’ve got to get that out of our bodies. You know, we have to learn to process emotion and get it out. And that’s been the kind of self-care that I’ve been advocating so much for the women in our community during this period of time. So it’s having a habit that gets you that spaciousness and such way of dealing with the emotional build-up that is happening at a much faster pace than perhaps it was six months ago.

John Ball
Are these things that tie in with your seven rituals to come? Yes, it did. Because you very kindly have offered that as a free resource for our listeners and watchers. So we’ll have that in the show notes for everyone. And, and thank you for those. It’s amazing how the conversation actually naturally brought us to that. So there are so many things I was hoping to get to talk to you about today. But I can’t complain. The conversation has been absolutely fantastic. I didn’t go where I’ve expected, but it’s been inspirational and amazing. And so I really want to thank you for that. I know you’ve provided through your pa provided some of the ways for people to get in touch with you. But if someone’s listening, and we’ll say, I want to check out this person right now. What’s the best place for them to come and find out more about you?

Joanna Martin
Yeah, if they would. So there’s a couple of websites you can check out if it’s more about me join a mountaintop Calm has got info about me and how to work with me one on one if you want consulting or that kind of stuff, I still do a bit of consulting one on one. But predominantly, the work that I do is one of many. So that’s at one of many.co.uk. And right there, there are loads of amazing free resources. Perhaps you’re interested in becoming a coach for women or a trainer for women specifically and interested in the methodologies and the tools that we share. You can find lots of information on our website there about how to get involved in that, but it would be a joy to meet anyone from your community. John, I feel like we go way back and I’m sure that they would be fabulous to be able to work in partnership with

John Ball
Well, I certainly hope so. And I hope that many people come and come and check that out. And I know that I love following you on social media, you’re pretty active on Instagram and Facebook and you’re a great person to follow there as well. And I used to want Nick arriving I think in the accuracy and stuff you were posting whilst you were there and already called. And one thing I do is like to get to with my guests you’ve already given me Will you give me a pass But recommendation which I love and really appreciate but we did talk about a book that you would generally recommend to everybody to check out

Joanna Martin
yeah do you know i i i think that oh my god that and when you asked me there were just so many competing things jumping into my head all at the same time. And that led me to think you know what, the thing that has seen me through quarantine is just good novel after good novel after good novel Now I know that sounds ridiculous and it sounds like a cop-out but here’s what I mean. One of the reasons so many people were not coping with quarantine was because they ended up going to bed too late. And the most seductive thing to get you to bed other than the sexiest partner imaginable is a damn good read that we reach that time when we get so so hit up in reading, you know, nonfiction or good you know, good books and a whole bunch of different things. I was gonna talk about Chip and Dan Heath and hold this, so many great books. But if I look back at the books that have held me held my head above water over the last six months, it’s been having a lovely, amazing, compelling story that seduces me to beds to read for those 10 minutes before I go to sleep. So my book recommendation is to go buy yourself a fucking good novel.

John Ball
I love it. I’ve been listening. I like audiobooks. And I’ve been listening to the testaments by Margaret Atwood. And that’s been phenomenal and the fact that different actresses are reading it and I and our two plays Lydia in the TV shows, I just worship, she’s reading it as well, like I could listen to her forever. So yeah, I agree. It’s like having these things. I really look forward to it. And I’ve always been a big nonfiction reader, but I absolutely love getting myself into a bit of fiction and being in that world in my head for a while that just takes me away and puts different perspectives on and yeah,

Joanna Martin
I love it. I’ve been reading, I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy fiction by black writers recently, I just recently read the book of Phoenix. I’m reading a book called The fifth season at the moment. And it’s wonderful. I think in the light of the Black Lives Matter campaign, we’re kind of taking it upon myself to get myself educated around anti-racism and so forth. For me, being able to see things through fiction through you know, through a different set of eyes is another really, really compelling and stimulating approach for me because there’s only so much you know, that we can take in at any one time in, in our, all of our nonfiction reading, but for me, it feels it’s the genre that I love, absolutely love kind of fantasy stuff and historical fiction, weirdly enough, so either kind of mash-up in my head, but yeah, there are some beautiful books.

John Ball
Absolutely. I know we need to wrap things up and you’ve got many other things to do. But there are so many other things. I wanted to talk about Banu is going to be an amazing show, I hope maybe sometime in the future, we can give it another go. And we can get to some of the stuff around more speaking and stories and things like that. And another time maybe. But for now, are there and you share so many amazing things. It’s been really an inspirational call and I’ve loved every minute of it. If there was just a closing message or a sum up that you’d like to leave everyone with,

Joanna Martin
I think I just say look after yourself. Do you know, I think most of us have had a tough time of that recently, we’ve tended to put everybody else’s needs ahead of our own. We’ve worried what everybody else is thinking about all about choices. It’s a really critical time to come back to centre ask yourself what’s important to you? And are you giving yourself the time that you need to be able to sustainably show up and build your business or make your impact or do whatever it is that you’re doing in the world? Take care of yourself.

John Ball
Fantastic. Thank you so much for today. It’s been really wonderful. I know that all keep following And keep checking out all the amazing things that you’re doing online. You are a wonderful person to be connected with and still a massive inspiration. So to me personally into many, many other people as well. So thank you.

Joanna Martin
Thank you, john. It’s been a real pleasure chatting.

John Ball
Thanks for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed the show. Remember to like and subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes of the show. Like our next episode with LinkedIn content marketing expert, Angela Dunz. I had a lot of fun chatting to Angela, she was delightful and she knows her stuff when it comes to LinkedIn. If you have any kind of presence on LinkedIn, if you want to know how to use that really well as a marketing tool, you will want to make sure that you tune in for that conversation. Do keep an eye out for the humour and presentation series that I’m doing as well pointing at leading with laughter. A few of those episodes are already out there available in the back catalogue. You can find them in the playlist for this channel. And do also take a look at some of the other episodes in there as well. If you haven’t tuned in to the channel before, there’s a lot of great content haven’t been previously released. If you’d like to learn more about the show or get in touch with me, please email me john at present influenced.com if you think you’d be a great guest or you want to meet a guest on your show or speak at your event, anything like that, I’d love to hear from you. See you next time.

How to be a high performer under pressure with guest Tina Greenbaum

Do you want to be a top performer in business?
How do you manage stress in high-pressure environments?
If you’re interested to know who top c-suite executives and performers go to when they want to turn up their performance without turning up their stress levels, you’re in for a treat.

My guest for this episode is Tina Greenbaum, founder of Mastery Under Pressure and author of the book Mastery Under Pressure: How you can achieve an unstoppable mindset. Tina shares with us some of her journey and her experience that led her to coaching CEO’s and top executives to be able to achieve at higher levels whilst gaining greater inner peace and clarity too.

I got to ask Tina about some of her experience and growth as a public speaker too and how that has fitted in with her business growth. You can find Tina’s website listed above and she’s also active on Linked In if you’d like to find out more about her.

Tina’s Book recommendation is ‘The Road Less Stupid’ by Keith Cunningham

Transcript

John Ball
Welcome to speaking of influence with John Ball from present influence.com. Each week we talk about presentation skills and public speaking and the tools of influence and persuasion with experts and incredible guests. Stay tuned and enjoy the show. Speaking of influence is uploaded and distributed to all major podcast networks through buzzsprout. Buzzsprout is the simplest way to get your podcast started with a ton of great resources for new podcasters you could start your podcast today follow the link in the show notes.

Welcome back to the speaking of influence podcast I’m really excited to bring another amazing guest, an amazing lady who works in the area of executive coaching. She is the founder of her mastery under pressure programme with a clinical background which really helps in the area of coaching and she is coaching People in the high-pressure high-stress environments of business leadership. Please welcome to the show, Tina Greenbaum.

Tina Greenbaum
Thank you. Thanks so much for having me.

John Ball
I’m really pleased that you came on the show and that you agreed to appear as a guest. Because when we had our chat a little while ago about discussing what we’ve talked about in an episode, not only were you delightful, but you clearly know your stuff as well, you’re very experienced, and you have an amazing background for what you do. Perhaps you can share some of that for the audience.

Tina Greenbaum
Sure. So I started my career as a teacher in special education and quickly moved over to the field of psychotherapy because I really like the idea of getting into the heads of people and kids and families. And so I went back to school and I got my master’s in social work, and I started out working with women with eating disorders. They were my first clients, and nobody had ever treated eating disorders before. This was 30 some years ago and it was like a novelty. So they gave us a manual that said alcoholism, crusted output eating disorders. They said, Go, you know, to us beginning therapists. And so very early on, I realised that my traditional psychotherapy practise was really insufficient for dealing with people that were so complicated. And check out my first fluid, a yoga class where I got into that deep state of relaxation. If I could only get those young women to do this, then maybe they wouldn’t need their eating disorder. And that was the beginning for me of the mind-body connection. Because I used to say to them, it’s like, I hear you, but I don’t feel you. And if I don’t feel you, you’re not going to change. And so the fundamental question that I’ve used my entire really career has been what can I do that will help you change at a fundamental level because the body gets triggered before the mind gets triggered? So we could talk, talk, talk talk, but somehow or other, the talking wasn’t changing the behaviour. And so that led me to all kinds of things that are how do I get under the conscious mind because that’s where everything is laid down. And the body is a, as an amazing vehicle and instrument for us to learn how to use and be able to connect to because that’s where our information is. So when they say mind, body, it’s, it’s real. And now the neuroscience has, you know, has kind of taken away and, you know, things that the ancient gurus have known for centuries and centuries, the science is now proving it. So I’m not you know, so all the things that I, you know, kind of looked at in terms of spiritual stuff and, and I’ve names of all kinds of things EMDR and EFT, TFT, and all these techniques or strategies that get under the conscious mind we’re now coming into a synergy, really between this mind-body connection.

John Ball
Yeah, interestingly, I was reading a fascinating article, I like to read science magazines. In my spare time, I’m a bit nerdy and I like all of the new tech and scientific developments and they cover a lot, the magazine I like covers a lot of the developments of neuroscience and psychology as well. And there is investigation now more into the understanding that the brain isn’t necessarily the seat of consciousness as we have been assuming that it is for a lot of evidence now to suggest that really, it’s our whole body that the brain doesn’t carry consciousness by itself. It’s more like sort of the in and out and certainly, there are levels of it there. But it seems that our whole body

Tina Greenbaum
is it’s an amazing connection between the gut, the gut, and the brain. Right. And so there’s a nerve, it’s called the vagal nerve, the vagus nerve that goes from the brain to the gut and all the there’s a lot of things called emotional molecules. And, you know, again coming back to yoga and chakras and the centres of these energies. There’s a lot of, you know, things that connect us to different parts of the brain. So it’s fascinating stuff.

John Ball
This is an interesting area and I know that in neuroscience we’re still scratching the surface really as well. But you developed your business more into working with executives so from that sort of therapeutic side what was that path? What took you from working with people with eating disorders into working with now…

Tina Greenbaum
That’s a great question, John, because it’s been an evolution right so what I learned from these young women was really just about anything and everything that you could want to know about people because they had everything you know, depression, anxiety and stress and, and all kinds of things and so but what I learned from them, and then moving on to just many other different kinds of clients with very high functioning people, there were a lot of people that just had no skill. So we would talk about, you know, all kinds of things that are psychologically based. And you could tell me about your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, but what were you going to do when you got in front of an audience? What are you going to do if you wanted to do a podcast that we’re going to podcast where, you know, there then but a performance or you were an actor or a dancer, you were a financial person, and you have to make a presentation and all these different things, that how do I stop that, that my heart like kind of racing, or, you know, I do really well in practice, but when it comes to, you know, being in front of a judge or being in front of a, you know, my senior executive, I just kind of fall apart and all those kinds of questions over and over and over again. And at the same time, I was raising three sons and two of my sons were very competitive soccer players and one, you know, extremely talented, up to the You know, had a dream about being a professional player and went to the national level and, and so I used to say, I don’t know a lot about soccer or football, or you are. But I know a lot about psychology. And so I started studying sports psychology. And sports psychology is actually Eastern thought. So here were the merging of a lot of my interests in terms of spirituality and, and, you know, in sport, and business and, and the arts, and I lived in Washington, DC, so a lot of lawyers. And then I moved to New York and a lot of actors, dancers, performers, financial people, bank, people, all kinds of high-pressure people. Now I’m out in San Francisco, and so it’s tech and founders and, but as human beings, we all have the same issues. No matter where you are, no matter where you live, and where you are on that level of survival. We need these skills. So remember, I started out as a teacher So I really, you know, we don’t have a name us and what kind of executive coaching or this or that I’m really a teacher. And so this mastery under pressure came out of every period of my life where I’ve gone through another something, another tragedy, another event another. Once I get through it to the other side, then I can teach it. And I figured, well, if I’ve gone through it, so have you, you know, I lost my parents in a car accident when I was 42. And it’s like, not the first person in the world that has experienced this as tragic and as awful as it was. Okay, so what can I then teach, then I had cancer, so it’s like, then I love dancing, so I put it together as cancer dancer. And then my second husband is a tennis instructor and he would say to his kids, you got to go out there. You got to be aggressive. You got to be confident, so great. You just don’t have a clue how to do it. But I know how to teach him how to do it. So then we created a programme called tennis to the max where I would teach the mental side and then he would take the students on the court and put that into practice. So all these skills no matter which vertical, you know, I work with. It’s the same skills, different people need them at different levels. I start out with like, if you were to think of a continuum, anxiety is at one level, and then peak performance is the top level. And so we have to learn how to manage all those feelings to be able to perform in high-pressure situations. At a top top top level. Yeah, and then working with executives. I love working with really big minds, and creative minds and people that impact a great number of people. So as I just said, all these skills, everybody, if you’re living and breathing, people need them.

John Ball
I can relate to a great degree to that have been coaching for a long time and internationally now my client base is global. And people from different careers, different backgrounds, different countries and experiences and as different as you can possibly be. And yet, as you say, generally, the needs are the same, there are mainly the same kinds of things come up over and over again. Otherwise, I’ve been having to learn to coach again, from different country that I spoke to.

Tina Greenbaum
So from a marketing perspective, right, we say you have to have a particular you know, it’s not good marketing to say I can help everybody. Right? But the truth is, if you’re part of the human condition, right, just as in your business, you can help everybody.

John Ball
Yeah, of course, everyone can benefit from it. But yeah, like a marketing perspective, you have to focus in on who you want to help the most and, and perhaps where you’re going to have the best fit with your own style and the way you want to do Things happen. And as you know, we’re all holistic beings, we don’t just have one element of our lives that needs to work on is is always more than one thing. And nearly always they cross into each other as well. So is that when you work on improving one part of your life, it usually starts to bring up some other things as well and take things. The high level,

Tina Greenbaum
you’ve done a good bit of personal development I can hear.

John Ball
Oh, yeah, yeah, I mean, I’ve been fascinated by personal development for a long time and then moved into working in it. So probably some 15 years ago, really, and then over that time, moving into it full time. And yeah, I love it as an area and I’m not always going to stay coaching in some capacity with people. But how that looks has varied for me as well. So it’s really interesting to hear your journey from working in a school to now going on working with C suite kind of people at a high level, high performance that it makes so much sense. Sounds like a huge gaping difference. And yet, you can really see, yeah, it’s not so different. You’re still a teacher. It’s just different kinds of teaching.

Tina Greenbaum
Somebody asked me yesterday, they said, Well, you reinvented yourself. And I said, really not. I really haven’t, you know, maybe the venue and the people. But I’ve had the same mission. Because I’ve got, I went back and I looked at some of my stuff from years and years and years ago. And I think this is really helpful for people. Just in terms of what you and I are talking about, in terms of, you said it so beautifully, you know, different we’re attracted to different kinds of people based on who we are, and the skills that we have in our energies. And, and so I’ve never really veered away from this. This mission really is to I still have my mission statements to ignite people’s imagination that they too, can be something that they never thought was even possible and have it you know, kind of bringing it back to who You are as a person and your own developmental, you know, pieces and finding that fit. And then you just, you know, keep going. And it may look different people different things, but it’s the same essence of who you are.

John Ball
Yeah, I love that. And so I want to ask you about peak performance.

Tina Greenbaum
So I guess the first thing that comes to mind is the word flow, and I can never remember how to pronounce this name. McHale.

John Ball
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Tina Greenbaum
Yeah, there you go. I should study at one time and really memorise it but he really, really coined that wonderful statement of that experience. When you’re in you’re just exactly kind of what we were talking about in different words, you’re in your, your flow, you’re in your element. And so there are certain things that happen in the brain. And that’s where a lot of he is a psychology. He is a psychologist and when You are doing what you have been trained to do. And that it is your you have the talent and the training. And those things come together at one time. And your performance becomes natural, it becomes something that feels almost supernatural. Yeah, that actually into the mind expands, time slows down. And there is nothing but you know, people talk about, you know, when they, if they were to see a ball that was this, you know, certain small and then it becomes bigger. And that’s all they see. So, the brain cooperates with all this practice in training that so that’s really kind of when we think about it, mostly, even from a sports performance. But when you’re a speaker, right, so we and I’m a speaker, so we talked about that time where it’s just like, oh my god, it’s over. We just started this thing. And, you know, the audience was so engaged and I was engaged and I was just feeling like that. Really, really on top of my game. And so that’s sort of that performance, but also, we just saw the other night. Tom Hanks in Greyhound, which was a submarine, you know, it was it was the fight across the Atlantic during World War Two. And he was a captain of a ship and they had 48 hours where there was no air coverage. And so they were being attacked. And just kind of watching his level of competence and quick thinking and, you know, what, at the end sort of a, you know, he turned around and his feet were all bloody because he had been standing on his feet for 48 hours and, you know, just completely connected to what was happening and, and high, high, high high but it doesn’t get much more high pressure than that, but able to keep that level of calm because the leader sets the pace for everybody else. And so when, and the thing that about really, really great leaders and peak performance is they set a tone, they set an energy they set a presence and an energy, you know, speaking, you know, in terms of energy, we, we resonate with the highest form of energy. Love is the highest form of energy. And so when we’re around people who are loving people, that energy trumps the the lower energies, and so great leaders can see things that other people can’t see more quickly. You know, they anticipate what’s happening. And, and so if we can teach groups of people, teams of people to these skills that great Olympic athletes athletes train, then why wouldn’t you have a team That was performing at a level that most others wouldn’t. So I would say that if you have two athletes that are that are it doesn’t have to be athletes. It could be two competitors in anything that have the same level of competency. But one is trained in the mental side and the other isn’t that person’s gonna win. Hands down.

John Ball
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense is the the inner game is is just as important as the outer game, right?

Tina Greenbaum
That’s right. And so I teach in the programme, I teach focus, relaxation, dealing with negative self talk, how to visualise and dealing with fear. And so those are the, that’s the curriculum. And, again, applicable to no matter what field you’re in. And the more you train, the more quickly you see these things. You know, it’s like, Oh, I get it, you know, or I’m working with you and I can I can feel your energy I can feel you’re starting to get really, really anxious. So I already tuned in to you. You know, and I might just say, just go take a break. Now I got your back, I got you covered.

John Ball
I think I think it’s interesting how attitudes often run or at least perceptions or attitudes within corporate environments and within the business world in general, men particularly, well I think women as well probably supposed to be tough. You’re supposed to be hard-nosed and things are talking about love and energy and realisation don’t often appear in those environments. So what sort of changes do you notice in the people who you work with?

Tina Greenbaum
Well, you know, it’s funny that you say that because years ago, I probably would have couched all that conversation in some other language. You know, rather than using the word energy or spiritual or this or that, my ex-husband used to say to me, don’t let anybody know what you’re doing because they’ll think you’re crazy. But I have to say that while we’re doing this, this podcasts today The Coronavirus has brought people to their knees, literally to their knees. And all of a sudden mental health. You know, I’m in. We’re talking about meditation, we’re talking about mindfulness, we’re talking about this mind-body stuff in and again, the neuroscience. God bless has really helped me tremendously because for people who are very scientific and don’t believe in any of this stuff, we have proof. We have proof. And so depending on my audience, I watch, you know, I’m careful about my language. But I also bring out just exactly what you do. You know, you might think this stuff was crazy, you know, and years ago, people might have thought that I was crazy. I have never been, I have never been, you know, somebody that lives in the clouds. And we know people like that. There are some people who start out very variable psychic and have very few practical skills. I went the other way, I’m very practical. And then through my own personal development and all the things that I’ve done in trade, my more creative side, more intuitive side has emerged. Yeah. And so as I said, I can bring this stuff down to pretty everyday language. But because we’re all human, we all have experiences. So in high-pressure situations, we all know people that make us crazy losses that that can’t handle the pressure very well or don’t know how to speak to people so that they actually will listen. Yeah, and just learning to change your phrasing around can make all the difference in the world.

John Ball
What kind of exercises might you do with someone who’s in a very high-stress position, just to have had them bring that stress level down?

Tina Greenbaum
So I started out with, and the way that my programme is designed is exactly for that exact reason. In order, we need to have a calm body in order to have a clear mind. So that when we’re very anxious or breath is very, very short and shallow. You think about hyperventilation, and people who get, you know, overexcited. So when that happens, the brain the good thinking part of the brain’s prefrontal cortex goes offline. And so, you know, our thoughts and we can’t, you know, our mind is foggy, we can’t focus really well. So I start with teaching people how to breathe, how to really calm down the nervous system. So that and it’s an exercise, this is training. Again, we’re using the I always say that if you were an Olympic level athlete, you would know To go out there to compete without training this mental side, and yet we put people into these high pressured situations. So they, they train that for a reason. And when you when you’ve done this over and over and over and over and over again, just like any other skill, it’s there for you. So it’s not it’s like yeah, yes when you’re anxious, you know, is to take a deep breath. But what would happen if you were trained your nervous system to operate at a more functional level, all the time? So this is why I’ve talked about it. So imagine that you have this level of tolerance for stress. So for anybody that’s just listening, let’s just say I had about four inches between my two hands. And so stress comes along, it hits my and they call it a window of tolerance. And in here, I can do pretty well, but as soon as it hits the top level of my window of tolerance my nervous system kicks into that stress response. And then I can’t think that clearly, in addition to all kinds of other things that happen, so, so our goal is to make this window of tolerance, maybe eight or 10 or 12 inches. So here comes stress, here comes a problem. Oh, it’s just a problem. Okay, and it takes a whole lot for my nervous system to go offline. So if we practice and absorb different kinds of breathing exercises, I started out with, you know, you breathe in for four and an app for you breathe in for four and then out for six or eight. We breathe in for four and yeah, out for 810 to 12. You do that over and over and over again. And it helps to calm down the nervous system. It also helps you to begin to learn to focus, whereas my mind Oh, I just lost. Where was I? Oh, how many weeks Okay, so let’s just start over again. Start again. And so this is the beginning of a focus, exercise, a relaxation, exercise and meditation exercise. And then we move on from there, into mindfulness. And so we start with the body and then we start with the thoughts.

John Ball
And is there a simple mindfulness or meditative exercise that audience could try out for themselves?

Tina Greenbaum
Of course, I mean, mindfulness, just to put a definition to it is being present in the moment, without judgement. So, a simple exercise would be, really simple. I just start to pay attention to what’s coming into my awareness. So if I’m doing that right now, I’m hearing some sounds from outside. I just sit with that because I just acknowledge it. Oh, I just noticed the Santa Oh, I just noticed, I’m looking at john. I just noticed the background. And it’s just a very simple mindfulness meditation. And then what happens over time you do it enough and the left side of the brain starts to calm down. Quiet stands. So again, we’re changing brainwaves from this alpha state, we’re present. We’re talking into that, you know, into that deeper Delta, you know, delta states. Like I’ve lost you, john. I don’t know where you are. No, No, I’m kidding. I’m just saying that’s kind of what happens is kind of go into that dreamy state. And now I’m in a hypnotic state. And yeah,

John Ball
okay, that makes sense. Yeah, I feel calmer just listening to it. So good. I get that. And one of the things you say with what you do as well is about integrating personal and professional lives. I think you kind of maybe touched on some of that, but what does that actually mean, what would that look like?

Tina Greenbaum
So in my experience, you cannot take a person out of their environment and expect them to be two completely different people. We, you know, men are much better compartmentalising, than women in general, just the way our brains are, are designed, but you take yourself wherever you go to John Kabat Zinn, you know, I didn’t make that up. But we do take ourselves wherever we go. So if I’m at work, all of me is really at work. And so if I don’t have a high tolerance for stress in general, and I haven’t really trained myself in these skills, I’m going to bring that person to work. Yeah. And so I have a wonderful friend who says, a business strategist. And what I love about him is the way he presents his work is this combination of the emotional self and the business self. And, you know, he’s actually working with one of my clients who’s got millions of ideas and is really, really brilliant and creative, and yet has a lot of anger underneath that hasn’t been resolved that anger, when things get really really tight, comes out just like in a tone, or just like an annoyance or and that turns people off. So that has to be dealt with. We got to deal with that anger, you know, may not be the job of the, you know, the manager. But it’s the job of the individual who wants to move forward in their lives and move up that ladder, perhaps whatever it looks like. You got to deal with the anger because it’s pouring out. And so, one of the things I talk a lot about is blind spots. We all have them. And I always say like everybody else knows your blind spot. Wouldn’t you want to know your own And so that’s this process of personal growth and development and I become more aware of how I what I put out to other people. Yeah. And so I like to say that the in my inside self and my outside self are in alignment.

John Ball
Yeah, I get that. You know, I’ve sometimes I’ve taught on my podcast about some of the people who I’ve worked with and been aware of in the past so that you can see them maybe in public life or in their presenting mode, if you like, as being high energy and really charismatic and yet in private, they’re super introverted, really hard to talk to and it seems like you You feel like you meet them to different people.

Tina Greenbaum
Yes, yes. So they have learned how to compartmentalise and allow that part of them to come out. You know, On stage or but I believe that they might be more content and have more peace of mind. If they were able to work on that side It doesn’t mean that an introvert is may ever love being an extrovert but it may mean that they can become more comfortable. And they’re not. There’s not so much stress.

John Ball
Yeah, I get that because I think I tend more naturally towards introverts and I’ve talked about this on my podcast before and, you know, I’m not an extreme introvert, but I definitely err on that side. And yet through presentations, skills, training, and a lot of personal development where I’ve moved, move the needle more towards being able to be more extrovert and be more engaged in life. It’s still probably not my natural place, but it’s becoming more natural and it gets easier, so I can have more natural conversations. On a podcast, knowing that people can be watching and listening to this from anywhere and not really worrying about that, just being in that flow state that comes with that.

Tina Greenbaum
And then when you want to relax, you’re going to go inside. You’re not going to want to go and hang out with a whole bunch of people. You have to come on podcasts all day long. And because that’s your nature, I like the way you said I move the needle. And that’s exactly what it is. You know that you can move? No, you have that, that mental agility.

John Ball
Because otherwise I’m normally the car who’s wearing the T-shirt that says, I’m sorry, I’m late, but I didn’t want to come to

Tina Greenbaum
you and my oldest son, he said, Mom, it just makes me so tired.

John Ball
But there are times when I do get very energised by those environments. That is not I don’t know if anyone really is exclusively one or the other. I think we’re all somewhere on scales of introvert and extrovert, but that can be, can be moved, but I know that there are some people who I know who have absolutely loved quarantine time and stuff recently because they’re quite happy not seeing other people and

Tina Greenbaum
I have a really good friend who said, You know, I have found the introvert in me and she’s always out there always planning always lives in New York City. She’s got her calendar. And she’s loving it. I’m just loving it. So yes, we do have these different aspects of ourselves. But what we’re also talking about in this bigger picture is really getting to know who you are. Right at a very, very deep level. There was a quote the other day that I heard from Mark Victor Hansen, who was the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and he and his wife wrote a new book and she said, life is created from the inside. And I just love that life is created from the inside because what happens with So many people when life gets tough, is they blame other people. You know, you know, Oh, if only he were to do this, and If only she were to do that right life would be no. It’s really from the inside if I behave differently. No, I know myself, if I put myself in these situations, you know, then my life will change. People used to say to me all the time, oh, Tina, you’re so lucky. Do you work for yourself? No, this is not luck. This is by design. Yeah. And, and many times over the years, I should have gotten myself employed. But I just, I’m unemployable. Yeah,

John Ball
yeah. I think after a time, you know, I worked as an employed person for most of my life and, and then when I made the move to becoming self-employed over time, you know, it was me. It was a bit of a tough transition. I went through some tough times. But as I said, I could have very easily given up and gone back into employment at some points. But, but over time, like myself, I would find it very hard to go into full-time employment for someone else now because I leave my own creativity, I do things my own in my own style, I can express myself in many ways through what I do professionally, in ways that I don’t believe I would be able to do. In fact, if someone else was someone else’s in charge,

Tina Greenbaum
I love collaboration. It’s not that I like to work alone all the time, because I’m an extrovert by nature. I have my introverted side, but I love people. Obviously, I’m in the people business. They fascinate me they always have. But I don’t do well. If I don’t respect somebody that’s on top. That’s my authority. So therefore

John Ball
I want to ask you a bit about your speaking about it. Humans make it because a big theme of my podcast is presentation skills and public speaking. So where did that start for you?

Tina Greenbaum
You know, it’s funny, it started, I think always as a dream. For years, I just always I found it very easy to be in front of people. And I liked it. And that’s why I like being in front of the classroom. I like doing those kinds of things. But it wasn’t until I everywhere I would go when I would listen to a really good speaker. And I would just kind of ask them frequently, many women and I said, like, you so completely tell the difference between somebody who had some level of training and because they were so natural to somebody that didn’t, and so I would just call it like 30 some years ago, like Where did you learn to do Toastmasters? No, and then I would ask another person a couple years later and then waited to speak like that, because I I really wanted that skill. And they said Toastmasters. So it was always in the back of my mind. And when I moved to New York City, which was many years ago, 15 years ago, somebody invited me to a Toastmasters club. And so I think you and I had talked about this. This was like, What is the number one, there was a kind of competition between two different clubs, but I thought mine was the number one club in the city. And it was in the law building in New York City of the Bar Association. So it’s this beautiful old building and in Midtown, and you would, and the room that we, we met was, had portraits all along the wall, and it was this long table, and people sat around and so when you got up to speak, there was an eloquence to it. There was no there was a an environment that was set. So the first meeting I went to was an alumni meeting. But somebody had invited me to. So this was this club had been existence for 40 some years. And they’ve got back people that were just unbelievable speakers, one after the other after all my god, I could never know if I could only learn to speak like that. And, and so I joined the club, and it was just my best teacher because it was a very, very high powered group. Again, I like high powered people who were very successful. And they had been they never left the club, they still never leave the club. These are people that just many people graduate and move on to other things, but it was a family. And so my greatest, you know, kind of thing that happened is they invited me to come back as alumni to speak, maybe three years later, and I still have that speech and I still go back and look at it sometimes since you’re pretty good day. And so so I learned to do I learned to be a Toastmaster. But then I was wanting to use my speaking for my business. Yeah, so that’s what I started with the tennis business and, and then I, I did a training workshop here when I first moved to California, and we had 50 some people that it was tennis, it was a tennis thing. And we had somebody had invited all these people for us basically it was their mailing list and they invited all these people. And I didn’t know that I was going to be in a gym. And I didn’t have a microphone and the way and we designed the programme that we would talk for a little bit and then my husband would take them out on the tennis court and then they were to come back and then I was going to sell them my programme. My husband took them out in the tennis court. First of all the people couldn’t hear me. Then he took them out of the tennis court and out of the 50 people I must have had about 10 that came back Because they got on the tennis court and nobody wanted to leave. So I walked away with not one sale not and it was botched from every single aspect. So I said, well, that’s great. Now I need to learn how to sell and speak. And so I started working with a very, very experienced business coach who that was what that was his main way that he, you know, kind of got clients for his business and worked with Tony Robbins had been on stage with Richard Branson and all these really great guys. So I started working with him and training how to use the skills of speaking and also engage people in wanting to take my programme. Yeah. So they’re speaking keynote speaking and then they’re speaking to sell

John Ball
What are some of the differences that you learned about speaking to sell that were important?

Tina Greenbaum
Well, the main difference thing was that you wanted your audience to know in many different ways that you had this programme. So if you and I were talking and I would say, in my programme mastering under pressure, I have this exercise, a focus exercise. And then so it’s like seeding they call seeding, seeding annuities. And I, you know, write this down, because in my programme I have blah, blah, blah, or I’m going to tell you about you. We’re going to learn I’ll talk a little bit more about this when I tell you about my programme at the end of the so just these little phrases that you just put in that it just sounds hopefully natural without being salesy. Yeah. And the truth is, you have to love what you do so much, and really believe that what you have will change people’s lives. So that you feel, you know, again in alignment With I want you to, I want to work with you, you know, I want you to buy my programme, but I want to help you. And so that’s so it’s more than just the words. It’s the energy of the way that you project that. And then the most important thing, and I that was one of the hardest things for me to sort of remember at the end. It’s called the hand-off. Right? So here’s the end of the programme. I’m loving it, you’re loving it, we’re engaged, we’re having this great thing. And then people leave. Oh my god, I didn’t get their names. Don’t know how to get in touch with them. Because once it’s over, it’s over. Yeah. And so at the very least, you have to really plan and remember what is that call to action that you’re going to ask people at the very end and so and that you have something to offer and the way you That you offer that’s a whole other thing. And it’s changed a lot because there’s a whole model, you know, in terms of like, how I’m gonna, you know, this is the price and then but today’s price is, blah, blah, blah. And if you sign up today then you know, and be able to pull that off with really not feeling that people are being pressured. And using that, so there are all these elements of sales, yeah. Sales and negotiation and that you’ve got in there that, um, that feel authentic. And because nobody likes to be sold to show

John Ball
Michael Port says but they don’t like to be sold to but they like to be invited.

Tina Greenbaum
Yes. And that’s a great way that that’s a great way of doing it. And this guy that I worked with his name is Cain Minkis makers. Cain was absolutely positively resilient. You know that he would just get people lined up, you know, how many of you want to do this? And how many are ready to make a decision and how many are not and, and then he would just and he knew exactly how many, if you had X number of people in the audience, he knew exactly how many he was going to convert. And his numbers were, he was just brilliant. Really, really. So I had a great teacher. Yeah. And then I over time, you know, I did so many talks, that I learned to develop my own style. You know, that was Cain’s style, and he was very male and very, you know, very direct and very clear and, and so on. That’s not me. I’m a woman. I sort of have a nurturing aspect to me. And also I can be very clear, so that was a huge learning experience. Yeah, and, and, and that really, you know, that combination of Toastmasters and speaking skills and, and also came taught a lot about how to how to move into the audience. You know, just put your hand on somebody’s shoulder using your body really, really well. Again, eye contact and always keeping your energy higher than your group. Yeah. Because if your energy and picking up the energy of the room and you know so and that it comes off, just like you’re just having this conversation, john, you and me.

John Ball
So it feels natural, not forced, right? Yes, we have this thing on Spanish TV. And maybe it’s in other countries as well but they on certain popular shows. Before they come back from a commercial break. You actually see some of the hosts or people in the show, having a staged conversation about a particular product or something and it’s honestly it’s the worst. Going on TV. I don’t know why they do is so cringy Yeah, I guess they must be getting them some kind of results. But just to have these celebs having these fake conversations that no one would ever have. It’s a bit crazy. But yeah, being natural in these conversations, that’s clearly what they’re going for. But it’s a big miss for me. But yeah, from from the stage, it’s from the stage. It’s really important.

Tina Greenbaum
I think what we’re talking about, and just kind of bringing all these pieces. Speaking is a skill. Yeah, I mean, it’s a huge skill. And what I learned from Toastmasters early on, I had a woman when it came to for those of your audience that are Toastmasters, and table topics, and when you spontaneously have to answer a question, and so I would get up, somebody would call my name, I’d get up and I asked the woman next to me, would you give me feedback when I’m done, and let me know how I did. So I’d sit down and she said, Tina, you know, you had your hands on The back of the chair. And remember to put your hands on your side and stand up straight. Okay, so the next week, I get called, she said, to take your hands off the back of the chair, she must have told me six times six weeks in a row to take your hand, didn’t even realise it unconsciously. Right. And so that was such a telling thing to me of the skill and, and getting into the uncommon, drilling it into the unconscious, so that it becomes natural. And that’s that whole peak about peak performance, doing something and have it create a new habit, doing something takes 30 to 40 days to build a new habit. When you do something every day, every day, every day, every day. And that’s how you’re building these neural pathways in you know, in your brain, so that when you’re speaking, you can focus only on those things that we call task-related cues. When I’m speaking, I’m worrying about the audience and my eye contact. I practice my content so much that it comes naturally to me so that I can really connect with that audience. If I haven’t done that level of practice, okay, and somebody picks up their phone, oh, god, they’re not paying attention to me. I must not be good enough up. Well, I’ve lost it. And then how quickly can I get it back? Because we have to know that we’ve lost it that we can get it back. And so that’s how all these peak performance skills come in. To speaking it’s one of my favourite topics, because speaking

John Ball
Yeah, wonderful as a speaker, and I know most of the speakers who I invite on or who I know personally as well, nearly always have some really good stories that they use in their presentations. Can you share with us one of yours?

Tina Greenbaum
Oh, sure. Right off the top of my head. It goes back to the Toastmasters in that in that club that I was in. This was early on one of my earliest speeches and they tell you to memorise your opening and memorise your closing. And then in between, you know where you’re going, but you can add live it. It doesn’t have to be exactly right? And that’s what I did. So I memorised my opening, I memorise my closing. But the night before, wasn’t so crazy about the opening. And so I changed it. You can stake my unconscious, it already learned the first one. And you know, I got in there and in this beautiful room and you’re introduced and somebody introduces me and I stand behind this podium and I’m looking at this big long brown table and all these people and the porches on the side and I get up there and I and I go, madam Toastmaster never and then I went completely blank like nothing absolutely positively nothing. And I said I think I’m going to start again. And I did know. And it took me a moment and I started again and then it started to come back to me. Well, that was fine in an audience like that because it was a friendly audience. So I was a student so to speak, but if I were getting paid five or $10,000 for that speech, I don’t think he would have been too happy with me going Ladies and gentlemen, just got to start again. So what I learned was don’t change your opening the night before. You know, work on it, work on it, work on it, once it once you’ve practised it, go with it, because I can’t be worrying about am I going to remember it or not? Because I don’t have space for that I have to be looking at my audience. So that was number one. And number two is using a pause. You can just pause for a moment. Look around, smile. And trust that that material will come back if you have practised it enough. And each one of us I think needs to know how your brain works, how your mind works. I know how I practice, you know, for something that’s a really big thing, I will. First I might write it out, but I’ll outline it, and I’ll put it into bullet points. And then I’ll make the bullet points shorter and shorter. And then I’ll put it, I’ll type it, I’ll put it on my TV. I’ll tape it on the TV. And I’ll start and I’ll talk and then I’ll see how far I can get. And then it’s, it’s, I think, a bit like musical phrases. If you’ve ever been played music or sang in the chorus, right, you’ve got one phrase, and then you’ve got another phrase and then you have a connector note. And those connectors are the really the most important thing I think in speaking that you can get from one concept to the next concept. with grace, that it turned into fillers and all that stuff. So I’ll practice one thing and then I’ll get, oh, how am I going to get from here to here? And then I’ll practice it again, I’ll bring in, you know until I get through the whole speech. So that actually when I’m speaking, and if I get lost, I can visualise that piece of paper on my TV. And I can, I can sort of know where I’m at. And it’ll, it’ll come back to me.

John Ball
So one of the things I keep promising to do is an episode on my podcast about memory techniques for public speaking. Yeah, this is a good way to help with that. So yes, very nicely to that maybe for next week’s episode. Yeah, great stuff as a speaker, I think for my audience, and for me personally, how did you start to get paid for speaking How did you move into paid speaker work?

Tina Greenbaum
So, there’s a thing about again, because I’ve been so involved in speaking and speaking in sales and using what let me put it differently using speaking as a way to generate leads. Right? So that became very much a part of, if anybody is in business if you’re in business, you have to have a way of generating leads. And I think the most important thing is and somebody said that I thought this was brilliant. pick three things that you’re willing to do and that you enjoy in order for your marketing and sales. So speaking has been very big for me, networking has been very big for me. And so I have an online presence now that I’m paying somebody to help me do because I don’t enjoy it. I don’t enjoy sitting in front of the computer all day long, even though that’s what we’re doing. Now. Okay, then God bless that we can but You know, having my druthers, I’d rather see you in person. So getting out there a lot, you know, and then people inviting you to speak and doing a lot of speaks speeches for free. But if you’re going to do them for free, that it has to connect, that this is the audience that I want to speak to somebody invited me to speak just the other day and then she’s telling and then she says, but there’s a caveat. You know, I really, I asked my speakers to sell five tickets for the summit. So now I’m not now not only am I not speaking for free, yeah, you know, I’m speaking for free but I’m now paying to pay to speak. Yeah. If it were an audience that was my audience, I might have considered it but it was not worth it. hundred dollar investment for me. Yeah. So now coming back to how do you get paid to speak it’s, it’s, you know, it’s marketing, it’s sales, it’s getting people its credibility, more than anything that people need to know that you have something to share. And that now again, we’re in a whole different set of times right now, with with the virus and I think most speakers are speaking or not getting paid for speaking right now. You know, this is an organisation that I belong to and the guy is a, you know, one of these Master Master speakers, he booked just booked something for January, which maybe he’ll get to speak, live, but you start to have guidelines for yourself. And, and, you know, once somebody’s willing to pay you, then the next person And maybe willing to pay you. And but I’ve had to I’ve, it’s not even so much had to like, I’ll give you an example. I was just invited to speak, to give a class like an hour talk on to a group of talented entertainers, models and performers. So it’s an agency that that has a group of people that they are training in the business of their art. They’re all artists in some way. And so they brought me in to do an hour presentation to this group about performance and anxiety and stress and so on. And so I did that for free. Then they invited me to do a six-week class, which now they’re paying me for. So actually, today’s the last day of the six weeks and then I got a really good review. I love them. They love me. It was So now I just, the owner just contacted me again, he said, I’m working on something really big. I want my assistant to make an appointment with you. So that will hopefully turn into something that’s even bigger. Yeah. So I think it’s being really clear about who your audiences number one, you know, what the market is doing right now. And, and to be, I think the most important thing is to be seen, to be seen, to be heard to make these podcasts, you know, and, and, and do something with them so that people can listen, you’re going to put it out, I’m going to put it out. We’re going to take excerpts of it. We’re going to take pieces and then and then give it back to you and then you’ll get more and so the way that the environment is right now is we’re all helping each other and we’re giving back and so I don’t know what it’s going to look like, yeah. year from now or six months from now, but so I’m using again, my speaking as my lead generator.

John Ball
Yeah. Makes a lot of sense and different times I think I’ve been speaking to some people were more in the behind the scenes I guess use that speaker management speaker agents kind of style people and things that they say like, yeah, I mean that there is work and there is black virtual some virtual opportunities, but you can’t just go and deliver your usual keynote. It’s not gonna work. So you’re going to have to adapt to what you’re offering if you’re going to go down that path at all. And so yeah,

Tina Greenbaum
so I’m very involved in a group. It’s called the C suite network. And it’s an advisor to the network to the C suite. So that’s so there’s a lot of coaches and consultants that that and we talk all the time about metaphysics as a call Coming up in, you know, in a little bit about content is king. Right. And using your content, you know, my book, you know this master under pressure the book, The speaking the blogs the vlogs. It’s an enormous undertaking. And I think I think that’s the other thing of being realistic about how much energy you have and what you’re willing to put in and how many resources you can put together. Somebody I’m going to do another podcast and somebody is entrepreneurship for small businesses. So I’ve been slugging at this for a long time. And so I’m coming at it now from much more experienced much more knowledge. And what I’ve learned john is really as somebody said to me that the difference between a sole proprietor and a founder is a founder has a team a sole proprietor works by themselves. Hmm. I’ve been a sole proprietor for my whole entire career. And so scaling out my business, being a sole proprietor, it is easy, in a way in comparison to what I’m trying to do now, what I am doing now, what I’ve invested in, is to because I’m just one person, and I want to make a really, really big impact because I think what I teach is something that we talked about earlier that everybody can use and that can change the world.

John Ball
Yeah. So this is the next part of your evolution.

Tina Greenbaum
That’s right. That’s right. It’s

John Ball
exciting times.

Tina Greenbaum
And it’s fine. It’s still fun.

John Ball
Well, that always helps. I really enjoy what you’re doing. I think even if I didn’t enjoy doing this podcasting, it wouldn’t be happening you know, I have a lot of fun doing it and still work working hard on building up the listenership, but it’s is Work in Progress, I’ve already been told it generally takes about two years to build up to the kind of listenership you want. So it means just got to stick with it and check your stats and keep doing

Tina Greenbaum
and that’s, I think that that is the key. You know, it’s working harder, not smarter, it’s working smarter rather than harder. But you have to have you have to be persistent. I like never give up. It’s like for me, it’s like not even an option. There time many times I think really? really did you know, but um, I think I’m doing what I’ve just I was designed to do.

John Ball
Yeah, we nearly all have those times where we want to quit and you know, generally, the only thing we really learn about ourselves is if we do that is that we’re quitters. That doesn’t really help and yeah, I think as well. We also have that tendency to To think never things never move as fast as you want them to move, right. So that’s exactly right. nearly always going to take you longer than you think. And I think I think it’s p bodies rule or something like that. Even when you take into consideration that things take longer than you think they take longer than you think. And that’s just one of those things. I work with our clients a long time saying, Be persistent, keep with us, keep taking action, keep moving. It takes time to get the results that you want to get but keep learning from people keep increasing your network and keep doing all the things that are going to help you grow you will get there but this period overlap and look at it like the stages from in, in the word unconscious and competence through to conscious competence, the conscious or unconscious competence. The conscious competence stage was like, Well, you know what you’re doing but you have to really think about it. You’re not in that flow state, yet. You’re not in that mastery state. And that’s the longest part of all of it. So you move from not knowing what you’re doing to knowing what you’re doing and learning it. But whilst you’re mastering the basics and all of that, it takes the longest time. But only those who stick with it get through to that level of unconscious competence, where you don’t really have to think about it. Sometimes that process can be really quick. I think learning to drive that probably the process my unconscious competence is fairly fast, usually there. But in other areas I’m business is not it takes a lot longer.

Tina Greenbaum
It takes a long time. And I always say because I started over so many times, and I started you know, the shortest. Doing my private practice. I started five private practices. from scratch, I would move to a new city, I didn’t know a soul and I just start from nothing. So the shortest time was seven months, and the longest was a year and a half. But it was a very finite thing that I was doing. It must be you know, the internet was not involved very much or it was Just as a referral source and so that was, as I said, not it wasn’t complicated. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t complicated. scaling your business is complicated. Because there are so many moving parts that have to be working in concert, you know, and a wonderful thing that one of my friends said, it’s not your genius, it’s not your job. And there are so many things in business that are not my genius that I had to you know, and that’s where I lost a lot of money. I invested in people that really I shouldn’t have, you know, I thought at the time it wasn’t. And so all those learning curves and expenses and but now I now get into this unconscious consciousness, you know, competency, I see it, and I can see it. And so like, No, I’m not really your audience is not my audience. And that’s not where I’m going to put my money. And then I have Team now I don’t make any financial decisions without the team really supporting me that this is a really good choice so helping me with my blind spots things that I can’t see things that I don’t know. And that takes a lot of vulnerability because a lot of people are like I can do this myself and I know really

John Ball
yeah it’s absolutely true and I coach a lot of clients with businesses and these conversations we often end up having and saying I really your goal as a business owner should be to be your business can work without you and as wives I’ve particularly loved by working with tools from people like Mike Michalowicz and, and got to actually have a chat with him a little while ago as well. We know he has a whole thing about the clockwork system of taking yourself out to your business. I know. T Harv Eker. Who I’ve worked with for a long time. Yeah, what I do For for her for the last 10 years or so. And one of the things that he was is is like if you’re working in your business and not on your business, you have a job, you don’t have a business, you have a job. And I mean, this is absolutely right. Get rid of everything that isn’t your expertise, everything that isn’t your joy as well in your business, and pass that on and only do the stuff you absolutely have to do yourself. And yeah, it’s really sound, really sound business advice, but it’s a process.

Tina Greenbaum
It is a process and you cannot make it go any faster than it’s going to go. There’s too many things is just but it’s fun.

John Ball
Yeah, absolutely. This is a been a real delight speaking to you and I want to start bringing things to a close for us today. I do always like to ask my guests First of all, where they can find out more about you where they can find out more than mastery under pressure.

Tina Greenbaum
Absolutely. So you can write to be Tina@masteryunderpressure.com you can find my book on Amazon it’s mastery under everything is mastery under pressure you just type it in and you’ll find me and my website is masteryunderpressure.com

John Ball
perfect wonderful now I always like to ask my guests for a book recommendation now you have your own burger master under pressure which people should definitely check out I know I will be what book someone says to you Hey Tina what’s a good book? What sir What would you

Tina Greenbaum
know I know when you asked me I this is the one that I love.

John Ball
All right now I’ve not read this one I’ve not had this recommended before the road less stupid. Who’s that by?

Unknown Speaker
Keith Cunningham and actually he’s a buddy of T.Harv Eker’s. That’s how I met him.

John Ball
Oh, yeah. How often keep night together pretty well.

Tina Greenbaum
And this is just a wonderful, in your face. book. It’s about business. But again, you can’t take the person out of the business. And he’s just got a wonderful way of using his own mistakes. He’s made and again, I did years and years of Harv Eker training. So I’ve heard many, many, many of those stories and I don’t think he had one person on there who was ever a millionaire that didn’t go bankrupt at some time, and then build themselves back up again and, and so keep coming in uses a lot of his own experiences and it’s just very sound very clear advice for business owners a lot of the things that we’ve been talking about and from a sole proprietor, you know, one person business to a multi-million dollar business, the elements of business are the same. Yeah. And it’s the same thing in personal development. You know, no matter where you are on that scale, you know, a whole person that’s working really well there are certain things that are working really well that you have learned these skills and we work so I love the comment. I really do love the combination of the individual in the business. Yeah, making a difference.

John Ball
Yeah. Okay, that’s going on my reading list here, on my wish list at least. And to wrap things up for today you shared lots of great insights, knowledge information with us. Really appreciate you for that. What are some closing thoughts that you would like to leave for our audience?

Tina Greenbaum
So people ask me this all the time if I were going to bring things down into one sentence or one idea when you’re feeling pushed, or pressed or pressured or the question I always ask myself is what’s in my control? What’s out of my control? It’s the number one question that very quickly brings everything into focus. And, and I get to know what I can control. Okay? So if I have some peace in this, I can, even if I can’t control the behaviour, I can’t control the virus. I can’t control any of these external things that I can control my attitude. I control the way I think about it. Where I put my attention that I can control? And so that’s, I think, a foundational question that people start to use that their lives can just switch, you switch one thing, and then the whole quantum field changes.

John Ball
Yeah, I use that principle in my own life a lot. I think there’s a lot some lovely thoughts to finish up on today. Tina, we’re going to have all the information on how people can find out more about you and your programme and your book in the show notes as well. And really wanted to thank you. It’s been a delight to speak to you today. You’ve been a wonderful guest on the show. And I know that we’ll stay in touch from this as well. I really appreciate everything you shared with us today and will your time as well. Thank you, Tina.

Tina Greenbaum
Thank you.

John Ball
Thanks for tuning in. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show. If you did, please make sure you like and subscribe to get updates of future episodes as well. I have an amazing episode coming up with the amazing Dr Joanna Martin. She is a public speaking expert and she also now focuses her work in leadership for women. She has an incredible business going called one of many, and we had an amazing conversation so don’t miss that. Many other amazing guests coming up including more in the series of comedy and humour with professional comedians coming up too, so please make sure you are subscribed to the show for those shows. If you have any feedback for us, or if you think you’d make a great guest or you’d like to hear someone particularly on the show, then get in touch, john@presentinfluence.com by email, or leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you. See you next time.

Presentation Energy

Have you ever wondered what makes some people captivating to watch or listen to? It’s nearly always the way they can channel and embody emotions that take you on a journey and an experience with them. Even the most technically perfect performance can not beat the emotional interpretation that can be brought to life by someone who is passionate about what they are doing.
So… what do you do if you’re not there with the passion or struggle to get enthused? That’s what this episode is all about.

Welcome back to the coffee shop and today in my daily video on LinkedIn, I was discussing performance energy now if you aren’t already getting my daily videos, please follow me on LinkedIn you’ll find me John A Ball or search out Present Influence. You’ll find me there and you’ll see that there are daily 90-Second videos from me, so nothing too deep or involved, easy to keep track of. And I hope we can come and click there as well. It’s always good to get feedback and interaction from you too. One thing that I will say when it comes to presentation energy is that it’s very hard to listen to somebody who is just talking with low energy and maybe going very slow. One of the things that I referred to in that video was Charlie Brown’s teacher, for those of you who are all-natural under Charlie Brown, hopefully, everybody does. But if you haven’t checked back, there was a famous cartoon with Charlie Brown and in school, his teacher’s voice would always sound Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah… and it clearly, that was meant to signify that was kind of boring and that school was boring all that Charlie wasn’t really paying attention to it, that all he was hearing was this droning in the background. But sometimes in real life, people’s presentations or presentation style can be like that. I have certainly been to presentations in the past from some very high level. People who have delivered with such a low energy style that it’s been very hard to listen to. And I would say with that, that the quality of information as good as it can be, can get lost in translation as well when it comes to going through that presentation style, that that’s where it does start to become important to have some presentation tools at your disposal, I would say as well. And it was certainly a very well known presenter in certain circles, who I’ve seen speak before, who speaks super fast all the time that he hardly pauses from breath. And again, lots of information gets lost in doing so. And I think I saw him speak one time for about two hours. And most people were overloaded in a very short space of time. I know that I went back and listen to the recording of that multiple times to try and get through the information. I don’t think it should have to be that hard work to listen to somebody and learn from them. And but you Do you value the information that you’re getting from them that maybe you will maybe you’ll take that time out to do that. But I don’t think that’s really fair on your audience. And I don’t think it’s very helpful in educating people, because certainly, the vast majority are not going to take that time out and pour through the content or keep pressing pause to try and take notes on it, just so that they can get everything that was said, there needs to be some level of balance. There are times when it’s great to speed up and 10 things to high energy. But you can’t do that for too long because people will get lost in it. There are different learning styles. And if you haven’t come across this idea before, it’s really the principle that we have different ways that we prefer to receive our learning. The vast majority of us are visual learners, we have a visual style, which means that we see things better we relate more to imagery to picturing things, and there are many of us who have more than auditory style. That is, we remember more maybe relate more when we hear things and have more sensitivity to hearing as well into sounds maybe identify things more clearly and more tuned in that way. There’s also the kinesthetic style, which is the very emotional, feeling kind of side. And that is what comes more from like the solar plexus kind of area the stomach sort of area. If we think about where that comes from, but people who are very strongly kinesthetic, they can often end up talking quite slowly as well. But they might still be quite emotional in how they talk as well. But if you present super high speed visual to kinesthetic person, they’re not going to be able to withstand it for all that long, they’re gonna really struggle but again, if you present the slower kinesthetic style, constantly to a higher energy or higher paced visual learning style person, they are going to struggle as well. Better to have balanced in all those areas and to try to have stuff that captures all of those three learning styles. Now there is an auditory digital style as well, which is more like an in your head internal voice. And I’m not going to really relate to that here. But just to know that that is there. But in terms of presentation style, you do need to be able to ideally capture those main learning styles. And even if you are just thinking in terms of vocal variety, which is the thing you’ll always hear in Toastmasters and presentation classes, that if your voice just sounds like it’s at the same level the whole time. Well, let me give you an example. It will soon get pretty boring if I keep speaking like this at the same tone with the same kind of rhythm and speed the whole time and it just gets to sounding like a more machine and a person that will switch people off and we just can’t do it. One of the other key things that most speakers especially newer speakers struggle to master is leaving a bit of space between the things that you say taking a moment to pause. I still have to work at it myself. But to have that time where you just give your audience or give someone with you a moment to think about what’s actually been said, that’s going to help as well. And it allows, especially for those more kinesthetically, inclined people, a moment to catch up, to have their thoughts and to change the pace. Look, if you want to keep people engaged in a presentation, you have to go through some different emotional ranges in what you deliver to people. I was very lucky to have chat and recorded an episode with the amazing Joanna Martin yesterday. If you haven’t come across Joanna Martin and her business One of Many or previously in her incarnation as Shift Speaker Training, and various things she was doing even way before that she is an amazing person and check her out and she pretty much focused on female leadership and really helping women to step up and to own their power and to make a bigger difference in the world. And really, she is an inspiration. And we were having a really good chat about what it is that makes somebody someone we want to listen to? What makes somebody influential to the point where you want to really tune in to what they’re saying and follow them, and that they feel that they have something worth saying. And we both agreed that it was their passion, ultimately, its the passion that you could go and see somebody who’s learned all of the speaker skills that there are to learn and mastered them. But without the passion there as well. It’s going to feel hollow. Someone might be able to put on a really good act but if the passion isn’t genuine, at some point or another that’s going to come through. Authenticity is a really key part of this for sure. But if you don’t have passion for your subject matter for what you’re delivering in your life, then it’s going to show without the people if you are low energy in your interactions, its not an attraction kind of energy and I’m not talking about sexual attraction here, I’m talking about general attraction like there are people who we naturally feel drawn towards and we want to spend time around them. And there are people who sometimes we don’t feel that we might feel more neutral towards like we don’t really feel hot or cold to them we move somewhere in the neutral zone. And that its, you don’t really care too much, you know is that yeah, it’s okay. It’s not a problem. But then there are people who are the other way, they’re more of repelling energy that pushes you away either it’s too much or it’s too fake, or too dull and whatever it is, those sorts of energies are more of a repelling energy. If you think about personality is more like a magnet that we are either attracting or repelling with everything that we put out into the world. So some people are gonna love you. Some people are gonna feel neutral to you. Some people are going to feel repelled by and it’s not the same for everybody. Some people are more attracted to energies that I might not be attracted to you. And that that’s just how life is. But when it comes to the world of presenting in any way, shape or form, if your energy is always low, if you don’t inject passion into what you do, you’re going to have to work on stepping that up. Look, don’t worry if it’s not there right now, because it’s something you can work on and turn up. And I know for myself, was me when I was much younger, I had real issues about getting enthusiastic about things. And always found it very hard to make myself enthusiastic, and get myself to care about things that I often just didn’t I was very caught up in my head. I was very much in that auditory digital space that I mentioned earlier, which was really just overthinking things all the time. And I went had this sort of mental setup where I guess I didn’t really want to full-on experience emotions, like felt unsafe somehow to allow myself to be particularly emotional. And so I checked everything in before allowing myself to feel it, and therefore ended up keeping in this sort of safety area where nothing was too intense. I think a lot of that had to do with my experiences growing up and trying to hide part of myself, and being afraid that people would discover who I really was and that that would cause problems for me. And once I got past that, it was a whole different world when emotions started just happening that allow myself to experience the full extent of the emotion rather than having to check that it was okay first, then my experience changed and it was much richer and much fuller, but I still then had to work on building up the passion and enthusiasm for things. And it does take time for some of us. Some people have that natural passion within them. And that high energy is already there for them and some people are really super extroverted and can get up there and put themselves out into the world and it Not a problem for them. I am not one of those people, I’m more naturally introverted. And I’ve talked about this on podcast episodes with some guests before. And yet when it comes to giving presentations, I can push myself to be more extrovert and getting myself out there and having people listen to it, being entertaining being the fool on the stage or being the serious person or the emotional person on the stage. Being a storyteller who hopefully captivates people with the story that I’m telling. These are all important elements in terms of presentation energy, what you need to bring in to what you’re delivering out into the world. If you want to be captivating, we’ve talked about stories before if you’ve listened to the episode with Matthew Dicks, you definitely will understand how important it is to have these stories, that stories are not really going to have much of an impact or impression, unless there is emotion in unless there’s something that you can really relate to and associate with. Your energy should be taking people on a journey. It doesn’t have to be a roller coaster journey but it does need some variance as it does in our general interactions with people. We don’t stay hopefully at the same level all the time. If we do, let’s try and bring some variety into it. Just make a commitment to start working on this. I’ll say this quite often on group coaching calls that I run, that it’s okay if you don’t have your burning desire figured out if you don’t have that fire within you just at the moment, it’s okay. Don’t panic about that. It can be worked on. But to me, sometimes I think people think that that has to come from external sources that it should just be there already. And then looking for the inspiration or the thing that’s going to get them excited. I’m gonna say no, I don’t think that’s actually the case. I think there’s a lot we can do to motivate ourselves and get ourselves carrying them being passionate. And if you want to have a less beige experience of life, more colour and experience, a richness of experience in your life, then deepening your emotion, deepening your passion in certain areas and turning up your emotional energy, in good ways, is going to allow you to have more of that and to share that with others as well, which can be magical, inspirational motivation, or all the things that you would probably want it to be if you’re going to do any kind of speaking or presentation work. So these are some things to work on. And there’s a lot more we can go we’re not going to go super deep into that today. But just in terms of delivery, just see if you can get yourself feeling more passionate, more emotional, more energised for what you’re delivering out into the world, and it will make a difference. Get into the emotion of a story. If you’re telling a story, play with it. Have a bit of emotional flexibility with that. There’s an episode coming up soon with Jessica Brightenfelt who is a great speaker. She’s in Toastmasters. She was the top speaker in Barcelona this year in the international speaking contest, the World Championship of public speaking. And this is one of the things we were talking about on that episode was the flexibility, emotional flexibility, the willingness to be the clown, we need to be the clown, to go to pathos when you want to go to pathos, you know, there are so many things that we can add into our presentations that are going to make them exciting and valuable, but it’s ultimately your heart, your natural feeling and passion. If you can relate that through your presentation even, in small ways. It’s going to make you instantly more engaging, people are going to want to listen to it and it’s going to start to change up a bit of your vocal variety as well because you, you will notice that people are tuning in more to what you’re saying. And some of the reason why people aren’t so emotional in their presentation. Is because they’re often too much in their head trying to think about what it is they’re supposed to be saying. I talked last time about memorising things I talked last week about being able to memorise things and techniques to help you do that. Ultimately, most of its going to come down to practice. You want to get yourself to being practised enough that you know what you’re talking about, at least structured enough to be able to improvise around most of what you’re talking about, even if you forget exactly what you meant to say. When you can do that, then get focused on adding in the emotion, the vocal variety, the emotional ride, if you like that you’re going to take your audience on, because this is for them is not for you. And you think I’m not sure I can do that or it’s a bit beyond me right now. It’s okay. But don’t think that just because you’re saying oh, I can’t do that, that it’s not doable at all. It is going to take a bit of work is going to take some practice and I encourage you to stick with it often the hardest thing is just to stick with Do things and keep going until you get to a level that’s better. But it is something that will come much more with time. And with consistency and persistence. So stick with it, see if you can get the animation up. So I’d love to hear from you what your thoughts are on presentation energy are whether it’s something you feel need a lot of work on, whether you think you’re really good at it. Maybe you even have some video examples that you’d like to share. If you’re watching this on YouTube. First of all, make sure you like and subscribe, but also and in the comments, you can respond maybe even respond with a video response of you adding some emotion into a presentation if you’re feeling brave enough. If you’re checking this out on LinkedIn or any other way, if you would look through a podcasting network and just listening in maybe just finding some way to respond and in audio is going to be enough to get you practising that it’s not all about the visuals right? So hopefully you get a sense of vocal variety even just from my presentation. I’m sure I could do better with vocal variety but changing up the pace with causes and much more of that as well, because it’s always a work in progress, as we’re all that all of us are, even when we get to the levels of mastery of some of the greatest speakers, which hopefully, I aspire to do, and I hope you do as well. Even when you get right up there as a speaker or presenter, there’s still room for growth, there’s still more to learn, there’s still, you’re going to be better over time than you were before. That’s how it goes. So don’t expect that it’s all just going to happen right now that you’re going to be perfect at it right now. Even if you already have some natural capability in that area. There’s going to be plenty of room for development as well. But if it’s something that is new to you, and you haven’t really worked on before you think, yeah, I think maybe this is something that would be good for me to work on. Remember, you can always get in touch with me and we can work on this in some private or even group coaching sessions. And that’s always going to be a good thing to be able to do, if not with me then maybe with somebody else but do work. Go to Toastmasters groups if you can, or any kind of presentation club, where you can practice your art and do it in a safe environment of other people who are doing similar things, who are going to support you and are going to judge you, but how can we give you the feedback and some of the tools that are going to allow me to get that, in the meantime, why not see if you can just work on a bit of emotional variety in some of the things that you’re already doing. Okay, so I’m going to wrap things up for there. But on Friday, I will be releasing an episode, which is going to be all about humour, humour, in terms of presentation and speeches and getting referring to some of this emotional flexibility that we’ve been talking about here as well. I hope you’ll tune in for that we’re gonna have a few episodes that are talking about this and hopefully some more as well and try and get some professional comedians to come on the show. So if you know anyone who is either a really funny speaker or works professionally or has worked professionally as a comedian or don’t try their hand at stand up, I would love to hear from them. I’ve got a few sections are going to reach out to you. But certainly, it’s a very interesting area theory of comedy is a very interesting area. And it’s a really important part of influence and persuasion as well, which is something that may be a surprise to some people. But when you think about it, not that much, hope you’re subscribed to the show, whatever platform or whatever, where you’re listening or watching the show. I hope you like and subscribe. If you are with Apple podcasts, then please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. It really helps the show. And yeah, I’m working very hard to put out great content and to get out to as many people as possible. And it really helps in terms of getting spread greater spread of awareness for the show, if you can leave us a review as well. Hopefully, it also helps me to improve the quality of the show and give you more of what you want as an audience to. Let’s ramp that up for today. Then I’m going to look forward to connecting with you again either in YouTube or LinkedIn or somewhere online, have an amazing rest of your day and rest your week. We’ll see you again for the next episode.

Secrets of storytelling Part 2 with Matthew Dicks – Speaking of Influence podcast

If you haven’t already listened to part 1, make sure to go back and check it out first.

Earlier this year I downloaded an audiobook called Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks and I was blown away by all the amazing secrets of storytelling he shares from his own experience as an international best selling author, 48-time winner of The Moth Story Slam and 6 time Grand Slam champion.

Matthew is also the creator of Homework for Life, a daily practice of writing down your most story-worthy moments each day and filling your world with stories. This one tool alone has been transformative for me.

In this first part, Matthew talks about how he got started with telling stories and shares some of his insights into what makes a good story or a ‘meh’ story.

Make sure you subscribe to ‘Speaking of Influence’ for lots more great guests and content.

You can find out more about Matthew Dicks on his website https://matthewdicks.com/

Listen to the Speak Up Storytelling podcast with Matthew and his wife Elysha

TRANSCRIPT

John Ball : 

Welcome to speaking of influence with John Ball from present influence.com. Each week we talk about presentation skills and public speaking and the tools of influence and persuasion with experts and incredible guests. Stay tuned and enjoy the show. Speaking of influence is uploaded and distributed to all major podcast networks through buzzsprout. Buzzsprout is the simplest way to get your podcast started with tons of great resources for new podcasters. You could start your podcast today follow the link in the show notes. Welcome back to part 2. You’ve said that each story really is only five seconds long.

Matthew Dicks : 

Yes, I really believe that. I think that when we those moments of transformation and realisation they happen almost instantaneously. There is a long period of time where you think one thing and then suddenly you think something new is not a gradual process. It’s not I kind of think I kind of think I kind of think and I think it, it really is a oh my gosh, I can’t believe I never realised that right? That’s essentially a story or you suddenly look at yourself and you realise, wow, I used to be like that kind of person. Look at me right now I’m this kind of person, I do believe they happen instantaneously, or as close to instantaneously as possible. Yeah. It’s really a pure essence. So that’s what you need to build everything else around those five seconds? Yes. Well, every story that I’ve ever told, and every story I think people should tell, you essentially should begin at the end of the story. You should begin with the fundamental change that you suddenly experienced. Otherwise, you don’t have a story. Otherwise, you’re just telling stories about stuff that happened over time. So every story I tell begins with, oh, that was a moment for me. Right? Sometimes I can’t even define what it is. There are moments in my life where I think I just had a moment I have no idea what it means. It might take me years to figure out what it actually meant. Oftentimes, my wife has to tell me what it meant. You know, I say like, I know it meant something, honey, but what did it mean? And she says, You’re such an idiot. This is what it meant. And I go, Oh, god, you’re right. That is what it meant. But I’m looking for a moment. And once I have a moment, it’s always going to be the end of my story, because it’s the most important thing I’m going to say. And everything that I’m going to say about that moment should inform that moment, and nothing more.

John Ball : 

Yeah. Do you feel then that storytelling has been for you and can be for many people a way of doing therapy on yourself?

Matthew Dicks : 

Yes, I, I don’t think it’s therapy. If you come to my workshop hoping that you will get therapy by working with me but people have stopped therapy and started taking workshops with me and I don’t advise it. But I am 100% convinced that if you become a storyteller and you, you approach the craft seriously, you will fundamentally become a better human being for yourself. You know, I say that storytellers are oftentimes the most selfish people, or the most self centred people. Because we spend enormous amounts of time thinking about ourselves, and why we are, who we are and why we do the things that we do. Those are the best storytellers in the world. I was in the New York City Public Library last year, doing a talk on storytelling. And this woman raised her hand and she said, I just have no stories. I have nothing. And I said to her, I said, Are you the kind of person who like cares for an elderly relative and volunteers at a at a homeless shelter on the weekend and you you foster three cats, and you’re you know, you’re donating all your your extra time to some Read Across America programme and her friend who was sitting next to her said, that’s exactly who she is. And I said, so your problem is not that you don’t have stories. The problem is that you have no time or inclination to look inward. You are constantly looking outward into the world. So you have stories, you’re just blowing past them, because you’re focused on everyone else. So, what I often tell people and it’s what causes people to cry most often in my workshops, I say, I’m giving you permission to think about yourself for a long period of time. Just give yourself the time to think about your own life, and what you feel and what you think. And oftentimes people cry, the people who have spent no time thinking about themselves, oftentimes the mothers have three children. You know, the, the the woman who is taking care of her parents and taking care of her her husband’s parents and taking care of her own kids, those kinds of people, that the father who’s working three jobs to hold things together, those are the people who have brilliant stories, but just don’t have time to think about themselves.

John Ball : 

Right and in your book, that’s an interesting because in your book, you said like, you have some very big experiences. Now the this is going to hurt story being one example. But but also some of your stories are just about kind of small life events where it was impactful and some of the most impactful stories that I’ve heard, so it doesn’t mean that you have to have big life events to talk about in your stories, or the super important things is more or less those moments of transformation and realisation. Yeah?

Matthew Dicks : 

Yeah, the small ones are the best ones. In fact, you know that the big stories, the crazy things that have happened to me in my life, they’re the hardest stories to tell, because it is really hard to connect with people on a, you know, dying and coming back to life level, you know, which is odd. They happen to me twice, or the time I was homeless, or the time I was in jail. Those are moments that are not easy to tell the people because they’re hard to make relatable. So I would much rather tell a tiny story about a little moment I had with my wife or my kids or a woman in the in the line at the grocery store when she made me see the world in a slightly different way. Because those are moments we all experience all the time. So, you know, I was on trial for a crime I didn’t commit. I was arrested and tried and could have gone to prison for five years. And I’ve never told the story of that time and my storytelling friends think I’m crazy. They’re like, that wouldn’t be our first, our number one our best story. And, you know, part of me not telling you is it’s going to be a harder story to craft. So I’m a little lazy. But mostly, it’s the idea that it’s hard to get people to understand what it is like to be 21 years old, having, you know, been arrested and tried for a crime you did not commit, I’m going to have to find a way to connect to an audience. Whereas, you know, the other night, my wife and I were folding clothes here at this table, I’m sitting at our washing machine broke. So we had five days without a washing machine, so we had more laundry than we’d ever seen before. So for the first time in forever, we were folding clothes together, and I was folding my daughter’s pants and I was folding it in quarters. And my wife said no, you’re supposed to fold them in thirds. And I had the thought that there is no way to properly fold pants. This is a personal decision. Who do you think you are like quarters is just as good as thirds. What the hell is wrong with you? That was the thought that went through my mind. Then I thought to myself, and yeah, I’m not gonna say anything because this is not a hill, I’m going to die on. Because this is not important to me. And I had a moment now I don’t know if it’s really worth the stage. But I realised, you know what, 13 years ago when we got married, I used to go to war on this stuff all the time. You know, I remember the time when we debated when we moved in, whether we were going to put toothbrushes in a cup, or we were going to instal a toothbrush holder. And I was convinced that the holder was the way to go that a cup was unsanitary. And I lost that battle. And I lost that war, because for two days, she was mad at me about it right? And I thought, okay, 13 years later, I have learned I have become a different human being I had a moment of realisation, right, folding clothes with my wife. I don’t know if that’s a moment worth telling on stage. But that’s the kind of moments I look for.

John Ball : 

Because I think people can relate to it, right?

Matthew Dicks : 

Right. That’ll be easier to tell. It will be very entertaining if I do it right.Whereas the trial story that’s like lifting cement blocks, you know, to try to get people to understand what that’s like, I want to tell it and eventually one day I will, but I just think I’d probably tell the the folding of the pants story before I tell the trial story and I just have a million folding the pants stories, even just you telling it there as well.

John Ball : 

Yeah, I fold clothes the same way you do. And I have similar. I’ve had similar comments from my husband that I don’t do it the way Marie Kondo says you’re supposed to do it.

Matthew Dicks : 

Yeah. Right. And Who the hell is she anyway? I mean, what does she know?

John Ball : 

Yeah, she has a few good books. And I like some of the stuff but but yeah, I don’t think I’m ever gonna really care about folding laundry enough to write to do it that particular way. One thing that is very important to come to and I’ve done several courses on storytelling and and read a number of books on it as well. And I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as impacted as good as they’ve been your book. gives the biggest secrets of storytelling away. And then even a bit in the book where you say one of your fellow storytellers says, Don’t you dare tell little secrets.

Matthew Dicks : 

Erin

John Ball : 

Have you had any push back from giving away so much?

Matthew Dicks : 

No, I’ve had people, many people tell me, you’re making a terrible mistake. Because, you know, I’m a competitive storyteller. You know, and I don’t need to be at this point. You know, most of my friends I’ve watched, I go to the mall in New York, and I’ve watched the sort of the groups migrate on, you know, when I started telling stories, I can think about the people who used to be great and they’ve moved on, you know, they have their own shows they get paid to perform, they would never just sort of go downtown, drop a name and a hat and hope to get pulled and get five minutes to be judged and assigned a number. For me that sounds like the greatest thing that could ever happen to me. So people have told me you’re crazy to give this away because it’s the competition is going to be increased and you’re not going to win as often. But I genuinely believe… First of all, I genuinely believe that you know that arrogance, narcissism and stupidity, I’ll still be better than them because I’m still finding new tricks yesterday or last night, I was teaching a workshop and I found a new trick. I found a new strategy. It was truthfully a strategy I’ve been using all my life, I didn’t realise I was using it, now I can maximise it and weaponize it and and and move it forward and then eventually put it in my new book, actually. So I’m always like studying storytelling in a way that I don’t think most people are. My wife says, I talk about storytelling, like I’m a fossil Hunter, like, all the secrets already exist. And I just go and I dig them out and then and find them. Because I’ll come to my wife and say, I found a new one, I found a new strategy. And she says, it’s it’s like you, it’s like you’re not. She said, you don’t think you invent them? It’s like they already exist. And you think you’re finding them? And I said, Yeah, that’s kind of how I feel. So I don’t worry about that. You know, but I genuinely want the world to be filled with better stories, because I think most of the stories people tell they’re kind of miserable. And so if I can put some stuff out into the world, and it can make them better storytellers, I think especially in the world, right? Now, frankly, if we could get a little more authenticity and vulnerability from human beings, instead of what people seem to think, which is, you know, a lot of bravado and a lot of lies, and a lot of, you know, a lot of braggadocio and a lot of self praise, like these are things that for some reason have value in our society, and they should not. So if I can put some, some better storytelling into the world, I’m willing to give away my secrets for that.

John Ball : 

Yeah, I completely agree. I think storytelling is is real heart. And that’s what we need to put out into the world. That’s the stuff that people connect with VR stories really, is, maybe a cliche, but I think it’s a true one that historically, storytelling is how we’ve passed on information. And we remember stuff more when it’s in a story as well.

Matthew Dicks : 

Oh, absolutely. I mean, you know, a well told story can be told 20 years from now, you know, almost verbatim you know, and same thing with movies. You know, there’s a reason why, There’s a reason my my wife has watched Pretty Woman 10 times in her life. And yet no one has ever asked to see a PowerPoint for a second time. Right? No one’s ever said, Wow, that was a really great deck. Can you show me that deck again? Never. Right. But movies. You know, just the other night I was sitting on the couch, whatever we were watching ended, and the Terminator came on, you know, halfway through the Terminator. And my wife said, What is this? And I said, it’s the Terminator. He’s about to go into the police station. And it’s a great scene. I want to stay and watch it. Now I know it. I already know everything that’s gonna happen. But it’s a story. And because it’s a story, I’m willing to watch that scene again, because it’s great.

John Ball : 

That’s one of the stories you are happy to watch over and over again.

Matthew Dicks : 

Yeah, I mean, I kind of hate. I kind of hate watching things twice, unless I’m analysing them. Because I know there’s so much content in the world that I want to consume. But I can’t help but I’m the same way as other people. You know, there’s just there’s movies. If they’re on and I happen to slip by them, I’ll say, Oh, I’m going to stay to spend some time here. Now admittedly, it is, it’s almost like work for me. You know, it’s, it’s almost, it’s almost a way of making my craft better and watching these things. And so there is some value to that. And my wife has started to see a little bit of that, too. You know, there’s moments when she’ll pause the movie and go, Oh, that thing that you’re talking about? That’s happening right now? I said, Yes, it is. Good job. You know,

John Ball : 

You share in the book and in your YouTube channel as well. Something that I have found very powerful myself and I’ve been implementing, and you are the proud creator and proponent of homework for life.

Matthew Dicks : 

Oh, yes.

John Ball : 

Can you tell the audience a little bit about homework for life.

Matthew Dicks : 

Sure. Whether you’re going to be a storyteller or not, you should be doing homework for life. It will change your life even if you never plan on speaking. It is going to be something that’s valuable to you. It For me it was an attempt to find more stories, as the list of potential stories that I could tell began to shrink, I started to panic. I didn’t want to be one of those storytellers who rolled out the same 12 chestnuts, you know, every night which those people exist. I wanted a brand new story every single time. So, I gave myself a homework assignment, being an elementary school teacher it felt right. So, it’s simple. All I do is at the end of every day, although now it’s during the day as well. I asked myself a simple question, essentially, essentially, what is the most story worthy moment of my day? If you forced me to stand on a stage and tell a story about something that has happened today, even if nothing has happened, that is actually worth speaking of? What would be the thing I’d choose what would be the most story worthy of all the understory were the moments of my day. And then I write that moment down. I don’t write down the whole thing because that’s crazy. You know, those are journalers. Those are people who tend to write a lot when people dump them and tend not to write a lot when they’re in love. You know, I like to create habits, I like to create simple things that are repeatable constantly. So I use an Excel spreadsheet. It’s two columns. It’s a date on one side. And then I stretched the B column across the screen. And in that B column, I write the story, just enough to recapture the moment that has happened even if the moment isn’t even worth recapturing. And my goal was to find one new story every month, then I’d have 12 news stories by the end of the year. Instead, what I discovered over the course of time, is that my life is filled with stories that moments like folding the pants, right? That is a moment. It’s a moment that might be story worthy someday it probably is. If I’m not a storyteller, I have that moment I realised, oh, gosh, I’m very different than when I was 13 years ago, and I allow the moment to be gone forever. It passes I forget it. That’s how people treat their lives. That’s how I used to treat my life. Things happened I noticed things I realised things. I witnessed things. In the moment. Maybe I recognise their import, oftentimes I didn’t and then I just tossed them I like their trash, which is why when you ask someone tell me all the things that you can remember when you were 26, the 26th year of your life, tell me all the things you can remember most people can’t remember a damn thing. They lose entire years of their lives, because they don’t take a moment to reflect and to record things so that they can go back and, and remember and, and enjoy. And so, through that process, I’ve developed sort of a lens for storytelling where I see stories throughout my life constantly. And I’m not the only 1000s and thousands of people. No exaggeration. Every day, I get at least one email from someone telling me I’ve started homework for life. I’ve done 100 days, and in some fashion or some degree, it’s changed my life. It changes the way you look at your life. It changes the way you feel about your life. And you find all of those little moments they suddenly are so precious to you, and they become the stories that you tell the examine life, right? It really is the other thing that happens as you crack open, and all the memories that you’ve thrown away the ones that you’ve forgotten, as you start to examine your life and as you start to record them the memories suddenly return, you have a moment with your child. And it’s a beautiful moment. And suddenly you remember a moment similar when you were a child and that memory returns to you or, or it’s just like a wellspring of memories that appear. And that has been so wonderful for me because I’ve filled in all these gaps with stories that have been coming back to me.

John Ball : 

That was one of the things I was going to say before when I started homework for life that I found in a very short space of time, I was remembering all sorts of things that I hadn’t thought about for years. And all these stories and experiences started coming back to me, just from doing that, which I found incredible is like memory memory recovery service. It was an amazing experience and still goes on to be this stuff that sometimes comes up meaning Oh my God, I haven’t thought about that for years and years. I’ve forgotten all about that and it just pops back into your head that might never have happened have not done the homework for life. Right and I tend to think that when that happens to us, we start to feel better about our lives. Because I think a lot of times, we look back on our lives. And if we don’t see much, you know, and if we don’t remember much, we start to doubt how we’ve spent our days. And so the more you can sort of fill in, the more memories that returned to you, the more you realise the things you’ve done, and the places you’ve gone and the paths that you’ve tracked. And I just think that all of that is so helpful to people. It’s been so helpful to me, and to be able to turn to my wife and say, do you know what I did when I was 14 that I didn’t think about until just now and I don’t know if this has happened to you. But some of the most ridiculous things that I forgot have returned to me things like I thought, I can’t believe I forgot I did that. And suddenly it’s back with you. Yeah, I think there’s a few, I used to be a flight attendant and a few times I remember but members have come back of people asking me for drinks on the flight but I forgotten to ever take to them. SoI don’t know if that’s helpful, it’s recovered memories. That’s for sure. Well, that’s great. Now, I know I could very happily talk to Dan and he said you’ve got some time but I don’t want to be too greedy with this as well. But I do want to have happenings have been for you with with all the stuff that’s been going on recently I’ve just been diving into writing and stories have you been able to pretty much continue as normal?

Matthew Dicks : 

Well, I’ll tell you, the first thing I noticed was I actually have more stories from the pandemic, you know, my quarantine, I thought I would have laughs because it was less some. It was less variance in my life. You know, we really sort of hunkered down for a long period of time. But I started riding my bike, I couldn’t go to the gym anymore. So I pulled the bike out. I hadn’t written it in 20 years, probably and now I ride every day, 15 miles. And the number of moments I’ve had just on my bike alone, you know, noticing things I’ve just become more attuned. And I’ve heard that from a lot of the people who do homework for life, that oddly the pandemic is now generating more stories for them than they’ve ever imagined. I’ve started telling stories virtually My wife and I are producing virtual shows, I didn’t think I would like it at all. I thought it would be terrible. It’s not as good as real in person on a stage in front of an audience, but it’s not bad. And people really appreciate it. I think they need it now. All of my workshops initially dried up to they all disappeared. And so I turned to writing, you know, I turned to to a lot of books that I’m working on. But very quickly, people came back and said, we want to we want to have our workshops, can we do them online? And again, I thought it was gonna be terrible. I thought, do you really want to stare at me on a computer, but I’ve been doing that I mean, I did it last night. There’s been some like beautiful silver linings. The last workshop I did. I do workshops with six people at a time. One of the versions of workshops, I do six people at a time. And they were from Singapore and Seattle and Chicago, like all over the world, which people I would have never met had we not had this happen. I taught an all day workshop that had people from nine different countries and 37 of the 50 states. You know, I had a guy in Dubai who fell asleep on me because it was 3am where he was. But there’s been some wonderful things in terms of that, you know, it’s not great. I would much prefer to be in the company of human beings. But I’ve been busy storytelling is continuing and it’s marching forward and the moth is online now that they actually have competitions, story slams, that people can compete in. So if you have been a person who’s never been able to see them off, show or compete in one because there’s nothing in your area, now you can, you know, I’m going to be competing in the North Carolina story slam coming up just because I can and it fits on the night that I happen to be free. So it’s not all bad, but I look forward to the day when we can get back together and we can do things in person because that is the best way to do it.

John Ball : 

Yeah, I’m definitely going to be checking that out. And one of the things that I’ve been inspired to do from reading your book, which I shared with you, when I first contacted you is that I’ve been putting together a storytelling workshop for my Toastmasters Club, which I’ll be delivering. We haven’t quite set a date for it yet. But that’s coming up soon. And then from there, we’re going to, probably a bit later in the year have our own storytelling event, when we can do things that live and in person again, hopefully, and I really look forward to that. In the meantime, I can get some practice in, hopefully, online that sounds.

Matthew Dicks : 

It’s not terrible. I really enjoyed it. It’s just it’s just not as good as being in person. But it’s pretty good. My cat stare at me a lot while I’m teaching now. I’m shocked that my children have not interrupted us at some point. So those things happen. But otherwise, it’s pretty good. Yeah, cats are all still wondering why the humans are still at home, right? They’re happy. They’re they’re thrilled that we are home all the time. And I mean, my wife and I have been fortunate. We’re teachers and we were able to continue teaching online, which again, was not even close to being as good as in person. But we’ve been very fortunate. You know, it’s been a it’s been a really difficult and challenging time for us, but not nearly so. Compared to lots of people who I know who are suffering much harder circumstances than we are. So we feel blessed.

John Ball : 

Yeah, absolutely. I would always encourage anyone to check out your story with a bow. You mentioned you’re working on a new book, do you have any clues when that’s going to be ready for release?

Matthew Dicks : 

Well, we just pitched it to the editor. So um, you know, I, we pitch two nonfiction books, the one on productivity, which is close to being sort of ready, and then I’ve been furiously writing the new storytelling book. So I mean, it’s the way books work, it’s probably going to be a year at least before they come out. But I’m, I’m excited about them. You know, there’s been a big demand for another storytelling book. And the thing when I look at story worthy now, there’s so much content that I have learned so many strategies and tricks of the trade that are not in that book. And then there’s whole chapters that I dropped out of that book, because the length of the book can only be so long, and a couple of those chapters are just killing me that they’re they don’t exist right now. Because I’m constantly referring to things I’m talking about the structure of stories. I have a whole chapter on the structure of story. And I said, oh, that’ll be the chapter I drop. And all the time I’m talking about it now. And I’m thinking, you know, if I just could tell people to go to chapter 15, that would be much easier than me, you know, having to do this heavy lifting with them all the time. So I’m looking forward to it coming out, because there’s a lot of stuff I want to share with folks.

John Ball : 

Right? If you want any advanced readers to check stuff over, I’m more than happy to.

Matthew Dicks : 

I appreciate it. I use advanced readers all the time. I have four storytellers right now reading the new book, for people who I know really well and they really like it. You know, my hope is, I always tell people that story worthy is for everyone, including the non storyteller, but there is some genuine craft like I really do get sort of down into the, you know, down into the nitty gritty with storytelling, this next book is genuinely going to be for anyone. Even people who aren’t storytellers are going to find the value in the idea that not only do we tell stories to other people, but we first tell stories to ourselves, you know, every story that I eventually tell to you, I first told them myself. And people don’t do that people who are not storytellers are not telling stories to themselves. And I think that when we can really craft our lives and sort of frame them in ways that are more positive for ourselves, our souls, I think that really helps you as a person. So even like I say, even if you’re a mute and can’t speak, and you’re afraid of people, and you live in a cave and never want to leave it, you can still become a storyteller and find enormous value in it. And that’s what I’m hoping people get from this book as well as the craft I’m slipping in that I know people are going to want as well.

John Ball : 

Absolutely. I’m sure a lot of the listeners and people watching are going to want to find out more about you and your books and what’s the best way for them to do that or to connect with you.

Matthew Dicks : 

Sure.

John Ball : 

I think we’re getting cat interference here?

Matthew Dicks : 

Right, the cat is on here… you can find me at Matthew Dix calm. That’s my website. My wife and I do a storytelling podcast called Speak up Storytelling. And that’s very helpful for people. We take a, we take a story a week that we’ve had performed live in one of our shows, and we break that story down, we talk about what’s working, what’s not working. There’s also a homework for life segment on that podcast every week where I take a moment from my week, from my homework for life. And I talked about how it might be a story or might be part of a story someday so that people can start to see what I’m recording. And then how what we record can be useful in terms of storytelling. So that’s a very popular way for people to sort of connect with us and learn more about storytelling. But you can find all of it all of its at MatthewDicks.com.

John Ball : 

Excellent. Well, I’ll definitely put links in the show notes for everybody to contact you. I feel like I’ve been missing out by not having been realised how to podcast until today, and I haven’t been to so I’m going to be making up for lost time.

Matthew Dicks : 

We’re coming up on our hundredth episode, so it’s been a lot of fun and you know, it’s it’s really been wonderful because I do with my wife and we get emails from people who tell us they listen with their spouse, because they like to hear the relationship that my wife and I have, because we don’t always agree on the podcast. And apparently some people have a hard time disagreeing with their spouse in a polite and productive way. And somehow Elysha and I have just figured out a way to do that in our relationship. But it’s been, it’s been really, really great. There’s also episodes where I take my own stories, and I just basically play my story and stop it whenever I want to point out a piece of craft that I’ve done like, oh, here’s what I was thinking. When I put this together. I’ll even point out mistakes, you know, I’ll say, here’s a story, but there’s one giant stupid decision I made in the middle of it, and I’ll point out the stupid decision to why it’s stupid. So those are very popular to where I sort of just deconstruct my own stories.

John Ball : 

Yeah. One thing I always like to ask my guests is, I’m a big reader. I like reading and listen to audiobooks all the time. And so it’s always nice to get a book recommendation, whether that’s about storytelling or just a book that you think people should be because you love it or they’re gonna learn so much. What would your book recommendation be?

Matthew Dicks : 

I think the book I recommend the most, at least in terms of nonfiction is a book called Made to Stick. I’m sorry, (Cat meows)

John Ball : 

Dan & Chip eath, Right?

Matthew Dicks : 

Yes, exactly. It’s a brilliant book. It is essentially, a book that teaches you why people remember things that you say, if you’re a teacher, it’s the best book on teaching I’ve ever read in my life. If you’re a storyteller or writer, it’s probably the best book you’re going to read in terms of capturing attention, getting people to engage with you, all of those types of things. And then if you’re just a human being whoever wants to, like, I don’t know, convince your wife about the right way to fold pants Chip and Dan Heath book will be helpful to you so I have it both in hardcopy and audiobook, I listened to it every summer before my teaching year begins. And I give it out all the time to people. I think it’s just brilliant.

John Ball : 

Excellent. Any closing words for our future storytellers out there?

Matthew Dicks : 

Well, I, the thing I always like to remind people is the first quality you have to have as a storyteller is to be a listener. And so often in life, I hear people rushing through stories, or that look on their face like they wanted to tell a story, but they don’t feel like they’re going to be listened to. I think that too often in life, too many people want to talk and not enough people want to listen. And so in every circumstance that I’m in a dinner party, a meeting Wherever I am, I always intentionally tried to be the last person to speak. Part of it is also I’m a white American man. I am, I am straight and I am not physically disabled and I do not suffer from mental illness. I am the most privileged person that has ever existed on the planet. I have no reason to ever be discriminated against in any way and I recognise all those things. So I want to afford space and time for everyone but me to have say, but I think in terms of storytelling, so much of what I’ve learned is from being a good listener by being willing to shut my mouth for as long as possible, and listen to what other people have to say and listen to the way they say it. And sort of the the craft that they may be using intentionally or unintentionally, to say the things that they want to say. So I think the first thing you have to do is to be a listener and to open up space. And the phrase I say, all the time to people, is I hear the hint of a story. And I say to that person, please tell me that story. And I just I hear so many beautiful stories, and I learned so many interesting things about people at work at school where I teach, I’m often telling people things like, did you know that Monica learned English by working on McDonald’s drive thru? And you know, all of my colleagues say, No, how do you know that? And I say, well, one day I was on recess to do with Monica. And I heard her talking a little bit about immigrating to America. And I said, Really? Tell me that story. And if you just say, tell me that story, you’re going to learn things about people that you never would have learned already, you’ll find beautiful stories, and you’ll become a better storyteller. So be a good listener, open up space and try to be the last person who speaks it really will help you.

John Ball : 

I love that this whole conversation has been fantastic. You’re gonna find something from me in your inbox at some point when your next book’s out, because I want to speak to you again. I’m sure.

Matthew Dicks : 

I’d be happy to do so.

John Ball : 

Oh, that’s wonderful. You’ve been so generous with your time and your information today. So thank you so much. You’ve been one of my favourite ever guests, and I’m so thrilled that you agreed to be on the show. Thank you, Matthew, for coming on this week’s podcast.

Matthew Dicks : 

My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

90-Second Presentation Fix – Audience Engagement

We’ve all sat through at least one boring presentation in our lives, right?
So, how do we stop the audience from yawning and their eyes glazing over?
What if they’re online and we can’t even see them? There are a million distractions at their fingertips. How are you going to engage them and keep them focussed?
Here are a few things you can quickly implement to improve engagement in your presentations…

Welcome to the workshop, we have a minute and a half to talk about how to fix problems with engagement. When you see your audience’s eyes glazing over, or if you’re presenting online, you may not even be able to see your audience. But you know, they’ve got all these distractions available to them that they can be checking their emails, they could be on social media, and you wouldn’t even know about it. How do you keep your audience engaged? Well, there are so many things we could put in here that we’re not going to have time to cover them in a minute and a half. So I want to give you a few simple things you can do to engage your audience more. One would be to add a bit of mystery into what you’re doing, especially if the topic is kind of dry. Pique curiosity, if you possibly can, to get people a bit more interested in tuning in. If you can put a mystery or something unsolved in front of people. We have this thing inside of us that wants to unravel mysteries, we have an innate sense of curiosity, so we can utilise that in presentations. Seek engagement regularly as well. Get some feedback from your audience. If they’re live with you and you can see them, then you can ask them to say something back to you, repeat a word back to you, or turn to the person next to them or stand up and have a stretch. And you’d probably want to do that about every five to seven minutes in a live presentation, especially if it’s a long one. If you are doing online presentation, use the chatbox, use any features you’ve got that allow your audience to interact with you, but there’s so much more we could do here about increasing engagement, but here’s some tips for you that you can apply. Come back tomorrow we’ll be talking a bit of Friday Philosophy.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

How to remember your presentations

Episode transcript:

0:00
Welcome to speaking of influence with John Ball from present influence.com.

0:08
Each week we talk about presentation skills and public speaking and the tools of influence and persuasion with experts and incredible guests. Stay tuned and enjoy the show. Speaking of influence is uploaded and distributed to all major podcast networks through Buzzsprout. Buzzsprout is the simplest way to get your podcast started with tons of great resources for new podcasters. You could start your podcast today, follow the link in the show notes.

In this episode, I’m talking about how to remember your presentations, how to remember your content so that you can deliver it in any kind of presentation. It could be a business presentation to your team or your company. It could be a professional presentation to an audience that maybe you want to sell to. It might be a speech at a wedding really anywhere where you want to help yourself. Remember your speech could even be at your local Toastmasters club.

How do you remember your speeches, the strategy that a lot of people seem to take, probably from not really knowing any better, is writing the whole thing out and then trying to memorise the whole damn thing. Maybe that’s from a past of having done theatre productions and learning your lines, that kind of thing. But this isn’t the same. This is your voice. So if you try to say things exactly as you’ve done them, you might really struggle and it’s probably not going to sound natural. There are strategies that you can employ to help you remember what’s in your presentation, without having to use your notes and lean on any kind of crutches at all. And to feel fully confident that you can pull it all together. I’m going to address some of them. There may well be other ones that I don’t get to in this episode. And maybe you have some suggestions for remembering speeches that I might not cover, which I would love to hear as well and maybe we could share with the audience.

The first one is one that you may get from a company or organisation like Toastmasters International, plan out your presentation and know what you want to say, script, the start, script the end but the middle part, the content part, you want to bullet point it and just be able to go through each bullet on there without having it formally scripted, so that you have some room to ad-lib. And you’re not trying to remember exactly word for word, what your presentation is supposed to sound like. So that’s a great way to do things: script the start, script the end, remember those. Learn those because that’s not a big part to learn. And then in the middle, your content part is just bullet points that allow you to ad-lib.

One method that I have used before The Cicero cards, I’ll try and get them, the light isn’t shining on them. So there’s an episode that I have out with this from a while back with Sefirot publishing, which is Andrea and Matteo, and they are the creators and publishers of the Cicero cards., They’re a great way to visually help you to plan your presentation, I’ll put a link to that into the description so that you can go and get your own set of Cicero cards. They have some other great products that you like, I know that in the episode that I recorded with them, they were talking about some of their plans for card decks that are coming up as well. The creativity pack is really good. The storytelling pack is really good. So I recommend getting the whole set if you’re up for it. But at least if you’re doing presentations, definitely get yourself a set of Cicero cards. You can layout your presentation, structure it and have it on post-it notes and have it as visual cues as well. Because it’s nicely visual, we tend to have better visual memories for things. So using something like this, the Cicero cards can really help you You’re more likely to remember that layout and you can even stick it up so that you can see it regularly whilst you’re preparing or practising for your presentation. I think it’s better than having a script in front of you that may be difficult to follow.

Times where it may be okay to use a script is for doing something like this some sort of webcam recording, where you may be delivering a longer message by yourself. In which case, you could use a script. But the trouble with that is, unless you actually have a good teleprompter setup, you still may look a bit unnatural, people are still going to see that you’re reading. And a lot of people don’t read the same way that they talk. So sounding natural whilst you’re reading is challenging in itself, but it could be good. There are some teleprompter apps that you can use. Some of them are free to download as well. And easier if you have a Mac possibly I don’t know what’s available on PC I’m afraid, but they can help you at least with practising your speech.

Which brings us to practising! Practising is really the number one way to make sure you remember your presentation. Don’t expect that you’re just going to get out there and deliver it. In fact, I was just chatting on an episode recording recently, which will be out around the end of the month with an amazing lady who is a presentation skills expert. And one of the things that she was saying is that you just can’t go out there and think that you’re going to be able to improvise in the middle of your presentation. It just won’t work. You have to be prepared for this and you need to practice. So even if it’s not a professional presentation, practice, practice, practice, it’s the best thing that you can do. It’s going to help you get it solid inside your mind. Practice your movement with your presentation as well. So that you know it’s embodied and you actually really own it. Then the more you do it, the easier it will get. It’s been said that amateurs will practice until they get it right, professionals will practice until they can’t get it wrong. So be the one who practices until you can’t get it wrong.

Some of the other things that can help you with memorising a speech or remembering or your content is to use flashcards. So, they can be useful. Have your bullet points there, go through them regularly refresh your mind on them. Review your presentation regularly as well in advance of delivering it. If you have to do something a bit more off the cuff. Well, really, if you get more experience in giving presentations, it does get easier to do that. And you can more comfortably do it. I have talked about the 4mat structure before in an episode, but if you use this structure, you probably could never really run out of things to talk about, you’ll always find a way to deliver something. So remember this structure of 4mat. You, first of all, deliver the why; why do you need to know this? Why am I talking about this? What you’re answering for your audience is ‘why should I care?’ ‘Why should I care what you’re talking about? Tell me’. You have to get that first. Once you’ve got the Why should I care, then you’re going to go into the what; what it is I’m actually talking about? The data element of your presentation. Then you will go into the how; how are we going to use this? How do I do this? Maybe a bit of a practical element there, or maybe some kind of demonstration, or even figures or slides or whatever you choose to use in your presentation? Then you’re going to go to what next? Or what if? So, you might be presupposing some questions that people might be asking, okay, well, what about in this situation? Would that still apply? Or would it need to change? Or what do they do with this? Now, what next? Okay, we’ve had the meeting, we’ve talked about this, what comes next? If you have those four elements in your presentation, you won’t go too far wrong. So why, what, how, what next/what if. Why, what, how, what if or what next. So that’s why. what, how, what if or what next. Get that into your brain, and you will be able to talk about just about anything without probably running out of things to say, or at least sounding like you somewhat know what you’re talking about.

A great way to help you remember presentations as well is to turn some keywords or key points of your presentation into a story. So link it as your mind as again as a visual story. So you this is sometimes called a visual stack. And that’s what you want to create. So that you have an idea of what comes next in your presentation. You’re going to build up a visual story of images that help you remember what comes next and then create a story around those. So it’s a great method for helping you to remember stuff we remember stories very well. Even crazy ones that we end up creating ourselves. We can remember them far better than just trying to remember bullet points or keywords when you tell those keywords or points into visual images, they become much more memorable. This means that you can have a little story that you construct together that leads you through each of the elements of your presentation and makes it easy for that to come back to you as and when you need it.

The next memory device I’m going to talk about his memory palaces. This is a technique that has been used for a long time by memory experts to help them remember long sequences of information. And it works by thinking about the rooms that you know really well. So you would maybe start with your own living room, and you’re going to mentally pick an association between what you want to remember to an item in your living room. And then so might be a lamp, for example, maybe the first item you start with is a lamp and perhaps you’re going to do the start of your presentation there which could be your introduction or your greeting, then maybe you’re going to move to an armchair and then you’re going to tag something else to that. So, at the armchair you’ve got this, again, using visual representations of your presentation points here is going to help. So for your greeting of the lamp, you might have the handshake or the welcome everybody however, you’re going to do your, your initial greeting. From there you go to perhaps you’re going to go into a story. So you might put on the armchair a storybook is on the armchair to help you remember that. Then you maybe go to the TV, and the next part you’re going to go into is an explainer for your content. So perhaps there’s a documentary on the TV that helps you remember, okay, this is the explain apart. So carry on like this, and it’s going to help you remember sequences and orders of things. It’s a really useful technique and can be very effective. Don’t leave it to the last minute to come up with your memory palace. Again, the more practice you can be with using it, the easier it’s going to be to actually implement it into your presentation and to utilise it. If you need to the last minute is going to be hard to remember it still.

I think another great way to help you remember some of your presentation more, is to record yourself giving your presentation. So if you do script it out, or if you have some practice version of it that you like, have it recorded, listen back to it, play it back to yourself, and make sure it’s as memorable to you. That’s good advice. Anyway, this all requires some level of practice, but you know what, even if you need to get a presentation and you need to mentally rehearse it and practice it, being able to listen to it back and visualise yourself, giving the presentation is going to help you as well. So mental rehearsal is definitely good. I know from personal experience of using state rehearsal, mental rehearsal is very useful. And it can even help you with terms of state management as well, that you want to watch yourself delivering the presentation in the way that you would really want to deliver it with the level of energy that you want to deliver that with as well so that you’re visualising that the best that you could possibly ever do it. So, it’s more likely then that you’ll get up on a stage and platform and be able to deliver it that way.

So, these are just some of the things that I have used to help me remember presentations in the past as well. I do think out of all of them practice is the key one that runs through all of them. And so make sure that you give yourself time to practice your presentations. If you have less than ideal time to do that, then you can try some of these perhaps mental shortcuts that we’ve mentioned, that may help you out. Please do not read out your presentations, do not rely on flashcards when you’re actually delivering and let go of the crutch of needing to have your notes with you as soon as you possibly can. If you’re starting out in a public speaking practice club, you can definitely start with your notes if you need to, and move away from them but as quickly as you can. It’s important to let go of that crutch but I understand sometimes when it’s your first presentation or that you have a lot of fear about getting up on the stage and delivering it, having that comfort of knowing that if you get really lost, your notes are there to help you out can be really useful. So in those situations is absolutely fine. But if you’re giving something a bit more formal, you want it to be a bit more spectacular, you want to make an impact, have it well-practised, be prepared, and leave the need for your notes behind.

So those are my tips on how to remember your material for any kind of presentation. Hope they’ve been useful. I hope you’ll share some of your tips as well. Or tell me if you find these tips useful if you’re going to use them, implement them yourself in your own public speaking and presentation work. And I’m going to look forward to catching up with you again on Friday. Friday. This week is going to be part two of my interview with Matthew Dicks, the author of Storyworthy, it was an incredible interview so good I had to put it into two parts because it was just too much information to put it all out in one go. So I hope you’ll come back and join us for that. Check out the first part if you haven’t already listened to it. I’ll be back next week with some more great stuff about how to do great presentations with impact, remember them all kinds of tools and tips, some presentation skills and the tools of influence and persuasion. Make sure you like and subscribe when I say on YouTube. Now smash the like button. If there’s a Like button, you can smash, go ahead and smash it. But subscribe. If you’re on YouTube, click the bell icon, you’ll get notified for all my new videos, you can even tune in to some of my daily content, which is a little bit different, cover some different things each day, some of them relating to presentation skills, and some of them in some slightly different areas as well. Come and connect with me on LinkedIn, if you’d like to connect and speak, LinkedIn is the best place to find me. I’m looking to be a guest on some podcasts at the moment. So if you have some suggestions for who I would make a good guest for that you think would be a good fit, then I’d love to hear that as well. So, other than that, let’s say Sayonara for now, and I’ll see you Friday.

Thanks for listening. I hope you’ve enjoyed With the show if you’d like to get in touch with me, please send an email to john at presentinfluence.com you can check out my website present influence dot com as well. Lots of updates and information of previous shows and stuff that’s coming up as well, including training courses and webinars. The best place to connect with me online is LinkedIn. So if you’d like to come and find me on LinkedIn, you can also find that I post my daily videos up there as well. And I’d love to get any kind of feedback you might have about the show. If you have suggestions for guests or any kind of feedback that might help us to improve the podcast, then I would love to hear it. All that remains for me to say is glad you enjoyed the show. Thanks for sticking with us. And please make sure that you have liked and subscribed. Have a great day.

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