Building Your Speaker Brand Separate From Your Corporate Identity with Sandy Robinson: Podcast Ep. 380

Building Your Speaker Brand Separate From Your Corporate Identity with Sandy Robinson: Podcast Ep. 380

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The power of women’s voices doesn’t just relate to women who own and run their own businesses; it’s also for women who work in corporate spaces. 

Building your personal brand and speaker brand separate from your corporate identity can give you a voice and mission that has a greater impact beyond the day-to-day work you do in your job. 

In this episode, our lead speaking coach Diane Diaz talks with one of our Thought Leader Academy clients, Sandy Robinson.

Sandy works in revenue operations and she’s carved a niche for herself by building a personal and speaker brand distinct from her corporate identity. 

Diane and Sandy talk about:

  • How Sandy began her speaking journey (it’s a fun story!) and how that has informed her speaking today 
  • Why she decided to look for a speaking coach and what led her to join the Thought Leader Academy
  • What sparked her interest in sharing a more personal message with audiences and how and why she’s building her personal and speaker brand separate from her corporate work
  • Her experience and takeaways from the Thought Leader Academy and our in-person speaking retreat
  • How she felt doing the improv exercises at the retreat and what she’s going to do with that knowledge (hint: her sales teams might be surprised!)
  • The way she’s integrated a topic she’s passionate about into her professional work to support other women and build her personal and speaker brand

 

 

About Our Guest: Sandy Robinson is Senior Vice President of Revenue Operations and Enablement at Patra with over 20 years under her belt in making sales teams shine and operations run smoothly, thanks to her knack for turning numbers and innovative ideas into real growth. She’s led Revenue Operations and Enablement at big-name SaaS companies including Web.com, SupplyFrame and Nymbus, steering them toward success and now plays a key role at Patra, where she’s all about pushing boundaries and setting the stage for exciting new products. Sandy’s not just about the bottom line, though; she’s passionate about mentoring young women, sharing her journey to inspire others. With a mix of street smarts from MIT and NYIT, a master’s in Education for Global Training, and even a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, Sandy’s blend of brains, heart, and kick-butt attitude makes her a force to be reckoned with in the tech world and beyond.

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories, voices, and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

 

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/380/ 

Sandy’s website: https://www.sandyelevates.com

Discover your Speaker Archetype by taking our free quiz at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/quiz/

Enroll in our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/ 

Watch Sandy and our other TLA grads deliver a section of their signature talks: https://www.linkedin.com/events/usingtheirvoices-livesignaturet7171594958989053952/theater/

Connect on LinkedIn:

Related Podcast Episodes:

380-SYB-Sandy-Robinson.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

380-SYB-Sandy-Robinson.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
What does it look like to build your speaker brand separate from your corporate identity? This is what our lead speaking coach, Diane Diaz, talks with, with our client, Sandy Robinson, on this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses, running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker, I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies, and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is speaking your brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience.

Diane Diaz:
Welcome. I am Diane Diaz and I’ll be your host today. It is Women’s History Month, and on last week’s episode in this Women’s History Month series, you heard from Carol Cox about the power of women’s voices and stories to change the world. The power of women’s voices, though, doesn’t just relate to women who own and run their own businesses. It also relates to women in corporate spaces. Building their personal brands and speaker brands separate from their corporate identities can give them a voice that has greater impact beyond the day to day work that they do in their corporate jobs. But here’s the thing it is not always easy, as a woman in the corporate world, to see a path for your speaker brand outside of the work that you do in your job, you might be stuck in the day to day work of your job. You might be speaking on behalf of the company all the time, but you can’t see a way to fit your own message and what you’re passionate about into that. Now, I understand this because when I worked in corporate many moons ago, I often felt like I didn’t have a voice, like I was doing work that I loved, but it was for the company. And then my personal brand didn’t end. Voice didn’t really factor into that. Then when I left corporate or was invited to leave due to massive layoffs in the real estate industry, I hadn’t built my own brand on the side, so I really had to start from scratch.

Diane Diaz:
Now, maybe you have felt that way too, like you should be creating something of your own, but maybe you don’t know where to start. And that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about today with my guest, Sandy Robinson. We’ll be talking about her experience as a woman in the corporate space, her speaking career, and how she’s building her personal and speaker brand separate from her job alongside the work she does. But separate from that. And we’ll also talk about her recent experience attending our in-person client speaking retreat, what she took away from that experience, and how she brought a topic she’s passionate about into the work she did during that retreat. And stick around, because I’m going to ask Sandy a fun question towards the end, I’m going to ask her to share her take on one specific activity that we did during the retreat, and how that impacted her and her on stage delivery of her talk. So we’ll get into that. If you’re new here, welcome to the podcast. And speaking of brand, we work with women entrepreneurs, professionals and leaders to help them define their thought leadership and create their signature talks. And if you want to learn more about how to build your speaker brand, join us in the Thought Leader Academy. Our next group starts in April, so you can go to speaking your brand.com/academy to get all the details. Again, that is speaking your brand.com/academy. And with that I’d love to welcome you to the podcast. Sandy. Welcome.

Sandy Robinson:
Thank you so much for having me, Diane. I’m excited to be here.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, I am so excited to talk to you. I’m excited for our our listeners to hear from you, because I do know that a lot of women in corporate spaces, you know, we have a lot of entrepreneurs that listen to the podcast. But I know that a lot of women in the corporate space listen as well. And I know they’re wondering, you know, what should I be doing about personal branding? Or if they haven’t gotten to that point yet, at some point that’s going to come up. So I definitely want to talk to you about all of those things. But first, if you would just share a little bit with our audience about who you are and what you do in your work.

Sandy Robinson:
So I’m Sandy Robinson, I’m the senior vice president of revenue operations and enablement at Patra. I’ve been in the sales, marketing, leadership, sales, operations, revenue, operations world for 20 some odd years. And I’ve, you know, I’ve been on, you know, been on the sales side. I try to you know, I’ve been through corporate America work my way up the ranks over the years and, you know, find myself in an SVP level. And it is, you know, just your what you’re talking about is definitely a challenge, right? Especially for women in trying to understand what your brand is and everything like that. So I’ve definitely struggled with this over the years and I’m just super pumped to talk about it today.

Diane Diaz:
Yeah, it’s a good point. And like you said, you’ve been in sales for a long time. You’ve been in the corporate space for a long time. And I think that anybody listening to this, any woman listening to this who’s in the corporate space is probably hopefully nodding their heads and identifying with this because like I said in the intro, I’ve experienced it. I’ve talked to lots of women in corporate that have experienced this, and a lot of times they’re either maybe they’re shifting their careers or they’re kind of they’ve been in something a long time and they’re thinking about what what’s my next move? Or maybe like me, they’ve gotten laid off and then realize, uh oh, I don’t I don’t have a brand separate from the work I’ve done or the companies that I’ve worked for. So what has been your let’s start with your speaker experience, because I know in addition to being in sales for a long time, you’ve been speaking for a very long time. Can you give us a little bit of insight into what got you started speaking? When did you start speaking and what was that like, and how have you kind of built your speaker brand? Because I know you do have a speaker brand. Um.

Sandy Robinson:
It actually started way back when I was teaching karate. So when I was 17 years old, I was a martial arts instructor, and I would stand up there every day, give a message of the week and teach karate classes. And then I we had a lot of training around that. I ended up running a school. I would go speak at venues I would speak at, like elementary schools about stranger danger and things like that. So when I was, you know, 18, 19 years old, I was running around doing all of those sorts of things kind of way back then. And then when I got into sales, I became very passionate about teaching. So I would figure out how to do something and then I would share it. So in my first real outside sales job, I kind of weaseled my way into running the sales training at the company, and it just kind of went from there, uh, on and on throughout different roles that I’ve had.

Diane Diaz:
That is so much fun, I didn’t I we’ve talked a lot about your your different things that you’ve done throughout your career, but I didn’t realize that you’d done speaking as a karate teacher. That is so fun. And I think just as an aside to this, this is where this idea of like, our personal stories comes into play, right? Because that’s such an important part of what has made you who you are and what has made you the speaker that you are. Now, let’s fast forward to today. I know you speak. Tell us about what you’re speaking is like now, because I know you speak at a lot of conferences and things related to your industry. How often do you speak? What are the topics usually surround you? Know, what is that all about?

Sandy Robinson:
It. Yeah, it first started. I got invited to speak on a webinar and I was like, oh, that was super fun. And I got to contribute to the revenue operations community. And then I would get invited to another one. And then and then I got invited to a podcast, and it just kind of built from there. Um, I really enjoy, uh, contributing to the revenue operations community, which, you know, I was kind of at the beginning of this function even being a thing back when it was, you know, when sales operations was first, you know, kind of a new function. And then it’s developed into marketing ops, customer success ops and revenue operations. So I definitely have a lot of opinions and a lot of experience, things that I’ve done horribly wrong and things that I’ve done well. So that’s kind of how it started. And then I was like, oh, this conference looks fun. I’d love to speak at it. And I applied, got accepted. And then it kind of kind of went from there. So.

Diane Diaz:
So how often and how often do you speak now? Would you say like on average.

Sandy Robinson:
So last year I did I think 6 or 7 conferences. Oh great. Yeah. So this year I think I’m I’ll probably do around the same. I have uh, 3 or 4 actually have four so far that I have scheduled. And what’s great for me is I, I enjoy giving back. And then I also learn so much from all of the other speakers and presenters there. So selfishly, when I go, you know, I go and I share what I’m working on and I try to try to help people, but then I also get to listen to everybody else. So I’ll get to go to the entire, you know, two day conference that I probably would have put in my budget at work to go to anyway. Right. Uh, so I find a lot of benefit from it there.

Diane Diaz:
That is such a great point, Sandy. The fact that, you know, because we talk a lot about how can I get speaking engagements and how can I become a better speaker. And some of that is just by doing, of course, is getting out there and speaking. So repetition and like you said, getting to see other speakers because I’m sure you learn not just subject matter things, but also what works as a speaker, what doesn’t work as a speaker, what to do, what not to do, things you could improve upon that you see other people do and think, oh, I could integrate that into my talk. So I love that you mentioned that, because just the act of getting out there and speaking sometimes gives us so many lessons that can help us improve our speaking. So lesson to everybody and to myself, you know, when you’re out there speaking, go to if you’re going to a conference and you’re able to attend the whole conference, go to other people’s talks, see what they’re doing, take, you know, obviously take the good and get rid of the bad. But learn things from other speakers. And speaking is a great way to get other speaking engagements. I’m sure you’ve found that to be true.

Sandy Robinson:
Definitely. And for example, with one of the, uh, affiliations called the Alliance, they asked me to host a podcast. So I now am on season two. So it’s called the Revenue Operations Alliance. And I have a podcast called Rev Ops Unboxed. And so that kind of came out of that. And, and I’ve also been asked to be a chairperson for their events in the revenue operations community. So these things, you know, for me are fun. I enjoy it, it gives me more practice. But again, like I get to learn about speaking, but then also about like cool industry stuff and trends that, you know, other people, uh, my peers and other folks in the industry have come up with.

Diane Diaz:
Yes, yes. And so to your, to your point, visibility and being out there doing the thing has brought you these other opportunities. So, you know, we often talk about that as you know, in the Thought Leader Academy, we talk about that idea of just having visibility. And that is going to lead to other things like for you, the podcast, other speaking opportunities. So I would say to everybody out there, get out there and start speaking, whether it’s to local groups, conferences, it doesn’t matter, but get out there and start doing it because that leads to other opportunities. And then you can start to hone your message, get clearer, and then really start to go for the talks that you want. And I’m certain, but I let me ask this of you as you’ve done more and more speaking on the corporate side and speaking about revenue operations and things like that, when did you start to get sort of this sort of inkling that you might want to have more of a personal message and start to build the personal brand alongside the work that you do separate from your corporate work? When did that come about, and what was the impetus?

Sandy Robinson:
It’s there’s kind of two pieces to that. So one, I had this younger woman come up to me at a conference and she was struggling. She’s like, I have this really great idea. I know how we can fix some problems in my company, but my boss won’t listen to me. And, you know, she was just kind of sharing some struggles. And as women, we approach things differently. We’re, you know, allow ourselves, I think, sometimes to be a little bit more vulnerable. And so I just asked her, you know, what the challenges were. And there were there were several kind of more dominating men that she was dealing with. And she just wanted advice how to navigate the politics in her organization. And, you know, I’ve been dealing with this since a very young age. My first, you know, real like outside sales job. I was the only female, only woman in the, uh, field sales team. And, you know, there were a lot of different things that I had, challenges that I had to deal with when we were on the road and travel and all this different stuff. So I can totally relate, and I can share things that have worked for me, things that haven’t worked. So that was one piece of it. And recently, probably about a year and a half ago, I, you know, made some major changes in my life and just, you know, kind of got my stuff together.

Sandy Robinson:
I call it, you know, getting unstuck. Right? So I felt kind of stuck, like we all do. And I wanted to lose some weight. I wanted to be healthier. I wanted to focus on my personal branding and speaking. So I really made a lot of shifts. I lost a lot of weight, and I attributed it all to making just incremental changes. Right. And as a mom, a professional, full time job, uh, wife, you know, there’s a lot to balance. So it’s it’s something that’s really worked for me. So I have I have people ask me all the time like, you know, how did you do that? You look totally different. You look like you have more energy. I’m like, I feel great. So those are kind of the two big things. And I just, um, I’m trying to, you know, I try to lead by example. So going to an industry conference, if I’m sitting in the audience and I see a woman, um, like me up there, it’s going to motivate me. Like if I saw you at a conference. So I try to like, lead by example and walk the walk. And so by doing those industry events, I’m hoping I can also help women like the the woman who reached out to me.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. Yeah. That’s that’s a really great point. And for everybody listening, if you are a woman in the corporate space, consider how your a personal passion or you know, something you care about can be related to your industry or could be something totally separate. But consider how you might start building that that speaker brand or that personal brand alongside. You know, you don’t have to leave your corporate job to do that. You can still build that on the side, as Sandy is doing, which we’ll get into a little bit more. But you can start to build that on the side so that you can also do, as Sandy mentioned, you know, help others, but also fulfill some, some passion that you have that you want to bring out. So you your brand can be multifaceted. And I, as someone who was in the corporate space and then, you know, had a massive layoff, I encourage women in corporate to build something of their own. And of course, it doesn’t have to be in conflict with the work you do, but it gives you that outlet. And then whenever you if you do decide to make a shift or if you just want to continue doing that kind of, you know, in your own time, you have something that is yours, something that you own. And so for you, Sandy, I love this idea of bringing that passion, of giving back to other women in a male dominated industry, you know, using your voice and your brand as a speaker to, again, continue to speak for the revenue operations, but also speak to other women in the industry and help support them. So it must give you also some sense of fulfillment.

Sandy Robinson:
It definitely does. I really I really try to focus on my why. So the contributing to the revenue operations community and the other the other why is, you know, just, uh, contributing to empowering women and trying to do the best that I can to support that.

Diane Diaz:
Yes, I love that, and I, I know because you’re in the Thought Leader Academy. I happen to know that you are working on building a website and some other things. Can you share a little bit about that kind of. I’m so.

Sandy Robinson:
Excited. I think it’s gonna go live. It’s gonna go live, uh, I think in a few days, probably right after this airs or right about when it airs. So, uh, I’ve just it’s just a small, you know, website to feature, you know, my speaking and some of the things that I am focused on in terms of my personal branding, I have just people ask me a lot and I typically direct them to my LinkedIn, but then they want to see, you know, and also for these speaking events, when you apply for applications, they want to see a speaker reel, they want to see something. And I’m always like digging things up and throwing them on YouTube. And so I’m like, it’d be great if I just had a website to point them to. And so it’s just really more of a passive thing, but something that represents me in my personal brand, uh, but supportive and complimentary to, you know, my job in corporate America. And, you know, everything that I’m doing out there, um, you know, with the different communities that I’m involved in.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. So everybody, um, if you listen when you’re listening to this podcast episode, go check Sandy’s LinkedIn. I’m sure she will share it there. But I have seen the creative for this that she’s that she’s come up with. And it is phenomenal. And once you know Sandy and you listen to the podcast, you will realize when you see that that it really suits who she is. And I think everybody, I think everybody will love it, but also be inspired by it, hopefully to also build their own speaker and personal brand alongside the work they do in corporate spaces, because I really am kind of a champion for this sort of a thing because again, I’ve been through that and I think everybody should do this. So kind of use this as an example and definitely go check out Sandy’s LinkedIn. Um, now, Sandy, you are in the Thought Leader Academy. And so you’ve been working on your talk. Um, we work together in a strategy session first, and then you join the Thought Leader Academy. What was your what was your why? For reaching out to work with Speaker Brand and to come into the Thought Leader Academy. What made you decide to do that?

Sandy Robinson:
I. Well, when I saw things on LinkedIn about, I was like, oh, that is that is so cool, I have to go. And then I was like, oh, it’s it’s not till next year. Um, but I started engaging with your with speaking your brand. I think last summer when I first reached out because I was looking for a speaking coach and I was looking for some help on a presentation that I was working on. I had interviewed some other, uh, folks in the industry and wasn’t wasn’t super thrilled with that. So I was excited to talk to you guys. And when I just started listening to the podcast, learning more about it and the experience, I was like, wow, it would be so great. Um, so you oh, I’m sorry, thought Leader Academy. Sorry I did both, I thought, I thought you were talking about the client retreat. Both so thought Leader Academy. I wanted to do that as well. And so I was like, just sign me up for everything, you know, when’s it going to start? And I couldn’t couldn’t start him soon enough.

Sandy Robinson:
So, uh, the thought leader academy, I, I was really wanting to learn and get feedback and, you know, how do I, how do I position myself? Um, the thing that I liked about it is it was, you know, it was about speaking and it’s about kind of developing your signature talk, but it was more than just the actual delivery. So, you know, just in terms of all the different things. So I got I’m super happy I did it or I know we’re getting ready to graduate. And, uh, but then the client retreat, when I found out about that, I was like, I just have to go. Uh, I’m just I’m craving the feedback and being in person. There’s nothing like it. I do sales training, and I just got finished making salespeople, like, deal with role playing. So I was like, if they have to deal with role playing and getting feedback, I can stand up there on a stage and have, uh, you know, all these women give me feedback and have you give me feedback. So, uh, it was just it was phenomenal.

Diane Diaz:
I’m so happy to hear that. And so just for the for everybody listening, Sandy truly did just sign up for everything. So we worked together. The first thing was a strategy session. So we worked together in a strategy session. And then right after that she immediately signed up for Thought Leader Academy and the retreat that was coming up, you know, later, later on. And so she really did just join everything, which I, I felt like was good for creating that momentum for you. And then once you were at the retreat, obviously you had already gone through a portion, a portion of the Thought Leader Academy, so you had already worked on your talk and you kind of had some ideas that were forming. But I remember you mentioning to me in some of our conversations related to your VIP day and other conversations, that you had an interest in bringing more of a personal message out in your talks related to this idea of like what you did to lose weight and feel better and more healthy and all of that. And so you at the retreat, you unveiled a little bit of that talk. Now, it was on the you know, the filming was on the last day and that was the last segment that you did. And I was so excited to see you do that. But how did that feel for you to go to switch, sort of from I’m talking about my corporate stuff to now I’m going to talk about me and my personal stuff. How did that feel?

Sandy Robinson:
It definitely it felt different. I mean, it felt it felt it felt good when I was finished. Um, but it was it was different because I’m, you know, I’m learning how to be more vulnerable. Right. And I think being in corporate land as a woman, I have a really thick skin. I’ve been I’ve been told I wear armor. And so, you know, I’m used to telling, you know, funny corporate stories and stories about my challenges and my struggles and, you know, definitely me being humble and learning, but sitting up there and telling a story about myself and the struggles that I’ve had and the changes that I made and being real, uh, that was definitely it was definitely different, uh, for me. And it felt really good. I know, you know, you and Carole pushed me. You’re like, Carole is like, I want you to do this story for your third segment. And I was like, oh, okay, I will do it. Um, but but I’ve been I’ve been really wanting to contribute there. So I’m working with a women’s group here in Jacksonville, and we’ll be doing doing some work here in a talk, uh, probably sometime in the spring with some, you know, just a local group here, uh, you know, kind of around this subject. So I’m, I’m still developing it out, but I think I’m calling it unstuck. And unstoppable is kind of the theme. So, uh, but it was it was it was fun. It was fun. It was definitely. It was definitely, uh, it felt good, but it was hard. It was hard for me to sit there and get in the mindset because I usually get up on stage and I’m, you know, pumped up and I’m ready to go. And I do, you know, I have my whole thing and I’m getting ready. And and this was just totally different. I had to kind of like get in a different mindset and be more grounded and relaxed and open. Up a little bit.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, I’m so glad you shared it that way, Sandy, because I think that’s a really great observation about that switch from our corporate brains to our more personal brains. Right. And sharing sharing those vulnerable stories because as you know, from Thought Leader Academy and from the retreat, storytelling is the thing that helps the audience connect with your message and connect with, you know, the content that you’re sharing with them. It’s the storytelling that really brings them in, because storytelling stories have this impact on us as listeners. It actually just like when we’re, you know, with our loved ones or new baby or whatever, it releases oxytocin, it makes us feel bonded, and the storytelling is the key. So I applaud you for being willing, especially at the retreat, because you’re in front. You’re in front of a warm, friendly crowd, but it’s new and it is. You haven’t tried this out yet and you’ve, you know, you feel almost exposed. Right. And so I applaud you as a woman who lives in sort of that corporate world, it can be very hard to switch that and like, turn off the armor and just say, I’m just going to be Sandy. I’m just going to be me, right? And then share those personal stories. But this is this is why I wanted to talk about this topic with you. Because, again, if you’re a woman, if you’re listening to this and you’re a woman in the corporate space, just think about how you can start building your brand. That’s yours. Again, don’t have to leave your job. You don’t have to stop speaking for your job. But how can you build something and build your voice and your brand and your speaker brand as yourself alongside the work you do, but for yourself, for your own personal brand? It is harder, but it’s important to do because it’s going to unleash other things. And you and I would submit that it actually will make your other corporate speaking better.

Sandy Robinson:
Yeah, I would, I’m agreeing with everything that you just said. And it really hits home because some people might feel hesitant to work on your own brand and everything like that, but not everybody’s going to love you. And so one that’s just the way it is. And, you know, the other thing is I’ve just decided to not not be afraid about what other people think. Right. And everything that I’m doing is, I think, beneficial to my company. Uh, people ask me, well, when do you have time to do this stuff? It’s like I’m a mom, you know, I figure it out and I spend some time on the week. You know, I do a lot of family time and fun time, and this is fun stuff for me. So I do spend time on the weekends. I’ve kind of built a little makeshift studio, and, um, I, I work, you know, my husband was laughing at me because I was I did make my own logo and business cards. I was tapping into my inner commercial art, you know, when I was, when I was a kid, I was really into that. So I, I’ve been having fun doing those things. But to me, to me, that’s fun. That’s part of it. But I just I just, you know, do it because I’m passionate about it. And, you know, I don’t think any of it’s a conflict of interest because I think some people might be afraid of that. Um, but, you know, I’m just being me. They hired me for me. They saw what I was doing before, and I, you know, think people are generally supportive. That’s the way I look at it.

Diane Diaz:
Yeah, that’s. I’m so glad you said all of that, Sandy. And I agree wholeheartedly this idea of, you know, well, first of all, you know, it isn’t a conflict of interest. And of course, I’m not suggesting anybody do anything. It is a conflict of interest, you know, make sure you’re, you know, you’re just transparent with everything. But the reality is that your visibility, even if it’s from a personal messaging standpoint, helps your company that you work for, because the more visibility you have, the more awareness you bring to them. And it’s all, you know, a win win and you’re the first thing you said, which is that you’re not you’re not for everybody. I’m not for everybody. No, nobody’s going to like everything that you do. And that’s okay, because the people that don’t aren’t your audience. Right. And so if the message doesn’t resonate with some people, that’s okay. That’s honestly that’s marketing 101, as you know. Right. Everybody is not your audience. So when you’re authentic and your message is authentic to what you care about and what’s meaningful and matters to you, and then you tell these vulnerable stories like you did at the retreat, your audience that is for you is going to connect with that and that. So the more authentic and vulnerable you can be, the more the people who are for you are going to know that you’re for them. Right? That’s how marketing works. So so I’m glad that you said that. And I’m glad, you know, I do find that often when we get to these, you know, ages, I will say like over 40 when we start to have these ideas of I have something bigger to share beyond, beyond the work I do.

Diane Diaz:
Like I have a personal message that I want to share, and then we start to tap into that. And it does create more power, obviously, for our own personal brands. But it even helps the work we do. It helps us be clearer and more intentional. And like you said, you’re a mom. We’re women. We get stuff done, right? We we. So, you know, if you can tap into that personal message, I think it helps. It helps you build your personal brand, but it also benefits the corporate brand. Let’s just be clear about that. So I think you you sum that up very clearly. Um, well, let me ask you this then. So when we were at the retreat, we did an activity that full disclosure isn’t my favorite, but we do it because we know it is powerful. We did improv exercises, and yes, Sandy’s laughing because she’s flashing back to how that went. And it actually was fun. Now I am someone who I’m not very good at improv at all, but I understand the importance of it and I have taken an improv class. I wasn’t good at it, but I did it. But I do know the benefit that it got me. So let me ask you, Sandy, as someone who experienced improv at the retreat. What can you share about that experience? The good, the bad, the ugly?

Sandy Robinson:
Um, well, I won’t I won’t share what what our little, uh, two part act was when I was up there and threw you for a loop.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, no. Please don’t share that. Uh.

Sandy Robinson:
Yes, but.

Diane Diaz:
I just remembered that.

Sandy Robinson:
I think I think I had a whole ton of anxiety right before when I was like. Me too. My gosh, we have to stand up there and freeze and all the stuff, but, um. And I’m. I’m not good at it at all. Uh, but it was I had so much fun, and it really, it really was a great lesson, because when you’re on stage, you answer questions and you have to think on your feet. You’re not, you know, and sometimes you make a joke. Sometimes you have to restate the question and ask it back. Sometimes, you know, you have to handle the audience. So I think it was really helpful for that. I can see the benefits there. Also, I again, I do a lot of sales training. And so we have an upcoming leadership meeting in May and people are going to get to do some improv there. I’m very excited. I think I think there’s a lot of application because again, you have to think on your feet and you have to be and it gives you the chance to be creative. Right. Um, and I just didn’t realize how funny everybody is. Like, people would just come up with this off the wall stuff and, and then you try to, like, think of what you’re going to say before you get there, and then you can’t even use it because the the whole act has gone a different way. So, uh, it was so fun. But no, I was totally freaking out before it. Like, totally.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, I was too. And I’ve done it before, and I was freaking out too, you know? So for anybody listening, if you don’t know what improv is, rather than me explaining it, go Google improv and then watch some improv. It it is something that, unlike anything else, forces you to get out of your mindset of thinking that you have control. And when you’re on stage, you know, even if you’ve created the talk and you’re going to deliver it, sure, you have some control, but things aren’t going to always play out the way you expect them. Maybe a question is asked that you didn’t anticipate. Maybe something goes wrong with the technology. The thing that I love about improv, which isn’t the improv itself, because I’m not good at it, but the thing that I do love about it is the way it trains you to just kind of go with the flow and to be okay with it, because the whole premise of improv is what they call. Yes. And so if somebody says to you, this is a dog, you can’t say, no, that’s a cat. You. Yes, that’s a dog. You have to go with it. Right? That’s the whole premise. And so that idea of you don’t have control over the situation, but you have to make the best of it.

Diane Diaz:
I love that about the improv. And it does. It does, I think especially when we’re in this corporate brain. Right. When we kind of stay in that box, it forces you to get out of that. So I love that you’re bringing that to your sales teams because it’s going to be awkward, uncomfortable, funny. Yeah, I agree, I was surprised by who was so funny doing improv and I didn’t. It came out of nowhere, which again, I’m terrible at it, but some of the women were hilarious and so good at it. But I do think it is good. A good exercise to get us used to thinking on our feet, going with the flow, and letting go of the perception of control that we think we are in control of everything because we are not so. So bravo for you, bravo for you for doing it. And just, you know, releasing yourself to it and also for bringing that to your sales teams. Because I do think that that that there’s a huge benefit, especially for sales teams, because they’re dealing with unknown responses from customers. We they don’t know how someone’s going to respond. So I can see that being very beneficial.

Sandy Robinson:
Definitely. It reminds me of the show Whose Line is it anyway? Yes, yes, that I used to watch that all the time and die laughing. And so and there just felt like I was starring in that. Yeah, I.

Diane Diaz:
Know they’re so good at it and I whenever I watch that, I think, why can’t my brain think of those things? I never can I get so locked up with improv. But, but but I will say if you want to improve as a speaker highly, and I am saying this because I did it, I highly recommend taking an improv class. It’s going to be challenging. You may or may not like it, but you will learn from it and it will improve your speaking.

Sandy Robinson:
I already scoped out some around here that I’m potentially thinking about when I got back, so oh, you may be on the list for maybe the fall or something. I don’t know how to say.

Diane Diaz:
Highly recommend, highly recommend. Again, I mean, just I am not a fan of improv, of doing it because I’m just not good at it. But that’s because I like to have control. But I highly recommend taking the class. Carol and I did the class together. We loved and hated it so, but we know the benefit, so I truly recommend that. All right. Well, um, Sandy, what is next for? Are you with speaking and your work and your personal branding?

Sandy Robinson:
So as I mentioned before, I’m trying to get my website going. I have some goals this year. I really am looking to book a keynote and I’ve applied for some larger venues. A couple I’ve already applied for. I’m waiting to hear back, so I just crossing my fingers and really trying to contribute more locally community bases to local women’s groups. So those are kind of the things that that I’ve been really focusing on this year in terms of developing my path out there.

Diane Diaz:
Oh that’s fantastic. I love to hear that. I know I you share a lot on LinkedIn, so I know I’ll see you posting about a lot of talks you’re giving, so I can’t wait to see that. Now then along those lines, could you share with our audience where can they connect with you?

Sandy Robinson:
Definitely connect with me on LinkedIn. Um, the website’s not up yet, but that will be Sandy elevates.com, so check it out in a couple of weeks. It should be up towards the end of March and but I would say LinkedIn. I’m just Sandy Robinson on LinkedIn and that’s pretty much it.

Diane Diaz:
All right. Well we’ll make sure to include your LinkedIn in the show notes for this episode. And then for everybody listening. Well, first of all, thank you, Sandy, for coming on the podcast again. It has been such a pleasure to have you on the Thought Leader Academy and at the Retreat. It was so much fun getting to work with you in that way. And thank you for coming on the podcast and sharing with all the women here and the women in corporate who are listening. Awesome.

Sandy Robinson:
Thank you so much for having me. It’s been fun.

Diane Diaz:
Great. All right, well, if you want to build your speaker brand so you can share your voice, that’s exactly what we do in the Thought Leader Academy. It is an eight week program that’s a combination of group coaching and a one on one VIP day where we help you create your signature talk, build your thought leadership, and share your voice and message. You can visit speaking your brand.com/academy again that is speaking your brand.com/academy to get all the details in. Our next group starts in April, so make sure to get your application in today. Now on our next episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast, you’re going to hear from three of the graduates from our Thought Leader Academy, including Sandy, where they’re going to be sharing portions of their signature talks. It’s going to be so much fun that they’ve worked on throughout Thought Leader Academy, so it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be inspiring, and I hope you will join us, so be sure to be there. Until next time, thanks for listening.

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