The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

3. Why Public Speaking Training Can Transform Your Life and Business w/ Eric Silverberg and Eli Gladstone

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Everyone wants to be a better speaker. Whether you’re pitching to potential investors or doing an all-hands meeting for your team, there are techniques that can help transform how you communicate.

On this episode, we speak with Eric Silverberg and Eli Gladstone, co-founders of Speaker Labs which trains you based on the science of effective speaking.

In those cases, what you sometimes do is you change lives. You don't make someone a better public speaker, you completely change their relationship with their fears and their own internal psychology, and that's pretty cool. You're listening to the Ivy Entrepreneur podcast from the Pierre L Morrisset Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Ivy Business School. In this series, Ivy Entrepreneur and Ivy Faculty member Eric Janssen will anchor the session. If you're making a one to one sales pitch, a one too few investor presentation or a onetomni keynote, you'll get a ton of value from this episode. In short, being a great public speaker will change your life. After working with dozens of world class companies, speaker labs founders Eric Silverberg and Eli Gladstone explain how they create awesome public speakers. In this episode we cover how to overcome public speaking fears, how to pitch an idea using their hips and a whole bunch of m's model, how to make any topic interesting, helpful if you're running your next company all hands and, last but not least, how to design awesome slides. Please, no more boring presentations. This is one of the most important skills that any entrepreneur can have, and we're about to give it all to you in this podcast. Eric Silverberg, Eli Gladstone. Happy to have you guys here. I'm excited to be sitting in this room with you. Guys. We don't get to hang out that often. We're excited every time we're in a room with you. Today we got we got a lot to cover. I want to talk about you starting your company, but today's a little bit different in that we're not going to go crazy deep dive into the story of how you started the company. I want to cover that for maybe first a little bit, but I think what would be most helpful is to dive into actual presentation skills, common problems that you see and how people listening might be able to improve a pitch to an investor or even communicating in a sales mean, that sort of thing. That sounds fun cool. Firstly, so students are often the students that I'm in front of are often frustrated with the idea of finding your passion, and I wanted to start with asking you, guys, how did you figure out that this might be a thing that you'd want to do full time. Great Question. I was one of those students who was very frustrated by the exact same thing, and so I feel that pain and my answer is going to be so annoying to those people feeling that pain. But it only is clear in hindsight and I have no idea how I found it. I just know that in retrospect. Obviously I'm passionate about entrepreneurship, about public speaking, and I combine those things and that's what I do now. But I never knew that in their shoes and I was equally as frustrated by the people who told me that that's what it was all about. Yeah, I think for me it was sort of I just kept doing different things and eventually I sumbled across things that I enjoyed a little bit more, and I wouldn't be surprised if my passions continue to evolve and it spans beyond public speaking, presentation skills, and that sort of the current state of what I really seemed to enjoy. But when we were graduating from IV, I sort of thought I wanted to go a marketing route and then we got the option to teach and then I ended up loving teaching and so I don't think I was passionate about teaching. I think I went down that path and then I developed a passion for cheating for teaching. So so dig into just for people that don't have the full back story. So you, after graduating, went to teaching the first year business, second year business program at Ivan, Pointing at Eli IV, taught in the second year business program at Western Eric taught in the first year. So how did you know that that was a thing that you might want to do? Well, so for me, actually, I didn't think I wanted to do it. I was trying to recruit for a lot of different marketing jobs, general mills, Coal Gate, those types of companies, and one of my classmates that you should apply for this job and my immediate response was no, thanks, I'm good, and they kind of push me a little bit more and then I applied for it, thinking I might as well try, not that that's the one I wanted, and after going through the first round interview I liked the people who are interviewing me so much that I started to want the job even more. But when I actually got offered the job, I thought about turning it down because I wasn't sure it's what I wanted to do and I'm very thankful I didn't because I ended up loving teaching. But at the time I wasn't sure that I that thing I wanted to do and I kind of had to take a leap and go for it. I was a little bit different. I found out that getting the job to be a faculty member right out of Undergrad was a thing when I was in first year and my faculty member was Julie Goss. She was Julie Harvey at the time, and I thought that's the coolest thing I've ever heard in my life. So from like month three of first year, I thought that is obviously out of reach and I'll never get that job, but I wish I could. And then eventually I did, which is pretty cool. But I knew from then that that job was a thing and that I wanted it. So how did you know that you might be good at it? Because that...

...job, we all did it at the same time, so we taught a lot. We've been in front of groups for thousands of hours, probably at this point hundred, hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of hours. So how did you know that they might be a thing? That you'd be good at. What did you do before that that made you think I'm I could be good at this thing. I thought about who my favorite professors were and I tried to figure out the common ground or the commonalities between them, and what I realized was the ones who were the best were the ones that made class feel like you weren't even learning, the ones that entertained you and engaged you. And then the common denominator of that, I found, was they were all really, really good public speakers. So I decided to make it my mission to become an amazing public speaker, and that's I thought I could accomplish that goal and I thought by accomplishing that goal, I could probably be a pretty good teacher to it. But you are also you done some entertainment things before. Yeah, I was a very, very amateur actor. Look called a good amateur actor, but it's still an amateur one. So I had done performing in school plays and camps and that sort of stuff, and I was I was a mentory younger kids when I was like a counselor at summer camp. So I had teaching, little little grains of teaching in me and little grains of performing in public speaking in me, but it didn't really fully flush itself out until I first started teaching in pre business, when I when I got that job. It's funny. The pieces don't to your point. They don't really make sense until you look back on them right. But like speaker labs, rewind back to career in tech, rewind back to teaching twelve, twenty, rewind back to camp counselor amateur actor, performer, Singer, like there's it makes sense. Yeah, there's. I heard this amazing quote once and I'll butcher it, so you're welcome for butchering it. My favorite band is the eagles and one of the members of the Eagles is Joe Walsh and I was watching their documentary, the history of the eagles, and what he said about their career was throughout it. When you're in it it feels like complete chaos, things crashing into each other and you're frustrated and you're fighting and it's just horrible chaos. And then when you look back at it it looks like a perfectly crafted novel. Some and how it just turned into that. And I think that's true with probably everyone's lives and everyone's careers and and almost anything that you can think of. It only really feels like that at the end. Yeah, so you did the teaching thing, you did a stint in tech, a few tech businesses and then you ultimately made the leap together to start speaker labs. He walked me through. We've got wide range of how people have gone about starting it. Either this might be cool, I quit and then went off and did a thing, or I'm going to start getting another thing on the tracks. Well, I've got my other thing going on. So and all fit all sorts of things in between. So which was it for you guys? So we were the let's dive in head first throw everything into this. So we basically but we were working at the same Tech Company and we quit our jobs a week apart and then who got first? I quit first, and yeah, and then Eric just completely followed me and and then we just basically spent the next three and a half four months trying to just build up enough of a foundation to get this business off the ground. So we did little things like figure out our name and Brandon and get a website up and running and start to have the right conversations with potential clients to learn what they be looking for and start trying to develop, to develop our curriculum, which is a big part of what we offers, is content ideas, and five months later we had a business and a couple customers. I would say, though, the the sort of backstory before just quitting and starting a company is when we were teaching, we used to talk about communication strategies all the time. We actually live together our for one year during that period of teaching, and we would sit on our couch talking about how do you, how would you communicate this idea, or how could you make something as boring as this concept interesting to a bunch of students? Or even these this going to be funny. Should I make this joke in class? Little things like that too. Yeah, and so we would talk about all these ideas and then I remember one time in two thousand and twelve we were sitting on my driveway in the summer and we were just like, how cool would it be if we just had like a communication training company and we helped academic stop focusing so much on research and start focusing a little bit more on making a great learning experience for students? We're like, yeah, that's awesome, let's do it and then four years goes by with US talking about that incessantly but never doing anything. So for us, once that point hit where we were like we really want to do this, we just quit one for it. So what was the what was the validation, or did you just you just know that this was going to be a thing that people would pay money for? Like, how did you get the courage enough to say there's going to be someone who's willing to pay me money to do this?...

We weren't sure. We didn't have validation in the business, in the market, in the model. We weren't sure it was going to work, but we were sure that it was the right decision to try. We had built up a little bit of a savings account that we could rely on if the business didn't work for a few months or whatever, and we knew that if the business worked, fantastic, we would start pursuing something on on our own time and building what we actually want to build rather than working for somebody else's mission. And if it failed, we'd probably learn a ton along the way and when we go back into the corporate world we could apply that. Or maybe that'll be the exact learning we need to start something else. That could work. So we weren't sure. We didn't have validation, but we trusted that it was the right call. Anyways, what we were sure of was that we would love it. We didn't know when we would make our first paycheck, when we would make ours, when we would have our third or fourth or ten or a hundred customer. We had no idea any of that. We didn't know if any of that would come but we knew that we were good teachers and we knew that we would love doing it. That, I think we were all was sure of. So there are different things that people wanted validation on. One of the things that people want validation on is the team that you're working with. So I'll quit my job when I know that I've got a few people around me that are also in it to the same extent and we believe in whatever the mission is. So you guys, having known each other for so long, you actually had that piece. So you didn't necessarily validate the product, but you validated the team then that you trusted each other, you were going to be all in it together. There were some concerns about that too. We are best friends first and business partner second, and you you know a million stories about what happens to friends and families who business relationships don't go well. So that was actually more of a concern than a virtue. We've decided to turn it into a virtue and things are going really, really well, but we were scared of what would happen because we mutual friends and all this stuff. That could have been really complicated if things didn't go so well. Right. So we actually looked at it more from the other Lens than the this is going to be a perfect partnership Lens. To Start I would say, all right, right, how did you protect against that? Did you? I mean this is kind of a corny answer. We're a communications training company and what we did is we communicated and insane amount about, like, very openly and directly and candidly about the things we were concerned about in one another. Because part of the reason we were scared is we knew we both wanted to start a company and we knew we were both really interested to dive in and work hard and try to make it happen, but we weren't sure exactly what one another's core values were in the business. We weren't sure. You know what each person's working style was. Even though we had work together in teaching and at a start up, we weren't exactly sure how each other was going to show up when we are responsible for everything, and so we just had a ton of very direct conversations. There was one we were sitting having Sushi at this like Sushi spot we go do all the time, where we I can't even reference one specific thing, but I remember we looked at each other and just had like insanely honest and kind of even maybe hurtful conversation where we just like laid down our opinions of one another on the line of like, here's why I think you suck, and Eric was like hey, like here's what I think you suck. I'm so okay, great, now I know why you think I suck and at least I can try to mitigate against that. But those are conversations that I don't think are easy for people to have in general, and I think probably the number one thing that's made our partnership succeed isn't that we're perfectly complimentary in our skill sets. It's that we can communicate very honestly, and so when one of us doesn't have the requisite skill set to do something. The other person can vary. Honestly call that out and, you know, push the other person in hard ways to try to accumulate the skills or whatever, but communication was actually the thing that draw us forward. I think the other thing I'll mentioned about that is it wasn't just that conversation we had before we started speaker labs. It is something that we constantly work on because we think that we need to. We set aside two hours every single month. We call it our intent lunch, where we just talk about what's going well, what's not going well. When did you feel pissed off? When did you question my intentions or what I was doing? And we never cancel. It happens every single month and it's for that reason that we're confident will be fine, because we talked through those things so frequently was such with such radical honesty that it's never a concern. I'm going to steal that. That's a great idea. I've got a few businesses, one right now with a really good friend, and that's a great idea having in intent lunch. Why intent lunch was that? I think we found that the most common misalignment was when we were misjudging someone else's intent, echo us right. So I would think Eli is doing this because because he's judging me and things, I suck, when really he was trying to help me. So we just come straight we come. We come to the meeting willing to be straight up with each other on when did I think you were thinking something that pissed me off or that I didn't really like or something like that, and when we get clear on...

...what our intent behind the things are, things become a lot better. The actions are so much less important, we find, than the intent behind the action. So that's what we call it, the intent lunch. Do you guys log things and then say, like I'm going to bring that up during the attent lunch? Like do you? Do you remember there you logging things for the whole month or infrequently, but sometimes yeah, and there's there's occasionally a conversation or a certain a certain thing that happens in the business that gets very heated and we debate a ton and it becomes a bit of a perpetual thing, and those are we don't sit down and right notes of I K, let's bring up that conversation, but it's such a evocative conversation that when we sit down for our tent lunch, we just easily go hey, remember that conversation about that topic. That's why we should probably get clear on what the hell was going on in your head, in my head. Got It, got it cool. Building on this, and before we get into the actual helpful things for people looking to pitch or communicate better, tell me the story of the name, because you had an interesting the name that you ended up with wasn't the original name and there's some details in there that I found really, really interesting. So the name, the name. I mean I think we both give ourselves an assignment when we were still working at that Tech Company, but we knew we were going to quit, and the assignment was come up with twenty names each and then we presented them to each other and we agreed on speak easy. That was the perfect name, speak easy. So we googled speak easy, that's the first thing that you should probably do when you come up with a business name, and we found that there was literally a public speaking training company called speak easy. I think what was interesting about that, if I remember what I think you found interesting was that, instead of looking at it as well, crap, someone does it, someone has the name. On to our next idea. What other business could we start? We actually looked at it as cool. People are paying someone for public speaking training. Let's just come up with a new name. But this is actually market validation. We view the competition as something so positive rather than while we can't do it, someone's already doing it. So that was really, really important. And then we decided, because of a hobby style passion just in our personal lives for studying the science and psychology behind things, that maybe we should incorporate science into the name a little bit. And I don't remember how we exactly landed on speaker labs, but it was after speak easy became a non option and then we decided to incorporate the science. That's where we landed on speaker labs. Yeah, often see people think they come up with that Eureka, do the quick Google Search and say, AH, man, someone's already doing this. Scrap it, move on to the next one. I just found interesting that you guys said, great, someone's doing it. They're clearly have been doing it for a long time. They must be. There's a whole there's a huge team on their website. They must be making some good any great. There's must be space for another one. Maybe it's because we didn't have very much other validation that we were very, very open to seeing things that could validate what we were trying to do. You were looking for validation. Therefore you found it. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, interesting. So who are your first customers? How did you get your first some of your first? Yeah, well, so we have different kinds of customers. We have individuals who will train and those are typically people who are trying to build a career around speaking, and then we have corporate clients who are looking to bring in training companies to help their teams build skill sets and presentation skills in public speaking is a pretty useful skill in business and are very, very first clients were individuals, some of which were sort of extended people in our networks and some people were people who we had met along the way and kind of helped organically just over our careers, and then we sort of formalize it a little bit. But our very first corporate client came because of a colleague of ours from influidive had left influidive and they went to work in San Francisco at another big Tech Company, I think it was box, and they were having a conversation with a friend of their saying, you know, hey, what type of training are doing at your company? And they were having that sort of genre of conversation and they mentioned you should check out the get these guys at speaker labs. They're pretty awesome, and she didn't even really know what we were doing and that sparked a first met and we had a great conversation and that company was willing to take a flyer on us. They knew that they were going to be our first corporate client and they were kind of excited about that and it's sort of been a snowball ever since then. So yeah, go ahead. I was just going to say so much of a snowball that I think that if we were to track every single piece of business we've had since then, probably about eighty five or ninety percent of our business tracks back to word of mouth from that first client we ever had. Wow, wow, so textbook. Do an awesome job. Be The I call it humble Canadians and a Canadian thing, but it so often, at least in some of my companies, we've been like the PR isn't traditional, like let's talk about the new customers we landed. It's like we've got one. Shut up, do a good job. No, don't do a press release. They're going to tell more people because we're doing a good job. Yeah, we actually very early on and when we started speaker labs,...

I think it was in our first month, we met with this guy who was a big angel investor. He invested in some big companies like kick and some other awesome companies, and we were just sort of met with him to ask for advice. We weren't looking for investment, but one of the things he said to us was, before you build out your whole curriculum, try to sell a client and once you have that deal signed, then go and build what they're looking for. And we're like cool, that's great advice. We've heard that before, right, like try to validate that the market is they're ready and willing to pay before you try to create the product, thinking you know what they want. And we said cool, that's awesome advice, but we're going to go a different route. And then we spent the first four months of our business just building our curriculum, researching everything we could on to the sign about the neuroscience of communication and the Corgon of psychology of communication, the fears of public speaking, and we built out our curriculum before we tried to sell a client, and I think I don't know if that would be advisable for a lot of people to do as a route, but I think for us it worked because when we went into that first client we had put so many hours into making an incredible curriculum that they found it so engaging and valuable that they wanted to keep referring us and that's where that snowball of facts started to happen. So I think for us it was a we just put so much effort into making something amazing, not being a hundred percent certain it was exactly what they wanted, but thinking that we had a pretty good sense on what good public speaking training would look like, so we just went for it. Yeah, so a couple things that make founders really good sales people. Typically often it's a passion for you're doing deep domain knowledge, so you clearly just know your stuff better than anybody else and those two things often overcome a lot of other techniques or closing or way that you ask questions or anything like that. But often what people need in order to have that expertise is to know that you know it better than the other people in the room. So for you guys to spend four months getting to getting your head around what you were going to deliver meant that by the time you had that meeting you were were probably confident that you knew way more. You probably started with more knowledge because you were interested in it, you had the passion, but by that point you knew way more than anybody else in that meeting, and that's what makes you an affective salesperson. Yep, totally. The other thing was we were lucky to start our careers as basically professional public speakers. That's what a lecturer is really right. So we spent so many hours in our first jobs honing that skill, whereas most other people are behind a desk usually for their first job, we were just public speaking all the time and we were conscious to what was working, which was key. We weren't just public speaking blindly, so we were sort of teaching ourselves even before we even knew this was going to come. Yeah, so I'd actually like to run the math on it, but I would say that over your careers, because I taught as well and teaching now, probably stood in front of a thousand audiences, let's say, maybe, maybe hundreds for sure. Hundreds for sure, if you think of the number of classes per day or per week. Sometimes it's the same audience twice, but if you include the same audience multiple times, thousands for sure. The same the same audience. The number of times you stood in front of a room of twenty five to a hundred thousand people with the spotlight on you and then all looking at you ready to say something? I'm not talking him one on one or one to five people, like an audience of maybe fifteen, twenty people or more. It's a lot. Do you still get nervous? Sometimes, depending this, depending on the context. So so I won't get nervous tonight for a guess lecture that I'm doing. It I be because I'm used to the room. I know that I probably know a little bit more about public speaking than the students who are going to be there. But you put me in front of a company's board of directors for a sales meeting and I'll get nervous. Sure I will really nervous. You put me in front of someone talking about something other than public speaking that I'm less of an expert on. For sure I'll get nervous. I find that the nerves happen less frequently and I'm in better control of them, but they haven't yet and I don't expect them to ever fully go away. Yeah, yeah, I would say I still get nervous too, but it's absolutely contextual. There's people say the term public speaking and then they have this vision that occurs in their mind, this imagery of like them on a stage with fifty two, a hundred and fifty people on the audience is typically what people seem to picture, sometimes way bigger audiences, but public speaking is so much more nuanced than that. Sometimes it could be ten people, sometimes it could be twenty people. Sometimes it's information you've shared a thousand times, sometimes it's information you're sharing for the first time, and there's so many different aspects to a presentation that can make you feel a little bit more apprehensive and I would say, similar to Eric, I have certain contacts that I get a little bit more nervous in than others. But the big thing is I think there's another misconception about public speaking, which is the fear goes away with repetition, and that's true to an extent. But we've been in front of thousands of crowds, let's say, and I would say we still get fear...

...in certain contacts. The repetition required is a very, very large number. What's more important is recontextualizing the fear in your mind from a psychological perspective so that when those nerves kick in, in whichever context triggers it for you, you're able to handle that and still show up. Can you help me dissect then? You said public speaking. I agree. People often think dark room, spotlight, light in my face, five hundred people. I think back to like a grade six speech competition that I had that we had to do, at least I had to do in public school. Maybe we get into that, but I want from my class and then you have to stand in front of the whole damn school. Is a great six and give a public speed with all the parents in the background and stuff like. That's what people think of when they think public speaking, but there's different dimensions, number of people, and how do you carve up like the different dimensions of, quote unquote, public speaking? So I look at at four aspects of public speaking, four elements that that define what public speaking is. The Standard one is how many people are in your audience, but I think that's the least important component because it's so subjective. For some people you give them ten people and they're nervous. For other people ten is fine, but a hundred people it's that's what makes them nervous. So that is an element of public speaking, but for me it's the other three elements that are more important. The first of those three elements is that public speaking tends to have a weaker feedback loop than other forms of communication. So right now we're in a podcast, right now we're looking at each other, we're having a dialog and there's back and forth and I can see your head nodding right now, whereas when you're on a stage the best feedback loop you get is asking, okay, how many of you like fruit loops, and you look at a show of hands and it's almost binary and it's and it's feedback and that creates a bit of a challenge for you because you can't really assess how am I doing in a really meaningful way like you could in a dialog. The second element is that typically in public speaking, because there's a few more people, whether it's five or five hundred. There's more variation and who's in your audience and what they're bringing to the to the table. So if I'm speaking about, let's say, why subscription based businesses are better than project based businesses, and I've got a bunch of people who run project companies, consulting companies, then they may be sitting in that audience with a huge bias again, subscription base models right, but I may not know that. And so one of the challenges of what typically is a public speaking environment is that you've got a lot of variation and who's in your audience and makes it hard to tailor your message to more people with more diverse lenses through which they interpret your communication. And then the last element is that typically, presentations and public speaking tend to emerge when the stakes are high. Rarely as somebody saying, Hey, can you give me a presentation? Can you give a presentation to these twenty people just because it's a Tuesday? oftentimes it's can you give a presentation because we have a new process we need to update the entire marketing team on, and now you have to go and prepare all that content and get it across to that twenty person team in a meaningful way. And so the stakes tend to be a little bit higher, and it's those elements of high stakes, lack of knowledge, of a diverse audience and a limited feedback loop that make public speaking challenging even more than the number of people in the room. There's one last thing to that is sort of covered in what you like, I said, with the lack of a feedback loop, which is on us. When you have a conversation, the onus is usually shared, but when your public speaking, most of the responsibility is usually falling, falling on you. So that's all those things combined are part of what makes public speaking hard and why people are nervous about it, and I think that onus piece might be the one most closely tied to the nervousness. They know you, you know when your public speaking, because you know that you're responsible for how this thing goes, whereas if you're sitting, you know, with friends having a beer, this is shared conversation, or you're sitting one on one having a meeting with someone, this is shared conversation, but public speaking is usually one or two, maybe a few people's responsibility. So do you ever get people on ends off if the extreme is the extremes are one to one and one do a million? Do you find that you get people on opposite ends of those extremes being whatever, fearful, apprehensive whatever about one to one conversation and one to many or most of yours one too many fears? I know that some people fear one on one communication more than public speaking, because I am one of those people. I'm obviously very comfortable speaking to my best friends or family or colleagues one on one, but conversations with strangers one on one scares me more than public speaking does, which means that these communication fears are highly individualized and everyone has different ones. So the very fact that I fear one on one's more than public speaking means people must have very complex and very irrational fears, because that would probably seem rational to many people. We definitely see people who have a fear at the small end of the spectrum as opposed to the largge end of the spectrum. But it seems more common that people are less like Eric and more like...

...the types of folk who are afraid to speak in front of a big audience where they think about if I fail, it's failure at scale, people will judge me, it'll it'll ruin my reputation forever, and that sort of stuff is what seems to be more common, but there's definitely people at both end ends of the spectrum and there's even people who experience it equally at both ends of the spectrum. There's some people who just have communication apprehension across the board, whether there's ten people on a limited feedback loop or one person and a very intimate feedback loop, they still fear it. And then there are people with really severe fears. We're normally tackling people who are like I get the butterflies in my stomach and I don't get the lot of sleep the night before. But then there's social anxieties and paralyzing and crippling fears that come along with communication and they're very real to they're a little bit more extreme, but they exist on lots of different ends of that spectrum to so how do you are there any not that we can boil down this complex topic and to hear the things that you must do, but are there any things that you find helpful to address maybe some of the dimensions or fears of public speaking that you had mentioned earlier, or you said the fear of standing in front of a big audience with the light on you, and there's a bunch of dimensions of am I an expert? Is there? There's different context in the audience? Are there ways to overcome those specific dimensions? I mean there are tons of ways. I think it is hard to distill it down in a short conversation, but I would say there's some very straightforward, easy things that you can do to overcome some of those fears in advance of the situation, which is a hyperamount of preparation, and I think sometimes people look at preparation and they go, okay, cool, I've looked at my presentation through three times. Preparation is not memorization and it's not just glancing at your stuff three times through. It's it's knowing your information and your content so intimately that you can almost improvise it seamlessly because you know it so well. You know all the different checkpoints you want to hit, in what order, how you're going to transition from a to be, and that level of prep really helps mitigate some of the fears because you just have so much competence that it actually triggers a bit more confidence. So there's like there's hacks like that which are easy to do, but people don't invest enough time in it. There's things like deep breathing, is a thing people always talk about when you have public speaking fear. But that's another thing where people will take seven deep breaths and go, okay, I did my deep breathing, Oh crap, I'm still nervous, when really you got to do like fifty deep breaths and I got to be really deep and consistent and continuous, and that's when your physiology starts to recognize that this is not a situation that's really threatening to you. But I think the deeper answer is a cognitive answer. It's a psychological answer, which is, I think whatever contact triggers your communication fear, and for most people it's the public speaking type environment. It's the fact that they have thoughts like I could fail, which is true in any communication, including public speaking, you could fail. But then they go and if I fail, that's horrible and that's a terrible thing to happen in my life, when really it kind of sucks, but you'll be okay, and I think the biggest cognitive shift people can make is to look at public speaking from a macro perspective where over the course of your entire life you will fail at public speaking a couple times, but you'll probably succeed more than you fail. And if you look at every micro public speaking opportunity as a chance to succeed at scale, and if you fail at scale, then you fail that scale and you'll get it right the next time, then I think it helps mitigate those fears. But that's an easy thing to say and you really got to get people to wrap their heads around that, not just intellectually but very viscerally, so that when the situation arises, they're not just repeating of a Ligne to themselves of if I fail this time, I'll be okay next time, but they're really deeply emotionally aware of that reality. Right, it's a great word, visc early. Well done, Eli you've done it again. I also think that there's a huge action component to those fears. Can you imagine trying to get someone over their fear of flying but never taking them in an airplane again? You want to, you want to take them in as many airplane rides as possible. Someone who's afraid of heights will they should go skydiving. And it's running into the fear and doing the very things you're afraid of which will allow you to expand your psychology to the things that you're actually capable of. If you're afraid of being energetic when your public speaking, well then that's exactly what you have to do. If you're afraid of yelling when you're public speaking, well that's exactly what you have to do. If you're afraid of prolonged silence when the onus is on you to be speaking, then that's exactly what you have to do, and only once you start doing those things will you start to realize you're in control of your fear rather than the other way around. So I've been in one of your workshops and I think that's part of what's so powerful about them is you have a period of time where people actually have to face those head on with your help, and there's free works that you provide, but I think that transformational experiences, you get up, you face it with a little bit...

...of a nudge or sometimes the kick in the bud if you need to, but I think that's what, at least for me, was so seeing those transformations happen was really powerful. I want you fears a bit too specifically why this is relevant for people either starting a business, US growing a business, scaling a business. So what often people think of Presentation Skills Training? I could think of a few use cases. There's sales meetings. Maybe your could be a one to one or one do a few conversation. There's a presentation to your team. Maybe it's an all hands company meeting. There's maybe you get invited to be on a pant as you're a founder. They want someone. Some Big Tech Conference wants you to be on a panel or give a keynote. could be a good exposure for your company. Maybe it's a huge one. The Conference Culture and TAC right now is enormous and and it's expanding into other industries to with, you know, the cannabis, with the cannabis industry, with the CRYPTO industry. There's people need to be public speaking because people want to learn about these new opportunities. So there's a huge conference culture going on. So sort of maybe put in the bucket of like media training, just being effective on I guess Keynes probably different being effective on camera or on the radio versus keynote talk, is more traditional public speaking training. Maybe. Yeah, I would say so. What I want to start with those pitches, because often people think at least you write, you come up with the idea, you build the plan and of course the next logical step is you pitch to investors, which is not always the case, but it's often. How its Stereo, the stereotype. So Do you have any investor pitch specific advice, experience, frameworks or anything like that? We do have a framework atting the Eli will probably will be chat about in just a second, but my take on that is you do need to have a baseline good idea. You can't be selling I mean, I won't even come up with a you can be selling paper to a paper manufacturer. You need to have a decent idea to start. But on top of that, what the what the people are doing when you're giving a pitch, is they're evaluating you on a very real level. So they need to see that your dynamic, that you could think on your feet, that you're confident. Is is another huge one. So, regardless of what framework you follow, you do need to show up. If you're up there sweating or you're up there fumbling your words and you're not being energetic and passionate about what you're selling, then it doesn't matter how good your idea is. So you need to have a certain baseline level of delivery, regardless of what format you have you you're following, in order to be someone who makes investors want them to invest in their company. So delivery is a huge component. I think you've got a regardless of what idea you have or what you plan to communicate in your pitch, you got to get up there and you have to engage the hell out of the investors, and that doesn't mean you have to do a dog and pony show. That means you got to get up and you have to recognize that, yes, these people are investors, but first and foremost they're human beings, and human beings have emotions and a whole complex experience of other people and ideas, and you've got to just connect with them, and that's a huge delivery thing, regardless of what your idea is or what information you plan to share. When it comes to the information, though, I think there's some things that you can think about. I think a lot of people think there's a right way to pitch two investors, and so they end up following these formulas of this is how you pitch, and then they develop their pitch in accordance with that formula and it tends to dilute how authentic they are about their business because they're following this methodology when in reality we have a pretty simple take on what we think a good pitches. We call it the hips and a whole bunch of MS model, and hips is not referring to your actual wasteline. It's an acronym and the whole idea behind hips is it's about a hook and insight or problem and a solution, and you got a hook people into care about your presentation from the moment you open your mouth, and then you got to share what insight you had about a certain market or a certain industry or a certain human need, or what problem you I have you've identified in a certain market or for certain segment of the market, and then you've got to share what solution you have. That's the hips part. Hook, insider, problem and solution, and then that's sort of the core component, and then there's these sort of ancillary elements, none of which are required but all of which can be helpful, and it's up to each entrepreneur to figure out which elements are going to help them make their idea most evocative and meaningful to the investors they're speaking to. And that's the whole bunch of m's part, and that's things like what market are you targeting? How big is the market? What's your model? Is it a subscription model, is it a different kind of model? What are your metric so far? What are your milestones that you've hit to date or that you're going to be hitting in the future? And we always say the last M is me, which is you got to talk about why are you the person, and sometimes me can be pluralized with the whole team. Why are you the people to make this business successful? But you don't have to talk about every single one of those things in a pitch.

In fact, sometimes it's a really good idea to leave things out, like our metrics to date, by design, and share an awesome hook, problem and solution, share a little bit about your market size and about you and then say so that's our pitch, and now I'd like to open it up to questions. If any would like to know a little bit about our metrics, feel free to ask and you've basically primed your investors to care about the additional ms by really honing in on an amazing Hook. Good problem, good solution? In your experience, what's the best if there's a best or most effective way to open? So we we have an answer to that, which I'm going to say as though it's a universal truth, but it's absolutely not. In this is just in a subjective opinion by myself and Eric. But we think the best way to start is with a story, because story has this incredible power to cause people, human beings, to almost suspend their logic for a moment and just connect at a human level. And if you can get connected at a human level within the first thirty seconds to a minute of your presentation, whether it's a three minute pitch or a fifteen minute pitch, if you can get that connection, what you've essentially done is you've caused your audience, your investors, to open up their listening and instead of listening through the skeptical Lens of what's wrong with your business, they start listening to your pitch looking for what's right with your business, and so stories are really powerful way to do it. There's lots of other ways, examples, very poignant data points, but stories are really powerful way and we love when we work with entrepreneurs through a lot of these incubators in Toronto. We always help them develop strong micro stories to start their pitches and it's a really great way to go. And is this story about? So imagine your Blah Blah Blah, and you have this sort of problem. That the imagine part is where you're already not telling a story, but you're giving a hypothetical example. It's more about the story of your realization of the problem that you're solving, personally, personal you were for or someone else's realization of the problem. I was talking to my mom six weeks ago over dinner and she realized that. So maybe it's your mom and you're solving a problem for mom's whatever, but usually it's the story of yours or someone else's realization of the problem. The hypothetical example is another good way to go. You could do that really well, but that's not a story, that's an example. Yeah, and not not as not nearly as powerful, not in our opinion. But we're just two dudes. Most presentations, having sat through a lot of least the visual side of them. Most of them suck, really suck. The I find that people try to more often than not, put too much on a slide. I'm trying to read at the same time listening and the WHO are disjointed. So why you think? You're not in your head? Most presentations stuck. How do we fix that? You mean from a visuals performably, from a primarily from a visuals perspective? Yeah, the main thing that everyone has to realize is that they already know what bad visuals look like. When we ask our students, have you ever been in a presentation and the slides look like a PhD thesis? How do you feel in the audience? Everyone says absolutely horrible. And then we ask them, okay, have you ever made a presentation like that? Yes, I have. Well, why? You know, it feels horrible. So everyone already knows what the problem was. Slides are but the problem is people then still build them that way. I think that the best thing that people can do is to recognize that you will overwhelm your audience the same way you feel overwhelmed and you start tuning out when you're overwhelmed. So don't put that on the audiences. That you're speaking to. The most fun fact that we'd like to think about is we found out why phone numbers are seven digits long. Phone numbers are seven digits long because that fits in to a humans working memory. Working memory is sort of like the ram on a computer. It's what a human can process in real time at anyone given time before they just start to shut down because now there's too much going on and I can't process anything there. The human will crash like a computer crashes. That's why phone numbers aren't tenzero digits long and instead they're seven digits long, because that you can handle. The same thing needs to be true on your slides. If there's more than seven words on your slide, your audience is going to start to shut down. Seven words, seven words, not seven will of points. Seven words, seven words on one slide. But here's the good news. No one ever said that every single point pertaining to a certain subject needs to be on the same slide. If you're going to talk about marketing and you've got seven marketing bullet points, well then you should have seven marketing slides, not seven marketing bullet points on one slide. I think one other thing for people to make note of is when you open up a new power point or google slides or a keynote, if you actually look at the default setting, there's a text box up top that says put your title here, and then a text box that's a little bigger that says put your subtitles or your bullet points here, and so powerpoint and keynote, all these things. They almost subconsciously incept you to start designing your slides in a way that will overwhelm people's working memory. It's going to create cognitive load and they can't process all that's on your slide and what you're saying, as...

...well as trying to process your body language and all the other stuff that comes through in communication. So when you open up a power point or a key note, here's a simple piece of advice. Start with a blank slide. Delete those text boxes. Start with a blank slide and ask yourself the question, what is the simplest visual I could put on here to complement what I'm trying to get across? And simplicity is your friend. If your slide is just a picture, that's fantastic. If your slide is five words, that's fantastic, but less is always more when it comes to a visual aid. HMM, advice on choosing the right visual aid then. So if I if my topic is marketing for this podcast and I want to talk about how we're going to do the marketing for the podcast and we're going to do online ads, my bullets could be describing all the you know, the where I'm going to put it in, how much it's going to cost me and my conversion metrics in my estimated number of customers that I'm going to get. And that's probably a copy and paste from an excel sheet somewhere with baby picture, a logo of a Google and facebook and Youtube and all of my different ads. What's an alternative to that? But we always tell people to do is take all the notes that they want to get across in that slide and put it in the note section or write it down on a piece of paper, but have it somewhere that isn't on the course slide, and then sit down in your chair, close your eyes and visualize something, anything, and whatever you visualize tends to guide you towards what you should put on the slide and it'll always be complimentary to what you're saying. It will not supplement. So, for example, you said we've decided for marketing we're going to use online channels. Close Your Eyes for a sect and picture something. What do you picture? What visualization just occurred in your mind? Google search bar. Cool. So put a Google search bar on your slide, just a picture of a google, picture of a Google Search Bar, and that still acts as a trigger for you to talk about everything you want to talk about. There's a little bit more prep required, but you could also create a couple other slides and then, when it comes to the actual metrics, put a slide with one metric and then another slide with another metric, and now you've ended up. You've creating three slides, one that has a google search bar, one that has metric a and one that has metric B, and that's quick and easy to process. Simplicity is your friend. We always do this fun exercise that I think allows people to sort of get the point of what we want them to be doing. Let's say you wanted to give a presentation on why starbucks is a great coffee experience. What happens is everyone will put a starbucks logo on the slide. That's fine, that's better than ten bullet points, but that's still not optimal. Here's how you get optimal. You start to visualize why is starbucks such a great coffee experience, and then you come up with amazing things like because they spell your name wrong and that's funny. Well, that's a great slide, your name spelt wrong on a starbucks cup, or because the service is always so good they remember my name. Well, how about a picture of a smiling Barista? Those are your visuals and your point is something different. HMM. Sometimes we get pushed back from people when we tell them to create these overly simplistic slides that tend to be a little bit more visual on a little bit less text heavy. That that the pushback is. Well, so I'm going to give this presentation to a bunch of investors, particularly for entrepreneurs pitching, and then they're going to ask me to send over my pitch deck and I can't go and send over a picture of a STARBUCKS Cup, right. I mean, I can't send a picture of a Google search bar. I need to have a little bit more context there, and so we always like to distinguish. There's a difference between a visual aid in a presentation and a pitch deck that acts as a report, and I think sometimes people don't distinguish the two, so they feel the need to create a presentation aid, to visual aid that is more akin to a report than it needs to be good, and then nothing stopping people from having the table with the estimated marketing spend and conversion metrics and an appendix or something, if that's where inevitably what I would think if someone showed me a picture of a google search bar is like Google search bar and then the number ten. You know which ten customers per day that we're going to get from this channel. If the question is I should get there, like how did you arrive at ten? To have a backup that says here's my rough mass to figure for how we got there might be an EFFECTI way to do it, versus showing the appendix as part of the core deck, and I'll tell you why. It's such such a better way to go. It's so much better having someone say so, you said you're going to get ten customers a day through this channel. How did you arrive at that number, versus someone going how many customers did you say you were going to get from this channel? I did. I couldn't pick up what number it was because you showed it to me in the context of ten other numbers and I can't process that much stuff at one point in time. So it's better to get people to accumulate a small set of information and inquire further then have been trying to get ten points across and have none of them actually pass. That cognit of wall is it more fun to work with people who are bad and get them to be okay...

...or good, or is it more fun to work with people who are good and make them great? Both are fun. We really enjoy both, but if we had to choose, it's not even close. Getting someone from passing out at the front of the room or crying in front of their colleagues, which we have literally seen, to confident and pretty damn good. There's no better feeling than that. That's the best thing in the world. It's the thing that we like most about our job. Probably so so taking someone from an eight to nine is really fun, but taking someone from a two to an eight is unbelievable, and in those cases I don't want to pat ourselves on the back too much, because they don't happen every single day. But in those cases what you sometimes do is you change lives. You don't make someone a better public speaker, you completely change their relationship with their fears and their own internal psychology, and that's pretty cool, powerful, really cool for entrepreneurs. I want to come back to the different, different ways that entrepreneurs are communicating. So maybe we'll do some quick hits if we think about the different areas that I talked about, maybe like an internal team meeting. Any quick hit advice for I'm running in all hands. How can I make this all hands better than the last one where I just droned on for sixty minutes and no interaction and just me let the whole time? How could I make an all hands great? One piece of advice that I gave to someone actually last week was stop thinking of yourself as the presenter and start thinking yourself as the facilitator. So ask everyone what they want this to be about, keep a running list and then start going through that stuff so at least they're engaged, especially when they see that it's time for their question they just asked, and get some discussion going. When you make yourself speak for three hours straight at an all hands, doesn't matter how amazing you are. That could potentially get a little bit old. But when you start to get everyone else involved in your facilitating the conversation and facilitating the day rather than just speaking the whole day, I think a new version of you shows up. So that that's one little quick hit for me. This may not be isolated just to internal meetings or town halls, but I think when we design curriculum we always have two particular lenses on when we're designing, when we're researching and designing what we want to teach people, and it's is this valuable and is this entertaining? And we used to have these debates about, you know, how much? Should it be eighty percent valuable and twenty percent entertaining, or should it be some other breakdown? And what we realize it should be a hundred percent of both, which is a weird way and there's probably some quantitative person listen to that going you idiot. There's no such thing as a hundred percent of both. But we look at it that way where we say any presentation that we give should deliver some value, convey some IDs, some information, but it has to be incredibly entertaining. And there's a lot of different ways to create entertainment value. But if you're giving a town hall or you're presenting something internally, sometimes the nature of what you're speaking about can be a little bit dryer. You're talking about a new process, you're talking about a reorganization of a company, and sometimes that's a little bit dry. You got to find ways to make it entertaining. The easiest way to do that is with your delivery. Instead of trying to think of creative ways to mold your ideas into something inherently entertaining, get up there and have fun. Don't just don't just stand up there and recite the information back to people. Get up there and, like, really try to engage them at a very deep level and have fun. Don't just stand and one place and just try to riff off a bunch of points walk around the room. Some people will say, like, I'm at the front of the room and I have to stay at the fund how about walked to the back of the room? I bet you if you do that in a presentation, if you're a town hall Meetingu of a company a hundred fifty people, I guarantee you people at the back of the audience are going to be like what what's happening right now, the moment you walk to the back of the room with the microphone. So I would say find ways to create entertainment, not just value your point about questions and engaging the audience. Why don't people do that more? The fear of how unpredictable it is. How do they overcome that, if they do at all? I mean I think there's a couple ways, the the simplest ways, to wrap your head around ambiguity as a good thing and get comfortable saying I don't know. If somebody presents a question that you don't actually know the answer to, it's totally fine. People actually love vulnerability. It's one of the things that connects human beings the most is on one person is vulnerable in front of other people. So if, if you open it up to questions, you really try to give people the opportunity to ask questions, empower it, let it happen. Don't avoid it because it's unpredictable and there's a lot of uncertainty that comes with it. Acknowledge that and feel totally cool to say I have no idea what the answer that question is, but it's really fun. Why we should have ask it further. That was actually my biggest fear when I got that job we were referencing earlier. When I became a lecturer, I was twenty two. I knew, I knew for certain that my students were going to know things that I didn't know. I was not as much of an expert as I should have been. So my biggest fear was being faced with an...

I don't know situation, and when I allowed myself to start saying I don't know, I'll let you know in an email later today or I'll come back to class with the answer tomorrow, that's when the entire world opened up for me. You need to be comfortable being fully authentic, which means also being vulnerable, which means also not knowing the answer to things. Open it up to discussion. You know, I never thought of that, but what do you all think? I bet you some people will say some cool stuff. So don't feel like you need to be the guru. That couldn't be further from the from the truth. Yeah, I guess different from an investor meeting. It's tougher to open it up to the group, but that was a great one, a great learning for me. When you genuinely don't know, either just saying I don't know or I don't know the right answer. What do you guys think? Another one that I find helpful when you're getting into questions is clarifying why somebody asked the question. So it's a really good question. Why did you ask that? And often I've seen a recent example happen where there was a pitch competition. A judge asked a question about the business. They had to literally come up with this business five minutes ago. So he asked a question about it and said how far, like out of curiosity, how far along are you in this process? And the person pitching took it as because you know, like clearly, because I, as a judge, can tell that you're no nowhere with this, like were you born yesterday? This is a terrible idea. Is what she heard. But what he was actually asking was, is this a real business, because I'd be interested in investing. HMM. And so she'd her answer was like we're nowhere. We just started this five minutes ago, like layoff, whereas if she would have said that's a really interesting question. Why do you ask that question, his answer would have been because it's a great idea and I'd love to invest. It also shows a level of thoughtfulness of the presenter two, which is kind of cool. Yeah, you can't. I think if you're got a fifteen minute question period, you can't do it again and again, it again, but it gives you the benefit of having some extra time to think. But knowing why somebody asked it is really, really powerful. I want to come back just for a second to to prepping the presentation. When someone's prepping, what's you said? Take your notes, put it in the note section, come up with the visual for the notes. Any advice on how to structure that? Like if I'm sitting down with presumably, and I either an idea and my head or a business plan on paper, and now the task is to and business plan. People think like twenty page Bass Plan. I'm talking one pager an idea. What is it? WHO's it for those sorts of things? Advice on where to start, because you're suggesting don't open the template and power point and start with what they've got there. But if I've got my idea, I've got fifteen minute presentation that I've got to give on the idea this Friday. Where do I start? Do you have any suggestions for frameworks? Or use a whiteboard or put it on pieces of paper and move it all over the place? How do I start? Well, one of the things you could do is follow Eli's hips and a whole lot of M's model. I do think that starting with a hook is always where you should start in your presentation, but that's not necessarily the first thing you do. Is the creator. I think the first thing you probably do is the creator, is ask yourself questions. What's everyone going to be wondering about this, and then you can structure those answers as the structure of your presentation. How you get to and from each answer requires little bit of Finesse. But if you can think what's everyone going to be wondering about this, that's a really great section of your presentation, I bet. So asking yourself questions, I think, is a good place to start, and that's so as a team if you've got a business concept and you've got to put together presentation, sitting in a room and saying what is the baseline level of competence? People are going to have about this? They're going to wonder about this, they're going to wonder about that, likes actually listing out those questions as a starting point. Yeah, for sure. Why is this business going to work? Why are you the right people? You end up for? You, you know, are coming back to the MS, I think on those questions. But just as a really quick example, we knew that as part of our presentation skills workshop we had to teach storytelling. So we thought to ourselves, well, okay, what are people going to be wondering about storytelling? Is Storytelling actually important? Why does story work? How do you become a better storyteller? And those are literally the sections of our workshop on storytelling. All we did was think about what are people going to want to know about this? So will you're right, there's some fundamental things that any business, any judge or investors going to wonder is is this going to work? Will people buy it? ARE PEOPLE BUYING IT already? Is Their traction? What have you done to date? Who Are you? WHO's working on it? Those are all questions that you can anticipate. You could almost list out all of the anticipated questions, figure out which ones you want to address in the core of the presentation and then have make sure that you rehearse or prepare someone your answers for the other ones that you inevitably know you're going to get if you...

...thought about it for five seconds. You when you do that, you also end up asking the right questions that are specific to your business, rather than crew following some catch off framework that may or may not be rather than googling how to make a good pitch direct downloading much to templates and trying to fill yours in. Yeah, I want to get to wrapping up here, but rewind the tape back many years and it can be as it relates to communication skills or presentation skills. But advice to your twenty year old selves, my advice to my twenty year old self is to stop being so stressed out. My first year at Ivy, in particular, what hit me like a ton of bricks. I was always the the high achiever, one of the best students in the room, and then I got my exam schedule and I realized the class starts at eight am every day and I still want to go to like at with my friends and have a social life and blah, blah, blah. Blast went on and on and I realized that I was not going to get to do everything I wanted to do if sleep wanted to be a part of it, and that absolutely ruined it, especially that first semester. I was so stressed out and that made me unhappy, and happiness is the goal right another time in my life when that happened is when I finished my MBA. I wanted to find the perfect job and what that meant was I was unemployed for a little while, and so I woke up every morning so stressed out about being unemployed. Had I just leaned into that and enjoyed my time, that would have been so much better. So it's less about you shouldn't have done that or you should do this, but more it's more of a perspective piece of advice. Don't allow yourself to be so stressed you know everything's going to work out. Stop allowing people to get to you when they ask do you have a job yet? What was your mark? Blah, blah, blah. The list goes on. Just manage your stress. That's the biggest thing I'd say for me, the biggest piece of advice I'd give myself is that indecision is worse than the wrong decision. I feel like I spent so much time worrying about what the right decision would be, in playing out the different pros and cons and and almost like mapping it out into the future so far that it was ludicrous trying to figure out what the right answer is. And then I was in that space of limbo so perpetually that it was so frustrating and it was anxiety and do saying and just stressful. And I think it's better to make a decision even if you're not sure it's the right one, because you get so much more insight from a wrong decision than from trying to think your way through to a right decision. And I think about that. When I accepted the job teaching, I wasn't sure if it was the right thing or the wrong thing and I played so many hours of the rationale game trying to figure out if that's what I should do or should I go to consulting, our marketing path, and I like I'd beat myself silly trying to figure out the right answer. When eventually I decided to go teaching. I should have just chose something. It's good to play the rational game a little bit, to try to put a bit of thought behind your decisions, but don't get stuck in limbo, because the wrong decision is way better than indecision. That's good advice. Where's your favorite place to think? If you do have a place for me, it's rather than a place to think, it's a context in which to think. I love thinking in the context of other people. My best thinking is done when Eric and I are sitting on a couch just like shooting it, you know, and just having fun and just in dialog. I think I think the most freely because I don't put pressure on myself to come up with ideas. I'm just start of exploring and it's almost like going to the mental gym and you're doing a workout and through that workout cool ideas come, like thinking aloud, talking through problems. Yeah, yeah, and I don't think that's the right right way to do things. It's just what works for me. But I think put me in any environment, as long as there's other people that I can bounce ideas off and play that mental workout with, that's the best for me. I'm the opposite. I spend at least an hour every single night and usually almost a full day every Sunday, just by myself learning and it usually comes in the form of Youtube or Wikipedia binges. But that's when I do my best thinking, when I'm completely alone. So, I mean, Eli said out he doesn't think that's the right way. We have literally opposite answers. So I mean, I guess the real answer is to each their own. But but you may. You specifically make time to do it. I specifically make time to do it and I do it. I don't do it because I'm trying to become smarter. Really, I do it because I enjoy it, if I'm being honest with myself. But yes, I do. I do it all the time. You guys morning or night people? I am a night person. I used to be a night person and I have become a morning person and it's I like it so much better. Yeah, it's so much more fun. Do you you talk about mental workouts? Do you meditate at all or do any mindfulness type stuff? Yeah, when did you start? I started meditating probably around the time that we started speaker labs, and it's bit ebbs and flows. Right. There's been times when I've been meditating every single day for three months, wow, and then there's six month stretches where like I'm meditating once or twice in that entire period. But I find I find it very helpful to try to observe my own mind and I don't...

...know if I don't even know what the right way to meditate is, and I certainly know that whatever the right way is, I'm not doing it right. But it's very cool for me to observe my mind doing weird things and it helps me stay a little bit crowded and I think it actually is maybe the single most important thing to help me come up with ideas for our curriculum, because I can see when my mind is clouding my ability to brainstorm and think freely. So are you coming up with the ideas in those meditations or no, I'm I'm I find what's happening is I'm like decluttering my head space a little bit and then when we sit down to brainstorm, that's when my idea start to formulate a little bit more. But instead of spending forty percent of my mental bandwidth worrying about coming up with the right idea, I've gotten I I've come to terms with those stupid thoughts that enter into my head space sometimes that serve no purpose and I can observe them for what they are and then go okay, chill out, and that mental bandwidth gets reallocated towards brainstorming, and so it seems to be more a practice and in decluttering so that I have a bit more mental bandwidth for other stuff. Interesting. It's like a disk defragment. Remember those back in the day? Yeah, I like that. I haven't thought of it that way. I'm a definitely an amateur. Yeah, meditator. I also I find working out in Yoga, those types of things are also meditative. Physically doing something. Yeah, yeah, the meditation to your point of when it then comes time to put your mental horse power into something, I find it easier to push out the other crap and say all right, now mine, you need to now focus on this problem for the next little bit. I think training yourself to be able to, when it's time to think like actually think that way. That's how I found it helpful recently. Yeah, and to be honest, I still suck at it by bad but I'm a lot better than I used to be, so I suck less. I'm eager to get to the point where I become good, but right now I just suck less than I used to suck. Yeah, they talked about it like similar to the way that you go to the gym and work out, like the wait. At least when I first started I was ten minutes and the amount of time that I spent in this like Zen state was zero percent and even now most days is still maybe one percent. But it's actually the process of Oh my gosh, all of these thoughts are coming, labeling them and going whoop, get rid of that thought. Yeah, versus like and I'm in this weird Zen, fully peaceful heart, as calm state. It's the practice of getting that crap out of the way. Yeah, yeah, it's definitely not zen. No, not, it is useful. Is there anything else that you'd want the audience to know about you guys or your company? Where do we find speaker labs? If we're interested, we find speaker labs at Speaker Labs Dot Sea. We're in Toronto, but we love traveling and you can email us at Eric at speaker lab was dot see or Eli it speaker labs dot see A. Eric will get back to you faster, though. Awesome. I didn't ask it in the beginning, so I'm going to ask it now. Speaker labs in a nutshell, what does speaker labs what does it do? We create awesome public speakers, tight, really tight. I like that. Clear value proposition, nice messaging. I like I used to say we were a public speaking training company, less of a ring to it. I think both work. Yeah, the idea of trainings come back in the will wrap up. The idea of being a training company feels old school somehow. Oh yeah, I don't know what the right word is for explaining taking what we do, bottling it up and helping other people be better. I don't know what the new age word for it, but like a facilitator or a trainer, you get a weird visual O visilization. Eli and I got so much explicit and implicit flak from our friends and family when we were starting speaker labs for that reason. What do you mean your starting training company? Or and teach me how to public speak? They just they didn't see the opportunity at all. So that was really hard for us to navigate because we obviously want to be accepted by people. Everyone does, and only once people started sort of seeing it come to life did they realize this will be a little bit of a different take and we're going to make it as current as we possibly can and this can actually work. But I would say it was hard for us to stick to our guns a little bit, but we're glad we did. Awesome. This has been great. I don't we don't get to hang out all that frequently, but it's nice to capture a little bit of our conversation. I think round to at some point is going to be a little bit more casual. We'll do it in my sauna, the drinking hand or something. Since God, but honestly, it's been great to see the growth of your business. It's really cool to see you guys having the courage to leave and start something that didn't have full validation and to see it not coming to life but thriving. I mean the the companies in the brands that you guys work with. Our if you dreamed up brands that you'd love to work with, if you if you were starting this company and you created the wire frame for your website and said what would be the best logos to have on our website, you've got them. Yeah, we've certainly got a few of them that. There's more that we're after, but we definitely have some that we never would have believe that we have at this point, so that's pretty cool. Thanks for pointing that out. Yeah, you've done you've done a phenomenal job. So, having been through it, it's been great and I think that my my...

...class is going to get a ton of value from it. Speaking of we're going to get running. So thank you, guys, for coming in for some of the time. We love you. You've been listening to the Ivy Entrepreneur podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or a visit IV dot ca, a forward slash entrepreneurship. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (50)