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How to be an Engaging Communicator – Podcast interview with Ryan Avery

by | Dec 15, 2022 | 0 comments

Ryan Avery was the youngest ever winner of World Championship of Public Speaking. He shows leaders “how to go from A to THE in their industry” and has travelled the world speaking from stage. Ryan is also an author and has online courses. In this episode he tells Mark Egan why communication skills should be taken more seriously, gives tips on keeping your audience engaged, as well as how he has made the transition from speaking on stage to speaking on Zoom and online events.



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we surveyed over 1200 full time American employees. And we found out that 85% of them 85% of us said they would be significantly better at their job if they had communication skills that they could use. 75% of them has never been offered a communication training at their current job, right. So we have leadership training, we have sales training, we have business training, we have HR training, what is the number one problem we all face no matter what industry written communication.

mark egan  00:32

My guest today is Ryan Avery, who in 2012 was the youngest ever world champion of public speaking at the age of 25. He’s traveled the world showing leaders how to go from A to V in their industry. More recently, Ryan’s had to make the transition to speaking virtually, and also has successful online courses. So what is the trick to great communication to educate and inspire?


Do you sell online courses or run live workshops? Do you have expertise that can help people in life or business? Are you even running an online training Empire from your kitchen table? Then you’re part of the knowledge industry, a fast growing industry, that means that you can learn almost anything, and anyone can create a business around what’s between their ears. Welcome to the knowledge industry podcast with your host, Mark Egan.

mark egan  01:25

Said, Ryan, it’s great to have you with us. Where exactly in the world are you right now?

Ryan Avery  01:30

I am in the United States. I’m in Denver, Colorado right now. Yeah, we usually spend our time we split it between Australia and the US, but they won’t let us in Australia right now. So yeah, well, I mean, it’s not bad to great places. So I always with a guest, I look. And I think okay, where do we start their story? You need to be started at school. We started after work, you know, what’s the big moment to start with? With you? I mean, you, you achieved a lot quite early on. And I know we’re going to get to this public speaking competition, which sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie. But what was your background? Where it Where did you grow up? You know, did? Was there any inkling when you’re growing up that you’d be doing what you’re doing now?


no inkling of what I would be doing now? Absolutely not. I’m from a small town in humble Texas. So I grew up in humble Texas. And yeah, I, I went to college in Colorado, I met my wife, we moved to Portland, Oregon, you know, moved all over the place. And then I heard about this competition, I entered it. And that is really what led me into this profession. I didn’t, you know, after winning the World Championship of public speaking, I wasn’t trying to win it to be a professional speaker. The next day, I woke up to 269 emails asking me to speak. And I was like, this is a job. I didn’t know it was the job. And I remember the very first payment I ever made for a speech was $200. And I was like, I’m rich, I am the richest person in the world. I thought it was the coolest thing that someone wanted to pay me $200 to hear me speak. But as you know, and the people listening, people don’t pay to hear me speak. They pay for my strategies. And so it took me about six or seven years until I really, really understood that concept. And that’s when my business started picking up was about four years ago. But

mark egan  03:21

you know, I kind of skipped over winning that competition. So you were the youngest winner, basically, of the best public speaker competition, which, you know, that’s impressive. But my understanding of it is that this wasn’t like, you know, you weren’t doing public speaking for years and years, and you built up to this Hollywood moment. This is kind of thinking, you know, like films like Cool Runnings in that way. You know, somebody has no right to be there. No, but in your case, you’re not just competing. Am I right in saying you literally went from nowhere to deciding, actually, let’s, let’s go have a go at this competition? And then you want it?


Yes, it’s wild. Yeah. And I think a lot of people feel really like that cool. Running surface, by the way. I feel like people think maybe, you know, I got lucky or something like that. And there was definitely luck involved. But there’s two types of luck. To me. There’s unreliable luck. And there’s reliable luck. And so when we invest our time, and reliable luck and look at the people that we’re with, the places that we’re in, and the actions that we’re taking, we can increase our luck a lot more. So once they enter the competition, I surrounded myself with the right people, I took the right actions, and I was making sure that I was in the right places. And in eight months,

mark egan  04:37

I won the competition. Now I know you’ve been traveling all over the world speaking, like you say, not just speaking for the sake of speaking, you’re big on, you know, when you speak, it’s got to have some transformation. It’s got to have an effect. But like, many of us, that was all turned upside down with lockdowns. So I’m interested to know because I’ve been through this myself. I’ve been a member speaking on stages and going, doing things all over the world and in certain It’s the spare room. And for you, it would have been maybe your office. How did you make that transition? What was that? Like? The very beginning, when your public speaker you’re out there in front of, you know, lots and lots of faces. And suddenly you’ve got to change. Yeah.


Yeah, it’s scary. You know, 2020, January 2020. I already have 65 keynotes lined up for the year. It was supposed to be my best year is going to be my first million dollar year. And it was awesome. I was excited and march came around. And then there all my events, literally within a week were like by and, you know, is hard and difficult and crazy, and all the above. But I started talking to some people who were thriving in their environment and what they were doing, and here’s my, here’s my theory, here’s my strategy, here’s what I live by. I am I am not afraid to take a step back. If it means it’s going to help me take a step forward. And what’s happening is there were speakers who were like, this is my fee. How dare you charge me, you know, 1/10 of this for virtual, it’s the same value? Well, the market wasn’t paying that. So you know, I we slashed fees, we did different things. We were getting our names out there. So I still did over 100 events last year virtual. But I wasn’t afraid to go back. Because now it’s propelled me forward. I’m fully booked for 2021, I’m starting to book out 2022 my traveling and in person events are picking up a lot I leave for Mexico on Wednesday. So for me, I went I went backwards, you know, I started doing a little associations, I started doing littler events, I started going back. I mean, there were plenty of speeches I did for 500 bucks. And that’s okay. It also I use this as an opportunity to test new content. I was doing a lot of research and surveying to see where people were in what content they wanted, that I was sharing that research. And I feel like that’s what also got me more speaking events is because I was using real time information for what people wanted. And then the big one, too, that helped me out a lot is I started asking my clients, what’s one thing I could do that would help you right now? And so I would send that out ask that question. They would give it to me, and there’d be like three or four people at a time who had like, tell me the exact same thing. And so I thought, Okay, well, I’ll write a Forbes article, or I’ll do an infographic or I’ll create a video. And what was happening is I would send it back to them. And people go, oh, Ryan knows our industry, and they’d share it on their LinkedIn, or they share my infographics. And they were ultimately helping me grow my business solely because they were giving me the insight of what they wanted. So those are some things that I did. And

mark egan  07:40

one thing I find interesting is, yeah, I’ve done public speaking, possibly not as much as you. But you know, one of the things I always found was, you went out in front of an audience, and you quickly got a vibe, you know, if it was working, or maybe you just needed to tweak something because you’ve got immediate feedback. And the same, you know, delivering both presentations and training online. It’s a very different feeling. Now, I was speaking to a few colleagues, and we’re trying to work out in our industry, which you know, most of us are from a media background. Why was it this certain people who do trainings and speeches were really struggling and other ones were thriving. And within, in our kind of industry, a lot of it was down to people who had worked in radio before. Because when you work in radio, you’re in a room and you’re not getting anything back. So it’s up to you to lift your energy to try and almost build that connection with the audience whilst you’re getting zero response. So for you making that transition, what do you think you’ll have? What’s your kind of key to still building the rapport with the audience, when you know, face to face or on stage, you you’ve got that really down? Now you’re having to do it through zoom or something. So how are you finding you’re having to change the way you build that rapport and connection?


ego, you got to let go of your ego. The best book that I read last year was Ryan holidays, ego is the enemy. And I feel like any of us at any level, you know, ego can be a really dangerous thing and can creep in really easily. Especially once you’re starting to speak, you know, 1000s of people and making $20,000 speech in it, it can get real quick, your ego, right? And COVID it was like whack, slap the ego right off your face. And that’s where like you were saying some people were struggling and some people weren’t the people who weren’t struggling, those of us what I felt. And my belief is that we didn’t go into it having an ego of it being about us. So here’s my my thing is I used to I used to think people paid me to speak people don’t pay me to speak, they pay for my strategies. And here’s the thing that I was so afraid of because I was so young getting into this industry was I used to think I had to prove and let people know why I’m good. But what I’ve ultimately learned is it’s not about me looking good. It’s about me helping people get good. And so any of us whether we are virtual, or whether we are in person It’s not about looking good. It’s about helping people get good. And so that’s what I focused on in the virtual world was, there are people who are really struggling right now, they are in a tight budget, they don’t even know how they’re going to pay their employees, let alone their mortgages. So I changed the value of what I was delivering to help them get good and the areas and, and they were, and that’s what I did. That’s what I do, is I don’t focus on, you know, oh, are people gonna like me? Oh, how do I look right now? It’s Yes, I make sure that I, I look well, in the sense of how I feel uncomfortable and clothes that I wear. But my job isn’t to look good. My job is to help others get good.

mark egan  10:41

And that brings me to my next question, which is, for people who have an expertise, or, you know, they wouldn’t monetize their knowledge somehow. And often, you know, you read the book, and it was so the first thing you need to do is find a niche or niche and position yourself and then show you’re the expert. And then you have your maybe your coaching, your online course, and all that kind of thing. What is your process? If somebody comes to you, they said, Look, I’ve got some area of expertise. Maybe because of COVID, my traditional businesses disappeared, and I see what you’re doing, and you’re speaking and you’re doing all sorts of great stuff. What would your advice to them be?


There are a few things that I hear constantly, and there’ll be people who email me or leave me voice messages, and they’ll say, hey, so I love to speak. And I would love to start speaking more. First off, nobody cares that you love to speak, the first question is, are you good at it, okay. And so because you like, it doesn’t mean you’re good at it. And there are a lot of things that you have to understand and know how to do in this business in order to make sure that you are making people feel good welcomed, that especially in this new international world, that we’re living in, that you’re making it appropriate and valuable and tangible to everybody. So that’s, that’s what I like the first things that I would say, and that I would focus on is, who cares? If you like it, are you really good at it, so get good at it and focus on getting good at it. The other thing that I would focus on is I hear this too, like, the first thing we got to do is like find a niche, no, if you want to be a professional speaker, the first thing you need to do is figure out how to get paid for it. Okay, and so my first piece of advice is sell something, even if it’s for $1, even if it’s for $10. If you if you want to learn the business side of speaking, you have to understand that concept in order to get into it. And when when you learn that you can transition or you can sell your service, you can sell an idea for $1 Well, then you can sell it for a million. But yeah, you gotta, you gotta you gotta learn the business side of speaking as much as you have to know the skills that it takes in order to speak and keep people entertained in an appropriate way.

mark egan  12:55

I can imagine, I mean, even right now, I’m finding myself with like, vocal tics and things. Think I know, you know, I need to up my game here because you know, my guess. But you must watch speakers and go to events and maybe the speaker who’s on before you. And you that may be things that make you cringe and things you think they’re doing really good job that what are the key things when you’re looking at somebody else speak that you’re looking at if you were, if somebody said, Come on before you mind, give me some feedback. How do you think it was? What are the things that you’re looking for?


So I look at speakers, I look at comedians, I look at media interviews, I look at all ways in which people are delivering themselves and the value that they deliver. Right? So when one of my favorite strategies that I do is when I watch comedians, because it’s really hard. Humor is a very hard thing for me. I’m not a funny guy, like people wouldn’t be like, Hey, Ryan Avery’s a really funny dude, like, nobody, nobody is really saying that. But in order to professionally speak, you have to make people laugh and enjoy. And there’s a lot of benefit to that because it helps build memory when you people laugh. So if you really want to be professional, you have to learn how to make people laugh. Well, for me, it’s hard for me to understand tone and facial expressions. So when I favorite strategies is I watch a lot of speeches, first without sound. So I simply will watch a comedian, I will simply watch it and I will I will watch no sound. So I I see how they’re doing a parent medical, or I’ll see how they, you know, use a surprise or they’ll use more facial expressions or their use their body. And that helps me gain insight into, you know, how I should be delivering. And that’s ultimately what I’m looking at to win. Also, I’ve learned when people ask you, they want feedback from me. They don’t they simply want me to say something nice. And I’ve learned that the hard way. You don’t really want feedback. Most people don’t some people do, but I don’t really give feedback anymore. And some people that I don’t know because they don’t understand it. You know, like, I want feedback. I’m like, Yeah, tell me, like, I used to push up my glasses like this on stage. And you know, you can’t be like Don’t be a leader or be the leader. Like, that doesn’t work, right. And so someone told me that and they’re like, Hey, you should move your glasses like this great feedback. But yeah, don’t give unsolicited feedback, I would say,

mark egan  15:21

Yes, I didn’t realize the such thing as glasses etiquette. I’m thinking, you know, Clark Kent and Superman, you know, we’d always push it up like that when he was supposed to be the bumbling Clark Kent. And then he turns into suit, it was always weird that nobody recognized him when he took his glasses off. It’s just Oh, never seen you before in my life. That was all very weird. But um, the other thing, you know, just watching your videos and seeing the things you do, which you speak about, which I personally think is a hugely underrated skill is storytelling. Because if you tell a story, people listen, they identify it can be relatable, but we look a lot of corporate communication, especially. And it’s all big, you know, buzzwords and people being very complex. And that’s something that I presume is just some when you’re planning out a talk or any kind of communication, you’re thinking, Okay, which stories can I use?


Absolutely, yeah. So a lot of people think that they don’t have good stories. What I would change the word to then is experiences because some people don’t relate to the story. But first start with the experience. So I like to think of the experience in three F’s fears, family and failures. So when was the last time you had an experience with your family when you were afraid, or when you failed, and build the story from that experience that then adds value? That’s how I do it. So my stories all come from my personal life, or my professional life, they are all rooted in truth. And that’s my style. There are a lot of phenomenal speakers, some that I love, one of my favorites is Simon Sinek. You know, he’ll use other people’s stories, or he’ll share a story of a certain thing in history. That’s another way of doing it too. But simply finding an experience and build a story from that. Because,

mark egan  17:03

I mean, we talked about these stories and people wanting to be on stage. You said something earlier about when people come to you and they say, I want to be I love being speaking I want to be a speaker now. The introvert to me is kind of like psycho would you mean, you win? Because I had to step up and learn to speak. I’m not saying I’m most amazing speaker. But even then I remember speaking, I think it was in summer in China, a big conference of 1000 people. And literally, you know, you’re in that kind of panel thing, and then they call you up just before then I’ve got that. I want to say it’s like a panic attack. But I just got that moment of that if you’ve ever had this, where you think, what the hell am I doing here? There’s like, all the sort of great and good have the kind of Asian media kind of industry. And I’m going to talk and so do first of all, do you still ever get moments like that, where you get that kind of imposter syndrome? What the hell am I do with why they will hit me? And how do you deal with if if you ever do get that sense of fear before getting on stage?


Yeah, the last one of the last talks I gave in China was one of the hardest because I had I had two translators on stage with me, and they were speaking to smaller groups in the front row. And they were speaking Mandarin and Cantonese. So as I’m speaking, they’re whispering Mandarin and Cantonese on the side of the stage while other people are listening in English. And there’s like three groups of laughed like it’s, it’s so hard to comprehend that and I’m like, What am I doing here? Why am I Why am I the one presenting this? In China? I don’t even speak Mandarin or Cantonese. So I definitely hear that. There’s this thing that I hate though. And it relates to possibly imposter syndrome. And I really feel like it does a lot of disservice to several people, and especially our youth, especially, I mean, really anyone but there’s the saying it’s fake it till you make it. Maybe you’ve heard this before fake it till you and I hate the thing. The thing is ridiculous for so many reasons. First off, you and I, everybody who’s listening right now, we have faked nothing to be where we’re at. So this thing shouldn’t be fake it till you make it. It should be do it until you make it. You know what I’ve done? I’ve done it. And I’ve tried it doesn’t mean I’ve done it right doesn’t mean I’ve done a good job at it. But I don’t fake anything to be here with you today, Mark, and you haven’t either. And there’s this concept that you think you have to fake your way to success. No, no, I’ve done the things that I need to do and want to do in order to be successful and the same people who are listening to it. So don’t first you discredit yourself to think you’ve, you’ve faked anything to be here. You’ve also like I have children. I don’t want my children thinking I’m faking my way through life. I want them to see me fail. My last World record attempt. My daughter was there with me and I failed. But she saw that I did it. I had 900 people with me all there and we need to 946 we were served by 46 people and I saw my daughter got to see him not fake it, she got to see me do it. And that’s the thing that I remind myself of, is when I’m on that stage when I’m talking to people, or I’m in an interview, and people say, Why me? Why me? Because I decided that I’m going to do it. I decided I’m not faking it. I’m doing it.

mark egan  20:15

And what was the word record attempt?


Oh, that one was out in Australia, we were breaking the world record for the largest image of a house made out of humans. And so, like trying to raise

mark egan  20:27

my second guest, definitely.


We’re trying to so all the world records that I do, I broken five, all of them are for a good cause. And so in Australia, where we live, and there’s a big homeless population, and so especially within youth, and so we were trying to raise money for youth off the streets. And what I am proud of with that world record is even though we didn’t break it, we raised over $100,000 for youth off the streets. So I feel really good about that one. But yeah,

mark egan  20:56

that was the last one that we did. And it took my children because I’ve got young children myself, and hopefully you won’t hear them right now. But wonder, wonder is the world that they are going to be growing up in communication skills? And I know some, you know, I’m not saying that schools, you know, communication skills, but is it an age where some of the things that you and myself had to learn on the job and do it till we made it? That should actually be something that’s taking a little bit more seriously as a core skill? rather than something you finished school? You maybe do maybe have a debating society or something. But it’s often later on in the workplace, you have to figure it out? Do you think that’s something that educationally needs to be taken a bit more seriously?


I know educationally. And in the workplace, we surveyed over 1200, full time American employees. And we found out that 85% of them, 85% of us said they would be significantly better at their job, if they had communication skills that they could use. 75% of them had never been offered a communication training at their current job, right. So we have leadership training, we have sales training, we have business training, we have HR training, what is the number one problem we all face, no matter what industry, we’re in communication, the Holmes report found out that miscommunication causes $26,000 per employee, it costs a company. So you have 100 employees, that’s $2.6 million dollars being lost every year, because you’re not training your people how to communicate effectively. So yes, absolutely. communication needs to be on in education and in the business world. But it’s, it’s not a sexy word, right? People think because they know how to talk. They think they know how to communicate, see the thing to within the industry that we we are in in the world that we’re in the economy that we’re in today, and 2021 communication, it has never changed, communication will never change. People think, oh, everyone’s communicating, no, no communication, same thing, break down the words, look at it in the Latin prefixes and suffixes. Calm means with uni means one nation is a suffix, and Lan, which means to take action. So by definition, the word means getting people to take action on one thing, the methods of which we communicate have changed and will always change. So why the older generation might have been better at communicating is because they had two or three methods, it was easier for them to do because I could meet you in person, I knew the etiquette of what it was to do an email. Well, now we have slack and Facebook and social media and Instagram and Snapchat, and email and tense and slack. And the miscommunication is happening, because there’s so many methods. So yes, we absolutely have to get back to singularity of communication, the way our methods are happening and focusing in the education and in the workplace of improving it.

mark egan  23:50

There’s one thing where I’m amazed that we’ve been going through lockdowns, everything for a long period of time now. And you’ll still see politicians, the chief executives of major companies, and there’ll be doing presentations, with a laptop on the table pointing up their nose. And like, you know, you’ve clearly got your setup now at eye level, and all that kind of thing. And I’m just absolutely blown away that even the basics of how you set up a camera to do a presentation is not known. And that that plays to your point that the training is just not there. Now, you deliver your own training your own teachers, how do you translate what you do into teaching other people? And I know you teach various things, you want to talk a little bit about your kind of your sort of education part of your business.


Yeah, so for the past 10 years, I’ve studied one thing, and it’s the difference of what it means to be a versus what it means to be V at what you do. So people don’t want to listen to a podcast, they want to listen to the podcast, right? People don’t want to follow a leader they want to follow the leader people. investors don’t want a solution. They want the solution. So I’ve dedicated my whole life to figuring out what are the Differences between a versus v. And so for me, what I do is I go out, I research the differences between a TV, but then how I’m different is I apply that to my life, I use it and see if I can break world records when World Championships go and, you know, go to Antarctica and do something wild. And I use the content that I’m learning to apply to my real life. But then I go out, and I teach to show others, hey, this isn’t simply a concept that I have found. This is strategies or strategies that I personally use to parent my children to run my company to live my life. So there was this thing that I read early in my career, about how and why doctors are looked at as such important groups of society. And what they do is doctors do three things. They learn, they practice, and they teach. And that’s how they get better. And so that’s how I brought into my practice of public speaking, I learn how to practice and I teach. So that’s how I incorporate and what I do I, one of my literary agents, she says, No one’s going to pay you for what you’re going to do. They’re gonna pay you for what you’ve done, right? Like you. You don’t do you want to hear the the man who is going to climb Everest, or the woman who climbed Everest, right? Like, I want to hear the woman who climbed Everest.

mark egan  26:26

So yeah, that’s what I do. To make this naturally, when you’re doing keynote speeches, you know, how to engage an audience, you know, how to persuade them to build an argument? How does that job translate into it? How did you how do you translate that into teaching other people? Is it the same skill, whether you’re, I don’t know, doing a speech on stage, and we’re at a conference for 20 minutes an hour to actually try to teach somebody in an online course, or coaching or something like that?


Yeah, so whether you, you know, go through one of my online courses, you attend one of my keynotes, one of my mentors told me, You should teach how you like to be taught. And so for me, when I’m being taught, I love to, I love to hear real stories. I love to hear the failures and what they learn. And I want a tangible strategy. I don’t want like some big picture concept thought an idea I want, like, what can I write? How can I implement this in my business, no matter where I am in my business. So that’s how I build it. That’s how I do it. So whether I’m teaching a group of five executives, or I’m speaking to 5000, leaders at a conference, this is how I talk, this is what I wear, I’m not any buddy different, I might have a little bit more energy for the 5001. Because you know, the stage is like 45 feet on both sides of me. But I simply remind myself, you know, I’m going to teach how I like to be taught. And I’m going to be myself like, this is who I am. There are people who who don’t like me, there might have been people who have already, like dropped off this podcast, because they’re like, and he’s too weird. But then there are people who like me, because they like my style. They like the value that I’m adding. And they like the way that it is. And that’s ultimately what I’m wanting to do is attract people who also like learning in this way. And when

mark egan  28:18

it comes to actually communicating, what are the if somebody is listening to this, and they say, you know what, I really should step it up. I should try and be the rather than a I should be out there putting myself out there sharing my message getting better at speaking. What are the main tips that you tend to give people as far as just upping their game? So when they stand on that stage, they are more interesting, they’re more confident, what are the main simple tips that somebody can start using straightaway.


So several, and the first one is making sure you don’t use a cliche, like thank you at the very beginning of your sentence. Okay, like, I thank you. So it’s an honor for me to be here today, I will look you in the face. If I ever hear you. Why what you’re doing is you’re automatically being a cliche, that’s what everyone else does. Right? So what you want to do is go right into the story, they’ve already introduced you, you don’t need to say Hi, my name is what I’ve done, go right into the story. Think of it like a movie. The other thing that a lot of people do when they start off is, I’ve never seen anyone present on the call right now. But 90% of people that I’ve studied, what the very first thing they do is when they go and present is the pivot back on their right foot. Okay, this is a typical thing. They go and then they say today what I’m going to do is I’m going to talk about the point of the PowerPoint or the pivot back. Well, anytime we move backwards, it’s a sign of negativity. It’s a sign of weakness, it’s a sign for something that’s sad. However, anytime we move forward, it’s a sign of excitement. It’s a sign of happiness is the sign for confidence. So watch all see the exact same thing, but I’ll move my body differently and watch how my confidence has demonstrated to you today. Okay, tell you what I’m going to do is I’m going to show you how to go from being As a leader to being the leader, versus today, I’m going to show you how to go from being a leader to being the leader. Okay, so even if you’re listening to this, and you don’t see my video, what’s happening is you might have heard a different influx, you might have heard a different energy. Well, it’s because whenever we move backwards, our biological self is telling us to retreat. So we’re going to have a retreat style, we’re going to retreat voiceprint Tom Sawyer, whenever we move forward, telling her we’re telling your biological self, this is comfortable, I can be me, I got to have better energy. So pay attention whether your body moves, very important, okay. And then the really, really big one is asking yourself, what value am I adding today? Okay, so when you know that you’re going on stage to add value not to look good, you’re gonna feel good, because you know that you’re there to contribute to society, or that team. And it for me, it makes me feel really good. When I know every time I start my presentation saying these people are going to get something today that changes their life.

mark egan  31:03

Yeah, that’s great tip. Thanks, takes it a few dozen. And great tip on that funny enough. When the lockdowns happened, and I switched to doing everything on the zoom in teams, initially, I was sitting down just because I had a chair at my desk. And actually, I changed everything around so that I could stand up purely because you know exactly what you’re saying that is the body language and just the energy when you’re, when you’re sitting down, I was finding much more difficult to keep my energy up over a period of time. So absolutely. The I can see what you mean there as far as the physiology of how you share your message has an impact. So yeah, if you people pay attention to that. I’m just now sort of looking forwards. You said that next year is looking good. But where do you see this view now? Because what what was your lifestyle like before this whole lockdown? And what do you see it being like maybe three or four years time? Do you think it’s going to be going back to how it was to How was it? And what how do you foresee it in the future? Is it all going to be the same traveling around? Yep. So


how was it I was on the road 200 days a year, I didn’t think anything of it. I thought that was the industry, then COVID hit and I realized I don’t want to be on the road like that I got to tuck my kids into bed, I got to garden with my daughter, I paraglide. So I live in one of the best places in the world to paraglide. And I get to paraglide a lot more. And so I want to be home a lot more, I realized I didn’t need or want as much money as I thought I did. And I realized, well, I want to be home a lot more I want to be with my kids and wife and be in the house that I love to live in. So for me, for me personally, it has changed for how many keynotes I will offer I will be doing a lot more virtual we’ve we’ve moved that to be a big part of our business strategy moving forward with a lot more in person or a lot less in person events and keynotes. And my fee has increased. And I’m always like afraid to increase my my fee. And then literally this happened last week and I I said my new fee. And they’re like okay, and I was like Gosh, darn it I and I say this sooner like granted, I will say there are plenty of times I pitch my new fee to and they’re like what you’re crazy. But ultimately you’re looking for the the amount of events that you want to do anyways, I do believe and the next few years in person events are going to boom, they’re going to skyrocket, they’re going to want them people are going to be very excited about them. And that was a big thing. I was trying to tell speakers because they were all pivoting and people are going to want keynote speakers and they’re going to and people in my industry. People who hire me, they don’t they don’t. They’re not polite in the way of saying yeah, sure, we’ll test you out at our $5 million event. Let’s see if you’re approved. No, no, no, they’re going after people who have they know they can trust they know they can rely on they can bring people back for the next year. So don’t run away from keynote speaking if that’s what you want to do, really position yourself as you know, the keynote speaker in your industry, because I personally believe it’s gonna it’s gonna go up personal events. And

mark egan  34:09

obviously taking your training would be one way of doing this. But in simple terms, if somebody is listening and they think you know what, I would like to do that and I get I’ve got to improve my craft and be better and all that kind of thing. But what are your main tips are actually in practical terms getting booked, getting noticed, becoming somebody that people want to book for their events.


Several things I would recommend if you’re solely starting out solely to get used to speaking, start with your local Toastmasters club, you know, get used to speaking once you’re like past the level of speaking and you feel comfortable with it. Then join your local National Speakers Association or global speakers Federation if you’re International, and join the biz and learn the business side of speaking. So as part of National Speakers Association, I learned a lot of skills and strategies and Business Ethics and things that are I’m a part of that teach me the business side of speaking. And then plus you’re hanging out with the people that you want to be with. There’s, there’s this, there’s this thing, though you got to everyone has to take this step, it’s I talked to a lot of people who they take the courses, they go to the conferences, and they learn when are you going to stop learning? And when are you going to start doing? And I don’t mean, I don’t mean like never learned again. I


mean, like


you have to transition out of school, are you going to be that kid who has like three doctorate degrees, are you going to go take what you’ve learned and implement and apply that knowledge to help people, you have to take the step in order to get on it. And that means, again, the first step, get paid for it, charge $10, ask for $1,000. You know, like, start asking for it and seeing what you get.

mark egan  35:51

But I love your passion, by the way. And that makes me think about a lot of people listening are people who maybe are experts in their field, or they have courses or their coaches or something along those lines. And there’s to model this in a way, obviously, more than two, but one is you just speak wherever you can get an audience, and then you earn money through obviously pitching your Where’s your causes your services, and then there’s being paid to speak, what is the difference in is one better than the other?


The difference, okay, so I’ve done both I don’t like I’m not the speaker who pitches products. So that that’s not me, that works for a lot of people, you know, they’ll they’ll speak for free, and then they’ll pitch their $300 course or their book, or they’ll pitch something. And that’s, that works for them. For me, I’m in the industry, I have clients hire me to make sure and ensure that their conference is either off to a great start, or concludes with high energy and excitement where people go, I can’t wait to come next year. So they’re hiring me for value and they’re hiring me for that energy. That’s not an appropriate spot to say, buy my book. My course like if people decided they want to do that, fine, but I am not there to sell that I am there to add value. The hardest part of this industry, one of the hardest parts is there’s there’s 500 ways of doing it. So you’ll ask me, I’ll ask mark you as Shelby. Connie, you’ll ask all these different people. And they’ll tell you all conflicting things. And you’ll go




I will Connie does it this way, and Mark does it this way. And Shelby does it this way, what what am I supposed to do? Well, what you’re supposed to do is figure out what works for you. And actually do it, not fake it, not think about it, not learn about it, do it. So that’s that’s like the big. The big thing for me is there’s a difference between the other one too for me is I don’t know about this, because I haven’t done it in a really long time. But those who might sell from the stage, you’re getting a very different audience versus those who are not selling from a stage you’re going to be more corporate, you’re going to be more business oriented, you’re gonna be more like keynoting. Selling from the stage might be more like training associations, you might be paying have have your own events where you charge, you know, $30 for the door and you sell 1000 tickets or something like that. It’s a, it depends on what style of business you want to write. Great

mark egan  38:24

answer. And just to final question, you touched on a few of these things, you talked about the demand for in person events. And you also spoke about when somebody is booking you, they’re effectively their neck is on the block. They’re putting the reputation on the line by booking us. So when you show up, you’ve got to give people a great experience. And I think that word experience is coming up a lot. Now. What do you see the trends being over the next few years and events in public speaking? What do you think the trends look out for over the next maybe five years.


The first trend is as speakers knowing how to speak in a hybrid setting. So there will be conferences that you have to address your virtual audience in your in person audience and knowing how to connect them providing content and strategies to make the virtual community feel like they’re still at that event is going to be critical. The other component too is more of a micro level of speaking where instead of doing a you know, 20 events, a 25,000. You might not do 100 events at 5000. Right? So it might be doing a lot more for less versus like bigger events might be part of your strategy as well. I’m not saying the bigger events are going away. I’m saying in looking at the strategy, that’s how we’re approaching it. Of You know, since we don’t want to be on the road so much, we might be doing more virtual events. But our fee might be less because that’s what the industry or that’s what you know, the market is paying right now. So those would be two very big trends. I believe too, in the future, we’re gonna see a lot of holograms, you know, in the next 510 years, we’re gonna start seeing speakers being promoting themselves as hologram. Like, we might even in the future, have a hologram studio where this is no longer a podcast, but you know, you step on and you’re in your hologram. This is something I see another really, really big one that I see, because this is part of my world, but I believe it’s gonna, you know, infiltrate into a lot of others is, you got to be global, you have to understand that there are people who might be from Australia, or India or South Africa, or China or Venezuela or all over the place, and knowing how to interact and interact with an international audience is key. If you’re seriously wanting to keynote, it can’t. It can’t be America, you know, it’s got to be global.

mark egan  40:49

And are there any particular topics that you’re seeing, suddenly becoming very fashionable, or huge demand for?


Um, I don’t, for me, personally, I, you know, because I focus on the basics of leadership, sales and communication. And those are the the way that we lead the way that we sell the way that we communicate, definitely changing. Those are adapting. Those are skills that we need to update and improve. But I don’t see any major trends that I’m currently seeing. I mean, I hit the word trends. Maybe that’s what I’m getting caught up on. But to me, what I’m seeing more importance of that I love to see is we’re seeing a lot of diversity and inclusion talks, which I love because we needed more of that a long time ago, right? We’re seeing more communication talks, people are understanding communication. We’re seeing a lot of how to like work from home and how to lead from a virtual space. And virtual obviously, is a big one. So the two like important trends, and I again, I don’t want to

mark egan  41:54

change the way to get over said that, but if people just said it. Yeah,


yeah, important topics. Definitely diversity inclusion, definitely how to lead in a virtual space, or what I’m seeing that I like to see

mark egan  42:07

more of Great. Well, I’m sure like to see more of people would like to see more of you and find out more about you. Where do they go? How do they connect with you? How do they find out about you? What where’s the best place to go?


Definitely, so I don’t have social media. So the best place is Ryan Those of you who’d like every Tuesday from Bellevue University, I speak for 15 minutes live. And you can go to Ryan backslash Tuesday, because every Tuesday at 12pm eastern time, I get 15 minutes of motivation and inspiration thanks to Bob University, so you can do that as well. So Ryan Avery comm is the best place to find great Well, it’s

mark egan  42:43

been fantastic. I’ve learned a lot and I love your I hate you word vibe is probably as annoying as the word trends. But in a sense, you know, you can feel your passion, the the ethos that you’re coming out with. So congratulations on your success. And I yeah, I’m going to be tuning in. So that was for special Tuesday, wasn’t it? Okay, I’ll be there. But thanks very much, and maybe we’ll chat again sometime soon. I love that. Thanks, Mark. If you want to get started showing up on video and sharing your expertise, head over to Mark Egan video comm to access some of my free training. Don’t forget to join the knowledge industry group on Facebook. And if you want to connect head to