Co-Creating with Your Audiences with Shannon Hughes: Podcast Ep. 278

Co-Creating with Your Audiences with Shannon Hughes: Podcast Ep. 278 | Speaking Your Brand

Subscribe to the podcast!

I took an improv class a couple of years ago and it has been incredibly helpful to me as a speaker, so much so that I had the attendees at our recent in-person client retreat do some improv games (they appreciated it, I swear!).

Improv is not only useful for getting into your body as a speaker on a stage; improv is also a philosophy of engagement, vulnerability, and co-creation.

This is what I talk about with my guest Shannon Hughes in this episode. Shannon melds business strategy with improv training techniques to embolden trustful communication, belonging, and transformational leadership.

Whether you have in-person or virtual speaking engagements coming up, you’ll get a lot out of our conversation.

Shannon and I talk about:

  • How to use the improv “yes and” technique to push past fear
  • Breaking the fourth wall to engage your audience in conversation
  • Tools to get your audience engaged, especially during virtual presentations
  • The scaffolding techniques Shannon uses to engage audiences

 

 

About My Guest: Shannon Hughes is an experiential trainer with a calling to enliven creativity, confidence and easeful collaboration in groups of all shapes and sizes. In her practice, Enlivened Studios, she melds business strategy with improv training techniques to embolden trustful communication, belonging and transformational leadership

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/278/ 

Get Shannon’s free download on how to liven up your virtual gatherings: http://www.enlivenedstudios.com/download 

Get Shannon’s free download on the top five steps to create your own culture manifesto: https://www.enlivenedstudios.com/manifesto

Schedule a consult call with us to talk about creating your signature talk and thought leadership platform: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/contact

Connect on social:

 

Related Podcast Episodes:

278-SYB-Shannon-Hughes.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

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

Carol Cox:
Whether you have in-person or virtual presentations, come up, learn how you can co-create with your audiences to increase trust and engagement with my guest, Shannon Hughes, 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. Hi there and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. This is your host, Carol Cox. I don’t know about you, but I have really enjoyed getting back to in person speaking. I’ve had a couple of in-person speaking engagements recently and it has felt really good to stand in front of a group of people, live in person and really just to have that dialogue with them. Of course, still do plenty of virtual presentations and Zoom calls as well. So I wanted to take this opportunity to bring on my guest, Shannon Hughes, who is an experiential trainer and uses a lot of improv concepts in the work that she does with businesses and with her own audiences to increase trust communication as well as to engage her audience, whether it’s in-person or a virtual.

Carol Cox:
A few years ago, I took an improv class and it has been so incredibly helpful to me as a speaker, so much so that when the women attended our recent in-person client retreat speaking intensive, I had them do some improv exercises at the very beginning of the first day, and I swear they really did appreciate it, even if they may have grumbled into it initially. Improv is not only useful for getting into your body as a speaker if you’re on a stage in front of a group of people. Improv is also a philosophy of engagement, vulnerability and co-creation, and that’s why I’m so excited to have you listen to my conversation with Shannon today. We talk about how to use the improv concept of yes and to push past fear. Breaking the fourth wall to engage your audience in conversation tools to get your audience engage, whether it’s during in-person, but especially also virtual presentations. And then Shannon shares the scaffolding techniques that she uses to engage her audiences. Shannon offers a free download at the end of the episode and how you can liven up your virtual gathering. So make sure to get that is that enlivened studios download and you can get that link right in the show notes for this podcast. Now let’s get on with the show. Welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast, Shannon.

Shannon Hughes:
Thank you. Thanks so much for having me.

Carol Cox:
Well, I’m excited to have you on. We have a mutual connection. And Nikki Rausch, the Sales Maven, and I adore Nikki. She has been on the podcast several times and she often does presentations to the group programs that we run. So I’m so glad that we got introduced through Nikki. Let’s dive into the work that you do, and in particular I want to talk about as entrepreneurs how we can bring an improv mindset and some of the improv skills that you are so well versed in into the work that we do as entrepreneurs.

Shannon Hughes:
Being an entrepreneur myself, certainly on a daily basis, this is this comes into play. Some of your listeners might be familiar with the improv concept of yes and and the concept of yes and doesn’t always mean agree. It means receive. Right? So the word yes means to receive. Maybe that’s in the form of listening or being aware, being in the moment and then the word and means to take what you’ve now received and then move it forward. Right. So in an improv scene that would be in a performance in terms of a performance and I like to think about. Yes. And almost every day as an entrepreneur and as a solopreneur, specifically, in my case, this just this idea of the vulnerability, the mindset. Right. That we can get into our spiral from time to time because we’re human beings and some of those fears that can creep up and prevent us from wanting to move forward. A lot of procrastination techniques come up. I have to spend hours on my website. I have to like, you know, write all these things to be perfect before I before I hit send or put them out in the world. And so yes. And comes into play on the daily for me just to say, you know what, I’m just going to go for it. I’m going to pick up that call, I’m going to send that email. I’m going to hop into a conversation that that I’ve never been in before for the sake of growing my business and staying visible. So yes, and is certainly something from an improv perspective that comes into play all the time.

Carol Cox:
Shannon and I am just a thought popped into my mind as you were explaining that, and I’m so glad that I did. So I the listen people have been listening to my podcast know that two years ago. So at the beginning of 2020, right before the pandemic started, Diane Diaz, our lead speaking coach, and I took an improv class. So it was an eight week class in person, like at the local comedy lab here in Orlando, where we live. And we decided to take it because it had been recommended to us, especially as speakers. To take an improv class, and I’m so glad that we did. It was challenging. There were like, we would drive together every Monday night and we’d be like, Why are we doing this to ourselves? Right? Because it’s very like it puts us out of our comfort zone for sure. I’m so glad that we did it because we learned so much about not only just getting more into our bodies as speakers, and we’ll talk about that in our conversation here in a little bit. But then also to your point about you never know what life and business is going to present to you, whether it’s positive opportunities or just things that you have to deal with or you have to kind of problem solve. And this what improv taught me was that, like you said, like just continue to go with it. Because I feel like the more we resist something, the harder it ends up becoming.

Shannon Hughes:
Oh, my gosh. So well said. Yeah. And there’s a lot of skills that come into play with that, right? There’s agility and being able to sort of kind of stay in pivot mode. Spontaneity and being confident, not knowing. Right. We get so stuck in this idea that we’re supposed to have all the answers. And as my are you familiar with by chance with Rob Bell, he’s written a number of stories and he’s a speaker. Yeah, well, he has this great line that he says sometimes, which is, have you ever done this before? Have you ever been in this body, in this moment? In this? Okay, no. Great. So this is new, right? Like, why are we supposed to have all the answers? That doesn’t make sense. And yet we believe that sometimes. And so to be fluid and be okay, wondering what’s next and kind of leaning in with curiosity and open mindedness to figure it out on the fly, which which can be extremely scary, which is, I’m sure what maybe that’s some of that embodied feeling was when you’re on stage doing your improv classes. Yeah. I mean all those skills come so much into play when it comes to showing up as an entrepreneur and certainly as being a speaker, which I know is your world as well.

Carol Cox:
And I think what also what was so uncomfortable about the improv class and the improv activities is that it was very much not you couldn’t stay in your head, you know, because you don’t you can’t like think it through, like, okay, so this person is doing this scene and they’re acting out this particular activity. So what am I going to do next? Like, literally just go, go, go. You have to just do the next thing, do the next thing. And it’s really about almost like your body has to take over first rather than letting your your mind lead the way.

Shannon Hughes:
100%, in fact. Yes. And is one of the most prominent concepts of improv. There are a number of others. One of them is what you just said, which is do the next thing, just do what’s in front of you. You’re on stage and somebody is has just called you and Betty and she’s picking flowers from the garden or she’s doing something that makes it look like that. That’s that’s real. Okay. Now, I’m Aunt Betty, and we’re picking flowers, apparently. So do the next thing to keep the story going. And in our case, as entrepreneurs and speakers and business people, it’s just what’s what’s here right now. Och, och, we end because we can’t control so much of what’s not here. So let’s just be observant and present enough to know what it is and work with that so we can build and grow and innovate and do all those things.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, absolutely. And Shannon, so as a speaker yourself, how do you use improv in the presentations and the speeches that you give now? Obviously, we’ve been doing mostly virtual for the past two years. I’m excited to get back to in-person. And so can you tell us a little bit about some of your speaking experiences, both virtually and in person, and how you’ve integrated all that you have learned over the years into what you do.

Shannon Hughes:
Both in-person and virtual, but I’d say more in person just because well, it’ll make sense when I say it in scripted theater, right? Shakespeare, any other theater that has a script tied to it. Oftentimes performers are taught in their training to to pretend like there’s a fourth wall. It’s referred to as a fourth wall. And the reason for that is that the audience has paid to witness a story. They didn’t pay to be part of a story. And so when we are dealing with scripted theater, there is a fourth wall. And so, you know, you’re interacting with your partner or your the other folks in your show and and you’re creating a story, but you don’t talk to the audience. There’s a wall there in improv. That’s not true at all. You’re always asking the audience for suggestions. You’re asking them for feedback. You’re stepping up to the front of the stage and having conversations. And I do that a lot when I in my speaking engagements and the way that I facilitate because and I’m sure you’ll agree because I have listened to a number of your podcasts about this, too.

Shannon Hughes:
Gone are the days where there’s like a one to many speaking engagement. It’s about being connected and operating as a collective of people who have come together to co-create. And so breaking that fourth wall, to use the the analogy or the theater speak is what I really enjoy. When I take great advantage of when I’m speaking is how do we engage those ask questions and get conversation going? Right in the beginning, how do we connect the audience so that they all have a true north throughout the entire maybe it’s a whole three day retreat or a conference. And they it’s up to us as storytellers and speakers and facilitators to create that space where your audience knows where to come home to, whether it’s to themselves or each other as a group. And so in a virtual setting, I use chat, I use breakout rooms, we play games, we do get to know you in the beginning, but all strategically placed in the interest of getting people to connect at a human level beyond my birthday is or my job title is that. Answer your question.

Carol Cox:
Yes. And I love this idea of co-creation with the audience. That and breaking the fourth wall and the comparison with, say, a theatre or a play. That’s really helpful if you’re thinking back to the speaking engagements that you’ve done. Let’s focus on in for four right now. Are there any that stand out to you either because like it was just like a huge success in the sense that you felt really connected to the audience and they felt really connected as well. Or you can share a story where that just didn’t happen and many lessons that you learn from that.

Shannon Hughes:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, I was fortunate to have a speaking engagement or I ran a workshop. I always joke it was in between Delta and Omicron. So. So it was that that hot minute, right, that we had when we thought we were all coming out of the woodwork in 2021 and it was a half day opportunity to basically open up a sales kickoff. It was a three or four day sales kickoff, and my job was to connect these folks with one another. So, again, that they had that that direction and that energetic kind of that that lightness about them so that they could then get into the work that they inevitably had for those four days. And it was with great success. There were people from different parts of the business. There were engineers and sales folks who rely on each other on a day to day basis, but didn’t really have that opportunity to connect with each other through storytelling. And they didn’t really have a water cooler right to come back to and to have casual chit chat. And so inevitably silos had created where they had found like minded people and created these small groups that then just can continue to pull away from each other. And it was starting to affect the business.

Shannon Hughes:
So my job was to come in and sort of unite this team in the face of this retreat or this conference. But inevitably, I still hear from my client today that it was just such long lasting connection that has taken them into this year and hopefully into the next year. I’m doing it again this year. If all works with the world, yeah, I would say my greatest success there was I had a number of activities that allowed people to share stories with one another and it was through yes. And activities and kind of prompts that I had led them throughout the way. But that was the biggest feedback was I never knew Fill in the blank. I was so moved when I found out that so-and-so had this challenge in her career or her life. Right? Or I found something in common with this gentleman that I’ve been on the phone with for six months, but I’ve never met him in person. So that really was with with huge success, just bringing that energy together and allowing people to share stories with one another, which I know I’m preaching to the choir on, that is hugely impactful now more than ever.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, for sure. And as of the time of this recording, we are just a couple of weeks away from our own in-person client retreat that we’re hosting for speaking your brains and speaking intensive to help the women who are coming practice their in-person speaking skills. Because it’s been so long since we kind of shake off the cobwebs of that and for them to get professional videography. And so we are definitely incorporating some improv activities and storytelling into that to to help them to get more comfortable back in their bodies and to connect with each other. And so then, Shannon, when you work with the teams at their retreats or employees at their retreats, do you ever face any reluctance from people in participating in some of the activities? And then what what do you do when that happens?

Shannon Hughes:
Yes. Yes. And you would ask for kind of a story of the time that it hasn’t worked. And and this was sort of it wasn’t that it completely didn’t work. But it was an interesting it was an interesting experience nonetheless. There was I was called in to do a lunch and learn not that long ago with a startup that’s very fast growing. The number of employees that have begun there over the last year is tremendous, just in terms of their growth. And they brought me in to do a presentation or a workshop around emotional intelligence, and there were 160 people on the call, Carol. There were six people with cameras on. Wow, 160 people on the call, six people with their cameras on. And here I am. And I’m sure you know this, too. There’s a different kind of energy that you put forward when you’re virtual. It’s I can’t say it’s more it’s not less. It’s just different. Right. So that was really an interesting feeling to have six bright, shiny faces who are giving me all the indicators that I was on the right track. And then I don’t know how to do the math on that, but 140 something that we’re not. And so I just had to improvise really and recognize that, okay, the chat is going to be how I’m going to make my way through this. And, and I did. And there was tons of chat engagement and a lot of really deep shares that I was surprised by. And so that was an example of something that was I had to kind of overcome and be in the moment of. Oc OC six people 160 on the call. How can I make this content resonate when it’s about emotional intelligence? So that is that was an experience certainly that I mean that happened in the last month or so.

Shannon Hughes:
So that kind of resonates and come top of mind for me. There is resistance to some of this stuff though. I mean, you know, you’re asking people to share stories and to do things that are vulnerable. And now in your own virtual, you can tell when the eyes are going elsewhere or they’re down and looking at phone and devices. So I’ve got a little I’ve got some tools in my bag around. I do a lot of check ins, a lot of check ins, you know, check in in the beginning, how are we doing? And sometimes that’s in a playful fashion. I’ll give them five different animals to choose from Owl, Cheetah, Monkey and walrus. And it’s like, who do you feel like today? Or I’m I’m just it just takes an extra skill of of reading the room and intuitively knowing that the energy is waning or people need it, need to take a break and checking in and saying and there’s all sorts of tools you can use online to to do this. How’s everybody doing? Are we on track? What? On a scale from 1 to 5, do you want to keep going with this or should we move on to something else and honoring that everyone is might be in different places and that we need to meet them where they are as best we can and also honor the content and the design that we’re bringing forward that we’re there to teach them about. So it’s a it’s a it’s a fine line. It’s a fine line, but I’d say a check in and continuously checking in with your participants to make sure that they’re still there in mind, body and spirit. And they’re not just somewhere else, God knows.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, well, yeah, well, and this is why companies hire you as, as an expert and experience facilitator to do this for them. So I can definitely see why they they want you to come in and do this. Okay. So we talked about speaking and kind of some of the different ways we can use improv and this and this mindset and even the physicality of it in our speaking. Let’s talk about your aliveness scaffolding, which is your own framework. And you know that I’m a big proponent of having frameworks because they’re so helpful in your business or helpful for clients or helpful for your presentations and so on. So tell us about the Aliveness Scaffolding.

Shannon Hughes:
Wonderful. Thanks for asking. And actually that brings back that reminds me, Carol, that when I very first heard of you, it was on one of Nike’s you had guested in one of her sessions and you talked about creating a framework. And I was anyway, I just wanted to give a nod to that because that was a wonderful hearing, how to kind of bring that to light and use it in your business development. So thank you for that. So my aliveness scaffolding comes from a it kind of originated or it started to form when I heard a Howard Thurman quote. And I’ll tell you what that quote is. And just a second here. Howard Thurman, in the early 1900s, African American man, spiritual teacher, mindfulness practitioner has written a number of books. Philosopher So really interesting. Person If you’re not sure who he is, it’s definitely worth looking at. And he said, Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Carol Cox:
Who I love.

Shannon Hughes:
That I know. And of course you could have a whole separate episode all about what that means. It feels like you just keep pulling the strings. It’s about purpose. It’s about not subscribing to other people’s narratives. I mean, it goes on and on. It’s just such a powerful sentiment. So I fell in love with that quote and it says all those things, and I continue to figure out what it means for me and teach around it. But the scaffolding is an acronym that spells aliveness. There’s nine components, and they’re basically they’re taken from improv, but they’re all skills that I believe we innately have. We just need to brush them off and flex them and kind of get back into what they feel like and how powerful they are in leadership. And here’s what they are awareness, listening, interdependence, vulnerability, engagement, non judgment, not just of other people but of ourselves. Right? With that bullhorn that we all have with our inner critic, embrace change. Start anywhere. And. Say yes.

Carol Cox:
Oh, I’d love those, Shannon. Well done.

Shannon Hughes:
Thank you. Thank you. Yes, I use it as a framework as I introduced that. And then depending on the objectives of the person I’m coaching or the company that I’m talking to or the entrepreneur that I’m working with, we’ll take a couple of those and kind of tease them out. And one of these days I want to do a kind of a long form retreat where we take we go deep on all of those over a period of time. So putting that out to the universe.

Carol Cox:
Do it. All right. So here’s a question that I think some of the listeners may be having right now. Is that so you have this framework and has nine letters, nine components in it, which is obviously a lot you know, a lot of content. And when we work with our clients on their signature talk and they have a framework, they may have three, you know, an acronym or a word that’s three letters or five letters or six letters and so on. And so what we tell them is that when you’re giving a presentation, especially for like a lead generation presentation, you don’t have to go through every single aspect of your acronym or your framework because there’s probably not going to be enough time, number one. Number two, it’s too overwhelming. And number three, you want to save something for them actually working with you. So when you think about doing presentations that are, say, more for lead generation, how do you approach describing your framework and what do you tend to pull out from it?

Shannon Hughes:
Well, I do I do recognize that there are a lot of components in the framework. A couple of them are pretty closely tied. Awareness and listening can kind of go hand in hand, and I can make a day around that or build a workshop or teach around that. Some of them deserve all their own attention because they stand alone as they are. Right. And there’s a lot of work to do for with vulnerability, for example. So usually I will present the framework and then I’ll kind of do what we had done just a moment ago. Or I’ll say, look, you know, I could we could sit here and we could have a whole afternoon diving into each one of these. Based on what I’ve heard about your objectives as a team, I don’t know. I’m making these up, but we I know that you have shifting dynamics. You have new people that you’ve hired. I know that you’re growing, that you maybe you have a tiny team because you’re an entrepreneur and now you’re you actually have some headcount. I know that there are there’s burnout. I know whatever the issues are and the objectives are that we’re there to kind of address from a communications and a humanity and workplace perspective, I’ll say. So for the sake of time, let’s let’s focus on let’s focus on these let’s focus on start anywhere engagement and saying yes. And those three might go together when we’re talking about spontaneity and dealing with change. So they are it does sound like a lot. And they have such nice interconnectedness between them that they complement one another on a one off.

Carol Cox:
Yes, great example, Shannon. And as a speaker, as a workshop facilitator, as an entrepreneur, really, what as you were explaining that it sounds like it gives you the kind of the guardrails or the boundaries or the lanes for the work that you do versus a company coming to you. But like, sure, this, this, this, like it’s all over the place, whereas this is kind of like, okay, here are the nine components. Let’s focus on these two or three together.

Shannon Hughes:
Exactly. That’s great.

Carol Cox:
I love that. So what drew you to improv and theater work in the first place? Did you do this when you were really young as a little girl? Did you want to perform?

Shannon Hughes:
Yeah, I did. I did. It’s sort of in my blood. I’m an only child, so I spent a lot of time just making things up right in plays, you know, coming out, making everyone sit down and do the performances. So I spent a lot of time doing that. And, you know, even from a young age, I just being on stage and performing is really, really that’s my happy place. I like to say the stage is my happy place. You know, I actually have a solo performance that’s on my YouTube channel where I talk about the fact that as I grew older and did all those things that weren’t us being adults, right, we tend to give up play and we tend to give up these things that really light us up because we have to be taken to take things so seriously now and we’ve got our I’s and cross our T’s and there’s no time for enjoyment or play. And so I did that to like everybody else. And then in 2017, I went back to improv. I started to take some classes here in San Francisco. I just felt this call to get back into my creativity. So there was writing, there was improv, there were a number of other things that I kind of got back into to to really just remind myself that that’s still inside of me and that that is a huge part of who I am.

Shannon Hughes:
And when I went back and took improv classes, which I had also done, I’d done improv a number of times as a in high school and college. I immediately saw the connections. Carol I’m just like, I’m sure you did when you went to the one and you’re in your local community, it’s like, Oh my God, this isn’t just for the stage. This is for this is for life. And shortly thereafter, when I started to make those connections, I realized that there’s a whole global network of people who use this work in. Education in therapy, in social justice activism. There’s actually a group of people who use improv to help police, law enforcement professionals and inner city youth communicate more effectively with one another and to see one another for more than what they perceive. So anyway, it goes it goes on and on. I just happened to use this in business, but it’s it’s used in countless ways. It’s called applied improv, and a lot of people are doing it. So I was glad to find my people.

Carol Cox:
Oh, I love that, Shannon. And especially this idea of a number one play, but then coming back to ourselves and what really lights us up and incorporating that into what we do in our business is because, hey, guess what? That’s we can. Yeah, because we get to decide.

Shannon Hughes:
Exactly, exactly. We’re in choice of how we, how we manage our time and our days and what we do with our businesses. Absolutely.

Carol Cox:
So. Another question that I think listeners probably have in your regarding public speaking is nerves. So obviously you’ve done a lot of performing a lot of time on stage. What do you do when you get a bundle of nerves right before you’re ready to go on?

Shannon Hughes:
I jump around a lot. You know, I actually just had a conversation with someone else about this last week that, you know, oftentimes when we get that nervous energy, we are taught or maybe we just think, well, I have to. And we do. A lot of times breathing and calming is very helpful. And I’m not saying that that’s not helpful because it’s sometimes it’s it’s critical. And we don’t necessarily have to convince ourselves to calm our way through it. It’s okay. This energy is here for a reason. It’s our brain kind of giving us these little warning signs of be careful, be careful. And we’re saying, I’m fine, I’m fine. I can feel it. It’s my body. It’s my body. It’s my fingers now. It’s my feet now. Whatever it is, just to kind of embody what it all is and use that energy because that energy can actually be very, very helpful. Now, there are other times that are different types of environments, right? Or high conflict situations or more serious right than dancing and moving may not sit there. And in those situations, I think it’s, you know, positive mantras. It’s breathing. It’s reminding us that we have everything we need. I’m a big believer in saying like a quick, easy phrase to remind us that we’re we know we’re here because we’re an expert. That’s why we got hired. We didn’t know they could have hired 1000 people and they chose me. And so here I am. Let’s do this. Let’s roll. Yeah, it’s kind of a mix. It sort of depends on the environment that you’re dealing with. But when I’ve got those nervous energies, I tend to move a lot.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, that makes sense because you got the adrenaline in your body and it wants to go somewhere. It wants to do something.

Shannon Hughes:
That’s right. That’s right. And it can also almost be more harmful if you keep it in, because then, who knows, you might get out there and you haven’t done anything with it and you might forget what you’re going to say or.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, definitely. Move it. Move the energy through the body. Yeah, yeah. I love that she had it. All right. So then since I talk quite a bit on this podcast about thought, leadership, and especially in encouraging more women to think of themselves as thought leaders and put their thought leadership messages out there, have you thought much? And this is a total I’m popping this question on Shannon, everyone. So so please. I don’t feel like you have to have like a completely buttoned up like paragraph ready to go. But how do you think about your own thought? Leadership.

Shannon Hughes:
Thank you. Thank you. When I think of thought leadership, the first thing that came to mind, and I’m a big believer in this is thought leadership. And thought leadership can be 1000 things. But one thing that just came to me is that leadership can be modeling for others how we show up in the world. It is. It’s also the content. It’s also the experience and the work and the frameworks. It’s also those things. When I think about being a thought leader and my kids are coming to mind, my community, my newsletter, people who read my newsletter, those folks are all coming to mind. And it’s like, by the way, that I live my life and the choices that I’m making for my own self growth and sometimes saying like, I don’t know what I’m doing, right? This is not a highlight reel. Like, let’s be real, a real human being here and you know, admit that we that we are making mistakes or that we’re trying something for the first time. Authenticity is a huge value for me. Kindness, curiosity. So yeah, thought leadership among 1000 other ways. I could probably have answered this question by behaving and showing up in a way that I would like to encourage other people to show up and behave is a form of thought. Leadership, I’d say.

Carol Cox:
Yes, absolutely. I love that Shannon and I use the term thought leadership because as a good marketer, I use the term terminology that’s well known and people search for and people look for. But I really I say thought leadership, but it really is the heart, the heart, the mind and the body all together is really how we show up. And how we put these ideas out into the world.

Shannon Hughes:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I love that you mentioned the marketing thing because it’s it’s so true. I get I’m sure a lot of your listeners can relate to this because we’re all entrepreneurs here is sometimes I get so I fall so deeply in love with my own language and then I read it to somebody else who doesn’t live in my brain and they’re like, Isn’t that just called teamwork?

Carol Cox:
Oh, yes.

Shannon Hughes:
Oh, yeah. I guess I should just call it teamwork. You know, it’s it’s connective Florida magic, this and that. And it’s like, just call it teamwork.

Carol Cox:
That’s so true. Oh, yeah. I love that, Shannon. All right. Where can listeners I know you have a free download for our listeners and so tell us what that is and then tell us where’s the best place to connect with you on social media?

Shannon Hughes:
Sure. Thank you. So my website is Enlivened Studios. There’s an edgy there and livened studios. And my download is very easy. I have to figure out a way to do this that’s more sophisticated and live in studios slash download and I’m on LinkedIn primarily I handle on LinkedIn has my my maiden name in there so it’s Shannon Dean Deanne Shannon Dean Hughes. Yeah. I just launched a newsletter on LinkedIn last week, so there’s some great content and insights that are in there as well. And yeah, those are those are the primary ways to find me perfect.

Carol Cox:
Well, I’ll make sure to include a link in the show notes for that. And I primarily hang out on LinkedIn as well. So excited for that. Shannon, thank you so much for coming on the Speaking Your Brand podcast.

Shannon Hughes:
Thank you for having me. It’s such a pleasure and great to meet you, Carol.

Carol Cox:
Thanks again to Shannon for coming on the podcast. Don’t forget to grab her free download on how to liven up your virtual gatherings. You can get that on her website at Enlivened Studios download If You Never Take It an improv class before. I do highly recommend it as a public speaker. It’s really going to help you understand so much about how to use your body on stage in front of a group of people, as well as how to go with the flow and truly how to co-create the experience with your audience. If you would like to work with us on creating your signature talk and your developing your thought leadership platform, I invite you to schedule a consultation call with us. You can do so by going to Speaking Your Brand contact. Again, that’s Speaking Your Brand slash contact. Until next time. Thanks for listening.

Sonix is the world’s most advanced automated transcription, translation, and subtitling platform. Fast, accurate, and affordable.

Automatically convert your mp3 files to text (txt file), Microsoft Word (docx file), and SubRip Subtitle (srt file) in minutes.

Sonix has many features that you’d love including advanced search, share transcripts, world-class support, transcribe multiple languages, and easily transcribe your Zoom meetings. Try Sonix for free today.

Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast!

Get the #1 Proven Lead Generation Tool for Speakers

Leave a Comment





Other podcast episodes you may like...

Connecting Your Ideas into One Message with Cindy Rowe: Podcast Ep. 284 | Speaking Your Brand

Connecting Your Ideas into One Message with Cindy Rowe: Podcast Ep. 284

How to Exceed Expectations as a Speaker at an Event with Jill Janecke: Podcast Ep. 283 | Speaking Your Brand

How to Exceed Expectations as a Speaker at an Event with Jill Janecke: Podcast Ep. 283

SYB-282-JodiFlynn-LinkedIn-1200x630-2

Going Bold with Your Thought Leadership Message with Jodi Flynn: Podcast Ep. 282

6 Winning Ways to Open and Close Your Talks with Carol Cox: Podcast Ep. 281 | Speaking Your Brand

6 Winning Ways to Open and Close Your Talks with Carol Cox: Podcast Ep. 281