Get More Speaking Gigs by Adding Body Movement and Vocal Variation with Victoria Moran [In-Person Speaking Series] Podcast Ep: 346

Get More Speaking Gigs by Adding Body Movement and Vocal Variation with Victoria Moran [In-Person Speaking Series]: Podcast Ep: 346

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Did you know that you will get *more* speaking gigs if you focus on your delivery as well as your content?

Your body movement, use of the stage, and vocal variation are all essential to become a compelling and in-demand speaker.

My guest today is Victoria Moran, an incredible speaker, author and podcaster, whom I’ve known for nearly 10 years, so I’m thrilled to have her on the show.

In this episode, Victoria and I talk about:

  • Getting started as a professional speaker
  • What she learned from acting training
  • How she uses body movement and dance in her speaking engagements (even though she’s not a dancer, as she admits!)
  • Why your delivery as a speaker will get you more (and better) gigs
  • The important use of vocal variation when telling stories
  • Her favorite speaking experience
  • Her worst speaking experience and what she learned

I know you’re going to get lots of great ideas for your own speaking engagements!

This is the second episode in our new podcast series to help you up level your in-person speaking skills.

Want to work with us and practice on our stage? Registration is now open for our 3-day in-person client retreat speaking accelerator coming up in February 2024 in Orlando, Florida. Get all the details and apply at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/retreat/

About My Guest: Victoria Moran started writing for teen magazines at 14 — she met the Beatles! — and for health publications after she went vegetarian at 19. Speaking for groups, plus lots of radio appearances, followed the writing. Victoria is now the author of 13 books including Creating a Charmed Life and Fit from Within. She was featured twice on Oprah, produced the 2019 documentary A Prayer for Compassion, and she’s presented for audiences including Speaking of Women’s Health, Toyota Women’s Conferences, and the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

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/346/ 

Victoria’s websites: https://victoriamoran.com/ and https://mainstreetvegan.com/ 

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

Register for our in-person client retreat = https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/retreat/ 

Connect on LinkedIn:

Related Podcast Episodes:

Episode 249: The Relationship Between Speaking and Performance with Carol Cox

346-SYB-VictoriaMoran.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

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

Carol Cox:
Did you know that you’ll get more and better speaking gigs by adding body movement and vocal variation? Get ready for a fun conversation with my guest, Victoria Moran. 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 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 and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I’m your host, Carol Cox. Today we are continuing the series we’re doing all around in-person speaking so that you can up level your in-person speaking skills. Today, we’re going to talk about the impact of expression, specifically vocal variation and body movement, really how to think about the presentations and the talks that you’re doing as a performance as much as transmitting educational information to your audience. I’m excited to bring on the podcast. Victoria Moran, who’s the founder of the Main Street Vegan Academy.

Carol Cox:
She’s also an author of 13 books with the 14th on the way. She’s a professional speaker. She’s a podcaster, and she is someone that I have known for nine years. It was the August of 2014 that I went to New York City to participate in her Main Street Vegan Academy. It was one of the best experiences that I’ve had, and I’m going to make sure to have Victoria share a little bit more about what the Main Street Vegan Academy looks like today, who it’s for and what she does with the people who go through it. Since I went through the academy, I’ve actually had the opportunity to see Victoria speak in person when she’s come to Florida for some speaking engagements. And even though I don’t think I had speaking your brand as a company at the time because this was early 2015 probably, and I was so impressed with Victoria speaking and I learned things. I remember I took notes when I was in the audience and I learned things from my own speaking engagements. Victoria, welcome to the podcast.

Victoria Moran:
Thank you so much, Carol.

Carol Cox:
Let’s dive into what it means to be a professional speaker and when did you become a professional speaker? What does that nomenclature mean.

Victoria Moran:
Out in the world of speaking? It means someone who gets paid to speak, but I think it goes a lot deeper than that. I think it’s something more than just I have this information. Let me list ten ways I can get it out into the world. I think if you’re really a professional speaker in your heart and soul, you admire oratory and you live for words, the right word, the right intonation to really get that audience member to understand what you’re saying and maybe find some common ground. I think it’s close to sacred. And so when you say, when did you start? I started speaking for groups not for pay, but for the Kiwanis and the Rotaries and those folks. When I was in eighth grade and I’d always liked to speak, I’d had an experience in fourth grade of speaking for the whole school and being very, very nervous because I was a terribly unpopular child. But after this talk, which I’m sure was pretty awful, everybody applauded. Well, gosh, that was because I got them out of class. And so I just started to learn at a very early age that when you’re speaking, people want to hear you. They want to get something from you. They want to like you in a way that in lots of aspects of life, people are not sitting there saying, Oh, here’s this person next to me on the bus. I really want to like them. That doesn’t happen all that much, but with speaking, it’s rather magical. So I would say 1995 is perhaps when I kicked off calling myself a professional speaker, because that was when I joined the National Speakers Association and got involved with speakers, bureaus and all of the technical apparatus that go along with it. But in my heart, speaking has been a really important, powerful part of my life for a very long time.

Carol Cox:
Well, I’m going to make sure to ask you a little bit later in the conversation about some of your favorite speaking engagements and experiences, as well as some maybe that didn’t go quite as planned and what you learned from it. But before we get there, what kind of training or background did you have? What has led you to become a great speaker other than just putting the reps in?

Victoria Moran:
I’ve always loved words. So I write and I speak and you know, there are these people that have so many gifts and talents and they’re always wrestling with themselves. What should I do? I could do so well at this, but then I could do so well at that. I never had that problem. I can do words, I can write them, I can speak them. So in a way that’s kind of a gift. So as a little kid, I thought that what I wanted to do with speaking words was to be an actor and. My mother had an idea that I should either be an actor or I should be some sort of broadcaster. And there was a woman in Kansas City where we lived who in her youth had trained Walter Cronkite. So my mother believed that in this woman’s dotage she should be training me. So I started studying with this amazing woman, Lenore Anthony, when I was about three years old. And I was with her for a few years. And then she and my mom had some sort of falling out. So I didn’t study with her again until I was 17. But I think that really early background in what in those days I think people were still calling it elocution was very helpful because it got me up in front of people. So it was a very, very natural place to be. And although certainly there is still some jitters every now and then, depending on the venue, depending on the topic, maybe it’s a new presentation. So you do get some of that adrenaline going on. But generally speaking, I’m very comfortable before an audience, I think because of that early training. And I even remember the elocution lessons and the big black bug bit, the big black bear right in the middle of his big black back. And this was the kind of thing that made me comfortable using words. And if I happened to stumble over something, just come back. This need to be perfect that I think holds a lot of people back. You kind of get educated out of when you start doing this at an early age.

Carol Cox:
Because you do have such a clear voice and enunciation and elocution. What are some tips you would have for listeners who feel like they have some verbal crutches, as I call them, the ums or the ORs that they put in between their words and sentences? Yeah.

Victoria Moran:
Well, I think see, I just said it. Well, I think that some of these are just what we use conversationally and the brain does not work instantaneously. So this is why a lot of people have a few talks and they do them over and over again. Some people don’t have that luxury. I remember talking to a minister once. I’ve done a lot of speaking for churches and he said, You know, I bring you guys in, meaning all the outside speakers and you just wow them. But then I tell them they give that same talk everywhere they go. I have to come up with a new one every Sunday. So give yourself a break and allow yourself to be human. And also, we have to understand that other people are not looking for perfection, because if we were perfect, you know. Fat chance that’s going to happen. It’s not that other people will sit there and say, Oh, perfect one, I aim to be like you. It’s like, Oh, what’s wrong with them? I could never do that. And they’re not going to listen as well as if maybe you do have the occasional, uh, but if it’s something that really bothers you, you practice. This is how we get to Carnegie Hall. Of course you practice and you listen to yourself. But one thing that I’ll caution about listening to yourself on a recording and of course we’re doing that so much now because it seems like we’re always being recorded, whether it’s for work or causes we’re part of or whatever it is. But you never sound like yourself to yourself. So the way that we can criticize that recorded voice is almost merciless. And sometimes it’s the things that make us most ourselves that we find the most irritating. Like, Oh, you can hear that I come from a certain part of the country, or this is an expression that my mother always used to say, Why am I using that? You know, other people might be finding that charming. So practice always, always work to be better. But give yourself a break, because sometimes your natural charm is what is going to charm that audience.

Carol Cox:
I love that reframe to think about what are the things that maybe we we kind of got irritate us about ourselves, but that other people will find endearing and charming to them or.

Victoria Moran:
They don’t even notice it. It’s like, what? What what did you say.

Carol Cox:
Exactly, Victoria, since you’ve had this background in acting, especially at a very young age, which certainly informed your speaking abilities, how is it that you see presenting at to a group or at a conference? How do you channel some of those performance elements in service of the audience? So obviously we’re not like dancing and singing in front of an audience as you would go to a Broadway show. Of course you could. But but and but how do you make sure that it integrates with the overall content and message that you do want to share?

Victoria Moran:
Well, there are a couple of things. One of. Course, is storytelling, which I think we’ll get into more later. But the other is giving a visual presentation that gives people something to hold on to. Now that we’re doing a lot of PowerPoint, that’s a little bit different. But when it’s just you out there with the audience, maybe you’re up on a screen, maybe you’re not. You want people to look at you, you want to be the focal point. And this is a weird kind of mental construct sometimes, especially for women, because a lot of us were brought up. Don’t be the center of attention. Don’t be a show off. Don’t get up there and have everybody looking at you. But when you are speaking, everybody needs to be looking at you. So right down to the clothing that you wear, I call it the country singer effect to have a few sparkles because people are going to follow those sparkles and you want people to follow what you’re doing. So look at yourself as an individual and look at all of the skills that you have have developed over your life. If you were an actor and you have your actor resume at the bottom of that page, it would say special skills and you get to say what language you speak or that you have done baking on TV, or that you’re a gymnast and you could stand on your head at the end of your talk, whatever it is, these are your special skills.

Victoria Moran:
So think about what they are. So I’m very unmusical. I can’t sing, can’t play an instrument. Took dance as a kid, but I always had two left feet. However, I started to see that those speakers who could get some of that sort of Broadway show element, like you mentioned into their talks, were getting the jobs and the bureaus were telling me if it’s two people equally gifted, same price point, but one of them can bring in a little music or a little movement that person is going to get the gig. So there was a talk that I was doing a lot of a few years ago based on a book that I wrote called Creating a Charmed Life. So I was helping people to develop the kind of life that has these magical elements that aren’t really magic because you did something to put them into play. So one of the stories that I told was how I got myself to New York City. Now, most people come to New York City when they’re 18 or 22. I was 50, so it took a little bit more to get here. So I talked about envisioning what would happen. Creative visualization, but not just seeing pictures, bringing New York tastes into my life. I started eating bagels, wearing a lot of black.

Victoria Moran:
So sometimes people out there in Kansas City would say, Are you from New York or something? And then when I was on the treadmill, this was before we had even iPods, much less iPhones. My daughter made me a mix CD of those songs on every Broadway show. That just makes you believe you can do anything. The Big Uplift song. And at about 40 minutes when I was getting kind of tired of that treadmill, she put Lisa at Carnegie Hall, New York, New York. So I hired a choreographer to come for an hour and teach me about 45 seconds of choreography to go with New York, New York. So as I had talked about the bagels and the wearing black, and then I came to the part about the music, the music would come up and I would start to dance. So any time you dance, people really like it. That’s why there’s so many dance videos on TikTok and Instagram. But if you dance in heels and you’re over 50, you are golden. So that thing would happen. 45 seconds out of the whole hour long presentation. It almost invariably got a spontaneous standing ovation. And I’m not a good dancer, but I danced and an audience notices that. So bring to mind what you can do or what you think maybe you could kind of sort of learn to do and try it, see what happens.

Carol Cox:
I love that. Victoria. How fun. I think I need to go find myself a choreographer to do a little bit of that as well. I am. I took dance when I was in high school, but admittedly I am not a great dancer as well. But I, I love to do it. And here’s what I tell our clients when they say to us, Well, you know, I can’t dance or what have you. If you commit 100% to whatever you’re doing on that. A stage in front of the audience. Your audience is going to going to go along with you if you’re acting really inhibited and awkward and shy and that’s not the character you’re supposed to be playing, that you’re not intending to do that. And then they’re going to wonder, why are you doing this if you don’t want to? So I just for all of you listening, just know just commit to whatever it is you’re doing. And and like Victoria said, your audience is going to love it and they’re going to go along with you for it. Victoria, let me let’s talk a little bit more about body movement before we get to vocal variation and storytelling besides. Yeah, go ahead. Well, I was just going.

Victoria Moran:
To say that any time you move around, especially if you’re not using PowerPoint, so people have that thing to focus on. But if they’re really focused on you and you stand there, certainly not behind the proverbial podium, but even if you just stand a little bit, you need to know how to move in a way that makes the audience feel that they’re moving with you. So certainly it’s not moving back and forth that’s going to give somebody motion sickness. But you stand and you are and you’re solid and you speak and you do your eye contact. And then when there’s a more over or a however or a furthermore or whatever it is that segues into the right time to move. You move and you can speak when you move or don’t speak when you move. Either way it works. You can mix it up and then when you stop again, you’re once again grounded. If you do yoga, think about mountain pose. Grounded there where you are and move as you are moved to do so. You talked about dance as a kid. The dance as a kid that I did, I know goes into my hand gestures and on a lot of the forms that people fill out after to say if they liked how you spoke or not.

Victoria Moran:
I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on what I do with my hands, and it’s really just organic, probably based on that old ballet training. So allow yourself to use your entire body as your instrument. You really have a primary instrument and a secondary instrument as a speaker. So your voice, of course, is the primary, but your body is very important too. And whenever you can do something that implies a little bit of extra physical prowess, people love that because we live in a very sedentary culture. I think the statistics are awful. I’m not good at numbers, so I’m not going to say just what it is. But despite all the gyms and the health clubs and the Pilates studios that seem to be everywhere, the percentage of Americans that actually exercise is really, really low. And so if you’re able to get up there and do anything that looks as if you have some command over your physical vehicle that most people don’t have, it’s going to attract people’s attention. They’re going to remember that there was an author and speaker named Dan Millman. He wrote a book called The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. He had been a gymnast in high school and college and kept that up in adulthood and would always find a way in one of his talks to do a handstand and not just a little momentary handstand, but a serious handstand.

Victoria Moran:
And everybody who ever saw him speak, myself included, maybe couldn’t give you a full rundown of what the way of the peaceful warrior is. But we all know what it looked like to see a middle aged guy stand on his hands for a really long time. And probably most people are thinking, I can’t do that. Neither can I. But what can you do? For example, in one of my presentations, I talk about the Mend program, which is a wonderful little trademarked acronym that I have, which is meditation, exercise, nourishment and detoxification. Great way to be healthy and vital and extend youthfulness. And in the part about exercise, of course, I talk about the things that everybody knows. We need cardio, we need weight training, we need flexibility. But in the part about flexibility, I tell the story of when I moved to New York City and we didn’t have an Ikea, I had to hire a guy called Schmuck with a truck to go out there and buy quite a bit of furniture. Most of it worked fine. I was able to build. It felt really good about myself. But there was one desk that came in 8000 pieces and I was so angry to have to call this guy back and pay to go out there and take all these slats back and try to get my money.

Victoria Moran:
And when I got there, I was really tense. And I’m in this long take back line and everybody else is really tense. Except this one young woman. And she had evidently done a lot of ballet in her childhood and youth because she was just using this opportunity to do her pliés and her releves. And it was so stunning that she had actually learned to use physical flexibility to give her flexibility in an irritating situation. So when I tell this story on stage, I do what she did. And when I get to that releve where it’s one foot up and one foot back and you’re leaning forward. It’s not hard, but it looks impressive. And that’s another thing that just gets people going. And I see this because when I see people who can do things that I can’t do, America’s Ninja Warrior or the Winter Olympics, ice skating, whatever it is, it’s it’s an uplift. It does something to my soul. And one of our opportunities as speakers is that we can uplift other people at that deep, deep level. And one way is to just give them something fascinating to look at.

Carol Cox:
Victoria, I, I love that you acted out the story as you were telling it. And for those of you listening, you can watch the video of our conversation right now so you can see how just on the screen, Victoria was kind of getting into the story by going to the show notes page. And this is exactly what we should be doing. And I tell a story on stage. I almost can’t help but act out some of the movements as I’m sharing the story. So let’s also talk about vocal variation, because you did it just then while you were telling that story. Your your pace got a little bit faster when you’re talking about the irritation of standing in line. And then when you mentioned about the 8000 pieces, right, you had that staccato delivery. So that those are elements of vocal variation as well as, of course. The pregnant pause. So do you practice the vocal variation when you’re practicing your talk, or do those things come out naturally as you’re sharing the stories?

Victoria Moran:
I do a lot of listening to really good speakers and to storytellers, and we’re so lucky now to have YouTube so that we can watch all kinds of speakers and and learn from them. We can really learn from the best of the last 100 years and you see how people do these things. I love the pregnant pause. I’ve got to talk about Oprah. I’m fortunate enough as an author that I had the incredible blessing of being on the Oprah show a couple of times. And the second time I was telling a story that a friend of mine told. She was someone who in this country would be considered obese. And and that bothered her. And she went to India and people came up to her and said, you are so fat and so beautiful. I try, but I just can’t gain enough weight. Can you help me? And then Oprah just waited.

Speaker3:
Beat. Beat.

Victoria Moran:
And then she says, can’t wait to go to India. And she gets this huge laughter and huge applause. I finally realized what the joy is in being the proverbial straight man, because when you get somebody else a laugh, it is really cool. But she just had that ability to know that if she just waited, then saying that would be a line and not just a response. So of course we all have to practice and we all have to listen and we all have to find people that speak to us as well as kind of speak at us. But I think allowing ourselves to to let our voices do some of the things that they’re going to do and not everything that we do with vocal variation is going to work. You know, sometimes we try things and it’s annoying. It’s just not what we want. But we wouldn’t have known unless we tried. And sometimes even listening to people, maybe audiobook readers who are reading children’s stories because with children, people understand that creating pictures with the voice is really important. It’s important for the brain development of a child, and so people are much more willing to do it. And if you listen to these kinds of stories and just let that sort of seep into you, then I think we get rid of some of our inhibitions in terms of using our voices in interesting ways.

Carol Cox:
What a great idea. I’m sure there are also podcasts out there for kids where they share stories. Those would be great to listen to.

Victoria Moran:
You know, even if you’re a parent reading to your own kids, you’ll say things like huffed and puffed and blew the house down. You wouldn’t do that if you were reading a piece from a company report to a co-worker. But, you know, it could be the corporate equivalent of huffing and puffing and blowing the house down. So I think we just need to get rid of some of those inhibitions and be willing to let the voice tell the story, the voice and the silences.

Carol Cox:
Victoria. I mentioned a little bit ago when we got started that I wanted you to share with us some of your favorite speaking experiences and why they’re your favorite. And then I want you to share some that didn’t go as well as you had expected and what you learned from that. So let’s start with some of your favorites. Okay.

Victoria Moran:
The first time that I ever spoke to a huge group of people was an accident. It was almost one of those Broadway stories of the understudy understudy going on for the lead. This was, oh, so long ago. I was 25 and the International Vegetarian Congress was having its meeting at the University of Maine at Orono. And there were 2000 people there. And I was doing a little bit of speaking and teaching breakout rooms and things like that. But the woman who was supposed to do the cruelty free fashion show got stuck back in New York and couldn’t do it. And I was called upon to do that. So I worked very hard through the week getting the volunteer models and doing all the rehearsals and all the clothes. And then when the night came, it was in the stadium with all these people. And I walked out there and it felt like being reborn. This was my introduction into being able to speak for thousands of people the way that I would speak to 20 people with that same kind of ease and that same kind of ability to relate. So that kind of launched me. That one was fun. And I’ll tell one other one because this is in honor of the great Florence Henderson, Mrs. Brady, whom we lost back in 2016, but probably about eight years before that, I was a featured keynoter for Speaking of Women’s Health, which at that time went to a great many markets throughout the United States, and they had 2 or 3 people every year who would go to 10 or 12 markets for them. And this was the opening presentation day, the big opening plenary. Everybody’s there and the headquarters in Cincinnati. It opens with Florence Henderson and half a dozen dancing boys doing If They Could See Me Now from Sweet Charity. And if you don’t know that musical or that song, this young woman who kind of comes from the skids of society feels that she’s really being uplifted and she sings.

Victoria Moran:
If they could see me now, that little gang of mine eating fancy food and drinking fancy wine and it’s just this wonderful uplift. And I can tell that everybody in the audience was feeling like, Yeah, I’m at this cool thing and I’m going to learn all this stuff. If they could see me now. And then of course, following something like that can be intimidating because how can you possibly do what six Dancing Boys could do? But on the other hand, the bar was set high and sometimes when the bar is set high, you have to rise to it. And I was so happy that everything was falling into place. It was like the stars aligned. I talked about the little sparkles. I was wearing sparkles and thank goodness I was wearing sparkles because I was following a Chorus Line and went out there invigorated by what they had done and able to carry that energy into the presentation and keep the energy high for the person who was then coming after me so that I will always remember every time I’m clicking through the big channels and there is a rerun of The Brady Bunch.

Carol Cox:
I love that and I love that you also that their performance, you took that energy for yourself and and and added to it versus feeling like, oh my gosh, how am I going to follow something like that?

Carol Cox:
All right, Victoria, how about a speaking experience that didn’t go quite as well? And what did you learn from that?

Victoria Moran:
Well, I’ll tell you one. And you know, if you want another one, I could probably come up with those, too. But the one that really stands out was just a couple of years before you and I met. And I was on tour with the book Main Street Vegan, that led to the program that you took and so many other things. And it was one of those perfect storms of everything that could go wrong did go wrong. So I was at the end of the tour and I was tired. And this is so important, something we have to watch out for as speakers that we have to pace ourselves. We have this idea, well, I’m a high energy person and when I get up in front of a group, I get more energy from them. Sure, that’s who we are, but we’re not superhuman or superheroes. And sometimes I think that we think maybe we are. So I was tired. I also made the mistake of staying with friends. This was a book tour and the publisher was only covering a certain number of nights in a hotel. And when my friend said, Oh, stay with us, I said, okay, not a great idea if you can possibly help it when you’re speaking and on a day or two, stay with your friends then. But before you speak, the focus has to be on what you’re doing.

Victoria Moran:
So we got to the venue that evening. It’s a bookstore in D.C. called Busboys and Poets, and it was quite a coup to be invited. It’s one of these places where I had actually tried to go with previous books and had not been selected, so it was pretty cool that I was even there. So my friends had invited other friends to have dinner in the restaurant that’s part of the bookstore. And I thought, Well, that’s fine. I don’t really like to eat before I speak. So while you guys are ordering, I’m just going to go take a look at the room, which is always a very, very good idea. In fact, it’s absolutely essential because we have to psych ourselves up for different rooms, different ceiling heights, different chair configurations. It’s just different when you’re going into a place and you know what’s there. You can plan your speech around that. You can go over your speech in that particular place mentally. Well, they were doing another presentation in there. There was no way to see what the room looked like until after I had sat with all these people having dinner, ended up eating, wish I hadn’t. And there were a lot of people and it was crowded. So to communicate with the people around the table, I had to shout. So the wonderful voice that we want to take care of for speaking was already strained before I got in the room, and I’m thinking it’s a room.

Victoria Moran:
How bad can it be? Oh my gosh, it can be very, very bad. So this room was not designed for speakers. This room was designed for authors, people who read from their books. So there a stage, a great big high stage from which to pontificate. There was a microphone on a stand with a cord about two feet long, and I need to walk. I need to move. It’s almost like in the old days when people had to like crank up the phonograph. I’m cranked up for speaking by walking. And then in the middle of this very tiny stage was a great big chair, overstuffed chair that looked like a throne. And I’m thinking, oh, no. This is not good. And then I went to shut my phone off and happened to see a text message. It was from Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of Peta. Now, if you’re a vegan, Ingrid Newkirk is like the pope. And she had texted me to say, I’m so sorry. I can’t come to hear you tonight, but I sent out an email to everybody in my phone book telling them to go hear you. So there was just nothing right about this. I was intimidated. I was in this room that was not going to work for me.

Victoria Moran:
My stomach was full. My voice was strained. I just wanted to crawl in a hole. And of course, what happens during those times is we want to be so down on ourselves. How could you? How could you, after all these years and all this experience? Well, you know what? I could. Because I’m human. Hopefully I won’t do it again. But I was there, and what I did was try to fit myself into what was possible and change that situation to be more appealing to me. So I did get one of the tech guys to give me about another foot and a half of of microphone lead. I did push back that chair to the point that I could so that I could stand, but I might have been better off and probably would have if I’d seen the room earlier, if I’d been able to figure out what I was really supposed to do. It might have been better if I just sat in that chair. If I did read a little bit from my book and if I completely scrapped what I had prepared and what I had done and all those 14 other cities and just did Q and A But these things are all hindsight. 2020. So yeah, that was one. It was bad. Do you really need another one? No, no.

Carol Cox:
Victoria Well, thank you so much for sharing that because I always say if you’ve been speaking long enough, you’re going to have quote unquote bad speaking experiences either things you cannot control or some things where it just you just had an off day like it. Like you said, we’re all human. It’s okay. And I am sure the people who are in that audience probably thought you did fantastic.

Victoria Moran:
The audience always thinks that we do better than we do. I mean, it may be possible that some people are incredible narcissists and really do think that they do better than the audience does. But I think for the average person, we notice every little imperfection and the audience notices that one magical line that speaks to them. And have you had this experience, Carol, You give your talk. You know just what you’ve said and somebody comes up to you afterwards and says, Oh, my goodness, when you said X, Y, Z, that changed my life and you’re thinking x, y, z? X, y. I didn’t say that. But they heard it because they needed to hear it. And that’s what’s just so stunning about this opportunity that we have to use our voices and our bodies in obviously in three, four dimensions. How many dimensions are there? Three dimensions, as much as possible. And now through all of the electronics as well, to really speak to people in ways that change them. And if sometimes we’re not absolutely glorious at it, we’re still pretty good?

Carol Cox:
Absolutely. I think that is the perfect place for us to wrap up our conversation. Victoria, before I let you go, please share with us about the Main Street Vegan Academy. I also know that you host a podcast and you have another book coming out at some point. So please tell us about all of those.

Victoria Moran:
Oh, thank you so much for asking. Main Street Vegan Academy trains people who are already vegan to take their outreach to the professional level as certified vegan lifestyle coaches and educators. And if you’re not vegan, but you’re interested in maybe looking into that, I still invite you to visit the website because we do other classes and courses during the year to help people get a little bit of information about plant based eating and vegan living. And my podcast took a hiatus and did a different podcast for a while, but am coming back to start the 11th year of Main Street Vegan in September of this year. And that’s on Mind, Body, Spirit and everywhere that you get podcasts and the new book, Oh my gosh, if you are a praying person or a holding other people’s stuff in the light kind of person, I would appreciate good thoughts for age, like a Yogi, a heavenly path to a dazzling third act which is out there now with publishers.

Carol Cox:
Oh, I love that title. Well, I cannot wait to pick it up once it comes up. Victoria, thank you so much for coming on the Speaking Your Brand podcast.

Victoria Moran:
Thank you for having me and thank you for giving Speaking to the Contemporary World. I feel sometimes like we had all these great orators of the past and we have Carol Cox, who is just carrying on that tradition and very contemporary and relevant ways. It’s just wonderful what you do.

Carol Cox:
Well, thank you so much. I greatly appreciate that. And for and as well for all of you who are. Cindy, you are carrying on this incredible tradition of public speaking as well. If you would like to join us in person for our speaking accelerator. That is happening February 20th, 24, in Orlando, Florida. We spend three days together so you can practice on our stage, the body movement, the stage presence, the vocal variation, props, maybe some dancing if you would like. This is our third annual event that we’re doing. And then the third day you get professional videography. So you have that for your speaker reel and your video clips. You can get all that information at speaking your brand.com/retreat. Again, that’s speaking your brand.com/retreat. We’re continuing our series on in-person speaking next week. So be sure to stay tuned and until next time, thanks for listening.

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