TEDx, The Secret Technique that Got Me on Stage
I’ll never forget the very first speech I gave…
I was 18 years old and a Freshman at University delivering a 3-minute introductory speech. A simple speech designed to let people know who I was, and my passions…
So, why was I so nervous? Why was my heart beating so fast? And why were my hands shaking?
In that moment, I didn’t have time to think about any of those things. Instead, I got through it, finished the speech to a round of applause and sat down…
I was relieved…
That relief didn’t last long because one week later I got my grade…
My professor gave me an F! I failed!
It was the first time I had ever failed at anything in my entire life, I was devasted.
I had practiced, prepared, I spent hours and hours working on that speech. I followed all of the tips and tricks, the foundations that my professor laid out, and there it was that big “F” sitting on my evaluation.
This same professor would go on to be a wonderful mentor for me, but that’s a story for another time…
But even with all the support and help that he gave me, he’d probably be just as surprised that 15 years later you’d find me speaking on the TEDx stage in Bangkok, Thailand.
So how was it that I got from shaking in front of my classmates, to delivering a TEDx Talk in front of an audience filled with influencers and leaders in their field?
The answer is easier than you might think… (don’t skip ahead just yet)
I have to tell you a little bit about my journey to really give the full picture of what got me there.
I’ll skip my life growing up in St. Louis, Missouri and the fact that I come from a family where speeches and toasts for special occassions seemed to be so easy for my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Instead, I’ll start at my reaction to that one “F” sitting on the page after I nervously delivered my first ever formal speech in front of my Public Speaking 101 class.
I had a decision to make…
- Tell myself, “This professor is wrong and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
- I could face the fact that I did poorly on everything from my attention-getter to my thesis statement, up until my lackluster conclusion.
I chose #2 and faced the facts…
I decided to wait outside that professor’s door during his office hours constantly for the entire month. Finding out every detail on how I could improve my public speaking skills, and got myself prepared to knock the next speech out of the park.
The next speech came, an informative speech…
I worked so hard, reviewed all the materials, practice practiced, practiced. And then I got the results…
I got a “D”!
After all those hours, all that hard work, I only improved by a measly 10 points!
I had a decision to make…
Can you guess what I did…?
That’s right, I decided that I was going to be waiting outside that professor’s door for the entire semester if I had to.
And I was going to find out the exact code, the exact process and system to get 100% on my next speech.
I was with that professor constantly preparing for my next speech, a persuasive speech that was eight minutes long.
This one was different than the other two…
In a persuasive speech, you have to get your audience to take action at the end of it. You have to find a way to change their minds on a certain subject, or change their behaviors in some way.
This speech was one that I really wanted to do great on.
The reason why…
Persuasion is a key that unlocks everything, it’s like a superpower…
If I could master it, then it means that I could improve many parts of my life.
And the benefits would keep coming long after University finished.
From applying for a job, asking for a raise, starting my own business, or even getting the nerve to ask someone I liked out on a date.
I didn’t want to go through the rest of my life having people NOT listen to me, or NOT value my ideas or decisions.
To be honest, I was feeling confident, I think I finally cracked the code. It was sitting in front of me the entire time, it’s an approach to communication and persuasion that’s been around for more than 2,000 years!
I had actually experienced it and known it most of my life! (And you probably have too)
I spent all this time worrying about all of these other aspects of a speech, but to be honest, this one technique was the most important element of them all.
Well, the big day came and I delivered my 8-minute persuasive speech…
When I was finished, my classmates’ applause seemed louder than usual (or was that just in my head…?). I glanced at my professor before sitting down, the guy was stoic, he gave no indication of how well I did…
One week later, I got my evaluation…
I hesitated to look at it, I tried so hard and wasn’t sure if I was ready for another failure.
I asked a friend of mine to look at it instead…
She had a huge smile on her face when she said, “You got an A!”
WHAT!? For real!?
So after all of that hard work, all of that time worrying about structure, delivery, body language, citations, call to actions, after worrying about all of that.
Focusing on just one technique is what I should have been doing all along?
It changed my life!
After that speech, I did great on all the following speeches, passing that Public Speaking 101 course with high marks.
And I had a choice – I could continue majoring in Physics, or I could switch to Communication.
Can you guess what I did?
I actually decided to get my Bachelors, and then my Masters Degree in Communication Studies.
I spent the next SIX YEARS learning from all the great Thinkers, Philosophers, and Leaders reaching back to the time of the Greeks.
That one speech made me determined to help other people know how to communicate effectively.
And how to take the guess-work out of how to do it well. Some people think you’re born a great communicator…
It’s not true!
There are formulas and strategies, just like math or science.
If you ask me, no one should work so hard and not achieve a goal. No one should have to keep running in circles and not making any progress. And if I just had someone that would have told me about the key to persuasion early on, it would have helped me immensely.
This one skill has given me the ability to live and work on 3 different continents, help businesses from Digital Marketing Companies, to Private Jets, to Education.
And also land myself a spot on the TEDx Stage.
You might be thinking – well if it’s so good why did it take you 15 years to get on that stage?
It’s because there’s no such thing as a magic bullet in life, it’s the culmination of the actions that we take day to day that brings us to where we want to finally go.
Now here’s the secret technique that I found…
No matter where I went or what I was doing, the best way to connect with people was always a simple formula:
- Establish credibility and trust in order to work together well, and have mutual respect. And also make strengths clear on both sides.
- Use logic, numbers are simple, logical, and factual. Every culture values them in some way shape or form. And also when it comes to business numbers matter most.
- Pull out Emotion, the right type of emotion, for the right type of audience is what turns a good message, conversation, or sale into a great one.
For the past several years I started getting invited to more sales trainings, more workshops, more executive coaching, and in every one of these engagements I was requested to start off with the one thing that would change things. And I always came back to credibility, logic, and emotion.
And across every industry, people gave rave reviews.
Here’s a list of some of the organizations that I’ve worked with since I’ve unlocked the code to success:
The challenge is, I’m not able to do in-person workshops or one-on-one executive coaching everywhere and all the time.
I would LOVE the chance to teach this to everyone, but I’m only human.
That is why I decided to make an online course!
Now everyone can learn how to use this amazing technique.
Press “play” on the video below and learn more: