The quality of your presentation, plus the size of the audience, creates the level of attraction you create as a speaker. So the first thing we talked about this morning is the stage effect. The stage effect is the unfair advantage that you create.
For yourself, by standing in front of an audience, and I just want to give you a little bit more information about that. The stage effect is a really fascinating thing. The stage effect is kind of like it works like this.
The quality of your presentation, plus the size of the audience, creates the level of attraction you create as a speaker. Does that make sense? So what that means is that the bigger your audience, the more attractive that’s going to happen, and I’ve noticed this very much in my career, because when I go out on tour, when I launch in a new country, I might go on a tour in a new country and nobody knows me, and so I go there and some of the audience, some of the events might have 20 or 30 or 40 people, but then some of those people end up coming to one of my workshops.
Those people have a certain attitude toward me when they come to the workshop, as my career in any given country gets bigger, like when I came here to Tal some years ago, and I did an event, and there were about 2 500 people in the audience.
They treat me differently than the people who saw me with 30 people, because there’s something powerful about people watching you. The same thing applies to YouTube. Somebody sends you a video and it’s got four views, and somebody sends you another video and it’s got four million views. Which one are you going to watch? The views are the size of the audience, and so, if it’s got four million views, you’re more People are more likely to watch it if you’ve got five thousand people in the audience. It creates more attraction, and so what this means is that when you stand up in front of an audience and you deliver from your heart, you are creating a level of attraction that is far beyond what you can create one-on-one. If there are 10 people in the audience, it’s far more attractive than one-on-one.
This is so important because in marketing, there is no system of marketing that is more effective than personal contact. I’m not talking about effectiveness in numbers. There are many systems that can do better with numbers, but I’m talking about effectiveness when it comes to creating a lasting memory or impression with somebody.
Nothing will create a more lasting impression than face-to-face contact with somebody. But the problem is that face-to-face contact isn’t very practical. How many people can you meet and really connect with in a day? I mean, if you really have it back to back and you’re spending, I don’t know, if you live in England, you can kind of travel around pretty quickly and meet with a lot of people, because there are 60 million people living on a postage stamp.
But if you live in Canada, it’s a little different. I was working in Canada in Vancouver, and I had a client in England. We’d been doing business for a few years, but we’d never met before, and one day he called me and said, “Eric, we’re finally going to get to meet,” and I said, “Austin, what’s happening?” He said, “I’ve got a conference I have to go to and I’m coming to Canada.”
I said that’s great. I said, “What’s what’s the schedule?” He said, “Well, I’m flying into Toronto on Monday.” The conference is on Tuesday, and I’ve got Wednesday and Thursday free. So I figured we should get together for lunch, and I said, “Okay, um, when are you planning to come out to Vancouver?” and he goes, ” I have a rental car now.
Some of you will be aware of North American geography, but some might not. So I just want to put this in perspective. This is Canada for you. If you would like to drive from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, Canada, and you have three friends to do the driving with you, the car only stops for you to put petrol in it, eat, and sleep in the car.
It will take you four and a half days. It’s just that you know it’s a big place. What I’m getting at is that face-to-face contact in our world today is not going to be the most effective because it takes so much time, but the good news is that face-to-face contact is even more powerful than face-to-face. It’s even more powerful.
I am well. Let me ask you, and if you already know the answer, I don’t need your answer. If you don’t know me, you haven’t met me. Am I introverted or extroverted? Who thinks I’m pretty extroverted? Whoever thinks I’m pretty extroverted seems to think I’m up here on stage doing whatever. How many of you think I’m more introverted?
So the fact of the matter is, I am significantly more introverted than I am extroverted. You will notice that I will walk around here. I don’t walk up and talk to people all the time and introduce myself. I wouldn’t say, “I’m shy.”
I’m just introverted, and one of the greatest tools of the introvert is learning how to be great at storytelling and standing on stage, because then you don’t have to go meet people; they come and meet you. It’s different.
You meet them all at once. It’s an incredibly powerful thing, but that’s social. But what about economics? If I’m a business consultant and I’ve got my friend Derek Eric and Derek, and we’ve decided to buddy coach each other, we’re going to try and get through our stuff, and what we’re going to do is go to a networking event and have a competition to see who can meet the most people.
So introverted business consultant Derek goes off to the event with a pocket full of business cards and he’s meeting all the people. “So good to meet you. I’m so happy to meet you. Here’s my card.”
Do you have a card with you? Do you have one? Do you have a card as well? Can I have and and and Derek is meeting them all, and at the end of the day, he’s got a pocket full of business cards. On the other hand, I am an introverted Eric business consultant too.
I don’t want to do all that. I call the organizer and say hi. I’d like to come and speak at your conference. Here’s my show reel, here’s my bio boom, and I got myself booked as a speaker. I walked on stage.
I spoke for 45 minutes. I make people laugh, maybe cry, maybe think I give them distinctions on who’s going to have the most business cards at the end of this conference. I probably am, but wait a minute.
Let’s call it a tie. Let’s say we get back to our hotel room. We take out our stacks of business cards, we put them down, and it turns out it’s a tie. Okay, so we have to go to the tie-breaker round of the tie break around.
How does that work? Well, what we do is start calling the people we meet. So Derek starts picking up the phone and saying, “Hey, do you remember how we met at the conference?” It was over by the Starbucks.
I was the blue shirt. Do they remember him? Barely a few. I might see if I call them, pick them up, and go hi. It’s Eric. You’re Eric. Calling from the presentation, I’ve created a deeper, lasting memory.
Is it true? So the tiebreaker is that I have as many business cards as I have, but these business cards mean something. They connect. Something now, let’s go to the next tie-breaker round, where one can charge more for the same consulting services.
I want you to hear me about this. This is not a small thing. This individual does not charge 10% more than this individual.This person can charge many times what this person can charge. I didn’t fully understand this.
Until one day, I was doing an event in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I did my presentation at this event. Many speakers were there. I spoke for about two hours, and then these guys walked up to me afterward. I was standing with my wife.
They walked up and said, “We’d like to buy you lunch.” What do I know at this point? They want something, but I’m hungry, [laughs]. So I accept the lunch, and so we go off for lunch, and we’re sitting there at lunch, and they start trying to hire me to work for their company in California.
I don’t want to live in California. I live in the Dominican Republic and just to put this in perspective for you, how many of you are familiar with kiteboarding? So how many are not familiar with kiteboarding, but you are familiar with wakeboarding? So I’ll describe kiteboarding for you.
It’s like wakeboarding, right? It’s like wakeboarding; you’re on a snowboard type thing and wake boarding. The boat is pulling you right, but with kiteboarding, it’s like you control the boat and the boat can fly.
It’s an incredible sport, and I live on a kite beach where there’s wind for 10 months of the year. San Diego is beautiful, but the wind is seasonal and the water is. There’s a technical term for this. Let me just say I have it here.
I have it on my phone. I looked it up. It’s freaking cold. It’s really cold, and so if I don’t need a wetsuit even in December, I’m not interested in going to live there. I didn’t want the job, but they kept trying to get me to do it, and I finally said, “Look, what do you really want from me?” They explained what they were looking for, and I said, “Um.”
“Well, could we hire you as a consultant?” they asked. Actually, no, I’m not looking. I’m busy. I have a full calendar, so I’m not. I want to spend time with my family. I don’t really want to, but I don’t like saying “no” either, so sometimes I’ll say “no” with a number.
This is one of the smartest ways that any of you will learn to raise your prices. So you deliver so much value that people want to do business with you, and then you say no with a bigger number, and so I decided to do that as well.
Could we have you come in for like one week a month for six months? I wanted to say no, but I didn’t. Instead, I said sure, it’d be twenty thousand dollars for each week. They said Okay, I said, and then I said, “Wait.”
Whoa, whoa, before you say, “Okay, I don’t fly on the weekend, I’m with my family.” I fly on Monday and I fly home on Friday. So it’s three days and twenty thousand dollars and they said okay and so for the next six months.
I did this before and I would have sold it for a fraction of that amount if I was open to consulting, which I wouldn’t have sold, because I didn’t want it, but all of a sudden I found the stage effect had an immediate and powerful financial return.
It helps you sell things, it helps you get a job, and it helps you get that promotion. It helps you get funding for your business and it helps you recruit people for your company. It’s the ability to leverage that’s so powerful now. In order for that to work, though, we have to have some skills.
We talked today about how to get more comfortable, but now what we have to do is talk about some skills. One of the most important skills you can develop as a speaker is the ability to go to a conference and deliver a talk that will appeal to the highest percentage of the whole audience.
Irrespective of the topic, because you will occasionally get asked to speak at conferences where there’s a wide variety of people in the audience and your topic might only appeal to half or a third of the people, is that possible, and so the trouble is, you’d almost They’d be better off if the other people would just leave, because if they stay in the room with their naysayers’ energy, if they stay in the room checking their Facebook, if they stay in the room talking to each other, they’re going to ruin the energy of the room and they’re going to distract other people from your presentation.
You know, they don’t all sit on their side, right? So you get the interested person and the disinterested person and the interested person, and then it just messes up the room and you can’t make them leave, and so what you need to do is keep their attention, and so in doing that, we use something.
That is what we call broad-spectrum appeal, which is to deliver with broad spectrum.’s to be delivered in a way where the audience likes what’s going on, even if the topic isn’t a direct match for them. So there are some keys to this.
The first key use stories We already talked about it this morning. Stories are the operating system of the human mind. You see, if you tell somebody something, they’re not going to remember it, but if you relay the information to them in a story that triggers emotion, they’re going to remember it. You see, your mind has too much stuff to process, and so what does it decide? What to hold on to and what it will hold on to is anything that has an emotion attached to it.
Does this make sense to you? You see if you have a day that’s completely boring and you have no emotions about that day, Will you ever remember that day? No, but if you have a day where you had an intense emotional experience, like when somebody drove into your car, are you going to remember that day? You had an intense emotional experience.
If you have no memory, sorry, if you have no emotion, there’ll be no memory. If you have too many emotions, you could end up with PTSD. That’s ultimately, what it’s about is that the emotion is so intense that it writes the memory in so solidly that it can’t be shaken out. Once we begin to understand that emotion is the glue that causes memories to stick, once we get that, then we know that we have to deliver things in a story format which is the operating system of the human brain.
People come and go now and then, Eric. That’s all fine and good. You’re up there telling your stories. I don’t have any stories. Does anybody feel a little like that? They don’t have so many stories, or the other thing they say is, “Well, Eric, but I have to.”
I have to just deliver the numbers. I just I’m an accountant, and I have to deliver numbers to the board of the company. How do I write that story? Well, what you begin to realize is that delivering a story is about the way you deliver anything and-and what I mean is that if I have to come and deliver the numbers, then I can walk out here, and I can say, ladies and gentlemen, of the board, I have the numbers. We projected 14 growth for the quarter, and in fact, we achieved 16.
Well done everyone; that’s how it’s done right. In fact, that’s somebody doing it quite well in our world. It can be done a lot worse than that. How many of you have been to a conference where you’ve been sitting in the middle row and you’ve been wishing? Were you on the edges? Has anybody been to that conference? Right, so I’ve been there and so what? If that’s the case, what if? I walk out and go.
Ladies and gentlemen, the board, I’ve got the numbers from the accounting department today and I’m really excited about this, because when we set the targets, you’ll remember, we projected 14 growth for the quarter, and you might recall, I wasn’t a big believer.
I wasn’t so optimistic about that and so this morning, when I got the numbers from the accounting department, I held the envelope in my hand. I just took a moment before I opened it, and then I tore the envelope open and read the report, and then I had to read it a second time, and I’m not kidding.
I had to read it a third time to understand what happened. We predicted 14 percent growth on the horizon and ended up with 16 percent.Is it different? I created suspense, I created drama, and I made it a story.
It didn’t even take much longer, but I did it in a way that you will now remember it. In fact, I will be able to walk up to some of you in three or four days from now and ask how much growth did we post and you’ll go, “Yeah.” It was 16, right, like you will, because I gave it to you in the story.
So the first thing you have to understand is that it’s not even that you have to have so many stories. You have to recognise that the information needs to be delivered in story format. When it’s delivered in story format, it becomes memorable.
The only way you’re going to get anybody to remember anything is by linking an emotion to it. How many people in this room did you have in school in your first 12 years of school? You had at least one or two teachers that to this day, you would love to have lunch with them and thank them for the contribution they made in your life.
Keep your hand up if they were a storyteller. Nine times out of ten, more like 99999 times out of a thousand, these guys are storytellers. Isn’t it true? They’re totally storytellers. And the teachers that didn’t tell you stories, you don’t remember what they taught you. These days, you don’t even remember their name.
Do you know that I moved? I grew up largely in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the eastern side of Canada, and one of my teachers was When I was in grade three—and I know, every country uses different grades, but three means like eight years old, and so I was seven or eight years old, I was in his class, and he was brilliant at storytelling.
He understood everything about storytelling. One day, he understood the suspense. He used to sit in his chair and he would put his leg up on his desk. You know, kind of bad manners, don’t you think? So we often sat in our when he came into the class, and we’re eight years old, we’d put our feet up on our desks, and then he walked in one day, and he goes,
You guys, You think that’s funny, don’t you, and we’re like, yeah, you do it, so we can do it too, kid, thinking right, and he goes well. I’m going to tell you why I do it. He said one day, I was going out on my first date in my car, and I was driving along when I dropped my girlfriend off at her house after an incredible day, and then I turned around and I was so high.
I was so happy. I was so full of love from this experience. I’d gone out on my first date, my first in my car, my first time and I was driving along and I was heading low when suddenly something happened to the car.
Somebody had hit me a little bit from behind, and then the car started to slide, and it was sliding toward this tree, and I saw the tree, and it was the weirdest thing, because there was nothing I could do and the tree just kept getting closer and closer and it was almost like slow motion, and all of a sudden, I just slammed into the tree and then and then, and a little while later, I woke up on the road. The weirdest thing was that I’d never been able to do the splits before, but now I was doing the splits. The only problem was my knee was bent here and so this bone had been broken.
So badly that it was sticking out through the skin, and so now there’s a metal rod in my leg, and so when I sit at my desk while you guys are working, if I don’t lift my leg up on the desk, it becomes incredibly painful.
That’s why I put my feet on my desk. He says otherwise it’s considered incredibly impolite and I’m sorry I didn’t share that with you earlier. I was eight. I still remember that story.
Incidentally, I have not shared that story once on stage until this moment. I have never shared that story that I can think of. I still remember it from when I was eight. Then one day, he comes in and he goes, because one of the important types of stories to tell is metaphorical or allegorical, where you tell a story that the audience wants to hear.
This has broad spectrum appeal. You tell a story that the audience wants to hear, but that’s teaching something else. So one day he walks in and says, “Guys, it’s health class.”Does he have our attention? No, we’re
Eighth grade health class doesn’t get interesting until you’re 12. I mean, let’s be clear: 12-13 health class starts getting, you won’t admit it, but it’s starting to get interesting right. You’re eight years old, it’s not interesting, so he’s like, “It’s health class, nobody’s interested,” and he walks up to the blackboard and he takes out this thing and he’s like, “So he says all right now: does he have our attention?” Why does he have our attention? It was 1978.
No, it’s 1978. Okay, no matter how popular Harry Potter becomes, he will never have an impact on society.you watch any three hours of television in North America, any three hours of television news, any sitcom movie, you will hear a Star Wars reference.
That’s the way it is. He understood this in 1978 when, in 1978, he was drawing characters from the Star Wars universe and he did this. He goes now to this force field. Was he brilliant? This force field is your skin.
He says these are antibodies; they are defending you; and these are the germs and bacteria that are trying to get into your body and make you sick. When I was eight years old, that’s exactly what the blackboard looked like, because he understood how to tell stories.
Storytelling will change everything about the way you do a presentation. It will change everything about the way the audience receives it, and the beauty is that stories are broad spectrum automatically. The toughest audience I’ve ever had is the absolute toughest audience I’ve ever had.
I got this phone call. Eric, would you come and speak at this inner-city school in London? I will speak for schools pretty much unreservedly if I’m around. If I’m nearby, I’ll do it pro bono. If I’m around and it’s free, I’ll show up and do it.
The one thing is that when I’m doing pro bono speaking, I won’t always put in the same level of preparation as when I’m getting paid. I have things to do in my life, so if I’m speaking for free, I just kind of show up and wing it.
I’ve got enough stage experience that I can usually pull that off. It’s okay, and I get to the school and I haven’t done any research, and I walk in and the headmistress walks up to me and says, “Are you ready?” and I go, “Yeah totally.” I’m ready.
I said which kids I was speaking for, and she said all of them. I said, “Oh really, um.” What kind of school is this? Is it a high school because I could speak to all of them? You know, sixth, eighth, sixteenth, and eighteenth grades in high school.
I could do that, or is it a junior high? You know, thirteen to sixteen. I could do that, or is it like the last half of elementary school? You know, six to twelve, or you say, eight to twelve, or is it elementary school? I could do that.
“Six to five to eight or something I could handle,” I said, and she replied, “no, it’s a k-12.”I said k-12. That means for those who don’t understand k-12, It means that the youngest kids will be four years old and the oldest kids will be 19.
..They will be from 4 to 19 in one audience. I said really, how interesting. I said, “How long how?” How long do I have to speak for an hour and a half? They’re from 4:4 to 19. and I’m going to speak for an hour and a half? I said: “Okay, excellent, no problem,” and so immediately I started going through the system I was going through.
I have to if I’m going to create a wide range of emotions and feelings, which I need to figure out. What’s common to all these kids, like I’ve got it figured out, is the first thing that is common to all of them. All of them are common, all of them.
Now you have to tell the story slightly differently, but the fact is that four-year-olds do like stories. They like the same stories over and over and over again, and do 19-year-olds like stories? Sure they do.
In fact, telling layered stories is one of the most valuable skills you can develop in the world, and you all know this, even if you’ve never heard the term before: layered stories. This is what I’m talking about.
How many of you have ever watched a Disney movie with children and you’ve noticed that you suddenly realised as a child? You were watching a movie that was actually made for adults. Isn’t it true? You watch a Disney movie and there are weird little sexual innuendos and adult jokes that are all above the consciousness of children, so they’re telling two stories, and so this idea of being able to tell parallel stories or multi-layered stories is really valuable.
So I’m thinking, okay, I’ve got to tell a story and make sure it has four-year-old features and 19-year-old features in total. First thing, I decide, second thing: what else is common to all of these kids games?Do four-year-olds like games? Do 19-year-olds like games? Done deal. I’ve got it covered. Then I think about it.
I need one more thing. I require a thread.I needed some kind of thread that I could use, and I suddenly realised what it was, and I thought back to Mr. Kulczinski’s Harry Potter, because that was what was going on back then. If you were four years old, did you, like Harry Potter, damn right, you did if you were five or six years old.
Did you like Harry Potter? Absolutely if you were seven or eight, or nine, or 10 or 11 years old. Did you like Harry Potter when you were 12 years old? Absolutely if you were 13, 14, 15, 17. 18. 19. Did you like Harry Potter? You did, but secretly you read the books in a brown paper bag. You didn’t like them. But it was a bit, and by the way, if you were 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 years old, did you like Harry Potter? Damn right, you did. My wife and I lined up at a bookstore to buy the final Harry Potter book on release night at midnight, and we had to buy two copies because there was no way one was waiting for.
The other Harry Potter was pervasive, it was pervasive, and so then I went out and I delivered a talk for these kids, and I used stories. I played a game with them and I used Harry Potter references. I talked about guys. I’m going to show you some really cool stuff, and by the time I show you this stuff about your life,
All the other people will seem like muggles to you because you did that work for them, and at the end of my talk, the kids celebrated. I got a big clap from them. Everything was fantastic and normally, when I finish a talk, it’s the audience that wants to come over and say hello, take a picture, and do that fun stuff, but not this time.
This time it was the teachers, literally, and by the way, I just want to say that again, especially if there are any Americans here. Actually, I just want to be clear that you can’t have your head literally explode unless it actually explodes.
I just want to be clear about that. Something that bothers me every now and then is the teachers, literally. Which means they were actually right, literally cornered me. I’ve got my back against the wall and the teachers are surrounding me, and they’re going.
How did you do that? How did you do that? I can’t hold them for half an hour. One age group, I said, first of all, you need to relax. I said I only had to hold them once. I only had to hold them once, and I was new and I was novel, so you can’t blame yourself.
The first thing is, I only had to hold them once, and they were like, “Yeah, but still like.” I have to hold them for a whole hour for my class, and I just can’t do it. You held them for an hour and a half and all the age groups.
I said, “How did you do that?” and I broke it down for them. I said to you guys, it’s about storytelling. I told him about Mr. Kulczinski and no kidding. They immediately asked me if I could come back and speak at the school again for the teachers, because teachers are not being taught really effectively how to teach; they’re being taught how to babysit and how to run a curriculum.
Does this make sense, with such broad spectrum appeal? It all starts with the realisation that story is the ultimate language; it’s the ultimate operating system for the brain, and once you realise that, you make certain that your talks always include a percentage of story.
You know, you tell them some information and then you use a story to prove it, or you tell them a story and they get the information from inside the story. But the fact is that no emotion, no memory was done then.
The next thing you saw me do there is: what is the common thread among the audience? You always want to know. What’s the common thread of the audience as best you can figure out who your audience is and try to figure out? What’s common about them? And if you can’t find anything that’s common about them, that might be the common thing.
I will often come out here and do it right now. Shout out to some of the countries you guys are from. Let me hear it: Canada, United States, Mexico, UK, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Ukraine, Crimea, that’s that’s Russia! Now! Isn’t it that’s not funny? The point is, all of a sudden, I’ve found something where you’re all uncommon with each other.
Only I’ve made that common because you’re an incredibly international group and suddenly I can speak to you all about me. I’ve created something uncommon in common. Does this make sense? And so you want to look at what the common threads are in the company, in the audience, and then let’s get to delivery delivery.
It’s so straightforward, guys, and it’s not what most conference speakers are doing. How many of you guys were at the finals at the speaking academy? Okay, there were what, 14 or 15 speeches? Have you ever been to a conference where all 14 or 15 speakers appealed to you like that? What happened there? Do you know what many of you came up and said to me? Many of you walked up to me after that and said, “But why were they at a speaker course?” That’s what they came and said to me, “I’m like you, I should have seen him on that day.”
On Day One, some of them were very talented on Day One. Some of them were so shy and so nervous on the day, that if you handed them a microphone, it kind of looked like this, and that’s not what it looked like on the day.
Five did it, so one of the things that we showed them and that you saw was using a range of vocal techniques, not speaking in one tone. You’ve all been to that conference where somebody stands up and puts you to sleep for an hour, and they weren’t.
even a hypnotist, but they should have been. Ladies and gentlemen, and fellow toastmasters, I don’t mean, look, I love toastmasters. I truly believe that it is one of the things that each of you should do, which is to join a Toastmasters group and practice.
The challenge is that it’s a great place to practice, and what often happens is that people become formulaic speakers. If, if, if anybody ever comes up to me and says, “Did somebody do your course?” The only reason I want them to know that they did my course is because they were so much themselves.
You understand, and so when we talk about delivering, we’re talking about delivering with passion, about you delivering yourself to the audience, about you being who you are, about me being who I am.
I am not interested in the speakers that can come up and act really well. It can be fascinating, it can be wonderful. I saw a talk once. It was one of the best talks. I’ve never done I admire the speaker a great deal.
It was incredibly funny. It had hugely poignant moments in it, it taught really valuable stuff, and it was clinically perfect. It was one of the best talks I’ve ever done, but he’s just missing one thing: heart and soul.
It was perfect. He moved to the exact right place every time on the stage to say the right thing, and he did the right posture every single time for this thing that he did, and everything was clinical, and then when he wanted to go back and reference that story,
He went back to that same spot. This is all really powerful skills to have, but if the audience can tell that you’ve done this same talk a hundred thousand times, then it doesn’t feel genuine anymore and the heart connection is broken with the audience.
You should know your story so well that you can tell them with imperfection. You can tell them like you’re telling them at the dining room table. Yeah, I’ll be in the middle of a conversation. Sometimes I’ll be going.
You know, it’s like that time. You know, What is the archaeologist, Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones, doing? That’s right! What are the odds that I forgot Indiana Jones? What are the odds of that? They say that whoever you admired most when you were 11 years old is who you grew up to become, in Indiana Jones.
Go look at my website. I mean, I travel around the world, I’m interested in archaeology, and I’m in the bush with the animals all the time. There’s no way, I forgot his name, but I’ll do it right then.
Why? Because it breaks the story and makes it look like it’s fresh and coming out of my soul, it makes it and then the other thing is. Does it get the audience sitting on the edge of their chair going? We better pay attention because he sure isn’t right. It’s it.
It brings them in and the other thing that it does-and please hear me about this, because some of you have one of the greatest fears of speaking, and that is that you might one day be on stage and forget what you were going to say: who’s.
I’m afraid of that. It’s horrible that you’re standing up here and you’re going. Oh man, they’re never going to pay me now. It’s just that it’s horrible, but the good news is that the audience is paying attention. And so I will do my Indiana Jones trick every now and again to keep the audience alive and fresh, and then every now and again I will get distracted.
Something will happen and I’ll have how many of you have ever found yourself giving a presentation and your brain is talking to you back here. Yeah, every now and again, my brain will distract me and then I might forget where I was going and then I’ll go What was I going to do with that, and then the audience said, “You were going this way.”Isn’t it true? They will tell you that you never need to be afraid of it again. Don’t be afraid.
Just tell really compelling stories, and make sure they’re paying attention. Then you don’t have to worry about remembering ever again, because here’s the real funny part: in many of my trainings on speaking,
I will do that a few times, and then I’ll come to the part where I’m teaching that I do it. I’ll do it without showing them, and then I’ll go. How many times have I forgotten what I was going to say or where I was in the story, and they’ll say, “Oh, three or four times this morning,” and then I’ll say, “And then I’ll show them what I did,” and then I’ll say, “And how many of them were real and they have no idea.”
They have no idea, and I will tell you it does happen to me. I’ll tell you it’s ten percent compared to how often I do it, but it does actually happen to me and I’m never afraid of it. “Oh crap,” I think as I stand here.
Where was I going with that and I’ll look down at a section of the audience and they’re like, “oh, oh yeah?” Where was he going with that and then they’ll tell me and I’ll go? When I say thank you to them when they come up with the answer, how do they feel when I say thank you to them? Do they feel great? So you don’t have to worry about that.
You engage the audience when you tell stories. If you tell stories, you will have their engagement, but then you have to use the vocal range. You have to use your voice when it’s when a speaker stands up and does that, good evening.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m so glad that you came here for my talk today. What I’m going to do is attempt to kill you through boredom. I’m going to use this one vocal tone the entire time, which some of you currently find pleasant, but within a short time you will stop hearing my words at all. Who has seen that speaker?
We all have, and now here’s the good news for you: how many of you think it would be really cool to become a speaker? How many of you would like to do that? Here’s the good news. How many of you have all seen that speaker? You’ve all seen them think about this.
If you’ve seen that speaker, that speaker is making money as a speaker. I’m not kidding you, it’s like the easiest place in the world to be the best. So if you just walk out and be yourself, they’re not willing to do it, and so you can walk into any conference and instantly be one of the top speakers simply by being yourself, using your voice and telling stories that it’s been done.
It’s absolutely incredible. I just received this incredible.Lucas is a young man who discovered me on YouTube and ended up signing up for and participating in our wildfit program.never met him before and he did our wildtip program, but then he got more interested in my stuff and it turned out.
I was doing my speaking academy programme in Calgary, and so he signed up for it. He’s like 23 or 24 years old. This is pretty proactive behaviour for a 23-year old and he signed up for it and he showed up and he was so quiet and so reserved and then, at one point, he got up to introduce himself and he told this whole story that none of us knew. My team didn’t know it.
None of us knew it. He says he found Eric on YouTube. I signed up for a wildfit. I’ve lost 35 to 40 pounds and I’ve given up alcohol and drugs. I’ve completely turned my life around because of WildFit, and so I knew I had to come out to this programme and learn about speaking and stuff.
So I got another video from him. I got it just yesterday. Actually, no, I got it this morning. I watched it. This morning he has, since doing the speaking academy, gone out and spoken in two speech contests, like in these big contests for speaking, and he finished in one third place and he finished in the other one in first place.
He had never done public speaking before coming into the program. He is so grateful for his ability to communicate, but here’s the kicker: those winning prizes were things that all that was for him was empirical evidence.
What really blew him away is that now, when he has to talk to the adults in his life, he’s able to communicate with them effectively. When he has to talk to the police, if somebody pulls him over for speeding or whatever, he’s able to talk to them effectively. He said it’s given him this ability to communicate and it’s fantastic.
It changes everything, do you know? I was driving along in Tanzania and had just finished. I used to run these leadership programmes where I would take people up Kilimanjaro to teach them leadership. Skills and state management skills and all this kind of stuff, and after the Kilimanjaro trip, we went to Zanzibar and a few of the clients came with us.
My mom was meeting us there because my mom does a lot of work in Africa and in Tanzania specifically, and my wife was there, so we’re in the car and I’m driving and I’m driving along and I’m not wearing a shirt because it’s Africa.
Okay, it’s very hot and I’m not wearing a shirt, and I come around the corner and there’s a policeman there with his car and he waves me down and says, “Excuse me, can I see your driver’s licence please,” so I show my driver’s licence and he In Tanzania, it’s against the law to drive a car.
Without your shirt, I’ve been to Tanzania several times: I’ve climbed Kilimanjaro seven times, and I’ve been to that country to not climb the mountain. I’ve been there. It is not illegal to drive without your shirt on, okay, but I know what’s going on. I go, “I don’t think it’s illegal to drive without your shirt on here,” and he goes, “Yes.”
It is. And I said, “Well, at this point in my head, I’m like, “No, it’s not a Muslim country.” Zanzibar is a Muslim area within a larger country that has a non-denominational approach to language and religion.
So no, I chose not to say that to him, and he said, “Well, you’re going to have to pay a fine,” and I said, “Fine, I’m okay with that, and I’m not going to pay a bribe.” That’s what he wants. He wants a bribe, and I won’t do that.
I’m not going to pay him a bribe, so he goes well. You’ll have to come with me, and it turns out that I’m right beside the police station, so we walk over to the police station. Now many of you will know-or some of you might not-that Tanzania used to be Tanganyika and it used to be under German control and think about when it was under German control, right like back in those days, you know, doberman, pinschers, and that kind of stuff-and so this building was clearly built back then, you could just see it had that gestapo look about it and I walk into this gestapo building and he takes me into a little room and it’s a gestapo room.
I walk into the room; it’s concrete, and I sit in the chair. There’s a desk, and there’s a guy behind the desk who is wearing a military style uniform, like he has ribbons and medals. I’m not kidding you, and this is all, by the way, designed to intimidate me.
I sit down, and, as I sit down in the chair, I realise that the lamp over here is aimed exactly at where my head is in the chair, still left over from when the gestapo was there. If I listen really carefully to the walls, I can hear that we have the face of getting the answers from you right now.
You know, and this is all by design to freak me out, but I just unfreaked out, so I’m just sitting there. I just made that up, so I’m sitting there having this, you know, conversation with him, and it goes well.
You know, you should be respectful and wear your shirt and blah blah. Well, yeah. I guess so, but I don’t really think it’s illegal. So I challenge you to write me a ticket and show me how it’s illegal and he’s like
Well, we might maybe be able to avoid the whole ticket thing and I’ll go. I think we should avoid the whole ticket thing and hope he goes well. Maybe you could make it worth my while to avoid the ticket thing, and I said, “Uh, no, write me a ticket,” and so we have this little banter in conversation and outside in the car.
My mom is in the car with a couple of my clients and my wife and one of the clients goes and they’re freaking out, because you know what, if you haven’t travelled a lot and and the guy you’re travelling with just gets hauled away by the police in a military uniform, you know you’ve watched CNN, you know what’s coming up, you know something bad, and so they turn to my wife and my mom and they go, “Mrs. Edmuts,” which she hates because, like she changed her name back after the divorce again, “Eric” and she said she’s in the passenger seat of the car and she goes nope.”
I’m worried about the cops, and true to form, about four minutes later, I walk out with both cops with me. The one cop comes up and opens the door. For me, He opens the door for me, I get in, he closes the door, and then he hands me a hand-drawn map that he’s made to get me to the spice market.
No fine, no bribe because I was comfortable communicating. Being comfortable communicating is your right. It is your right, and so one of the ways that you become comfortable with it is by recognising that you’re already comfortable with it.
You are, you just forget every now and again. Here’s one of the ways you remind yourself: it’s called alcohol, isn’t it? I mean, I’ll tell you, I’m not a super big fan of alcohol myself. I haven’t had alcohol since I was 21 years old.
I have no judgement about people having alcohol. In fact, some of my friends are much better people after one drink. You know, they’re just more fun, but the fact is that what happens when we drink alcohol.
Our inhibitions are reduced somewhat, and-and I remember seeing this commercial. It was actually a radio commercial. So I didn’t see it. When I heard it, it was a radio commercial in Canada, and what they did was they had the sounds of a party full of eight-year-olds, and then they had a ten-year-old party, and you could hear the eight-year-olds, ten-year-olds,
You know, partying and doing their thing and then a sound with adults having a party as well, and you can hear the difference-it’s a big difference. Then they said now. Here are the eight-year-olds after the cake and the sugar and the ice cream. Where the eight-year-olds are different completely. It went like nuclear blah, blah, and you’re yelling, and then you can hear it.
It was just incredible, they said, and now here’s the party with the adults after four bottles of wine have been consumed by them, and what you could not tell the difference between was the children and the adults, the children on the sugar and the adults on the alcohol, you couldn’t tell the difference between the sounds.
The pitch was slightly different, but everything else was the same. Now, what’s happening is that when we drink alcohol, it’s like, it gives us permission to be a little louder than we normally are, or a little quieter than we normally are, or a little bit more vocal and use bigger hands.
Is it true? So what I’m saying to you is that you are already a good communicator, but sometimes we need a rule or a mechanism or a chemical to help us get that out, and so what I want to suggest to you is that it doesn’t have to be that way and and you can watch this like at our workshops-you’ll see me-do this. I’ll have somebody up on stage and they’ll be delivering like an adult.
I would like to tell you a story about the time that I went to Disneyland and they. I just stop talking like that, and I just stop for a minute. Tell the story like the audience is full of 12-year-olds. What do they do on the stage before they go? I’d like to tell you a story about the time I went there.
They know what to do. They know what to do. They start using their full vocal range, and so I want to share with you what that looks like there. There are some different communication frequencies in our population, so there are some people that are largely more visual in the way they communicate. They’re largely more visual.
So what does this mean? It means that they think in pictures, and a picture is worth a thousand words. So they stop. They talk quite quickly because they have to get all the pictures out, and since they are so visual, people tend to talk really quickly and loudly, and they speak like this.
There are some speakers that are quite well known for being very visual. Anybody have any names? You know, if you want to create massive action in your life, you have to make a decision, and then once you’ve made the decision, you have to take action, and once you’ve taken action, you’ve got to check the results. If you’re not getting the results, you want to change your approach.
There are other speakers that are more auditory. They have a more steady tone. They talk with a predictable cadence. They speak in a way that is quite pleasant to listen to for a short period of time, but is also somewhat hypnotic.
They use words like sounds. Listen to me. I’d like to share with you that they have this kind of different energy about them. Then you’ve got another group of people that are a lot more kinesthetic in their delivery or feel centered, and they talk really quietly and use long pauses.
They give you time to process the things they’ve said. They use words like “feeling,” “warmth,” and “connection.” Those are the visual people. It’s driving them crazy. So the fact is that all of those ranges-and if you really look back at everything that I’ve done so far today, I’ve used all of them.
I’ve used all of them and yet most speakers will come out and they will deliver their talk right here. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen and fellow toastmasters. I’m going to continue to speak like this for another hour and a half, and as I continue to speak like this, I’d like you to know that the cabin is deep pressure depressurized. In the event that the cabin depressurizes, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling.
Ah, so these people are louder and faster. These people have more cadence, more predictability, better pronunciation. These people have soft long pauses. These people use words like “vision,” “destiny, “see it done.” These people are crazy; they say things like “can’t.”
You understand what I mean: you’re not a cartoon, and these people here use words like “listen” and “click.”For me, I like the sound of that, that resonates, and then when these people talk about it’s in their gut, I feel really warm.
Is it true, but here’s the good news: your audience includes all of those people, not just 30% of them.30. 30. It’s not like that. That’s the way it’s taught very often. If you’ve studied neurolinguistic programming or psychology, they’ll often teach that there are some people that are like this, and there are some people.
No, don’t do that. It’s a thermostat, it’s a thermostatic range. So there’s some people that are here and here and here and here and here and all the way up-your whole audience is made up of these people, and I learned this because I’ll tell you it’s not just useful on stage, it’s useful in your entire life.
The first time I learned it, I was 22 years old and I was in another category just slightly above this one called global thermonuclear visual. It made Tony Robbins look very quiet. I was so fast and so excited about everything, and I was always basically
I was like this: I was terrified to be on stage, but with my friends I was nuclear visual, and then I went off and I learned this stuff, and I was in sales and I was on telesales, and I would pick up the phone and I’d call people and go hi.
This is Eric. I’m going to sell you some stuff today and-and I did very well-I had the highest call levels in our company. I had the highest closing average in our company. Then one day, I learned this stuff and I sat down at my desk and I was ready to make more calls than I’ve ever made before. The average sales person in our company was making 35 calls a day.
I was making 50 a day, which was making the most money for me, but I had made a commitment to get to 75 a day. Now I was not going to have a moment of peace. I was going to make calls every second and I went down and I went to make my first call.
I picked up the phone and there’s Marilyn and I’m going, “Oh damn it.” I don’t want her to be the first call. Today a woman never takes my call, never returns my call, but we didn’t come here for this to be easy. Did any of you come into this life for it to be easy? Because I just want to tell you that sometimes you want it to be easier, but if video games were any easier, people would stop playing them. If books were any easier, you wouldn’t read them. And I just want to tell you that the next time your life’s a little difficult,
You should rejoice in that because you came here for that. Didn’t you? I’ll prove it to you. How many have ever had that breakup? You know the one! The really soul-destroying breakup who’s had the soul-destroying, crying-awful breakup.
What kind of music did you listen to? Okay, you came here because it’s delicious, even the pain is delicious. That’s why we listen to that. So glad you made it. I will just sit here and cry myself to sleep.
We like it. Okay, What was I getting at, Maryland, Maryland?I actually forgot about that time. And so I pick up the phone and I call Maryland. I’m going to break through. I’m going to get through my I think, I’m throwing because millennials back then had to press buttons and before that, we actually had to dial You, you might not know this when we talk about dialing a phone number. It’s because we used to have to dial anyway, so I press the buttons and then Marilyn does not answer the phone because she never does, but her voicemail comes on hi.
This is Marilyn and, uh, I’m not here to take your call, but if you feel like it, you can leave a message. You know, after the beep, I’m going to beep, hey Marilyn. This is it. That’s not what I learned, and I deleted the message.