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“KEEP IT UP. WE ALL HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE.”

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Hi, I'm Krystal.
Welcome to The Proffitt Podcast - where we teach you how to create  content with confidence.
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Effective public speaking can seem like it’s a trait you are born with.
But that’s not true at all!

I know as we watch people speaking to the masses at conferences or on TV (in front of thousands of people!), it’s easy for us to assume that they were born with this skill.

But, that’s exactly what it is. A skill.

Something you can learn. Something you can get better at.

Anyone can learn how to be an effective public speaker!

And guess what?
The more you practice, the better you’ll get.

So that’s what I want to talk about today.
Because if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year of creating The Rookie Life Podcast it’s this:

YOU can get better at being an effective public speaker.

Let’s take a journey back to 2009…

During college, as a marketing major, I presented dozens of projects.
Some of them were practice sales pitches.
Others were company portfolios – highlighting what they did well and what they could do better.
And some were projections of what the service industry would look like in a few years.

(By the way, we were all totally wrong! Thank you, Amazon and social media!)

But what I did learn in those 4 years in Business School was:

  • Always Wear a Smile
  • Know Your Outline
  • Have Confidence (in Whatever Comes Out of Your Mouth)
  • To Be a Better Listener

All of these same principles (and more) apply to podcasting.
That’s why podcasting can improve your abilities as an effective public speaker.

So let’s dive into each of them.

 

Always Wear a Smile!

I think the first time I heard this (as it applies to a job) was when I started working my admin job on campus. I was answering phones at 8:00 am on a Friday morning (after a long night of…”studying”). I’m sure the caller could hear the dragging of my mental mechanics on the other end.

“Thanks for calling the…Director of…Student Affairs office…this is…Krystal…[Like I forgot my name or something!]. How can I help you?”

Little did I know, my boss was already at her desk listening to the whole ordeal behind the other wall. After I hung up the phone, she approached me. My boss first asked me, “Rough night last night?” then proceeded to tell me that my phone etiquette needed improvement. Big time!

“People can tell when you’re smiling.”

That’s what she said to me. I was totally confused. This was WAY before the development of FaceTime or another person being able to see you when you’re on the phone.

“Why does it matter if I’m smiling? They can’t see me…” I hope I wasn’t as much of a smart a** at the time we actually had this conversation as it plays in my head. But it was the truth. I didn’t understand why it mattered.

“People can hear it in your voice. When you’re smiling, people know it. When you’re tired and slouchy, people know it. So smile when you talk to people on the phone!”

This advice has made the biggest impact on my podcasting career! I’ll never forget it and it’s why I bring it up today.

PEOPLE CAN TELL WHEN YOU’RE SMILING, EVEN IF THEY CAN’T SEE YOUR FACE!

 

Know Your Outline

If you’re just starting your podcast, or you have been doing it for a few months, you may not have had a ton of awkward moments on your show.

But let me tell you, there have been some really awkward (and some almost tragic moments) on The Rookie Life Podcast!

Luckily, those situations were dealt with in a professional way. I was prepared to bounce back from them all because I’ve been in some awkward situations before.

don’t be the slacker of the group!

I was once part of a team in College that had to complete an assignment. The active participants weren’t 100% surprised when one of our teammates didn’t do their end of the project. (He rarely came to team meetings. He thought he knew everything. And felt like working with a group of women was beneath him. [INSERT EYE ROLL])

The assignment we had was to create a 30-45 minute long presentation. Each group member was in charge of a section that was roughly 10-15 minutes. 

(You see where this is going, don’t you?)

This individual decided he didn’t care about holding up his end of the bargain and only spoke for 5 minutes. The rest of us knew that if we didn’t make up the difference in time, our grade was going to suffer. I took a deep breath and went totally rogue! I decided in a split second to go way over the amount of time for my project.

Now I understand that this could easily be defined as “rambling”…which is probably true because I was 20 years old, standing in front of a room full of peers in a business suit and very uncomfortable heels that didn’t really fit.

you have to think on your toes.

I knew right then and there that we had to make up the time for Slacker Dude. I started throwing around facts and figures I remembered from our late-night library meetings. I may have even said a few statistics that weren’t even relevant to our project but related to our overall class topic.

I remember thinking, “The words that are coming out of my mouth right now don’t even make sense! But we gotta keep talking in order to meet our time and get an ‘A’ on our project!”

So thinking on my toes is something I’ve been doing for a long, long time.

Now, let’s get back to podcasting…

There have been a few times during an interview when I’m listening so intently to what the other person is saying that I lose track of where I want the conversation to go next.

**SIDE NOTE: This is totally normal when you are just starting to interview people! When you’re new to the entire podcast process, give yourself some grace. Especially if you’ve done any of the things I’m about to share with you…

The best way to face a situation where you don’t want to look like you have no idea what you’re doing is to:

  • Have the person repeat the last thing that they said.
    • Simply say, “I want to make sure I have this correct. Can you say that last sentence again?”
  • Segway into another question related to the same topic you were just talking about.

DON’T BE A LIAR…

I DON’T think you should lie and say, “Wow! That was the most compelling thing anyone’s ever said in the history of the world,” when you have no idea what they just said.

You will really feel like an idiot later when you realize they were talking about picking up dog poop on their lawn after a long day’s work. Or how awful it felt when their grandmother died.

Don’t be that person!

 

Have Confidence (in Whatever Comes Out of Your Mouth)

I’m not going to lie, you can go listen to my podcast right now and here are all of the “Ummms”, “Like”, “Right” and “That’s amazing!” that are 100% unnecessary. I have yet to perfect the “not saying all of the unnecessary filler words” aspect of podcasting. 

But, believe it or not, podcasting has helped me not say these as often as I did in the very beginning. (Trust me. It’s a lot better than it used to be!)

I’ve worked on honing my skills as a more effective public speaker.

I also don’t cough or make weird noises with my mouth as much as I did in the very beginning.
So if this is you right now, there is hope! (YAY!)
You’ll get better down the road, just keep practicing.

You’ll learn to not say those “filler words”.

The more you talk into the microphone…The more you interview people…The more you write scripts and outlines for your podcast…The more you realize how each word you say is important…The better you become!

I guess you should know from the very beginning of your podcast that each word you say is important, but it’s not really until you have the microphone right in front of you. You hit that record button and you can feel each word coming off of your lips. Only then do you know that you can make a difference in someone’s life by what you say.

There’s a lot of power in that!

And I believe podcasting comes with great responsibility. Put your best foot forward and try to be the best version of yourself. Which also means…you have to be the most effective public speaker you can possibly be!

**SIDE NOTE: I have a terrible accent. I know this. I don’t try to hide it. I also don’t try to emphasize it. Y’all for real. If the true “hickness” of my voice were to come out, I wouldn’t have the ability to listen to it. Don’t let the sound of your voice overshadow the confidence behind your message!

 

Be a Better Listener

It doesn’t matter whether you have a solo podcast or you do regular interviews on your show, being a podcaster makes you a better listener.

I know being an amazing listener may not seem like a trait of an effective public speaker, but I promise it is.

SOLO EPISODES

If you have a solo podcast, you need to listen to your audience. Obviously, they’re not on the podcast with you because you’re doing it alone. But you still need to be listening to what they want to hear from you.

If you’re talking just to hear yourself talk, you’ll never have a successful podcast!

Ouch! I know…I’m wincing a little bit saying that…But it’s the truth. You know it is.

Just like other effective public speakers such as Rachel Hollis, Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, and Tony Robbins, they know what their audience needs to hear from them. Otherwise, they would have been out of business a long time ago.

You may not think of yourself as a public speaker. You may say,

“But I’m just a podcaster.”

But you carry the same responsibilities as a public speaker.
You are delivering a message that you hope will transform lives, entice people to try a product or service, or simply entertain someone and put a smile on their face.

So I encourage you to listen to what your audience wants from you. Give them that amazing podcast experience they’re looking for.

Now let’s talk about interviews…

If you invite someone to be a guest on your podcast, you need to let them talk.

This isn’t the time for you to share all of your wisdom. Or the insightful stories of your youth. Or take control of the conversation and speak the entire time.

No! Stop It! RIGHT NOW!

You need to listen to their stories. Ask amazing follow-up questions. Ask them things that you know your audience is wondering. Questions that’ll make your audience happy.

Practice interviewing with your friends and family.
Listen more than you speak.

“God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.
You should listen twice as much as you speak.”

I have no idea where I originally heard that quote, but I’ve never forgotten it. Listen twice as much as you speak.

But for some people that have a podcast who love to talk (Me!), this is a natural behavior.

When I first started podcasting, I had the impulse to interrupt a lot.
I wanted to say what I was thinking right at that moment.
I wanted to make sure that my voice was heard.
I wanted to make sure that I was noticed.

Me…Me…Me…I…I…I!

I know that sounds really selfish…because it was!

Later down the road, I realized how much I was trying to make the show about me. In reality, the podcast isn’t about me at all!

It’s about the shared experiences that come from people listening to the show. People relating to the stories that other female entrepreneurs are sharing. And learning from other people’s Rookie mistakes so they don’t make the same ones in their lives and in their businesses.

So learn to be a better listener in order to become a more effective public speaker.

 

What is ONE WAY that podcasting has made YOU a more effective public speaker?

 

If you aren’t currently podcasting, what PRINCIPLE do you think will help you THE MOST when you start recording?

 

Comment below and let’s keep this conversation going. But remember…

Keep it up, Rookie. We all have to start somewhere!

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HI, I'M Krystal Proffitt

Podcast coach, content strategist, best-selling author, lifelong cheerleader, and content marketer

Podcaster • Cheerleader • Coach •

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