Great Speaker to Paid Speaker with Rina Rovinelli

After spending many years surrounded by Professional Speakers, World Championship Speakers and Owners of Speaker Bureaus, Rina Rovinelli finally spills the beans on why it’s not enough to be a great speaker, if you want to become a paid speaker.

Rinas headshot.jpg

 

Rina Rovinelli is the Co-Founder of Speaker Slam – Canada’s Premier Inspirational Speaking Competition with over 200 attendees monthly and attracting a stellar lineup of speakers and professional judges. She is a Speaker Coach and creator of the Emerging Speaker Program. Most recently, Rina has connected forces to spearhead the Too Much Woman Movement – empowering women to create meaningful impact by celebrating their too muchness. Rina’s greatest passion and life’s mission is the pursuit of human connection which she blogs about at http://www.ttctales.com.

(If you prefer these tips in vide, click here)

Journey to Speaker Slam

With an eye for opportunity and extremely competitive spirit, Rina took Dan Shaikh’s offer to partner together in the speaking world. Initially, the idea was to create a debate club but as Rina recalls, “I couldn’t think of anything more boring.”

Fortunately, a few weeks later, Dan’s imagination was sparked again (or maybe for the first time ;)) and said, “let’s run a contest!” to which Rina replied, “OMG… Speaker Slam!”

Within weeks they were searching for venues, dreaming up themes and enrolling speakers and judges to make the first contest happen. Now, almost two years later, with over 200 attendees monthly, Rina and Dan have become the Largest Inspirational Speaking Competition in Canada.

I, adore Speaker Slam.

I love the people who attend monthly. I’m invigorated by the energy of the night. And most of all, I stand behind it’s purpose. As Rina says, “the most beautiful thing about Speaker Slam is that it’s real people sharing authentic stories. There’s no sales pitch. We’re all aligned for a night of transformation and to empower others and ourselves.”

Fortunately for many of you locals reading this blog, Rina was also willing to share her most important tip for winning Speaker Slam.

Focus On Your Message

Rina believes,”stories, are the great equalizer.” She and Dan have seen Professional Speakers and Public World Championship Speakers cross their stage. On the flip side, they’ve also had newbies and people who were competition for the first time up to the mic sharing their souls with hundreds of people.

Guess what?

Both types of competitors have taken home the title of Speaker Slam champion.

Should you be polished and ensure that you’re prepared to take the stage? Yes. You should give yourself the highest probability of success. But know that your story, your ability to resonate with the audience, your authenticity and your vulnerability will always been the greatest determining factor of Speaker Slam success. It’s not the person who’s most polished that will ultimately stand out, it’s the one who speaks to the heart and souls of the audience and judges.

Today, as Rina develops new businesses and products, she’s reflecting on the lessons gleaned from her journey to Speaker Slam for a few important insights on building a strong company.

  1. Find the right partner. Often people will fall into one of three categories, the artist, manager leader or the entrepreneur “In a partnership, Rina said, “it’s important to have two or more.” Rina sees herself more as an artist who has a big vision and loves planning, while Dan is more of the manager leader who can ensure the work starts today.
  2. Ready, Fire, Aim. As a result of thier successful partnership they were able to initiate action from day one. Together, they make a plan, execute the plan and then re-evaluate to determine if that is the best strategy or if it’s more appropriate to pivot. Rina feels blessed to have Dan as a partner because while she tends to dream big and spend a lot of time thinking while Dan ensure they’re executing the strategy by dramatically reducing their time to action.
  3. Build Community. Speaker Slam continues to grow and be one of the cities most exciting events because of it’s beautiful community. The second you walk into that space it’s filled with love, positivity and a collective mentality of support. As a fly on the wall watching what Rina and Dan have created over the last 2 years, I know without a shadow of a doubt that the secret sauce to their events success is the commitment to fostering this unique community. In time Businesses die but communities endure. If you want to build a great event, company or personal brand, ensure you’re building a community.

Now that Rina’s quit her full time job to dive again into the world of entrepreneurship, her latest business offering is called the Emerging Speaker. Within that business is a solution to the gap I see all to frequently in the public speaking community, great speakers that don’t know how to become paid speakers.

Hell, I personally feel that pain from time to time as a Professional Speaker. I get gigs make a decent living doing it. But all Speakers who’re serious about going pro want to get booked more frequently and for more cash.

Enter Rina.

While her program will tackle all of the angles that will help you go pro and get paid handsomely in the process, Rina was happy to extend the following non-negotiables:

  1. Use a Rifle Not a Shotgun. As a speaker, it’s critical we’re not delusional enough to believe our message is for everyone. Even Presidents of Nations are disagreed with or even hated by about 50% of the people. What makes you think your message is so special that everyone and anyone will resonate with your personal beliefs? As a result of this truth we need to stop using a shotgun in choosing the verticals and markets we’ll serve. Let’s instead begin to challenge ourselves to be specific about the industry, demographic, psychographic or type of group that will benefit most from our value proposition. Without that clarify around who you’ll serve best, you’ll end up fracturing your message like a shotgun rather than focusing it like a rifle.
  2. Market the Message. “I’ve met so many friends that run Speaker Bureaus and are paid Professional Speakers,” Rina said, “that to me, the clear difference between a great speaker and a paid speaker is the marketing of their message.” Not only do you need to be able to clearly articulate why you’re the right person to speak to a particular audience, you also need communicate why it should be you rather than someone else! To bridge the gap between being great and being paid, we need to immediately focus in on our key messaging, get clear on our unique value proposition and consistently and shamelessly convey that message to those who have the authority to pay us. As Grant Cardone would question, “who’s got my money?” And after asking that question, we need to proceed to create strategies of outreach to target those people.
  3.  Video Rules. Event organizers will not pay you, or in the least, pay you handsomely, if they can’t see you speak prior to bringing you into their event. We need to understand that they’re putting their reputation on the line every time they book a speaker. Consequently, they need to ensure you’ll be entertaining, educational and facilitate a memorable experience. Otherwise, you’re either not worth the money or they’ll simply look bad as the person who brought you in. That’s why Rina believes that creating a speaker reel or speaker video highlighting your strengths is an absolute non-negotiable for earning top dollar as a speaker.

Rina’s Do This Directives

  1. Be a Relationship Builder. Wether it’s to help support the growth of your business,  create credibility in your industry or for your own personal happiness, becoming a relationship builder will only enhance your life. Rina personally tries to meet 3-4 people for coffee every week to grow her network as well as deepen the connections she already has. “Nothing beats meeting in person, giving someone a hug and feeling their energy,” Rina commented. So although social media has made it easier to connect, she encourages us to never replace our face to face time as a relationship builder.
  2. Maintain Integrity. We live in what Rina calls the cancel culture. Where it’s okay to drop plans last minute or pursue something more interesting even though you’ve already made the commitment to another person. There’s nothing more detrimental to your reputation with someone than to cancel and bail on an agreed upon plan. Rather, as individuals who want to build strong relationships and hold ourselves to a higher personal standard, maintain your integrity and follow through on your word. It’ll go a long way in building trust. And in 2018, nothing replaces the power of trust.
  3. Get Your Butt to Speaker Slam. It’s the most inspirational event in the whole city! If you haven’t been, then come! If you’re thinking about sleeping on the next few upcoming events, don’t! You deserve to give yourself the gift of being enveloped by the energy and positivity that surrounds Speaker Slam. And more importantly, you have no idea what the connections and relationships you build in this room full of like minded individuals with forever change your life.

Audio Time Stamps

  • 00:00 Rina intro
  • 2:08 what is the connector
  • 3:00 Rina’s networking philosophy
  • 4:41 networking best practices
  • 545 Speaker Slam inspiration
  • 9:00 how to win speaker slam
  • 13:00 why come to speaker slam
  • 16:00 biggest gaps from great speaker to paid speaker
  • 20:00 do you need content?
  • 22:00 whats on Rina’s heart

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

 

 

 

 

 

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From Stutter to International Speaker: Grabbing Fear by the Balls With Joze Piranian

Joze HeadshotJoze Piranian is a lifelong stutterer on the quest to confront his fears one stage at a time. After spending most of his life avoiding speaking out of the fear of being judged for being “different”, he is now a TEDx speaker, the winner of the Grand Slam competition at inspirational speaking competition Speaker Slam, and a stand-up comedian who’s performed at the Laugh Factory in Chicago, the Broadway Comedy Club in NY, Comedy Nest in Montreal and Absolute Comedy in Toronto. Joze’s mission is to share his tale of overcoming adversity in order to to motivate people to face their deepest fears, overcome their obstacles (their “inner stutter”) and fulfill their potential. Remember, the only way out is through.

Of all of the interview I’ve done in my life, this was the most actionable. As a lifelong stutterer my guest wastes no time with fluff or filler, he dives directly into the heart of comedy 101, overcoming your greatest fears, and what we need to do daily in order to live our potential.

(If you prefer these tips in video, click here)

You Can Be Funny Too

What I appreciated most about Joze’s approach at comedy is it’s simplicity. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or hopeless like I typically do. In fact, I felt encouraged. As if, “hell I can be funny too!”

He shared that his stand up journey began at a intro to stand up class at Second City Toronto. It was there that he learnt that when comedy it’s stripped down to it’s core, it’s all about misdirection. Joze said, “it’s the element of surprise between expectation and reality that creates humour.”

He continued, “humour is a corrective mechanism that detects the discrepancy between the expected and the actual. Laughter is our natural physiological response.”

Although I don’t personally like science, I was excited to learn that Joze believes comedy is nothing more than a scientific model we can follow. Here are his top 3 tips to help get you started immediately:

  1. Make sure what you’re saying is funny in of itself. Joze see’s this first mistake all too often at amateur comedy nights. A first timer will bring there friends to the bar but they are the only people laughing at their jokes! Why is that you ask? Because the audience knows nothing about you. If what you’re saying isn’t funny unless the audience had context into your life and personality, don’t say it. Therefore it’s best to take the position that no one knows anything about who you are and to focus on ensuring what you’re saying is inherently funny.
  2. Think of jokes as a science. When you think of jokes as a set up and a punchline, things get a lot more palatable. Using Joze’s tips from above, it’s important that after we deliver our set up, we don’t just say what’s on everyones mind. Instead, the punchline needs to be a misdirection, or different from what people expected. The secret sauce is in the misdirection.
  3. Address the elephant in the room. Joze encourages us to address what’s on everyones mind immediately. For example, if you’re extremely tall or short, fat or you know your voice sounds different (perhaps you have a stutter), address it and make a few jokes about yourself. Like most of the pleasures of life, comedy is the constant evolution of building and releasing tension. If we give a performance without releasing the tension of the clear elephant in the room, we’ll be leaving our audience behind and the laughter with it.

A Practical Philosophy for Overcoming Obstacles

I asked Joze point blank, “how the hell were you able to overcome what is a seemingly insurmountable challenge and to then rise up and become a TEDx speaker, Grand Slam Champion and International Stand Up Comedian,” to that he answered one single word, “exposure.”

“We as humans,” he said, “we’re notorious for wanting to avoid pain and discomfort.”

He related to a time in University when he asked his professors to exempt him from presentations and group work. Further, another time when he was in his youth where he even avoided his family functions by pretending to be sick.

“But that doesn’t help us move forward,” Joze shared.

To this day, after all of his accomplishments he still needs to force himself weekly to talk to 50 to 100 strangers and ask directions. The second he’s not exposing himself to the things that he fears the most, he feels a shell start to envelop him and everything he’s worked so hard towards. Instead, when we face our fears we literally change the way we frame what used to scare us.

Joze wants to encourage all of us to grab fear by the balls. His stutter is just a metaphor for any fears that’s holding us back. So what’s your stutter? Are you not wearing a bikini to the beach because you think you’re overweight? Are you not asking that cute girl on a date because you think you’ll be rejected? Are you holding onto the job or relationship you hate because you’re selling your value short?

Whatever it is, let Joze’s practical philosophy of overcoming obstacles guide you down this path of growth. As he’s world renown for saying,

“The only way out is through.” – Joze Piranian

Exposure will be your greatest asset if you let it. Sure, short term it may suck. When you’re in the mud the only thing you can do is focus on how dirty you are, how heavy it makes you feel and how much you wish you could go back to the way things were. But long term, everything you’ve ever wanted, success in your relationships, better health, and success in your business and wealth, all will come as a result of consistently stepping into and through the mud. Because the only way out my friends, is through.

Joze’s Do This Directives

  1. Get your butt to second city. If you’re serious about comedy, Joze highly recommends taking the time to invest in learning the fundamentals. Not only is it a great learning experience, but you’ll meet new friends and have a blast in the process.
  2. Join a local toastmasters club. Beyond the 50-100 weekly strangers that Joze asks for directions, he credits a lot of his public speaking success to the hours he’s spent at Toastmasters clubs in Montreal, Lebanon, Mexico City and Toronto (meet us both here!). Repetition is the mother of learning and the more consistently you can get stage time, wether it’s for standup or public speaking, the faster your trajectory to success.
  3. Grab fear by the balls. If you’re reading this blog, you’re indescribably lucky. I mean it. Not to sound cliche on you, but we have it so good. So many advantages, luxuries, and gifts have been handed to us and the least we can do is live a fraction of our potential. I only take the time and energy to write these posts because I want you and I to succeed. And we can, I believe it. But in order to do that and to take advantage of the blessing we have to take even a single breath, to type even a single word or to see and feel light every day we need to overcome fear. Together, let’s lean in, find something that grips us and remember what Joze says, “the only way out is through.”

Audio Time Stamps

  • 00:00 who is Joze Piranian
  • 2:00 Joze telling jokes!
  • 8:00 when did Joze start stand up
  • 15:00 tips to get started in comedy
  • 20:10 Joze’s philosophy for overcoming obstacles
  • 26:40 Joze’s sharing vulnerability
  • 31:21 mentors that have made an impact on his life
  • 37:30 Joze dropping wisdom BOMBS\

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change your direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

Storytelling Tactics From Performance Triple Threat Nicholas Arnold

Have you thought about becoming an influencer? A world class leader? Or stage performer that moves audiences and shapes beliefs? It’s likely if you’re on this blog you have. And if we’re going to manifest those realities, becoming a compelling storyteller is non-negotiable. Stories are the glue that hold together our social interactions. And the ability to tell stories holds tremendous social currency in our fast paced and ever connected social world.

Nicholas Arnold Headshot

Nicholas Arnold tells stories for a living. He’s a graduate of Vancouver’s Film School who went on to become an entertainer and successful filmmaker. Nicholas produced and directed his first award-winning documentary at the age of 14. Followed by his feature directorial debut, “The Vicious Circle”, premiering it by the time he was 17.

From conferences, fundraisers and public talks, Nicholas has performed at The Orillia Opera House, The Elks Opera House, The Grand Theatre and dozens more bringing his nostalgic style, charm and humour to audiences from allover. As a triple threat performer, singer, comedian and public speaker, Nicholas shared invaluable tactics on storytelling, adding humour into your next presentation and what it takes to be a solo-preneur.

(If you prefer these tips in video, click here)

Be an Expert

Audiences feel lack of preparation. They know the difference between a speaker who’s regurgitating memorized lines and the ones whose delivery is unconscious. “The biggest mistake you can make as a performer,” Nicholas says, “is being underprepared. You’ve got to know your shit.”

Wether you’re performing as an actor, comedian or delivering talks as a speaker, it’s necessary to be in the moment. Nicholas believes that the cornerstone factor to delivery excellence is cultivating stage presence. Stage presence is derived through emotion. And  if we’re consciously thinking about our next lines we can’t be in the moment speaking through our emotional motivations.

His philosophy is similar to my interview with another comedic superstar Michael Orrett, as they both believe that flexibility in your performance is a sign of a presenters maturity. You want to be perceived as a professional? Know your talk so well, cultivate such a deep level of expertise, that no level of interruption, audience heckling or hiccups in your own lines can throw you off. When you know your shit, you’re transitioning from the realm of an amateur to a professional. You’re presentation gains fluidity and as a result you’ll elevate your stage presence 10 fold.

Want to see real life examples? Check out comedians like Jimmy Carr and Daniel Tosh. Anyone who can open up their act to include their audience in real time is taking on a huge risk! But when you’re a true master of your craft and you can banter and bounce jokes off the audience, the rewards are nothing short of world class performances.

Next, Nicholas was generous enough to shed light on the lessons he learnt about structuring stories as a filmmaker.

Structuring Stories

Without stories, your presentation has no life. An audience wants to know within the first 30 seconds of listening to your talk if it’s worth while. If you can’t capture their attention, imagination or have them thinking this is worth my time, than you might as well pack up and go home.

Nicholas wants us to start our presentations with compelling personal stories. “It’s critical,” Nicholas said, “to bring an element of yourself to your introductions and be genuine. Say things like, ‘when I was your age’ or ‘this reminds me of when I was.'”

Not only does it make you relatable and engage your audience, but vulnerable storytelling anchors emotions into the presenter audience relationship. Without emotion you’ll have your audience asking themselves, “why should I care about what this persons saying?”

To put it in simpler terms, one of my best friends and roommates, Iain Gabriel, is an excellent communicator and reminds us,

“Meet the audience where they’re at before you take them you want them to go.”

Once you’ve hooked the audience, anchored them with emotion and met them where they’re at, you’ll have the space to take advantage of  the following two tips about structure:

  1. KISS aka keep it simple stupid – All stories are the same. They have three parts, an intro, a body  and a conclusion. Or as Nick learnt through his years of filmmaking and acting, a three act structure. Act 1 introduces the inciting incident; Hagrid telling Harry Potter for the first time that he’s a wizard. Act 2 is the meat of the story; it’s the action or the main course so to speak. And finally Act 3 is the climax; it’s Harry, Ron and Hermione getting through the challenges and defeating Lord Voldemort. Keep it simple and don’t skip any of these three critical elements. See my favourite example of storytelling structure here.
  2. Do not rush through your key messages – Setting up structure allows you to identify where your key messages are. Some are in the incident incident, some lay within your body and others are the focal point of your climax. The key is to not power through them. Slow down, give the audience time and space to process those poignant ideas. “Public speaking,” Nicholas believes, “is like music.” There’s rhythm, pace and cadence and it’s critical that the music of our main messages aren’t being lost in the midst of the rest of our presentation. Clearly differentiate those main points by using delivery tactics like pausing, increasing or decreasing your volume and emphasizing those profound ideas with a slower pace.

Nicholas Do This Directives

  1. Be well read – Constant never ending improvement, specifically in your area of desired expertise will create a high probability of success. Now, impossible to guarantee anything, but if you explore high performers like Nicholas and those leaders we hold on a pedestal they all read. They’re always learning. Why? The probability of having that next creative idea, of delivering a better talk or maintaining an interesting conversation with a new colleague will be dramatically improved through a path of perpetual growth.
  2. Do the impossible – Nicholas is a huge advocate for using your talents to make a difference in this world. Talents are what help us bridge the gap between what is seemingly impossible to the done. In School a bully bet Nicholas a million dollars that he’d never make a movie. Now, with several movies under his belt he encourages us to do the impossible, to show others they can think bigger and ultimate move and shift the world in the process. Think bigger and start taking actions on those dreams today.
  3. Shift your mindset and develop discipline – Being an entrepreneur is not easy. No ones looking over your shoulder. No ones holding you accountable (unless you create that framework) and no one is cares about your success nearly as much as you do. That’s why it’s crucial we develop habits that serve us. Disciple, that forces new actions into habits. And finally the mindset that allows disciple to flourish and envelop our character and identity. The entrepreneur  doesn’t have a choice to be disciplined, unless they want to remain starving.

Audio Time Stamps

  • 00 who is Nicholas Arnold
  • 1:40 the power of cold outreach
  • 3:30 performance tactics
  • 6:30 actionable delivery tactics
  • 15:30 effective storytelling
  • 24 using your voice for philanthropy
  • 32 focus on discipline

Till next time stay on offence. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change your direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

Selling from the stage with Ronnie Fisher

Ronnie Fisher is a real estate investor, success coach, a motivational speaker and the host of momondays Niagara. He’s been featured on several TV shows, radio and podcast interviews and we were lucky to block off some time to have him on the show! Having taught english overseas he’s developed a passion for education that’s translated into personal development and real estate investment seminars.

Ronnie Fisher HeadshotHis purpose in life is to educate, inspire, motivate and encourage others to discover their passions, dreams and design a blue print to achieve their life goals.

Right off the bat we spent time talking about adequately preparing for your next high stakes performance!

 

(If you prefer these tips in video, check out our interview here.)

Preparing to for the stage

As Ronnie put it,

“Context is king.”

As speakers it’s our responsibility to know our audience, the venue and the expectations from the organizers. In an informal setting such as momondays he often finds himself speaking off the cuff and delivering whatever his heart speaks to him in the moment. He often has the luxury of introducing friends and the environment they’ve developed is that of authenticity and raw storytelling. Therefore it’s only fit that his performance follow suit and matches the context of the setting.

On the other hand, in a professional context such as a business meeting, pitch or weekend long real estate investment seminar, going with your heart simply won’t cut it. According to Ronnie, Disciplined and rigorous preparation of our material will help you:

  • Know where you are in your presentation how long you have left
  • Deliver the highest quality content for your audience
  • Create consistent, measurable and therefore improvable results

Any of those outcomes separately is enough to justify hours of preparation before your next big presentation. The aggregate makes it non-negotiable.

Sell the feeling

Selling from the stage can often be high pressure for the speakers. You’re being counted on to deliver and the lack of results can be devastating for the event organizers and the business as a unit. Fortunately for us, Ronnie was willing to share his battle tested strategies to maximize your potential to sell.

Ronnie painted the picture for us of a brand new shiny red corvette. Why would someone buy a luxury vehicle like that? Cars simply get you A to B and a $30,000 cheaper car would do the exact same job. With that philosophy it’s virtually never a logical decision. The answer is that people aren’t buying the corvette. They’re buying the way owning, driving and sitting in the car makes them feel.

red corvette

And that’s exactly what Ronnie recommends for those selling from stage. It’s critical we tap into the reasons why people would benefit from our product or service at an emotional level. Will it help them get out of debt? And if so, what would that make them feel? Would it help them send their kids to college? And if it did, what would be the impact of their children and their children’s, children.

By focusing on the feeling, and the why, we’re able to tap into the part of humans that make decisions and take action. He further reinforces the idea by reminded us to tell deeply personal stories that will resonate with the audience.

For example, by opening ourselves up to where we were, where we are today as a result of taking actions or using xyzzy product or services, and where we will be in the future by consistent action and following a system, others can see themselves in our shoes. If someone says, “aha!” I’m just like Ronnie and would love to get to where he’s at, they’re much more likely to commit than if you didn’t tell stories or if their internal dialogue is, “Ronnie just doesn’t get me.”

Book recommendation

One book in the last 5 years has made a lasting impact on Ronnie’s life and that was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I’ve personally read it multiple times and I know that many of the individuals I look up to (Ronnie included) encourage people in their lives to allow the book to support them in finding success. Napoleon Hill lays out a blueprint for us to accomplish our goals and if you work the plan, it works.

Today, Ronnie continues to be inspired by the work and has developed a personal mission statement based off it’s principles.

Mission statement

His purpose in life is to educate, inspire, motivate and encourage others to discover their passions, dreams and design a blue print to achieve their life goals.

Ronnie’s Do This Directives:

  1. Focus your preparation energies based on context. Ask yourself the questions, who’s in my audience, why are they here, how can I deliver the most value? Prepare accordingly.
  2. Think deeply about how you can resonate on an emotional level with your audience and prospects. Can they see themselves in your shoes? If not, remember that people buy from those that they like and trust. Start working immediately at weaving stories and a human element into your pitches.
  3. Invest in yourself and pick up Think and Grow Rich. Your future self and family will be immeasurably grateful you did.

Audio Show Timestamps

1:45 – how to resonate with the audience at momondays

4:45 – informal presentations

7:00 – formal presentations

8:30 – stay on time

12:00 – selling from stage

14:20 – people buy emotionally

16:45 – whats holding people back

20 – how to manifest your dreams

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out. 

How to win speaker slam with Dan Shaikh

Dan Shaikh is the Co-Founder of Speaker Slam – Canada’s Premier Inspirational Speaking Competition with over 200 attendees monthly and attracting a stellar lineup of speakers and professional judges. He is a Event Producer, Video Creator and a Process Specialist.

Dan Shaik HeadshotDan is also the Founder of Speaker Slam Video Productions empowering speakers to reach a bigger audience through video. His greatest passion and life’s mission is living and creating peak experiences for others.

We met now almost 2 years ago. In September of 2016 Dan was the President of the best Toastmasters group in the city, CSI Pitchmasters. I fell in love with the club and we’ve been great friends ever since.

In our interview together Dan speaks to:

  • How to win speaker slam
  • What to avoid on stage
  • How to crush it in front of and behind the camera
  • How event organizers actually choose speakers

(If you prefer these tips in video check out our interview here)

Win Speaker Slam in 3 steps

After over a year of competition and dozens of events Dan has seen speakers that have crushed the stage… And the occasional speaker thats flopped. He expressed that it’s key a speaker comes with at least 2 of the following three traits,

“Our top 4 always have these 3 things in common. They demonstrate genuine vulnerability, they make our audiences laugh or they show up with poise. The confidence, charisma, and x-factor that’s intoxicated to watch and we can’t take our eyes off them.”

On the flip side, here’s Dan major tips to avoid.

How to lose Speaker Slam

The most common speaker pitfall is that of the conversationalist. They show up without having prepared, not wanting to be too scripted and as a result their message doesn’t land or they choke. Consistently, the top 4 speakers and ultimately the winners are the most prepared and take their time on stage seriously.

The way I see it is that there’s no greater level of narcissism than believing you can walk up on stage after 9 prepared speakers and believe you’re so good that you didn’t need to prepare. Repetition is the mother of learning and it’s no exception here at Speaker Slam.

How to look good for an event planner

Not only is Dan onstage as a host of Speaker Slam, he also organizes the speakers, the venue and the event as a whole. As a result he’s witnesses hundreds of applications to compete and has developed a sharp eye to what stands out for event planners.

Dan said,

“Your branding starts with your profile picture. It speaks volumes about how invested you are in your career. You could easily look at all of the profiles of past speakers and point out the top 3-4 from each event based on their pictures. Those speakers are serious and make a big impression on event organizers.”

From there a logical progression is to develop your brand hosticially. Dan recommends thinking deeply about your presence on the main social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Youtube. Do you have video content? Are you writting? How are you staying relevant? If you fit the bill on these criteria you’ll be in an event planners good books.

Video Editing 101

Dan expressed to me that video is more important today than ever before (hence the video podcast). As a result, if you want your career as a speaker to grow, you need to be capturing yourself on video.

“If an event venue has 50 people in attendance and you crush it… You reached 50 people. If you crushed it AND captured it on video, than you have the potential to reach 5000 people by leveraging social media.”, Dan said.

I agree, don’t limit yourself to the confines of physical attendees. In addition, no meeting planner will ever take the risk on your as a paid speaker if they can’t see a quality speaker reel prior to the event.

Here is Dan’s top three tips to experiment with:

  1. Make the first 3 seconds as memorable as possible
  2. Invest in quality lower thirds
  3. Ensure your have either multiple angles, b roll, or jump cuts to keep your audiences attention
  4. BONUS* test subtitles as they can stop those scrolling mindlessly through Facebook in their tracks

How to kill it in front of the camera

The gave of video is simply a question of energy. If you’re a 5 in person, you need to 10x your energy on camera. It’s challenging to properly capture energy on video and so a 10 looks like an 8 and if you’re a 5 you look like a 1. Dan’s suggestion is to be more animated, speak louder and to show up with more energy than you would ever consider necessary.

If you want great examples of this check out Gary Vaynerchuk or Logan Paul.

Dan’s Do This Directives:

  1. If you want to dramatically improve your stage presence and fill in your current gaps than film yourself and review the content. I dive deeper into the need to film yourself for continuous improvement in this video (skip to 3:50 for the tip).
  2. Get a professional headshot… Yesterday! Take the first step towards your professional branding with a quality headshot. Then consider the way you’re showing up on social.
  3. Come/ Compete at Speaker Slam! You can find out more about the event and buy tickets here.

Show notes for the audio Podcast:

2:00 Me expressing my gratitude for Dan and his business partner Rina.

4:00 What is Speaker Slam?

5:30 How Speaker Slam started.

9:15 Tribute to Maria Rocellis.

10:30 How to work with a business partner.

12:31 How to make it into the top 4 at Speaker Slam.

15:30 What to avoid at Speaker Slam.

17:40 How to look good for event planners.

21:00 What do event planers want from speakers.

22:30 Why we need to create videos.

24:40 How to get more engagement on posts.

26:30 How to crush it editing videos.

32:00 The one thing you should be doing today.

Till next time, stay of the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

 

The Science of Persuasion and Logos – IWTYTS

We’ve made it!

Aristotle laid out three pillars to persuasion and our final to discover together is Logos. In an emotional and highly irrational world, do we still need to use logic in debate and rhetoric?

More than ever before.

Logos translates in greek to logic and helps your audience make sense of what you’re saying.

You want to make sure that everything you say has an understandable, logical, and has a real message. The supporting arguments should be clear and flow nicely into the main points. To develop this element, key questions to ask yourself are:

1. Does this message make sense?
2. Is the message based on facts, statistics, and evidence?
3. Will the call to action actually lead to an outcome the audience wants? Will it solve the problem that’s been presented?

With high logos you are less likely to have the audience turn to the person next to them or walk away saying “what the heck were they talking about?”

I highly encourage you to focus on structure in your presentations to develop logos. I cringe when I see speakers who have a lot of great information but it’s not organized. Who tell fantastic stories, but they’re irrelevant to the main theme and therefore do not persuade.

Let’s all just keep it simple. There are only a few main structures to presentations:

  1. Intro, body, conclusion
  2. The three act structure – same style, different name, where you have the context, climax and conclusion
  3. Tell them structure – Tell what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them

If you focus on structure and than back up that structure with messages based on fact and evidence that support your arguments, you will successfully inject logos into your rhetoric.

Now as I hope you’re aware of from our precious posts,

Aristotle intended us to use a combination of these three forces, ethos, pathos and logos rather than keeping them mutually exclusive.

Aristotle ethos pathos logos

These pillars intertwined create the greatest chance for influence. They are supportive, and complimentary, not independent. It reminds me of when I started my first business at 18. Our trainers would often coach that there are multiple kinds of people, sharks, whales, dolphins and sea urchins, and our responsibility as presenters pitching our ideas would be to appeal to them all. The same is true here.

In each audience there will be people who just aren’t persuaded by what school you went to or what clothes you wear. There will be people who make decision solely on their gut, on emotion, and if you’re unable to appeal to that person, you will not influence them. And finally, there will be analytical people in your audiences. Are you giving them the stats and evidence and logic they need to make an informed decision, because if you aren’t it’s highly likely you’re missing out on business or changed lives.

Ultimately , my hope and vision for you is to allow these concepts of persuasion, ethos, pathos and logos to sink deep into your subconscious. For you to take them with you for the rest of your career so that when someone needs a sale made, they can call you, a relationship built, they know who to ask, or someone to change the world, you are the one on stage delivering that message.

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “you cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.

The Science of Persuasion and Pathos – IWTYTS

I’m excited now to uncover with you Aristotle’s second pillar of persuasion. His concepts can be seen throughout histories most influential orators. On demand they would allow their audiences to feel specific emotions at very specific times.

With pathos, you can too.

It’s not enough for a speaker to simply rely on Ethos or credibility because there will come a time when either you will not be a credible source on a topic or your audience isn’t that impressed or persuaded by ethos. You’ll need to dig deeper into your tool belt as an influencer and remember how essential emotion plays in your ability to persuade.

While ethos translated into credibility, pathos means experience.

The job of the speaker is to create an experience for the audience by appealing to the emotions that exist within them. By drawing out these emotions the speaker keeps the audience feeling engaged and interested. It’s important to recognize that emotion doesn’t need to only mean sadness, anger and fear but should also include joy, excitement, and a myriad of other feelings.

It’s our responsibility as communicators to choose which emotions are appropriate at any given time, and learn how to evoke these emotions. Typically, the best way to give the audience a memorable experience is to evoke contrasting emotions throughout the speech, almost like a smooth roller coaster of ups and downs.

Rollercoaster image

With high pathos, your audience is more likely to feel connected to you, trust you, be persuaded by your message, and follow through with your calls to action.

Let’s talk the how:

Stories

This includes personal stories as well as simple anecdotes or even stories of others. For example, if I’m talking about mental health awareness I could say something like, “asking for help for the first time can be hard – I remember sitting down with my dad with a scar I cut into my own arm nervous and unsure about what I was going to say…”

Painting the picture of sitting down with my dad with the scar on my arm, feeling nervous and uncertainty, draws your audience into your memory. This is often the quickest way to establish emotional connection with the audience and is likely going to be one of the most memorable moments of the presentation.

Pro Tip – Lead by example. Mirror the emotions you would like your audience to feel. Believe it or not – it works! If you are describing a wonderful moment, for example, amplify and show the joy in your face, voice, and posture. On a subconscious level the audience will see the way you are speaking and use that as a cue for the emotions they should experience.

So avoid the mistake of 90% of speakers who tell as sad story with a smile on their face or share their vision with a monotone voice. Ensure that your non-verbal communication reflects the emotions you want your audience to experience, it will magnify the impact.

Analogies and Metaphors

These comparisons allow you to build on the understanding and emotions an audience already feels for something. For example if you speak about gang violence, you might

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 5.40.52 PM.png
Iain Gabriel in Action

plainly state that, “We have a problem in our city…” On the other hand, you might say, “we have a cancer in our city…” The latter analogy draws on your audience’s pre-existing feelings about cancer, and makes them want to move or take action towards a solution.

I’ll bring my good friend Iain Gabriel onto a future video for you to learn first hand from a masters of taking advantage of metaphors and analogies.

Humour

Humour typically involves story telling and often allows the audience to connect to you on more of a friendship level. The audience laughing and having a good time also allows them to stay attentive and engaged with the content.

Disconnected audience are not easily persuaded.

Do This.

As you go out and try tell better stories, use more vivid language and analogies, make your audiences laugh and lead by example. As a final tip, Aristotle intended for us to associating positive emotions with our main calls to action (whatever your cause or takeaway) and more negative emotions surrounding the issues we seek to address.

You, like histories most influential orators, are now armed to go on stage and into your everyday life to use pathos, to use emotion to elicit your desired response in every interaction. Whether that be action towards your cause, buying your product or just simply living a better life.

My question to you is, what are you going to do with it?

Till next time stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight but you can change the direction.”

Jonathan Andrews

Out.