Welcome to the home of the Claim the Stage podcast! This podcast is dedicated to women everywhere who want to get on stage and be heard! I interview professional speakers, authors, speaker bureaus, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, interesting people, and creatives who all have something to say on the topic of finding and using your voice so you can CLAIM THE STAGE!
Episode 55: Curiosity Over Perfection
I often hear speakers assign harsh and brutal judgments about their own behavior, thoughts, and feelings before, during, and after a speech. I’m guilty of doing it too – so I know a lot about it. Ever stood in front of an audience and said to yourself, “They look bored. They don’t like me. This isn’t going well.” Or, after a talk, said, “That was awful. I bombed. Worse presentation I ever gave?” What if, instead of judging, criticizing, and mentally shaming yourself for everything you do, you approached each moment from a place of curiosity? In today’s episode, I discuss the mistakes I’ve made and how curiosity could have saved the situation. I also read an awesome excerpt from the book, The Conscious Heart, Seven Soul-Choices That Inspire Creative Partnership by Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks, two Ph.Ds. They have a whole chapter dedicated to cultivating curiosity in relationships, but as I read it, I thought, this is also about public speaking! I also share a few simple action steps to live a life through the lens of curiosity and stop living from a place of perfection. If this quote from the book gets you excited, you will love today’s episode. “Curiosity opens the door to playfulness and spontaneous joy.”
PS: I also share an update on how my tiny summer challenge is going. If you are participating and would like to share, email me at email@example.com!
Episode 54: How to Own + Leverage Your Experience
Do you feel awkward when it comes to promoting yourself? What about when you have to put together a professional bio? What are you telling yourself about what to say and not to say? If you are in a constant battle with sounding credible but not audacious, or experienced but not gloating, you will love this episode. Today’s guest is Karen Catlin, an advocate for women in the tech industry. She’s a leadership coach, TEDx speaker, and co-author of Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking. Formerly, Karen was a VP at Adobe Systems. Today’s show is all about how to own your background and use it to your advantage to grow your speaking business. There was a time when Karen felt uncomfortable touting her 25 years of experience in the tech industry, but now she has figured out how to use it to her advantage as an independent coach and professional speaker. Get tangible tips and a new outlook on how to talk about yourself on today’s show and find more information about Karen at www.karencatlin.com or on Twitter: @kecatlin.
Episode 53: The Path of the Creative Soul
Is your creative soul dying in corporate America? Or, are you afraid of showing your creativity in your own business or on stage? If you answered yes to either of those questions, this episode is for you.
On today’s show, I interview Colleen Hindsley, a woman who spent more than 20 years as an advertising executive and recently left the corporate world behind to focus on her creative life. We discuss the pivotal moment in her life that occurred when she talked to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic. And we talked about how your creativity can be used to your advantage and what Colleen learned about her weirdness in the workplace. She drops the quote “What makes you strange is also what makes you powerful” and then I swooned for the rest of the interview. Even though this was not her quote, the fact that our conversation went in this direction was more than exciting. She also gives tips for women interested in taking the leap from the full-time corporate life to a self-employed creative life that includes speaking, writing, and consulting. We talked purple hair, glitter, fake glasses, costumes, and more on today’s episode of Claim the Stage. And yes, Colleen is my spirit animal. Learn more about Colleen at www.colleenhindsley.com or on Facebook and Instagram @colleenhindsley.
Episode 52: Easily Find Topics + Stories in Everyday Life
Compelling stories are all around us, but how do you find them? When you need to put together a speech or presentation that sells, negotiates, or persuades, telling stories will make a deep impact on your audience. In today’s episode, you’ll not only learn how to find topics and stories in your everyday life, but how to attach meaning and make an emotional connection through them. My guest, Karen Friedman, is an executive communication coach, syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of best-seller Shut Up and Say Something and newly released Ordinary People: Extraordinary Lessons. Following two decades as a major market television news reporter, she founded Karen Friedman Enterprises to help professionals become more compelling communicators. Karen shares the process she uses to find stories, gives helpful tips to be more observant, and goes over the elements all good stories have. She even tells us about some of her own mistakes and how she was able to recover. If you think you don’t have good stories to tell or don’t know how to integrate your life experiences into your presentations, this episode is for you.
Learn more about Karen Friedman and get her new book at www.karenfriedman.com.
Episode 51: A Look Inside the Mysterious World of the Speaker Sisterhood Part 2
Ready for more? Three speeches coming right up!
In last week’s episode, we celebrated a year of podcasting by going behind the scenes of the Speaker Sisterhood, a network of public speaking clubs for women that I founded last year. Today we’re going to continue that adventure by listening to speeches given by three members of the Northampton, Massachusetts club. You’ll hear about zen and tango from Laura Brooks, osteoporosis and climate change from Carla Becker, and creativity from Lynn Simonds. These speeches were recorded on Monday, June 5th, 2017 in one of our regular meetings. The interviews you’ll hear after each speech were recorded later that week and I’m excited to share each woman’s reflections, growth areas, and words of wisdom. If you’d like to comment on this episode, feel free to email me! Angela@speakersisterhood.com
Also! If you’re ready to start your public speaking journey, check out a Speaker Sisterhood club. We have in-person clubs and a brand new virtual club launching in July. You can learn more at www.speakersisterhood.com
Episode 50: A Look Inside the Mysterious World of the Speaker Sisterhood Part 1
In my special 50th episode and 1 year anniversary of the podcast, I’m taking you on a magical tour of the Speaker Sisterhood. The Speaker Sisterhood is a network of public speaking clubs for women and a company I founded last year. Until now, what happened in the sisterhood stayed in the sisterhood. On today’s episode, you’ll get a rare peek into one of our meetings and hear speeches from Amber Ladley and Sandra Costello, both members of the Speaker Sisterhood of Northampton, MA. If you have an interest in becoming a better public speaker, you’ll get advice from two women who are in the trenches of learning this skill right now! You’ll also hear more about their journey and what they are learning about themselves through this process. As a bonus, I also describe more of what it’s been like for me to start this business and why it’s so important. If you’re ready for an exclusive look behind the scenes of the Speaker Sisterhood, hit play and let’s go!
If you’re ready to get your public speaking journey started or if you want to support other women on theirs, get involved! Check out more at www.speakersisterhood.com.
Episode 49.5: Speak Confidently, Articulately and without Filler Words
Do you use the words “like,” “so,” and “um” more than you’d like? If so, this episode will teach you how to avoid using these words so you can speak with more confidence and impact. Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming presentation, interview, or speech, you’ll learn strategies to avoid the use of filler words and create a better experience for you and your audience. Today’s guest is Audrey Mann Cronin, an acknowledged communications expert in the tech industry, a women’s advocate, writer, creator of community, Our Digital Daughters, and CEO/founder of Say It Media, Inc.
Now that soft skills like oral communication accounts for the single greatest skill gap, she was motivated to create mobile app LikeSo: Your Personal Speech Coach to empower all of us to be better speakers. This app not only tracks your use of filler words, but helps you improve how you speak!
Episode 49: Removing the Personality Mask
Alex Bynum teaches us how to remove the personality mask while on stage and in life.
Who are you when you’re on stage? Who are you when meeting someone new? What about when you’re alone? If you ever feel like you might be wearing a “personality mask” to get through certain situations, you will love today’s episode. My guest, Alex Bynum, is the founder of Empowher You: A Healing Center for Women located in Boston, Massachusetts. She is is also a certified spiritual guide, professional healer, and meditation instructor. We discuss what the personality mask is, why it exists, and what removing it can do for you. Through our conversation, she shares five strategies to help you abandon this mask and connect with the real you. We dig into how these strategies work and what they might look like if you were to apply them in your own life, key questions to ask yourself, and how to get started. If you are having trouble locating the real you and would like to build a stronger connection with your audience, your friends, and yourself, this episode will show you how. You can learn more about Alex Bynum at www.empowheryou.com.
Episode 48: Who’s Negotiating for You?
Women are good negotiators. We advocate for our friends, our children, and our loved ones. But, often, when it comes to negotiating on our own behalf, especially when it comes to salary and speaking fees, we struggle. We are not as confident talking about ourselves. Dorrie Sieburg is Program Manager for AAUW’s salary negotiation workshops, AAUW Work Smart and AAUW Start Smart. Using the lens of the gender pay gap, their workshops empower women with the skills and confidence they need to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits. Dorrie has trained thousands of women over 9 years on college campuses, and in cities and communities across the country to ask for and receive the salary they deserve. In today’s episode, Dorrie shares some of her negotiation tips, where women often go wrong in negotiating, and how to be effective at advocating for yourself. If you’re looking for more confidence when asking for money to speak, setting consulting fees, or for your next salary, you won’t want to miss this episode.
For more information on negotiation, check out episode 4 with Jamie Lee.
**I’m accepting questions for my next Q&A episode! Want your question featured? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.**
Episode 47: Easily Build + Repurpose Content
Writing a speech, putting together a blog or social media post, assembling a book, creating a course, and recording a podcast all fall under the umbrella of content creation. If you’re speaking, you’re likely thinking about content constantly and wondering how to repurpose it, how to create it faster, and most importantly, if it’s what your customers actually care about.In today’s episode, learn 5 tricks to easily build and repurpose content your customers love and you love to deliver. Some of this advice I learned the hard way and some of it changed my life overnight. I hope you find something in this episode that not only helps with the creation process, but also transforms the way you approach speaking. Enjoy!*Note: I am putting together another Q&A episode. Have a question about public speaking? Email me at email@example.com and I may feature it on the show.*
Episode 46: Master Your Inner Game with Linda Ugelow
Episode 45: Captivate with Vanessa Van Edwards
Do you wish you could decode people? Do you want a formula for charisma? Do you want to know exactly what to say to your boss, your date or your networking partner? You need to know how people work. My guest today is Vanessa Van Edwards, a human behavior investigator. She studies the hidden forces that drive our behavior patterns in her lab—and she’s cracked the code. In her new book, Captivate, she shares a wealth of valuable shortcuts, systems and behavior hacks for taking charge of interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on human behavior and a completely new approach to building connections. We discuss Vanessa’s new book and how public speakers can use her research and findings to be better on stage. Her advice is insightful, easy to try, and game changing. Check out more of her resources at www.scienceofpeople.com/podcast. Enjoy!
Episode 44: Adventures in Storytelling
Chris Landry has been telling stories professionally for 15+ years. When he worked as a fundraiser in non-profits, he found out that if he told a story about who the money was helping, it increased donor interest. He took his knack for storytelling and started Landry Communications, a firm that helps mission-driven organizations tell their stories with more impact. In today’s episode, Chris shares the mistakes people make when telling a story, the steps to craft an interesting story from your own life, how to use slides effectively to add to your story, how to infuse stories when your presentations are data-driven, and much more. If you think your stories are boring or lacking an edge, this episode will help you discover what makes your experiences worth talking about. You can learn more about Chris’ work at www.christopherlandry.com.
Episode 43: The Q&A Episode Again
Howdy, friends! I’m back this week with another installment of Q&A. This is my third episode like this (see episode 10 + 25 for the others) and I’m answering YOUR questions! Today I answer a question about how to deal with negative feedback and go deep into all types of feedback and what to do with it. (Where was this advice when I really needed it?!) I also cover a lighter topic, like what to wear on stage so you add to your presentation rather than take away from it. I even address a question about how to raise your hand for the first time and I tell you about a huge milestone that happened in my own life this morning! Talk about timely. Lastly, I take a question about how to build leadership and communication skills if you’re in a job that doesn’t offer that type of training. Get ready for lots of stories, slightly zany ideas, and lots of public speaking advice on today’s episode of Claim the Stage. If you want to submit a question for a future Q&A episode, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
Episode 42: The 2-for-1 Episode on Public Speaking and Improv
In today’s episode, you’ll get to hear a unique approach to interviewing – the double interview! You’ll hear from Pam Victor, professional improviser and founder of Happier Valley Comedy School in western Massachusetts, as she interviews me for her podcast, Conversations with Funny Feminists, and I interview her for this podcast. It’s a 2-for-1 special and you’re invited. We talk all things public speaking, how improv can help you manage your fear, one easy strategy to go from stressed out to easeful, how to bring your unique voice to your presentations, and so much more. If you want to laugh alongside two women who are helping others find their voice through their work on stage, you will love this episode! Find out more about Pam Victor at www.happiervalley.com and be sure to check out her podcast for more conversations with funny feminists.
Episode 41: Pro Marketing Tips for New Speakers with Kit Pang
Episode 40: What I’ve Learned About Podcasting
Podcasting is an amazing way for speakers to share their advice, but is it the best content marketing tool for you? Since starting my podcast in June of last year, I’ve learned a lot. I’m celebrating my 40th episode by sharing my podcasting journey, the five main areas you need to consider before starting your own podcast, and tips to be successful. A fun fact about this episode is that there was something wrong with my mic but I didn’t know it until I finished recording. What a great example of the podcasting adventure! Always more to learn. I liked the way the episode came out (in spite of the weird mic thing) and decided to keep it. I hope you enjoy it.
I also dedicate this episode to my cat, Gratitude. RIP, buddy.
Episode 39: What Women Can Do Next
We all saw the wild success of the Women’s Marches on January 21st. Next Wednesday is The Day Without a Woman and International Women’s Day. These initiatives are doing a good job bringing women together and raising awareness, but what else can we do? In today’s episode, I share three strategies for building your own movement and showing up as a leader. I share a few stories about how not to do it and I give you steps to take so you can start making a bigger impact. I also share something very exciting going on my life and invite you to get involved. As I always say, stop waiting, start creating. That motto could not be more true in today’s episode of Claim the Stage.
Episode 38: Your Body Tells the Story
Have you ever noticed yourself getting excited while listening to someone tell a story, even if the story wasn’t that good? What do you think happened? Chances are, the storyteller was using other elements of communication to gain your attention. She may have been using her body, her breath, her energy, or her tone to keep you interested. In today’s episode, you’ll learn from Berit Elizabeth, an Emotive Agility Expert, who helps people – especially women – to tap into the underrated power of body language to transform any situation and one’s own sense of self. She says, “Emotive Agility is the power to use your body language to impact the direction of your life. You can use your body language to manage your own emotions and you can use your body language to change the entire way you connect with other people.” If you’re ready to create a bigger, more meaningful presence both on stage and in conversation, this episode will help you think differently about how you’re showing up and what you might want to start doing differently to increase your effectiveness. As a public speaker, this is an episode you won’t want to miss.
Check out Amy Cuddy’s TED talk about body language here (referenced in the episode).
Episode 37: Discover Your Voice Via Adventure
“No matter where you’re from, how old you are, or what your background is, we’re a lot more alike than we think. Our strength comes from sharing experiences and being together and when you’re down, someone else will lift you up. It’s something we know is so special and so important when we build our trips.” – Danielle Thornton. On today’s episode, I interview Danielle Thornton and Allison Fleece, co-founders of WHOA Travel, a community of kick ass women from all over the world. They put together adventures that help women get out of their comfort zones while accomplishing goals in a likeminded community. When I learned about what they do, my first thought was, I need to talk to them! You’ll learn what the women who take their adventures learn, what motivated Danielle and Allison to start their company, and how it is helping women to find their voice and change their lives. What I love most about this interview is hearing their zest for life and their outlook. They say, “Shared like-mindedness is what bonds women at the end of the day” and “If you’ve got that inner voice telling you there’s more to this life, it’s because there is.” If you are an apprehensive public speaker and could use a new outlook on your speaking adventure, look no further than this episode. As the women of WHOA would tell you, “If not now, when?”
Episode 36: What if Fear Was Your Best Friend?
Fear. It’s one of the things that stops us from getting on stage, stops us from saying what’s true for us, and stops us from asking for what we want. In today’s episode, you’ll learn how to reframe fear so it not only helps you, but walks alongside you like a good friend. My guest, Christina Stathopoulos, is the Founder and Head Coach of Hear Her Roar, a private coaching practice for women. She is an Accomplishment Coaching-Certified Coach who specializes in working with high performing women who are keen on developing bold voices, perfecting the work/life balance, and creating a life that serves them. As you hear her career journey, she discusses decisions motivated by fear and what she did when she realized her whole life had been built on running from it. She gives us tips on how to invite fear to the stage with us, how to think about nervousness differently, what it might look like to reframe negotiation and hard conversations, and what she does today when fear pops up. Christina is walking her talk and will give you a lot to think about how you handle fear in your own life. Rather than conquer it, learn how to befriend fear on today’s episode of Claim the Stage.
Update: 6 spots remain in the Speaking School for Women! Register here
Episode 35: Tales from Speaking School, Part 2
Last week, I brought you a couple of interviews with the women of speaking school. Today, I continue that trend by bringing you conversations with three more women who’ve graduated from my signature course, the Speaking School for Women. You’ll hear from Sandra Costello, a photographer who experienced a life changing moment that made her reevaluate everything. She tells us how she discovered what she wants to speak about, what she learned about herself, and what’s she’s doing today. You’ll also hear from Mindy Rodenburg, a branding professional who infuses Southern hospitality into everything she does. She’ll share a hilarious moment from the stage and give her best advice for women who are considering paid public speaking. My last interview is with Dawn Powell-Morris, a woman who changed her direction after figuring out her brand during the course. She is now working on another huge project before taking the stage and she’ll tell you all about it. Listen in as they share their insights, reflections, and ah-ha moments on today’s episode of Claim the Stage.
If you are interested in enrolling in speaking school, there are 6 spots left as of 1:00 PM EST on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. Registration closes when the spots are filled and school starts February 21st. Get more information here or email me at email@example.com
Episode 34: Tales from Speaking School, Part 1
My signature program, the Speaking School for Women, is back February 21st. The school only opens twice a year and I’m often asked what the experience is like. In today’s episode, I talk with a couple of the women who participated in it and ask them about their time in the school, what has happened since then, and their best advice for aspiring speakers and students. This is part 1 of a two-part series in which I get a chance to talk with women I consider to not just be past students, but also friends. Today you’ll hear from Meghan Godorov, a career coach who focuses on helping mid-career professionals get unstuck and move forward with their career and Kelsey Flynn, a communications professional, standup comedian, and speaker on the subject of digital detox. These women are funny, insightful, determined, and having fun living life. I also share a piece from France Mouton Heady, a student and life improvement consultant who wrote a piece to share. Next week, I’ll talk to three more women who will share their experiences with speaking and their advice for you. Enjoy!
Episode 33: The Power of Patience
After last week’s episode about the STAGE System, I received a lot of questions about what it actually looks like to take the steps I outline in my method of speech craft. The questions weren’t all simple – many of them had an undertone of anxiety and fear that made me realize I needed to talk a bit more about the process of arriving at your personal style as a speaker. This episode outlines that journey and I teach you how to do it so you don’t make yourself crazy in the process. This is a shorter episode than normal, but don’t let its small size deceive you – it packs a punch! If you haven’t already listened to episode 32, I’d recommend starting there and then coming back to this episode. It’ll make a lot more sense. Enjoy!
Episode 32: Present Like a Pro Using the STAGE System
Hey friends! Welcome to my first episode of 2017. I’m back!
Rather than create another boring slide show or endlessly rattle through tons of data, what if you could learn an approach that teaches you to build a presentation that showcases your personality, highlights your unique experiences, and allows you to deliver your stories and information in a way that feels good to you?
After giving 700+ talks, I’ve realized there is a formula for being yourself on stage. I put it all together and created the STAGE System which is an acronym for style, truth, art, group, and energy. It gives you a chance to pause and ask yourself who you want to bring to the stage. If you are naturally funny, how can you incorporate some humor into your talk? If you went through a life-changing experience, how can you tie that into your subject? If you love interacting with the audience, how can you make that a big part of your speech? By using the STAGE System as your guide, you build your talk so you are in your element and really shining on stage. If you want to craft a speech that puts your personal stamp on every presentation, you are going to love this episode.
Episode 31: The Secret of All Good Communication
Are you aware of how often you use weak language? In this eye opening episode, Dr. Phyllis Mindell, a pioneer and expert on professional communication, walks us through the many mistakes women make when it comes to sharing our opinions, giving feedback, presenting our work, and asking for what we want.
She tells us:
–the ONE word we must avoid almost all the time when speaking
–why you should take a second before you speak and the questions you should ask yourself before you open your mouth
–when women tend to use weak language the most
–how to rephrase your statements so you are not in opposition with your audience
–how to be a sweet, gentle, tough broad
–the one statement you never want to use at work and should also avoid at home
–the four most common mistakes women make on stage and what to do instead if you want your audience to trust and respect you
–the secret of all good communication
Find out more about Dr. Mindell’s work at www.thewordgrandma.com launching on her 80th birthday, January 30, 2017.
Episode 30: Frazzled Type A Women Unite
Kara Martin Snyder has made a career of turning around chaotic, painful situations ranging from bankruptcy cases to constipation. Her wide ranging skills come from making a huge shift in her 20s when she realized her job was killing her. What she has done for herself and others since then is inspiring and a great example of how you can take a literally shitty situation and turn it into a whole new career path. Kara shares how she helps frazzled, Type A women to face their health concerns and feel better through her coaching, podcast, and speaking engagements.
In this episode, you’ll learn how Kara prepares for her talks by tempering her ego and her pacing. She shares her advice for cutting down your material so you don’t overwhelm your audience, we discuss the value of hydration, a good meal, and sleep as speech preparation, and you’ll learn how to rescue yourself and your audience from a tanking talk. Kara also shares why you should start speaking now and say yes to opportunities even if you think you’re not ready. You’ll also hear the cringe worthy story of a moment that went being the most shameful event of her life to an enlightening revelation that changed her course forever.
Learn more about Kara’s work here.
Episode 29: Public Relations Tricks, Secrets + Myths for Speakers
Alison Podworski knew at the age of 9 that she wanted to be a television news reporter. After years on TV, she transitioned to work in PR and opened her own agency to assist small business owners, speakers, authors, and other types of clients with their PR needs. In today’s episode, Alison shares her #1 piece of advice for every business owner, no matter what age or stage. She tells us what PR really is and why speakers need a PR strategy, how to get national attention by focusing on local media outlets, popular misconceptions about PR, what a PR agency does and how they help increase your chances of getting media attention, how to create a compelling angle when pitching yourself to the media, steps to take to promote your speaking gig yourself through social media and press releases, what to do if you have a limited budget but want to start building up your PR opportunities, how to think of yourself as an expert if you don’t think you are ready for that title, and so much more! This episode is action packed with all things PR. If you’re ready to get noticed and start building your brand in a big way, you’ll love what today’s show has to offer. Enjoy!
Learn more about AlisonMayPR here.
Episode 28: Get the Gig!
Episode 27: The Art of Interaction
When Stacey Shipman was in 6th grade, she won the “Quietest Girl” award and now she is a brave communication expert who helps people do things they think they can’t do. This episode is all about the art of the interaction and how to create a genuine connection with your audience through engagement. She teaches us the first step to go from presenting a monologue to creating an interactive experience, what the “Rule of Threes” is and how to use it, how to incorporate humor into the questions you ask your audience, and she tells us the biggest mistakes speakers make when trying to engage the crowd. She says, “A presentation is a work of art. It’s a creative opportunity to put words together and deliver them verbally. It’s a living thing.” She also shows us a unique way to quickly build trust with our audience, how to show up as yourself instead of someone you think you “should” be, and so much more. If you want to learn how to build a meaningful conversation and a memorable experience for your audience, you don’t want to miss today’s episode of Claim the Stage!
Learn more about Stacey’s event on January 21st here.
Episode 26: Embodiment: The Key to Less Fear and More Fun on Stage
What is “embodiment” and why will it make you a better, less fearful speaker? My guest Donna Brooks says, “Embodiment is living the fullness of your incarnated experience. It’s that moment when you feel rich and full of life in yourself. Without that, it doesn’t give our audience the fullness of what we can offer and express to them.” In this week’s episode, we’re taking a whole new approach to speaking by using fear as the doorway to connecting with your audience. You’ll learn how to create a playful, fun, light experience for your audience rather than putting them under stress and wondering when it will end. Donna will also teach you how to reduce fear over time and use it to energize your speech, how to stop abandoning yourself on stage to create a better experience for you and your audience, why you should stop trying to entertain your audience (and what to do instead), and you’ll learn the two questions to ask yourself before every talk. And, great news! You don’t have to follow the old fashioned public speaking rules to be an effective speaker. Find out how to do all of this and more on today’s episode of Claim the Stage!
Find out more about Donna’s upcoming tele class on January 20th here.
Episode 25: The Q&A Episode
How do I book my first gig? What if I’m not an expert? How do I know what my value is? In this special episode, instead of me asking the questions, you’re the guest interviewer! I took your questions from social media and email and compiled a list of the top six. If you’re interested in writing a book, learning how to build a speaking business while working full-time, how to determine how much information is too much in your speech, what to do when you feel like everyone around you is a success (and you aren’t), and how to find your authentic voice, you’ve come to the right place. I tackle all of these topics and more in today’s episode of Claim the Stage. PS: I’ll be doing more episodes like this, so keep the questions coming! You can submit yours on my contact page. Enjoy!
Episode 24: Demystifying Public Speaking
Lara Hogan’s first public speaking experience was horrifying to say the least. Not only did she live to tell about it, she also continued speaking and has become an authority on the subject. Besides presenting on stage, Lara is also the author of the new book, Demystifying Public Speaking and an Engineering Director at Etsy.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- why being an actual human helps you to be a better leader
- how to create a conversational tone while also being rehearsed
- how to use notes effectively in your speech
- why it’s important to know what you’re actually afraid of when it comes to public speaking (and what to do about it)
- how to feel like a superhero on stage by wearing the right clothing
- how to get started as a speaker if you are not the typical expert/guru
- why you should challenge yourself to say “I don’t know” five times a day
- why donuts should be part of your regular celebrations.
Episode 23: Hairy Authenticity
We often hear that being our “authentic self” is the best way to connect with our audience and build a strong personal brand. But how do you show up on stage as yourself if you’re new to speaking, scared of doing it wrong, and worried about where to put your arms? In this episode, speaker coach Sally Zimney gives us practical advice to find our authentic voice on stage, teaches us the common misconceptions of what it means to be a great speaker, and shows us how to create a memorable talk every time. Sally’s experience as an actor and speaker combine to create her philosophies and unique take on what it means to be a speaker who creates an amazing experience by simply being you.
Learn more about Sally here.
Episode 22: Success Secrets from a Public Speaking Expert
Do you ever wonder if you’re doing everything you can to be seen as a strong presenter with a confident voice? In this episode, public speaking expert Laurie Schloff teaches us how to create an effective message, how to deliver a speech like a boss, and how to get over fear and nervousness on stage. I ask her one of the golden questions I’m always asked: Can you tell right away if a speaker has what it takes to be one of the greats? and we also talk about the little things like dress, microphones, using the stage appropriately, how to stand, how to use your arms, and how to use vocal variety to create impact. I share a few stories of my own mistakes on stage and Laurie gives us pro tips that will help you avoid the weird things I’ve done. Enjoy!
Get Laurie’s tip sheet by emailing her at laurie[at]speechimprovement[dot]com
Learn more about Laurie and the Speech Improvement Company here.
Get 75% off a videotaped speech critique with Laurie when you mention the Claim the Stage podcast!
Or listen right here, right now:
Episode 21: Are You Up for an Adventure?
Hiking, bears, blisters, oh my!
A few months ago, my friend and I set out on a seven day, 75 mile hike of the Appalachian Trail in north central Maine. Being an inexperienced hiker who is also Type A and goal oriented, you’ll hear all the highlights (and low points) of what this hike held for me. I share what I learned about my beliefs, the stories I told myself, how I see the world (and how it changed), when I hit my breaking point, how I got out of my tent each day (it wasn’t pretty), and much more. I even give you a challenge at the end which could end with you being featured on my podcast! It took me two months to finally get enough perspective of this experience to share it with you and I hope you enjoy the retelling of pivotal moments that will forever change my life. If you want to submit your story to be featured here in December, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening…enjoy the adventure!
Or listen right here, right now:
Episode 20: Fun Legal Basics for Speakers
Sarah Feingold was the first lawyer and 17th employee at Etsy. Now, she’s General Counsel at Vroom.com, a public speaker, and a jewelry maker. In this episode, we talk about (and laugh about) the legal basics for aspiring professional speakers. This includes how to act like a lawyer when creating and reading contracts, how to be taken seriously as a speaker, how to know what you can protect through trademarks and what should be freely shared, and how to share your content while also protecting yourself. Sarah reminds us that all contracts ARE negotiable, and teaches us how to avoid a legal nightmare stemming from a speaking gig. Sarah also shares her personal mission statement, which I totally love: “I empower the dreamers, partner with the doers, educate the thinkers and inspire the aspiring. But most importantly, I hold hands with my spouse, sing with my child, and melt metal with fire.” If you want to learn the basics of protecting yourself before getting on stage while laughing along with us, check out this episode.
Get Sarah’s ebook Copyright for Artists for 30% off using coupon code STAGE16 before Jan 2017
Find out more about Sarah here.
Episode 19: Build Your Platform with Dorie Clark
As speakers, we know marketing ourselves is important. But how do you create a strong platform for yourself that adds to your credibility, social proof, and builds your brand so you are an in-demand speaker? What about using content marketing to land you a publishing deal and subsequent paid speaking gigs? In this episode, Dorie Clark dissects her key moves that took her from writing on her own blog to publishing a book through Harvard Business Review and then Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin. Dorie has become a recognized expert in the space of personal branding, reinvention, and business success by taking the steps she outlines in our interview. If you want to learn from someone who started at the bottom and worked her way up, this episode is for you.
Get Dorie’s 42-page Stand Out Self-Assessment Workbook here.
Episode 18: Create Your Speaker Brand 101
In-demand professional speakers become well known because they have perfected one very important part of their message. It’s the one major thing that sets them apart from the unknowns and you will learn it in this special live, interactive podcast class I presented on September 7th, 2016.
In this class, you’ll learn:
- the two most important questions to ask yourself before getting paid to speak
- how to determine your real target audience
- how to determine what you’ll be known for
- how to build a plan to start booking a gig with your new speaker brand
This episode also includes live coaching and an introduction to the Speaking School for Women, my signature course, which starts September 26th. Enjoy!
Episode 17: Can Introverts be Pro Speakers?
Val Nelson is an introvert and former wallflower who absolutely cringed at the idea of speaking up in front of a room. She now actually enjoys public speaking, in small doses. She has faced her fear of self-employment and speaking up, and now enjoys having a thriving business as a soulful business and life coach. Her specialty is helping introverts bring their gifts to the world, and keep breathing along the way. No extrovert mask required. In this episode, we cover the real differences between being an introvert, an extrovert, and an ambivert, tell the truth about whether or not introverts make good public speakers, discuss how introverts can get over their fear of being on stage, and Val shares how to go about becoming a well-known speaker in your field. We also cover the downsides of speaking for introverts, what Val has learned about herself as an introvert speaker, and common misconceptions. As an introvert myself, I learned a ton from Val in this action-packed episode and I’m sure you will, too. Enjoy!
Learn more about Val here
Episode 16: Pep Talks + the Pursuit of Excellence
Episode 15: We Need to Talk About Your Flair.
In addition to being excited to talk about a topic that reminds me of Office Space, this episode covers an area we should all be considering as speakers: how to stand out and make an impression. Jim and Jenn Poage, a father-daughter team, are co-authors of the book FLAIR: Design Your Daily Work, Products, and Services to Energize Customers, Colleagues, and Audiences.
In this episode we discuss:
- companies that do flair well and the ones that miss the mark
- the six elements of flair and the ones that are most important for speakers
- the value of stories and how to WOW your audience by including them in your talks
- the concept of offering a “meaningful and joyful essence” through our work
- why we must remember “It’s not what you do, it’s what you provide.”
- ….and much more!
Learn more about how to leave a lasting impression on your audience and stand out above the rest in this week’s episode of Claim the Stage.
Episode 14: Are You Unwilling?
One day in the 1980s, Martha Johnson was concluding a three-day training of sales professionals when she asked a pivotal question that would forever change the direction of her work. She made the bold move to ask her audience if they were planning to implement what she had just taught them. Not a single person raised their hand. How Martha responded to this shocking truth is what makes her a true pioneer and gifted trainer.
In this episode, you’ll learn the five steps of Martha’s trademark “Willingness Check” that will help you to uncover what may be stopping you from taking action and accomplishing your biggest goals. If you dream of:
- booking reoccurring $5,000+ speaking gigs (but aren’t)
- want to speak in front of audiences of 1,000+ (but haven’t yet)
- or see yourself becoming a leader in your field (but feel stuck at “unknown”)…
…you are going to love this episode!
Grab a pen and get ready for an interactive episode that will have you thinking deeply about why YOU might be unwilling to go after what you most want.
Learn more about Martha here. Get her Willingness Check worksheet by emailing her at email@example.com.
Episode 13: Do I Have to be Funny?
I’m often asked if being funny on stage is a prerequisite for “making it” in the speaking business. In this informative and entertaining interview with Cathy McNally, master of all things humor, you’ll find out whether or not tickling your audience’s funny bone is as important as you think. Cathy also teaches me two improv games (which we play, totally unscripted) to help me (and you) increase my ability to be funny on the spot, identify where the jokes lie, and get comfortable delivering stories in a way that elicits a laugh. When Cathy works with her clients, she is teaching the fundamentals of storytelling, finding places to insert vulnerability, and training her students to land a well-crafted joke. In this episode, you’ll learn all of this and more! It includes:
- whether or not being funny is something you can learn over time
- how to make a joke if you’re someone who can’t remember scripted jokes (that’s me!)
- how to use physical comedy effectively
- how to practice being funny
…and you’ll get to hear me make a total fool of myself as I attempt improv with a pro! Cathy also offers a tip sheet which outlines the games and some of her key takeaways. Download it here.
Learn more about Cathy here
Episode 12: Are You in the 14%?
If this interview was a breakfast cereal, it would be called “Ultimate Supreme 500 Ingredient Mashup.” We took this show in many different directions as I learned about my guest, Heathere Evans-Keenan, and her background, unexpected medical diagnosis, personal philosophy about sickness, and how her entire life (and work) changed.
In this episode, we discuss:
- the 70,000 thoughts we have each day and what you can do to change them for the better
- how your choices are held in your body and what they do to you
- how she flipped her well-known brand in a seamless way
- what 86% of women (and 82% of men) wish they could change about themselves
- how to reach your full potential
We also go into Heathere’s advice for speakers and how to build a simple, consistent brand even if you have lots of interests and offerings. It’s a random mashup of awesomeness and you won’t want to miss it!
Learn more about Heathere’s upcoming events
Episode 11: Tips for Slaying Self-Sabotage
Kelly Coffey is a personal trainer who used to weigh over 300 pounds. She is the voice behind the blog at strongcoffey.com where she helps women who struggle with their weight and their choices to get happily grounded in healthier habits. Her work gets down to the root of why we sabotage ourselves and the tools she teaches are just as relevant to women in the speaking business as they are to women who are trying to improve their health.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- how Kelly went from personal trainer to becoming a top speaker and thought leader in her field
- why we sabotage ourselves
- important signs to pay attention to if you are sabotaging yourself (and what to do next)
- the mental tricks to attacking self-sabotage
- an ideal way to behave if you are afraid to speak on stage
- where to focus your attention once making the decision to move out of self-sabotage
Get more information about Kelly’s course, Pleasure Principles.
*This episode includes explicit content.*
Episode 10: Mystery Episode!
I’m so excited to announce my 10th episode! This felt like a major milestone, so I went all out and created a really fun mystery episode for you. Since the contents of this episode are a secret, I’ll just say that you might hear about a sushi burrito, wild ponies, a 6 foot tall top hat, music, and other unexpected topics for a public speaking podcast.
Episode 9: Secrets for Changing Your Money Mindset
Amber Dugger is a money geek, knitter, avid cyclist, wine lover, yogi and lover of all things green. She escaped her cubicle in July of 2015 after 15 years in soul-sucking corporate finance. Amber now combines holistic health coach training with her extensive financial background to guide fellow entrepreneurs in gaining clarity on their money mindset and associated emotions and behaviors. In this episode, we talk about money mindset as it pertains to speakers – specifically, how to think about money and how to value what you do.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- how to write an awesome pitch so you get picked
- how to change your beliefs about money
- the #1 thing you need to focus on when choosing and pitching your rates
- how to improve your relationship with money
- the biggest pricing mistakes speakers make and how to avoid them
how Amber left her corporate job to build her own business
how to break through fear and do things that scare you
Learn more about Amber here.
Episode 8: How to be a Thought Leader
Ken Lizotte is author of The Expert’s Edge: Become the Go-To Authority that People Turn to Every Time (McGraw-Hill), the The Speaker’s Edge: The Ultimate Go-To Guide for Locating and Landing Lots of Speaking Gigs (Maven House Press) and five other books. Ken has also authored over 600 published articles including a weekly column for the American Management Association. Chief Imaginative Officer (CIO) of his firm emerson consulting group inc., which transforms consultants, entrepreneurs, attorneys and professional services professionals into “thoughtleaders,” Ken has guided over 150 business experts toward publication of their first book.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- Ken’s “5 Pillars of Thought Leadership” and the steps to start taking today so you can build your brand to the ranks of a thought leader
- how to make a seemingly ‘old’ topic appear fresh and new
- Ken’s go-to method to stay top of mind with his audience
- an interesting way to find speaking gigs
- why publishing books and articles is one of the most important things you can do as a speaker
Episode 7: Curious About Speakers Bureaus?
In episode 7, I talk to Diane Goodman, founder and president of Goodman Speakers Bureau in Windsor, Connecticut since 1979. Diane works closely with meeting planners to secure professional speakers, entertainers, thought leaders, business leaders, authors, celebrities, and sports figures. In this episode, Diane answers all of the most common questions she receives about speakers bureaus. You’ll learn:
- how to get into a speakers bureau
- the role and benefit of a speakers bureau
- what Diane looks for in working with a speaker
- the importance of marketing materials
- what to do when you’re starting out as a speaker
- why talking about everything in your talks doesn’t help you
- which actions and mindsets hold speakers back, and much more!
Learn more about Goodman Speakers Bureau here.
Episode 6: Top 10 Reasons People Don’t Speak Up
Leslie Karen Hammond is a speaker, author, and Confident Speaking Expert. Her new book, Keep It Real: Why We’re Afraid to Speak Up and What to do About it, is the subject of this week’s podcast. I loved this book and Leslie had so many surprising answers when I asked her about specific tips and takeaways in the book.
A few of them:
- understanding the value of your story and the contribution it can make
- using life experiences to make you credible
- how writing a book helped Leslie with her speaking
- Shifting gears and learning to speak up
- How to best articulate how you feel
- Stepping into difficult conversations and getting past them
- The right way to listen
- Attracting healthy relationships and repelling toxic ones
- How the support of others will help you thrive
- The physical ramifications of ‘settling’
Episode 5: Reassuring Wisdom from Katy Tynan
Katy Tynan is a bestselling author, internationally recognized expert on how work is evolving, and was voted one of the best motivational speakers in Boston. Katy is the author of Survive Your Promotion! The 90 Day Success Plan for New Managers, and her most recent book Free Agent: The Independent Professional’s Roadmap to Self-Employment Success. She is currently Managing Director of CoreAxis Consulting, a leading talent strategy consulting firm based in Southborough, Massachusetts. Here’s what we discussed in episode 5:
- How Katy became one of the best motivational speakers in Boston
- How to start building your credentials as a speaker
- How to become the Michael Jordan of speaking
- How to develop your message and how to find the right places to deliver that message
- The best way to connect with your audience (hint: it’s not about you!)
- The right way to deliver your message so your audience gets the most from it
- Why writing and publishing are a speaker’s best friend
- What to do when you’ve said yes to a speaking gig and then realize you’re in over your head
Learn more about Katy and follow her work here.
Episode 4: From Pop Star to Master Negotiator
Ji Eun (Jamie) Lee is a professional speaker and negotiation trainer who lives in New York City. She specializes in hands-on negotiation workshops for ambitious women. She says, “Negotiation is a conversation with the intention of reaching an agreement where everyone has the right to say no.” She believes that when women own their negotiation prowess and win, everyone wins, too. Here’s what you can expect to hear in episode 4:
- why the statement “You should always ask for more” changed Jamie’s life
- why women don’t always negotiate in business and how Jamie is changing that
- why negotiation is actually about control and how to reframe it for yourself
- when you should walk away from a negotiation (and when to keep going)
- why you should approach negotiation without the need to hear yes
- why being hard on yourself probably isn’t the best place to start
- how Jamie went from pop star to master negotiator
- …and much more!
Check out Jamie’s website and get on her email list here.
Episode 3: Do You Know Your Audience’s Agenda?
Suzanne Bates is the CEO of Bates, a firm with a mission to help leaders shape the world. As a coach to some of the world’s top executives, Suzanne’s passion is helping leaders align, engage, and move people to drive results for their organizations and the world around them. Her latest book All the Leader You Can Be: The Science of Achieving Extraordinary Executive Presence was published by McGraw Hill in March of 2016. In this episode, we talk about:
- how to decide what you should do each day as a business owner (and what to leave out)
- why it’s okay to start something new without a clear vision of the big picture
- a surprising way to create your own intellectual property (IP) using your intuition
- why “simple and powerful” is a beautiful combination
- how to figure out your audience’s agenda (and how this helps you dramatically improve)
- why creating ‘a-ha’ moments for your audience may be easier than you think
- why having a community accelerates your growth as a business owner and speaker
- the #1 way to get booked for speaking gigs
- why you should use crayons more
- and much more!
Episode 2: Life Advice from The Detourist
Episode 2 features my interview with Amy Oestreicher. Amy is a professional speaker, PTSD peer-to-peer specialist, artist, author, writer for The Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, survivor, award-winning actress, and playwright. Amy eagerly shares the lessons learned from trauma through her writing, mixed media art, performance and inspirational speaking.
A few things we discuss:
- Amy’s story of recovery after discovering she would need to live without her stomach at the age of 18
- the subject of telling your story. What if you’re not ready? How do you know your story is worth telling?
- how your values help you determine what to talk about on stage and how you can inspire others through your values
- why you shouldn’t roll your eyes at the thought of a “Gratitude List”
- the unconventional way Amy books speaking gigs
- Amy’s #1 piece of advice for new speakers
- why you shouldn’t have a five year plan
- and so much more!
The sound box I made for my mic:
Episode 1: Just Gonna Do This
Here it is! My first podcast episode. I’ve been thinking about starting a podcast since 2009 and thought maybe it was time to roll one out, as imperfect as it may be. I decided to jump right in even though I don’t have every single question answered yet and I’m still learning about the world of podcasting. I like to learn as I go and encourage people to stop waiting and start creating. This podcast is an excellent example of that. In this podcast series, you’ll learn from industry experts, pro speakers, authors, and interesting people to help you, a creative + entrepreneurial woman, become an inspiring speaker who gets paid. Without further ado, let me introduce you to my work in progress.