- Improve your personal and professional communication with Dr Ro
- September/October, 2020
- Hotel Sofitel, London Gatwick
Episode 039 – Becoming a public speaker, why people avoid it, financial opportunities, can it be learned, how to start and more
Show Notes – Episode 039 – Becoming a public speaker, why people avoid it, financial opportunities, can it be learned, how to start and more
The face of public speaking has changed, there are more opportunities than ever to experience the benefits that come from being able to speak publicly. Yet not everyone is benefiting from these opportunities. Now the magical thing is, Dr Ro, by the nature of being a public speaker for over three decades, has a unique ability to teach people the art and science of communicating with impact. So specifically on this episode, we have him talking on various points – what is public speaking, the misconceptions people may have, why people don’t become public speakers, what opportunities are they missing out on and where do you the listener start if you want to add this into your repertoire of skills.
On this episode, we talk on the following questions:
- What are Dr Ro & Harminder’s initial thoughts when we hear the phrase – public speaking?
- How has the landscape of public speaking changed?
- What are people’s biggest blocks which stop them from becoming public speakers?
- How do people overcome these blocks and pursue the art of public speaking?
- What are the opportunities available to people who can speak publicly?
- How much can a public speaker earn and can they make a living from it?
- Can someone learn how to become a public speaker?
- What can someone do in order to take the first step to become a public speaker and develop the essential skills?
- And so much more…
Here is a snapshot of the critical steps required to overcome your blocks with public speaking:
It starts with self-assessment and communication.
Take out a journal and start to answer the following questions:
- Do you want to speak publicly – meaning does the idea of speaking in front of people online or offline generate a feeling of excitement and nervousness. Could you see it being fun and fulfilling?
- Do you have a message or messages you want to share with the world.. Or a specific group of people?
- On a scale of 1-10, how important is it to you to get the message out there?
- How would it feel?
Now we have completed the self-assessment steps and we really want to go on and become public speakers. We can go into solution-seeking steps:
- What is your biggest block fear?
- How can you work on it?
- Who can help you?
- What do you need to do to overcome and learn the skills?
- Now get started – offer to speak at a small event or record something online
The best steps to take to start learning the skills needed to become a public speaker. The important point here is to start with communication first:
- Decide on your subject area and where you want to use your skill of public speaking
- Take the free ultimate communication test to establish what you need to work on
- Now start to work on the key component that has been identified by the test.
Having started to practice this component, it is now time to expand your learning and take steps to truly master communication:
- Discover the Total Communication System here with a free instant watch webinar
- Go out and practice, practice and continue to refine this skill
- Now go deeper – expand into total mastery by attending a live online event and learn about all 38 components within the Communicating With Impact™ System.
To take the FREE Ultimate Communications Test click here:
Discover what area of communication you need to improve on to increase your ability to communicate with impact
A personal message from Dr Ro to all aspiring Public Speakers:
I encourage you to take this opportunity to learn how to communicate. I truly believe as the world around us evolves through technology, globalisation and changes in the job market – ‘Communication is the new currency’. Relationships will thank it, companies will beg for it, your children will wish you had it and society as a whole needs it. The time of being mesmerised by movie stars, leaders, influencers and heads of organisations – is over! So regardless of what you want to communicate better in and for – it starts with learning how to do it once and for all…as a result, your relationship, finances, career, business and day-to-day life will never look the same again. – Dr Rohan Weerasinghe
Affiliate disclaimer: NO links on this page or products discussed during the episode have an affiliate or advertising association with the Seekardo Show. Please support us via the supporter programme if you wish to help.
Harms: Hello it is Harms here and welcome to another episode of the Seekardo show and we’ve got an exciting one for you today and it’s on the topic of public speaking. Now the face of public speaking has changed, we’ll dive into that as we get into the show.
What I mean is, there are more opportunities than ever to experience the benefits that come from being able to speak publicly, yet not everyone is benefiting from these opportunities available to all of us. Off-line this is a topic myself and Ro speak about a lot, especially because of his experience in this area so I wanted to get him talking on air about what is public speaking, the misconceptions people may have around this topic.
Why don’t people go on to become public speakers, what opportunities are they missing out on by not being public speakers and where do you, the listeners start if you want to add this into your repertoire of skills and then seize those opportunities available now. This being said, let me set the scene for you here as anyone who has not met Ro or seen him speak publicly. He has personally and professionally been crafting the skill for over three decades from memory he started talking to audiences from small rooms, bearing in mind the stories he has shared with me and continuously put himself in challenging situations where the dynamic of the audience changes including audiences from different countries.
Audiences from different cultures and also high-pressure situations where he’s shared the stage with the likes of Robert Kiyosaki of the Rich dad brand, the likes of Richard Branson, the likes of Les Brown, amongst others. Interestingly enough or frighteningly enough for someone who may be like, wow, this is terrifying those stage talks were in front of thousands and thousands of people. He doesn’t like to say this publicly so he doesn’t have to, I’ll say it on his behalf because of the unique skills he has he is regularly often approached by some of the biggest organisations in the world.
The magical thing is by you listening to this episode today and following the Seekardo show is that Ro by the very nature of being a public speaker, has this unique ability to educate as well as being a conventional area that he specialises in. This ability to teach people the art and science of being able to communicate with impact is why we’re super fortunate to have him talking on this specific subject.
Let’s start with an overarching question to set the scene which is when I say the phrase public speaking what are your initial thoughts?
Having been a public speaker for three decades what was speaking back then and how has it evolved?
Hi Ro over to you after that long introduction.
Dr Ro: First of all, thank you for that great introduction. It is quite nice to hear that described them.
Hi to everybody and those that have tuned into the Seekardo show, so pumped about this one. It’s a subject that I generally don’t talk much about in public, not about public speaking in this format, we have Communicating with Impact but to be asked the question specific about the subject is quite rare. I think it’s appropriate as we’re recording this right in the midst of Covid when the whole experience of public speaking is changed. Pretty much anyone doing anything on social media now is being pushed into that space of public speaking.
I think that’s what you’re alluding to in your question, so let’s tackle the first question of public speaking. To give you some context when I was in school I used to stutter if I was asked to stand up and read from a book. I can still remember in an English class standing up, being asked to read this paragraph in this book to the rest of the class.
I used to be absolutely freaking terrified and I would stand up and I’d start to speak very, very quickly and it just poured out and there was this massive passion and enthusiasm to want to do it, but at the same time, I was almost afraid that if I screwed up than I was going to look stupid and I was in my teens. To go from that which was 50 years ago, 40 years ago to as you say being able to go around internationally and share some of the most amazing stages it’s been a hell of a journey.
If anyone’s listening to this, asking themselves the question yeah, it’s right for you Ro, that’s what you do. Well, actually, that’s not what I did and in fact it wasn’t what I was trained to do. My profession is civil engineering. I was an engineer, maths and physics. So what came from that journey there was a passion. I think the question that Harminder [00:06:00] has asked is a very good question.
Back in the early days traditionally, I think, public speaking, conjured up the image of a person standing in front of an audience, a formal type presentation. Giving a lecture, speaking to a group of people, teaching them maybe one of our fears around her for example speaking in public is watching teachers being ridiculed or having the piss taken out of them by the students. If you’re a young person seeing a teacher, for example, who may be not so confident and I think at some stage we’ve all seen a teacher that has had a tough time, if you think about that from a young age that would install a natural fear in you.
You wouldn’t want to have the same experience yourself as a grown-up. It only really occurred to me in thinking about this particular podcast is that all of us at some point have seen a teacher who had a tough time of it. If you’re a youngster seeing that your natural psychology is, I don’t want to go through it myself, but we associate that with speaking in public, conferences, lectures, formal gatherings, even a wedding. As an engineer in the workplace were you at times required to stand up and speak in front of your employees?
Harms: Often and it would be employees from five, six, seven different departments and that’s a fantastic insight because I had that same nervousness when I was doing that because you were just thrown in. You’ve got to present this particular subject or safety talk to a whole group of in my industry very much male orientated, who almost reflected the opposite.
I would have been in class in school in the audience thinking I can’t be bothered to listen to this today or look at what the teacher looks like today. So that’s a fantastic insight which is probably why I was hesitant and there were other co-speakers having to do their slots as well, and often people would shun it.
People would not turn up.
People would pretend like they had something which was more urgent than that particular talk at that moment in time. So they started to make it mandatory and force people to do it, which is also just as challenging.
Dr Ro: That’s so pertinent because I think that same concept of public speaking is still a modern day thinking, although the face of it may have changed, the fear is still there.
Over the years, though I think public speaking, to go back to the first question it has broadened and so we moved into the era of motivational speaking. And yes, there have been inspirational speakers going back 50, 80, 100 years even longer than that back into communities and some of the prophets may have been inspirational speakers in a form. But if you take it in the modern era it certainly broadened from that conference type lecture to now, I want to be an inspirational speaker.
Or you’ve seen inspirational speakers certainly I would say the 70s and 80s spawned a whole bunch of people and that’s actually the era that Tony Robbins came through the early 80s. Then you had people like Les Brown who has been going for donkeys in his 70s, 80’s now. You’ve got all the way back to Earl Nightingale was very famous for taking the audio version out to the public of Think and Grow Rich. He created a recording called the strangest secret in the 50s and that then went on to later on become The secret.
There’s definitely been a shift, then into the seminar industry which we know today. Running seminars and workshops so you’re not speaking just for an hour but for days now. Everything is redefined again. I think if you asked me what public speaking is today it isn’t just this concept of standing up and just talking in front of one audience.
Now if you fast forward to 21st century 2020 public speaking is speaking on a zoom call in front of your peers, Covid has pushed that to the forefront, but people were doing it and Skype calls have been around for years. But what Covid has done is forced people through Zoom and Skype to communicate publicly to a group of people, but from your own home.
It could be a Facebook live or you speaking to a group of people through a camera through your phone again, its public speaking. In front of a phone or camera to do a YouTube video is public speaking, talking about a product which is going digital, which teaches people to do exercise or to speak or to write a book.
Again, public speaking and of course, classic Instagram type videos although they’re shorter, you’re still publicly speaking. I think the world of public speaking has changed, but equally with that, the opportunities were massive when I started, you had to go and drive to somewhere to go and speak to an audience.
The idea of doing something in front of a camera would have meant going out and buying a piece of equipment or going to a studio to have something recorded or if by some freaky chance you had the option to go to a broadcasting house, you could do it there. Literally what we can do today in front of our phone you’d have to pay thousands or go to a studio to do in the past. Whereas in my start of my speaking career I had access to 10, 20, 30, 40 people at the time, you now can go out and get access to hundreds of thousands and millions depending on how successful, how viral your video content is online.
I think the world of public speaking has changed and I think if we just round it off to speaking skills publicly are now critical, they’re not even it would be nice to have I think they become critical in how we operate on a personal and professional level.
I’ve had four conversations today with four individuals in four different business areas and every one of them completely corroborated that by saying, it’s great what you’re going with CWI because people need to learn the skill at all different levels.
Public speaking is part of a broader subject which is communication.
Harms: Thanks for sharing those insights Ro.
I love the fact that somebody of your generation actually appreciates the fact that with the online world we now have various different channels, because that’s my understanding.
We have different channels, media channels in which to speak publicly and the magic here is I call this friction that you have to drive somewhere physically. You had to knock on the door of a gatekeeper, the gatekeeper being a TV broadcaster, radio broadcaster or an organisation, and what we are saying here is you had to get someone’s permission. Quote on quote you knock on someone’s door and say can I have permission to speak publicly on your stage? Whereas now that’s changed.
Somebody can pick up their mobile phone or an audio recording device as we do on the podcast here in the Seekardo show and you can share a message into the world. But the big question is, there are a lot of people doing this and I think I have seen almost an explosion of younger people in my generation, taking primarily to places like YouTube and having these conversations.
Some of the biggest podcasts like you listen to us in the world are operated by the younger generation. They saw this fact that there is no gatekeeper and said, what the hell we’re going to talk about things that we’re passionate about in this particular space. I have seen this exploding in my generation.
What I find is the older generation still feel like they need permission or they need hand holding or maybe there’s a technological step to overcome in order to do that, but maybe as we get through this, we can talk about CWI and how that can possibly help the listeners if they’re in that space.
Because the big question is yes, although we see an explosion of people doing it the large majority are still not, and my thing is what is stopping someone who really wants to speak publicly from going out there and doing it regardless of what generation they are in.
I guess the key question I’m asking here is what are the biggest blocks that you have seen, and bearing in mind you’ve trained a lot of people to be able to do this in stopping them from going on to speak publicly.
What is blocking people?
Dr Ro: There is an age-old question. It’s probably even older than me. It’s the cliché people fear death, tax and speaking it’s like the top three. Death is up there alongside speaking, which is crazy, but you’ve raised a really good point about friction.
I think you’re right there are more younger people definitely coming into the space here is where the challenge now comes for me, so it might be that they don’t necessarily have a fear of speaking in public, or speaking on social media. But that doesn’t mean to say that they’re getting across a great message.
So once you overcome that boundary that blocks off being able to speak in a public place whether it’s on a YouTube video, Facebook or to a live audience, then it’s a question of are you just going to talk crap or talk something meaningful?
How do we make the message that you’ve got, something that creates impact, which is why the whole concert of Communicating with Impact evolved. This is not a criticism of the younger generation as we can argue the same for the older ones as well, but would you say that’s a fair observation that yes they may have overcome the block, but actually, that doesn’t mean to say that what content they are pushing is of any great value. Some of it is, but there is still a lot of noise out there, it’s not clear.
Harms: I’m glad you touched on that and I would say I 100% agree and the danger in that happening is, somebody would go out with confidence and only a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage understand the power of communication and they get the message across in an amazing way.
Although he is not in our generation I like to refer to people like Casey Neistat he is phenomenal in the way he can get a message across, although he uses video in a magical way to get the message across. But for every magical person out there who understands how powerful communication is, and knows how to use it there’s hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people in my generation who do it, and then suddenly think nobody wants to listen to me or why is nobody responding?
Or, I must not be valuable to the world and then they can lose their confidence and suddenly regress because it is so noisy out there. It is so difficult to be heard and I know I did mention the fact that there’s a lower friction because of the media channels, but one thing our listeners need to understand is those media channels are still controlled by Google, by Facebook by these large companies and they can strip away the confidence. There is an incredible documentary out at the moment on Netflix called the social dilemma.
I think it is worth a reference point to our listeners to understand how that can cause regression in this esteem, confidence.
On the topic of confidence we had an amazing guest Siobhan Birmingham, who spoke to us on this topic of confidence and if somebody can hit this brick wall she described it really well and they attach their confidence to somebody watching the video on social media.
If somebody therefore didn’t watch the video on social media, this would mean that they lose confidence and self-esteem. But what if somebody doesn’t have that confidence?
What is the block?
What is stopping them?
Dr Ro: There are several blocks.
Over the years, I’ve worked with so many people but not just people I work with on a one-to-one, just observing and listening and overhearing conversations that people have about what I was going to do. You speak in public I thought about that years ago, but. And then you hear the but, the classic get off your butt and do something. They come up with different reasons and I think arguably I’ve narrowed it down to four things.
If you’ve been thinking for a while I want to do speaking and I want to get a message out there, I want to get on video on YouTube, I want to speak and run events. Whatever it is it will typically be one of these categories.
One is fear of rejection. It goes back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. One of his core needs he identified as everyone of us has a need to be loved, or to have a sense of belonging, to be part of something, to be connected to a greater good of other people.
It’s that feeling of being loved and cared for and innately we all have a desire for that from your young son Bodi he is a couple of months old, even though he doesn’t necessarily consciously know it you can see the reaction when you give him the unconditional love right through to us as adults.
When you’re in front of an audience and if someone sneers or laughs at you or possibly one eyebrow goes up or they look at their watch when you’re speaking. Even the tiniest thing I’ve got used to that now but at the beginning if I saw somebody yawn or look at their watch I was like what have I just done there? Maybe they’re bored with me?
That’s the kind of psychology that is associated with this feeling of failure or rejection.
Harms: Now you’ve evolved into being such a great public speaker that is somebody is looking at their watch, or on a mobile phone you just say if I’m boring you would you like to leave the room and if you continue do this, I’m going to take your phone and throw it out the window.
Dr Ro: I do warn them in advance. It is not like I go out and bully people.
Because we had people in the audience complain that the person next to them is always on the phone, so it used to be bothering me, but when I realised it’s bothering the audience I then thought let me let people know in advance if you’re going to get on your phone I’m going to ask you to leave.
Because if you’ve gone to the effort of preparing something with a strong message and they’ve come there may be against their will and if they don’t want to be there, they shouldn’t really be sat to someone else. It’s very off putting in an audience to be sat next to someone who is not engaged.
But I’ve learned to handle that at the level I am now, in the early days I would have just ignored it and it wasn’t till people started complaining in my audiences about other people in the audience and I thought, okay, this is different now. I’m not protecting myself, I’m actually looking after the people I’m talking to. It’s a valid observation you’ve made there. But rejection is a core reason why people have blocks.
The second one is just the fear of clamming up; it’s not being able to explain things properly. It’s getting up from an audience and freezing. It is the actor who suddenly forgot their lines and the speaker at a wedding and then completely went off on a tangent. People have a fear of that because the stories become urban legends, which then create an urban fear, so there’s number two. The third one would be a belief that people aren’t going to take me seriously. What if I go up there and then they don’t take me seriously?
I’ve gone to all this effort, I’m sharing my belief system when I am speaking,that’s the thing that we have to remember. The minute you go up and say anything on camera to the audience, even on a one-to-one and at that point you are making a statement about who you are, how you show up in the world, what you believe you’re dressing yourself down to a point where you are naked. Your beliefs are exposed to the world.
By the way I’m not trying to make you more scared as an audience I want you to be aware of this. The one is, I think people say are they really going to listen to me?
Have I got a good enough message? Do I really have something to say?
That’s different to people taking me seriously. So serious is they don’t take me seriously. The last one is have I got a good enough message? Those four things from my experience are the four main reasons why people don’t.
You’ve already picked up on something which is really observational and very intuitive and as you said people make excuses. What I typically hear is those four reasons are masked by other excuses they strap on, they wrap up the main excuse with stuff like, I’m too busy. I’m not interested. I don’t have enough time to prepare. I can’t find the right place to deliver my message.
They’ll come up with absolutely anything you heard in the workplace I’m sure.
Harms: Just to add some context, myself and Ro are on the podcast and we are talking about this and we have a conversation, and it is quite free-flowing and we can just bounce off each other. But Ro mentioned it back in the day you were standing up in class and you were stuttering and that could have been a wrapper in disguise, which you then evolved beyond that point.
For myself, I would say I never had the right mobile phone, or I never had the right video camera to talk into. My Internet wasn’t fast enough, so I shouldn’t do video today. I was wrapping my fear of public speaking three, four years ago now in these kinds of masks but my excuse was technological.
I would have all of these masks in my head but when you’ve explained those four items I probably had a combination of all four. I think a lot of people may have a combination of all four, but I think it’s really useful that you shared that because as soon as somebody identifies an excuse quickly, deep dive and say do I have a fear of rejection? Am I scared of clamming up?
Do I think people are not going to take my message seriously?Or am I just doubting the fact that I have anything valuable to say and put out to the world?
I answered these questions with you Ro many years ago and came through the Communicating with Impact process myself, so that’s why this stands out to me now, but having discussed this I wanted to share with the listeners some of my almost silly excuses when I think back on it now. But they were obviously masking the fact I had these fears.
Dr Ro: The truth is that everyone has a message and I think most people have a really important message and it’s burning inside them. That’s why over the years I’ve heard so many people say I want to write a book. They never get around to it and there is a book for everybody.
The question is, how passionate are you about it and how do you feel about sharing this message to the world?
That’s the key.
If you know you have a message, then it’s a case of what is it you want to say, who do you want to say it to and are you prepared to put the work in on you, sometimes on yourself first, not even on the actual message to get to the point where you feel comfortable enough to share it outwardly. In asking the question my response to your question to everybody listening is, don’t think of this as a podcast about public speaking.
Think of it as a podcast about how you can take what’s inside you, this burning, passionate message that you’ve probably been thinking about for a long time and articulate it out to the world and if so through what medium? Through social media, through phones, digital products, writing a book because public speaking can also be on paper as well. Albeit a different form but still about communication.
Harms: The fact that we’ve identified the blocks and the typical fears that typically show up in people’s world and the way they may disguise this with excuses, my next question is how do people overcome these fears and blocks?
And as a millennial I see a lot of people who have an incredibly great message and we’ve briefly touched on this. They have tried to develop themselves. They are passionate about the subject. They really care about the subject they’re talking about and there are some incredibly important subjects in the world that still need a powerful message supporting it, but that word their message is they fall short in delivering the message itself.
If you can speak into space and mainly just help the listeners at home, overcome these fears and blocks so that we can show them a way on how they can actually start to enhance the skill.
Dr Ro: When you were in the workplace were you nervous? Did you just get on with it?
What were your blocks? I don’t have blocks about speaking in public now, however, when I go to an event, a big event I still get nervous. For me, the shift is slightly different. It’s more it’s not I’m going to do it, but it’s more I want to make sure I get the right message over.
So it’s a more refined feeling.
How do I tighten down what I’m saying to such an extent that it really creates great impact, but 20 years ago it was a different type of fear. If I go back to your age group 30+ did you have the blocks and what were they for you?
Harms: I certainly had the blocks and the blocks we’ve mentioned in the previous question the four blocks. I think I had a combination of all of those. But now, having the conversation with you about what that meant in the past was, I actually had no focus on the message I wanted to deliver.
My entire focus was on getting through this talk, getting over the nerves associated with the talk. All my focus and attention was spent there and I had no energy left to focus on the message. I just got up there delivered and walked off and was thankful enough to do this for another month. I think by having those fears I completely was focusing my energy in the wrong place.
I’d say that’s my personal insight from looking back now.
Dr Ro: It’s very important to get different perspectives on this.
Going back to the question about blocks, I think the best way to tackle this is in a more logical way, it starts with self-assessment. It’s not so much about the speaking, the mechanics of speaking it’s more about you as an individual. If you have got a block the first question I’ve got is do you actually want to speak publicly?
Do you have a message you want to take out to the public, to the world? Meaning does the idea of speaking in front of people online, which I think is very much the case or off-line, does it generate a feeling of excitement? Do you feel motivated by it? Do you feel nervous about it and at the same time, it kind of needs to be a mixture of both. Could you see yourself having fun doing it? Could you see it being something very fulfilling?
I remember the first time you came up and started doing testimonials and then started speaking at my events Harms. I could see you just wanted to do it. Excited about it.
There was a fear maybe, but you overcame that by just going through some of the processes, but you wanted it from the start.
Harms: I think that’s a fair first point and a starting point because anybody who has had that niggling feeling in the back of their mind that I want to share this message, I want to speak, I think that’s the first insight. I think artists often describe this in these amazing books and when they talk about their art form whether it’s painting, speaking, writing is they had to write or they had to speak.
They had to share their particular message and what we’re trying to do here is remove the blocks so you can go ahead and do that. I think what you’re saying Ro is if that feeling exists it constantly talks to you, then this is something you have to take it seriously. Is that fair to say?
Dr Ro: So this is it.
Recently I was filtering out people to do some speaking. Specifically around a certain subject and three, four people in mind and one of them was just actually jumping up and down wanting it.
The other person has a very good aptitude for it, but when I positioned it to him he said that sounds really interesting and it wasn’t the same reaction as the first person. Then I went to the third person and the reaction was I very much want to do this.
You’ve got to start with a desire it has to come from there, because with that, everything else is learnable.
Second one, then, is do you have a message or messages that you want to share with the world? What is it that you want to get out? Is it about your business, a product or service? Is it something a little bit deeper?
I spoke to someone today and she shared her whole theme is about empowering women in business which is great. It could be any subject at all that you feel passionate about.
Harms: We work in the online space and if you want to be the head and you want to promote your business, you want to speak about this amazing product you have this amazing service you have, then you would fall in this category as well.
Do you have a message?
The message also applies to I have an amazing product, start-up, I’ve got something I want to share with you, and I just don’t have the ability to do it, but hopefully by listening to this, you can start to get the encouragement and a starting point on how you can do that.
Dr Ro: So what is the message?
Is it for a specific group of people? I think in the enthusiasm you can be enthusiastic and get a message out there, but it might not be the right message that you want to get out there, so you’ve got to be focused.
Number three is on scale one to 10 how important is it to you to get the message out there? Is it something like that could be interesting. To me when someone says that could be interesting, that is like a two out of 10 to me.
Whereas if someone says I’ve been wanting to do this for so many years. I’ve been watching a lot of people; I really want to do it. Now we’ve got somebody that is passionate. On a scale of one to 10, five being that nice one being not interested at all, eight being I want to do this just got quite a few blocks to overcome but I want it.
Ten is like a done deal just to show me how high to jump. It needs to be up around seven and above to allow that commitment to shine through, which then takes me to the last question, which is how would it feel?
For example, Harms the first time you came up and spoke at a CWI event you had a whole slot talking about doing business online. That type of thing. How did that feel the very first time you did that?
Harms: It was wonderful.
When you invited me to speak for that slot there was excitement, it was okay the preparation time, I was feeling like a 10 on that scale in how important it was for me to share that particular message on the stage. The feeling was incredible, and then you get the feedback off the back of that as well so absolutely loved it.
Dr Ro: Speaking in public fulfils at least four basic human needs that Maslow talked about and the rule of thumb is you become addicted to something when you give three or above. So for example one of the basic core needs we have is the need for variety, speaking has a lot of variety because there is so much to do and experience and you’re feeding off an audience that could react in lots of different ways.
The subject matter can be broad as well as narrow so you’ve got variety there that is one of your basic needs met. Another core need we have is a need for connection with other people, speaking gives you that. The whole need to connect with other people. Another need we have is a need for certainty or security. Well, if you’re great at what you do and you speak and you inspire people you know you’re good at, you get a great sense of certainty of doing a really good thing to change people’s lives, that’s three things already that you’ve connected with your core needs.
Now you add to that one of the biggest ones of course is a need for importance, significance or ego, where you get recognised for what you do. Speaking 100% gives you that when you do a cracking job, you’ve got four needs met. Now you go to Maslow’s top of the pyramid and he talks about self-actualisation, in other words rising to another level of growth as a human being and the other one is contribution to other people.
Which, of course, speaking allows you to do.
Six basic human needs met are incredibly addictive. When you get good at it and you start connecting with people all you want to do is do more of it. And that’s the opposite of somebody who is fearful they’ll come up with every excuse to avoid it.
Harms: I love that and as a side note, there’s a little bit of an educational piece on how addiction works. That is fascinating just as a general topic.
Dr Ro: Great point Harms.
You want variety, you get drunk a lot. You want to get connected and start to get drunk and talk to people and you get connected. Suddenly inhibitions go through the floor as I can connect with loads of people. But when I’m sober, I’m afraid to do that.
That’s two things there. I’ve got variety, connection, then I’ve got if I’m loud and drunk I can get attention from people, so people often get a lot of attention when they’re drunk. Which, of course, is significant. They can be rude, they can get angry, some people get violent. You’ve got three things there and then the fourth thing of course we’re talking about certainty well, I know if I get drunk I can drown my sorrows, I can get lost. I’m certain if I go to that space there I’m always going to have the same feeling, I can get lost in the world.
That becomes an addictive thing, speaking publicly contributing to the world or getting drunk, your choice.
One serves the world differently to the other one, you’re spot on about addiction there.
Harms: There are four stages there to start with a self-assessment. Now what do we do next?
Dr Ro: In order to tackle the blocks we have to identify, is it something strong enough that I want to deal with? If the answer is yes now we go to the next part of the process which is five things.
Number one is what is the biggest fear you’ve got, you’ve got to identify it, name it and shame it. The idea of standing in front of that audience or going onto that YouTube channel or getting the camera out. You saw Harms the CWI event we ran. We put 100 people through an event, four days and on the last day everyone got the cameras out, they only had to do one minute to camera and even after three days some people still had a block. It wasn’t the message as they’d learnt that.
It wasn’t they didn’t have the right approach as they’d learnt that. It [00:41:00] wasn’t that they didn’t know how to engage the audience because they learnt that the block was now the idea of looking into a tiny little screen and talking as though they were talking to an audience. That’s a different technological block as opposed to I’m just freaking scared of talking to the public. We have to narrow it down. That comes down to asking deep questions. Then you ask the question: how can I work on it?
Let’s say your fear is you’re not sure you’re going to always get the right message, you’re not clear when you’re delivering the message. The fear of what if I don’t get a clear message and I confuse my audience. Now we know that’s the block; how can I work on that?
What do I need to do to work on that particular area? You have to chip away at that first. Apart from that, this is a classic objection solving process.
Apart from that, what else might stop you becoming a professional speaker or speaking in public. Number two is then how can you work on that? What tools, what resources do you need to put in place to help you work on that, number three is who can help you?
This is not something easily resolved on your own because you can’t often see, you have your own perception of how it looks. You might be seeing the block and the way you articulate it one way. This is one area that if you get coached on is this or have somebody guide you through a process so you can self-reflect, because otherwise, how do you know what the block is?
What I do with CWI I raise to your consciousness the typical things that come up and often when you’re going through the process of learning it you go, that’s it. Sometimes by having awareness you can self-coach to some degree otherwise who do you need to help you through the process?
Whether it’s an audio program, going to a seminar, working with a coach you need something to up skill that next level.
That’s number three.
Harms: I love that.
What I love in the training programme, which is Communicating with Impact, is in the process of group exercises by that very nature you have somebody there for that compressed focus time. Two, three, four minutes where this person can help you because often you know we are analysing each other objectively. How can they improve? What was the block, fear what, the thing stopping you here and in that four, five minutes you’re like wow okay, thank you for helping me the partner you were working with at the moment in time.
It just clicks in that moment because it’s difficult to be objective or be a silent witness to your own mind, your behaviour, what’s happening. This is a magical moment you spend time together, but that five minutes is the result you needed, and it’s worthwhile.
Dr Ro: I think to add to that as well whatever environment you do this in it has to be someone that you agree with from the outset you will take absolute honest feedback. So when we do it for example, as you mentioned when you go into that space it’s amazing how when you are narrowed down to a short timeframe and there is absolute transparency tell me exactly what you see, exactly what you hear, don’t filter it, you get instant feedback.
Whereas in the real world with a loud noise and people’s egos you might hear something from somebody a year later. If you want to add to that who can I get to help me that will give me honest, impartial, non-judgemental and without any other agenda feedback that’s where ideally you are doing it in an environment where it’s a seminar where everyone is agreed to that or you work it out with a coach to do that with you.
But that is vital if you want to up skill on higher-level speaking and what do you need to overcome to learn the skill? Is it you that’s the problem to overcome? If you say I keep getting my message wrong, I’m leaving them confused and I unload too much information as I’m so enthusiastic, what do you need to do to overcome that? It might be that you say the reason that I don’t want to get help is because I’m afraid of looking stupid, or it might be a financial reason. In which case, what could you do to get round that?
You may be investing in an online digital product to start with, which is cheaper that starts to get you going. You’ve got to find a reason strong enough to overcome those hurdles. For most people it is time and money and then you’ve got ego behind that as well. Understand what you personally need to overcome to allow you to go learn this because it is a skill that can be learnt.
Finally number five is offer to speak, having got to this stage and overcome those first four and now you are learning the skill, ideally paying for this because free stuff you get what you pay for. If you go online and follow these free videos you get to a certain point, but you won’t fine tune it and it’s when you pay someone you get that deeper level of value.
So again, whether it’s ] a coach or programme or reading a book although a book is good, it still doesn’t take you through and demonstrating the process of speaking will certainly help you. When you get to the end of level four now you need to be out doing this. Find a group, an individual, somebody that you can speak to, even if it’s like four or five people that are happy to listen to you online.
A friend of mine just recently launched online webinars which he now is turning to workshops and for about six to 12 months all he did was make excuses. I’ve known him for a long time as a friend and I just said, can I speak to you frankly as a coach? I said stop making excuses and it was about I’ve got to get enough people. I said, even if it’s one person you’ve made the first step and then you move to three.
Recently he has done a webinar in front of 40, 30 people, and he converted about half of those people which is a phenomenal conversion with some of the tools we taught him. Which he then charges a fee for and delivers for I think a day or two days, going from I don’t know if I should do this to everything is perfect.
It’s never going to happen, you’ve got to do it. That’s the last step is going out and starting the process of speaking, breaking the flow. It’s like releasing the valve on a dam and the water starts to flow through and now it’s really opening up and the valve starts to release. The water represents in this metaphor, the words that you’ve got to share with other people and then you’ve just got to learn to communicate with impact.
I think that’s probably the final message.
Harms: I love that. I think there’s a really important message in all of those five steps there.
You mentioned fine tuning and only very recently myself and yourself take it very seriously. We do indoor climbing and we’ve done steps one to three. Now we’re asking ourselves, how do we find tune this?
We’ve got a climbing coach who’s going to just work with us two and help us find tune. That’s who can help us then what do we need to overcome this skill and the coach will give us advice.
Dr Ro: I used to climb a lot, but it’s been a while, so us going back on the wall again is quite nice because it’s reactivated. It’s like a speaker, somebody wanting to speak years ago and now you’re back in space again. Here we are back in the climbing space.
Harms: At Communicating with Impact a lot of people never ever physically speak in front of a group of people, but you allow them that first step, come onto the stage there are a whole bunch of people there to support them and then they make their first speech.
They share their message to a small group of people for the first time ever, which is beautiful. Now you mentioned this need to master and master the ability to communicate with impact and, let’s address that last point as an action step as we close this podcast.
I want to leave the listeners with something that they can physically do now they understand how they can move past their blocks. To help encourage listeners to go and actually smash through this fear that they have on public speaking including these other areas which we’ve spoken about where the opportunity for our listeners is now in relation to public speaking.
Now I remember at your live CWI event you have a section there where you explain to the audience 10 different ways in which a public speaker can go on to generate revenue in the thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions. We don’t have time to cover all 10 but as a general overview to get the listeners fired up to get them encouraged to take this seriously, overcome any fears they have, because they could be missing an incredible opportunity here which could transform their personal, family business life.
The main question is what does public speaking allow someone to go on and achieve for them, their family, business, revenue, income, brand?
Dr Ro: It falls into three categories.
You either speak for free and you simply there to share a message. Raise awareness and inspire people. I did this for years. I never even looked to monetise it. I was out speaking at colleges, I went to universities and I was invited into women’s groups, I went into speak to the over 70s and pensioners.
Any opportunity I had to talk about personal development and building self-confidence and beliefs I was doing that 25, 30 years ago. I loved it.
I never at any point thought about monetising it. It’s only in recent years that I think it has become for younger people I can make money as a speaker, where back in those days we didn’t think about that. The second one is speaking and getting paid, and physically getting paid for the work we are doing. The third one is speaking to raise money for other people, speaking on behalf of a charity for example.
When you’re going out and you are a professional or a public speaker, or just a voice it might be that you’ve just got passion for a particular charity and you have a skill about that charity and you want to talk about it.
The first one is sharing a message and that, by the way, in itself, is one of the components within CWI, the second one is getting paid. So now you’re doing something with a view to earning from it, and that can be categorised in different ways, and the third one is you are sharing a message, but you’re raising money so it requires a different skillset.
You can teach but you don’t have to raise money but if you’re charity speaking now it’s a different skill set needed.
Harms: I think why it’s useful for someone to be aware of this is if you have never entered the public speaking realm you may not know where the best place is to place my message.
Is it okay to do all three? Is it okay to focus on one?
Can you get paid and do some stuff charity?
Dr Ro: Personally, I have done and continue to do all three and I have done from a young age that charity side didn’t come until a little bit further down the line. I started with actually doing a lot of stuff for free and then I got to a point where people said we will pay you to come in.
When people come to me and say I run a charity or I have a cause we’re really passionate about we’d love you to come and speak, Dr Ro, would you do that. I always said yes and I think the charity side came that little bit further and part of that was because I had the confidence to be able to deliver my message differently.
Harms: If you were to break down all three what is a quick advantage or what’s an added description for each of those items?
Dr Ro: Free talks allow you to raise your profile in the sense that you are out there to talk about a subject and this is the whole point about don’t be someone that is very broad. Choose your subject and get recognised for it. People generally know me for two things.
One is personal development and communication and the other one is worth development property, so two broad categories, but two narrow fields inside of that. In personal development my main thing is communication, and within that you have communication on the internal level, working on beleifs, values and externally to communicate effectively on a corporate level or a personal level.
On the wealth area it would be specialising in property as an investment. You’ve got to choose what your area is and if you do it for free to start with, you create credibility and you sharpen your acts. The same conversation I had with somebody today is do you want to be a trainer or do you want to be a speaker because you can go out and train people and you’re recognised for that particular thing, because you are training people.
Or a speaker is a lot more versatile. You’re talking to a subject in a much broader way and it has inspirational elements to it, it has subtle skills that maybe a trainer doesn’t need to use or have.
Harms: I love that distinction because this is something I couldn’t understand, and you’ve tried to explain to me there’s two types of speakers.
I think one type of speaker is the way I like to think about it when you go to a work environment and then you’re sent off to do some training and no disrespect to those people speaking but they are trainers. They spend a week with you and they’re just training you and sometimes a days do feel like they’re dragging on and on and on. You’re grateful to be at the workplace, but you’re also thinking actually, I would like to be back in the workplace because it’s so boring. Now that’s a trainer who is properly just delivering a message or educating typically then the speaker on the other hand is a different dynamic person.
Now the speaker is someone who I would sit in front of and Ro I class you in this category as well as you spend three days with them, but it feels like three hours. The day just flashes by and it’s gone in an instant. They’re hooked.
You move seamlessly from section to section and I’m so grateful, but it is probably because you’re a co-host with me as some of the feedback we’ve had on the Seekardo show, which is the hour and half that we speak for just flows. It just flies by and we always thank you for those reviews.
The speaker can talk dynamically and versatilely, they can speak about anything they’re passionate about and engage and excite you and then leave you thinking, I would love to hear the person talk again.
Dr Ro: Even when you’re doing free talks you can do free talks as a trainer and that’s a great skill to develop. Training is like educating.
Of the 38 components within the communication with impact system there is one component called styles this is where if you don’t follow this path, you will never get the subtleties of this. There are four styles of delivery.
38 components of communication of which one of those components is called the speaking style, but even within there are four styles and one of those styles is called the messenger. The messenger delivers normally factual information that’s what a trainer typically will do. That’s one very specific type of speaking and it’s a great skill to have and you can do it free and yes, you can earn money from doing it.
If you’re starting out to do talks you can do both of those. You can be a technical speaker with inspiration, you can be a technical speaker who just basically trains. You deliver content to your audience as opposed to engaging with them. Or you just go out you just do one-hour two-hour shorter inspirational type talks and you’re honing in on those skills. You’ve been out with me to some events where we drove to Bristol some years ago.
Harms: I feel like we drove three hours, there and back six hours in length for an hour and half talk and you know you delivered that talk for free as a favour to the host of that particular event to support her and her audience, which is remarkable. You turned up as a speaker for the event and the room was small and the message here is you’re still doing it.
The travel time was longer than the talk itself, but a speaker having done it for three decades you wouldn’t you didn’t have really done that. I’m just pulling that as insight from this conversation we’re having for speakers who are maybe aspirational, starting out, they may be feeling like it might be five people I’m going to speak to, it is going to take me four, five hours to travel there is it worth my while?
What’s a message to those people thinking that?
Dr Ro: What if one of those five people is a Les Brown or a Barack Obama or Lynne twist who is raising millions of pounds for charity.
You just never know, it is somebody in the audience that gets inspired by your message that had to be there at that moment in time and you’re right, we didn’t have to go that night. It was a small group. But we got there, the message was the important one, and even since then we’ve had people come back and give really positive feedback off the back of that.
You just never know when you’re out in front of an audience who you’re going to say what to and how it is going to change their life.
Had I not turned up to that hotel in London that you were at you wouldn’t be doing this right now. I think when the opportunity presents itself just go do it. In my early 20s, I was doing a presentation for people that were working with young people and young people generally don’t rock up to speeches and stuff like that.
I went to India and spent 11 days going to 10 cities and we went to one event where it was laid out for 100 people and the organiser had got the marketing wrong and we had no flexibility. I could only be in that city and out the same day and they got the times wrong.
Out of 100 people, six people turned up.
I flew to India and I’m doing this tour of India.
I just chalked it up to it’s something you remember and it’s a learning lesson. This is part of the system now, by the way, as you know, it’s the setting and it’s making sure everything is prepared.
All these experiences I’ve had over the years where things didn’t go well, although it was a bit of a shock I slowly gathered that and then re-worked that into an approach so that speaking now isn’t just about turning up.
It’s about all the preparation and it’s about the right environment and all those things when you get there so free talks are a great way to start working on those skills. We’re not doing it for money we’re doing it for the currency of knowledge and experience of building that up.
Then we go to charity work.
Now charity has the same feeling you’re going out and you’re giving a talk and sharing a message, but now you’re standing for something that may be not yours. It represents somebody else’s, so your message is now something you believe in but you are representing that for somebody else because you have a better way of articulating it than them.
You have a way of communicating in a way that allows them to raise money. Maybe it’s not appropriate for them to do it and better to but have someone from the outside do it. You’re raising people’s awareness and asking them to give either their time or their money, and you’re touching the hearts and you’re touching the pockets.
It’s a great form of public speaking and I always found it interesting because I had to move myself out of the equation and really think about what the cause was. It was another level of talking for me and I started to learn to ask the questions that you’ve heard me talk about when I talk about the preparation.
Often we talk about what the outcome is. When you and I go into a talk we’re thinking what’s the outcome for us and the audience, but with a charity what’s the outcome for the charity as well. Again, brilliant form of speaking, but don’t expect any monetary benefit from. It’s about you contributing really, more than anything else.
The last one is getting paid.
Harms: I want you to talk about this but mainly because I want them to feel encouraged by some of the rewards and as humans sometimes one of our biggest rewards is earning money from doing work. Doing work via a public speaking format can be very lucrative.
Dr Ro: A lot of people don’t like to talk about money, et cetera but we need to be candid about this. You can earn a lot of money as a professional speaker and that’s why it’s a skill worth learning and taken to another level.
I had a conversation with somebody and the question was do you want to be a trainer for this company or do you want to be a lifelong speaker where you can inspire people and at the same time create money in the future if you want to?
It’s changing his perspective on how he looked at it, but again let me simplify.
Harms: A lot of people may not be aware on how public speakers get paid, but the more aware in terms of the general public when we look at our ex-prime ministers and presidents, it’s well reported that they go on and earn 10 X what they would have within their Prime Minister as a salary having gone on to be public speakers.
The Clintons are similar examples: they go on and enter the world stage and they get paid hundreds of thousands of pounds.
That is, of course at the top scale, but that’s the realm we’re talking about here.
Dr Ro: I know it is hard to swallow.
I remember the first time I earned in an hour what I used to earn with a PhD as a civil engineer in a year. When you get to that point, it almost becomes silly to think I spent nine years getting to that point in my career and then went off and developed.
I did speaking parallel whilst I was studying to do my PhD so I graduated at 21 years of age and my first time I spoke was probably 18, 19 years of age, and that was to some college kids off the back of me reading personal development books.
I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I thought this was brilliant. I wanted to share this with people and without realising this has been my passion since I was born. I carried on doing it and then through my degree I was doing it in the background just talking in colleges et cetera but again just going off and doing it because I enjoyed] it.
Doing my PhD I started really nailing it when I had to do technical presentations without realising I was bringing in new skills, I won awards with the Institute of civil engineers. I went down to the main headquarters in London where I had to present. But parallel to that I was still doing personal development talks and then I started doing business and network marketing business which took me to another level.
Because now I’m having to speak in front of all sorts of people, and I’m basically saying, come join my network, buy my product, I’m learning all these skills and this is in my 20’s my early 20s, always through to mid-20s and then continue doing it. I got out of the network marketing business but still carried on talking. Back in those days if you were to get paid as a speaker it was like maybe one day I can be like a Les Brown but it seems so far away, whereas today, it’s achievable so much quicker as you can hone the skills quicker.
If you try and boil that 30 years down there are five or six different ways to get paid as a speaker. One is a keynote speaker where you have a very specific skill set. This is more for those of you skilled in a subject you recognise as an expert as I was and I guess still am to some extent in my speaking, but also back in those days as a PhD. I don’t get invited to speak as a professional engineer anymore because I chose to step away from that but I did do previously and you can get paid for that and I’m not going to start talking specifics about numbers, but it can be hundreds into thousands of pounds on an hourly basis. Then you’ve got running workshops.
This is where you can deliver a workshop and be paid for doing that, so you’re now paid for the workshop itself, as opposed to being paid on an hourly basis. That’s the trainer.
Number three is being paid by the hour.
Now I haven’t really ever done this because mine has nearly all been around a product or service, or being engaged to go in and deliver at a conference or run a workshop where I say this is the fee for doing it. As opposed to an hourly rate, you can do it. It’s more of a coaching style speaking than actually being paid by the hour but it’s a mechanism for generating revenue if you wanted to do that.
The fourth one is based on commission and sales. Now this is where the level of earnings go up, you’d be paid a base rate as a speaker, but part of that then includes the ability for you to get a commission on top of that.
Let’s say you spoke for a day for a company and it’s about their subject. It could be trading the stock market, selling healthy vitality products, selling properties off plan, property education, promoting a new digital product. It can be any subject and it has to be a company that specialises in that, they say we will pay for the day £4,000 which is not an unusual figure for something like that.it is only four or £5,000 because you’re now going to be paid a commission on the sales that you do.
If it was a paid event where there is no commission you might charge more for the day, but if you’re speaking to sell something, you’ll get paid on commission and this is where the skill of sales comes in. It’s a totally different level. Now you’re talking to tens of thousands of pounds if not more, depending on the size of the product you’re selling, the value of the product and how your commission structure is based. That one requires not just public speaking skills but now the sales skills.
Harms: Whether you enter an organisation companies are in desperate need for people with the ability to communicate and have within the communication repertoire the ability to sell their product, and communicate their product effectively in order to get that sale to with the mechanism we have now this wider reach is incredibly powerful.
I think by harnessing that particular component itself, and as a specialist area it can be extremely lucrative because companies are in desperate need for it.
Dr Ro: Number five is being paid for creating and running your own seminars, so this is where you create something that has extreme value, you don’t do this to make money.
You do this to create value for people and off the back of you create value you will receive in abundance back to you financially and also emotionally. You create something here that has value, which you then put a price against and if you deliver enough of that with enough value you get paid for that.
We ran a CWI event last year. It cost 50 or £60,000 to run the event now a lot of people wouldn’t do that because you’re charging a ticket price and the ticket price ultimately if it’s correctly priced will cover your costs and give your profit after you’ve paid various people out.
That is a seminar-based business where you are the speaker and you will get your biggest, in theory, your biggest profit there if you have enough volume coming through the business. But it could just be a small seminar with 20 or 30 people and it makes you maybe five, £10,000 profit, which is what you’re looking for.
Again, it’s taking your skill, articulating a message, formulating it and giving lots of value and the last one is being paid to create digital products and selling digital products online. Which is something I’ve done for several years, but with Harm’s help and Kyle digitising some of the products that we’ve got.
When I first met them your words were you’re like a content machine we need to digitise that, so that’s what we’ve been doing.
Now people can buy the CWI program for example as a digital product instead of coming to a seminar.
Harms: I love that last one because it’s slightly different to the first five because with the first five you turn up and you get paid for that moment in time and then you leave. Whereas the magic with selling a digital product is you have a public speaking voice which is constantly occurring in the background.
I may say I want to hyper focus and learn about this particular subject, so I discover that subject and I’ll purchase a particular product. I’m experiencing their public voice through this digital product, but they haven’t had to turn up that time.
It’s turning the public voice into almost a voice that can appear and you don’t have to be there to talk every single time.
Dr Ro: I continue to coach people to become professional speakers and have done for many years and not many people ask the question, but I’ll tell you to give you an idea for those listening that it is not unrealistic.
I’ve helped people go on to earn £100,000 a year very quickly to over £1 million per year. Someone that I taught probably about six, seven years ago he has a business that turns over to two, three million a year now. You just have to learn the skills you’ve got to learn the Communicating with Impact process, it’s not just about I need to know how to talk to people there’s a lot more to it.
Through CWI we’ve seen people become better communicators, parents, sales people, better money raisers, working with charities, better managers at their companies.
It is an amazing skill and all wraps into public speaking. If you’ve got an idea at all whether you want to take it as a book, product or message this is the time to do it, because the world is genuinely looking. People are sitting at home watching Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, there are apps on the phone that literally bring things to their attention now, and you have a captive audience.
So why not take that message out and learn to do this properly, it is extremely beneficial on a personal, emotional and financial level.
Harms: One part of the motivation is you have an incredible message you want to share and you know money is not an object you want to share regardless and hopefully by processing what we’ve shared in terms of removing those blocks you’re now motivated to go do it.
The other motivation and is equally as important is if I learned this incredible skill, removed my blocks and fears I will then go on to have a lucrative business, personal career, and that income coming in will drastically change my life.
We have so far discussed public speaking, how it has changed, why people still don’t do it, but also then how can people overcome these blocks and fears that they have.
We’ve just spoken about the topic of the ability for people to grab and sieve this opportunity that’s available to them now in this ever-evolving public speaking world. Now the big question that may be in your mind is how?
The big question I have now as a listener is how do I go do it?
What does someone like me who has a desire to do this, go on and take the first step in developing this skill set and in the back of your mind, there may be a niggling question which says, can someone actually learn this?
Are people not just born with the ability to public speak?
Dr Ro: Yes 100%.
Don’t feel daunted by standing alongside somebody that you thought was an amazing speaker, you don’t have to be that person. You just have to be you.
I have sat with you on numerous occasions not to be critical, but just come share with you my thoughts but also see how much you’ve grown as an observer of people and we looked at videos and I’ve said what do you think?
You’ve said they know their stuff, but it just doesn’t feel authentic to me, that’s the important thing. Is it authentic? I think the skill is learnable, but you don’t have to be a clone of someone else.
Harms: I think that’s the key.
I think how many people go about public speaking is possibly the misconception that I have to be able to speak confidently in front of somebody like this person. And then when they can’t be that person they are presenting themselves in an inauthentic way.
Again they end up in the cycle of actually, maybe I shouldn’t be a public speaker, maybe it’s not for me.
Dr Ro: Cloning is a term I hear being used and cloning and modelling are different. You’re trying to clone what somebody does. So yes, you can learn the skill. I spent some time this morning with somebody just really firming up their commitment to wanting to speak, as opposed to being this idea of being a trainer for somebody else.
I asked the question do you feel you have got a message? If the answer is yes, then let us get on with this don’t be focus on the obstacles, focus on what you need to overcome this and learn the process and the process is very specific.
Harms: Talk us through Communicating with Impact which we refer to a CWI for shorthand and maybe throw in there in why people misunderstand public speaking. I thought public speaking meant I have the ability to stand up in front of a group of people and talk confidently, whereas I discovered there’s a slight error here when I turned up to Communicating with Impact and realised okay, this is a system.
This is a process and it’s not just about standing up and talking to someone.
Ro if somebody came to you and said CWI what is that?
Dr Ro: A lovely example is I spoke to a very dear friend of mine and she’s just watched the CWI online webinar. That’s about an hour and 20 minutes. Now you and I both know that webinars can vary from half an hour two and a half hours and the threshold is around an hour. I said to her can you give me direct feedback and forget the fact we’ve known each other for years.
She said it was amazing.
I watched it and then it was finished, I was completely consumed. There wasn’t a moment through the webinar I felt myself drifting off. I have literally spent through Covid watching webinars and yours was the first webinar I have sat through from start to finish all the way through without stopping it going away and then thinking I won’t come back to it.
She said it completely engaged me and what it showed me is what you’re teaching is exactly what you’re doing, you communicate with impact and you’re hooking somebody.
That’s what Communicating with Impact is about, it’s delivering to people, whether it’s a digital product or in front of them you’ve pulled them into the conversation so they feel part of it. They feel like you’re talking to them directly. They’ve understood the message, they understand where it sits in the whole perspective of their life, it has meaning to them and they haven’t felt that you’ve abused that space because it is a very private space.
That was a classic indication of how even though I wasn’t there I was still able to communicate with impact and it’s all with an authentic message. Now the system that we’ve talking about has 38 components but think of it like this, when Harms and I are speaking at the moment whilst we’re talking, we as individuals are the people actually doing the communication. That’s the you element of the CWI process. You the person delivering and that involves essentially three major areas and that breaks down into more components.
The three areas are preparation, the preparation for what you’re speaking about then you have the state management. What’s your emotional state before you communicate and then there’s the communication itself.
So how can I connect, how do I communicate to you in such a way that I deal with your objections, I keep my tonality right and all these clever things. Most people are obsessed about that. I bet Harms when you first went to speak in your job all those years ago you were more concerned about getting it right than actually thinking about having delivered and connected with my audience and kept them engaged. Was it more about you or about them?
Harms: It was all about me, how I felt. What was I going to say.
I was only dealing with one area of what you described there.
Dr Ro: It’s not that bad it’s just because of this fundamental fear that we have about fear of speaking in public, so I focus on making sure I am right, but we forget there are two other components and that is them.
The people or the person we’re delivering to, i.e. the other person receiving the message information from us. If we’re only focused on ourselves, we can have a meeting having a great message, but we still haven’t connected with them. That takes me to the next three major areas. We have three rings.
The central core area, which is you them and the environment, then a middle radial which has these eight major components and the outer radial we have approximately about 30. When we’re talking about them this is the process any time you communicate with somebody you have to go through three stages.
Number one is you’ve got to connect with them if you don’t get the connection you won’t get number two, which is the impact. You get impact in specific ways. Once you get impact now you can influence them which is the third component. We connect, we get impact and then we influence and this is where the sales comes in.
Of course, the third one is the environment where you are speaking, so within the environment we have two main components, which is setting and we have the technical aspects. Have I got the right equipment? Have I got the setting right?
There are 30 components outside that, that we go into and drill down into everything from sales, mind reading, NLP, understanding authenticity, understanding communication types, personality types, vocal power, your vitality, getting your message right, engagement.
It’s a whole mass of different tools brought together when used right, you become an amazing public communicator.
Harms: It is a culmination of over three decades of knowledge and expertise in this area, which you’ve discovered which you are now unpackaging for somebody over three days, so how do you give somebody a snapshot and explain to them what communicating with impact is.
Typically somebody thinks isn’t public speaking communication?
But having listened to what Ro has described public speaking is an output of mastering this communication system. You look at all the components, you understand how they all work, practice them and then develop them and then one of the outputs you will be able to do is public speaking.
Another output is you can now sell something as part of the public speaking process and experience that you’re going through. Just like another output is you can now communicate with your children more effectively. Just like another output is you can go to work and do a presentation in front of the board or senior managers or staff.
It’s an output, but it comes from this foundational process.
Dr Ro: I spoke to someone recently who went through the online programme, which is the eight modules breaking down and he said he’s even using it just on phone calls. He said, my phone calls have become more effective because now I’m following a system whereas before he went on lots of tangents and now I can control that phone call in such a way that I get the best results from the phone call.
Harms: Think of public speaking as one of the ways that you can get what you want around this topic but the foundation to that is learning how to communicate with impact.
What can they do now? What is the process?
Dr Ro: What you learn is the importance of simplifying the messages so in your delivery people retain them as opposed to they go away and there’s too much stuff.
Even six is one more than I would usually do but we’ve got the privilege of having the show notes that allows me a little bit of slack here, but essentially the first step is to decide on the subject. Don’t go broad, go narrow.
Narrow down to a specific subject that you want to talk about and it’s anything you’re passionate about. It might be that you choose to speak in several areas, but for now choose your first primary subject and for me it was personal development and self-belief.
Number two take the communication test. I’m not aware of any other communication tests out there which is partly why we developed it, so I created something along with the support of Harms and Kyle to take this online something called the CWI ultimate communication test.
I would say it takes about seven minutes to take the test.
There are 56 questions, but there’s one lead question which is what area do you want to focus on first. Why is it important? There isn’t really a test like this anywhere in the world. It gives you the opportunity to narrow down into one of these eight key areas that you need to work on and it will help you identify where you’re coming up short and that’s great because it means an area to work on.
It then goes to a video with me saying, hey, look, this is the area you need to work at the moment here are some suggestions that you can start to do now and then there’s some nice descriptions below that Harms helped me shape up, which essentially tell you what things you need to be working on right now in that specific area.
I think that’s vital, it’s a free test.
Harms: What I personally love about it is once I do it I am able to discover one key area of your communication systems that I need to improve on in order to increase my ability really to communicate with impact.
You mentioned a handful of components. It will give me one of those.
Dr Ro: Number three is starting to work on the key components and now you know what area that you come up short on then you need to focus and work on that and that’s where the test will give you the first nudge.
If you have the time to do that off the back of the test go and watch the webinar because webinar now drills further down the rabbit hole on [01:35:00] this and it will give you insights you can start to implement immediately. That’s the purpose of the webinar to start to give you some tools to work.
Harms: When Geena took the test, my wife her result was influence. That said to her, she has to work on this area of communication known as influence which is one of components from the communicating with impact system.
We had a laugh and said, actually that’s very relevant right now because we’ve got a little boy and you know influence is something she will need to handle him.
Dr Ro: It’s influence at any level for the parent or if you’re in a business and you want to influence someone to buy a product or service from you. Most people we’ve had the result back have said that is so accurate to where I am at the moment and that’s the beauty of this test.
Harms: Think personality test, but it’s specifically focused around and it’s the only one of its kind around communication and identifying an area of communication to improve on right now.
Dr Ro: That takes me to step four.
Having established out of the main eight components which area you need to work on you’ve got a few choices. Do the webinar because it will start to drill you down a bit further and give you some work to do. It will give you a structure, because if you go off randomly trying to improve different things there is no structure to it, so the CWI process makes you do it in a logical procedure which you can then choose to quickly or slowly.
Off the back of the webinar it is up to you whether you want to take it further. There is a paid program. It’s an eight module programs that’s six to seven hours’ worth of material it’s very intense. It is me literally taking you through the different eight components and breaking it down for you so you can start to implement it in your personal life and your business. If you want to improve on sales.
If you want to just become more professional as a speaker or you’re an existing coach or mentor or speaking and you want to take it to another level.
It’s great you can work from home and with it you also get a full set of the slides.
Number five is practice and apply this to anywhere, your relationship, in your business, in, your job coaching call.
There will be so many elements to this as my friend was saying about phone calls you just apply it. You’ll be surprised how deep this sits it’s so unconscious that you find yourself even in a meeting and it starts to go off track and you pull in some of the elements of this and you will find yourself being called upon to become the person leading meetings and steering things because you’ve got a systematic approach to it and it naturally puts you into that space of being a professional speaker in that respect.
So get out and do what you’re learning and then the last one is if you want to go deeper then you will start to look at the full 38 components, and that’s where you might want to look further at our CWI live events which are going online shortly.
Then when you get to a point where you’ve got a skill you can just transcend at any level. And then there’s the rabbit hole when you really take this to a completely different level and that would require more time and effort put in to make that happen.
I think that’s a good start as it’s not about public speaking. It’s about as we said several times learning the skill of [communicating and then bringing that into your public speaking.
Harms: Thanks for defining that Ro.
Something which we are passionate about in my particular businesses by learning that you can apply public speaking to position yourself as an expert or authority around selling your own product and service around your own business and that’s one of the most incredible outputs you can do. It’s your business.
You are the face of it, and nobody is going to be able to sell your personal business better than yourself and that comes with a fundamental skill of communicating with impact.
Dr Ro: Listening to this, hopefully you’ve been inspired by the idea of speaking publicly and if you’ve had it on the back of your mind for a while, it means that something in your soul has driven you to this point to listen to this podcast go and do it.
Go back over some of the structural elements of it and break that down and start implementing it. You know the subject even better start to choose where you want to deliver this and just go and see it through.
The nice thing with going through the CWI process however far you go down the rabbit hole with us is that you get tools that you’ll take ahead for life. And if you know anybody that wants to do this or wants to learn this, get them to listen to this podcast as this transcends all areas of your life.
But don’t hold it back, don’t live in regret and then five, 10 years’ time think I wish I’d done that.
Now is the time to do it, this is really a great time to be taking a message out into the public space and I really hope to see you on the programs and if you ever get to a live event give me a shout and say we went through podcast because you’ll get the chance to interact with me as well live.
Whether it’s online or face-to-face.
Harms: I want to hammer home the fact that communication is fundamental in all areas of your life and on a personal note, which I’ll read off and which you share with people who are just about to embark on your communicating with impact experience and journey is a personal note from yourself.
Which is I Dr Ro, encourage you to take this opportunity to learn how to communicate and we the whole team behind communicating with impact believe as the world around us evolves through technology, globalisation and the changes in the job market, the reality is communication itself is the new currency.
Which Ro describes his to audiences. Who will thank you for this? Relationships will thank you for this, companies will beg you for this, especially in the sales arena. Your children will wish you had it and society as a whole needs it. The time of being mesmerised by movie stars, leaders, influencers and heads of organisations in my personal opinion and for us here at the Seekardo show that time is over it’s time to take that control and that mesmerisation back into your own hands.
So regardless of what you want to communicate for and be better in just simply starting with learning how to do it once and for all and simply as a result, your relationships, your finances, your career, your business and day-to-day life and your public speaking will never look the same again.
That’s a message from Ro and all of us here at the Seekardo show who are passionate about the topic of communication.
Hence, we communicate via the power of podcasts.
From myself and Ro we are signing off.
We shall see you in the next episode.
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