How to Develop Stage Presence and Build Confidence as a Speaker [Roundtable]: Podcast Ep. 379

How to Develop Stage Presence and Build Confidence as a Speaker [Roundtable]: Podcast Ep. 379

Subscribe to the podcast!

We held our in-person speaking intensive last week in Orlando and it was so much fun!

Over three days, the women who attended worked on their speaking segments, practiced them on our stage with our coaching and feedback, and then had their segments professionally filmed on the final day.

Oh, and there were dance parties and improv exercises throughout!

I’ve invited three of our clients who were there, Shannon Bumgarner, Lei Comerford, and Denise Musselwhite, for a roundtable discussion on what they learned and insights they have for you as speakers.

We talk about:

  • Why they decided to attend our in-person retreat
  • What they learned about developing stage presence
  • Speaking as a performance (no matter what your topic is!)
  • Their newfound love of improv
  • The power of using our I.D.E.A.L. storytelling ingredients
  • Feeling confident *not* using notes or a script
  • The impact of practicing on our stage and getting feedback at our in-person retreat

This audio is from a live broadcast we did on March 5, 2024. You can watch the video at https://youtube.com/live/ylcRJtfkdk4?feature=share

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/379/

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/ 

Connect on LinkedIn:

Related Podcast Episodes:

379-SYB-Roundtable-RetreatClients.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

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

Carol Cox:
Learn how to develop true stage presence and confidence. In this roundtable discussion with three of the women who recently attended our in-person speaker retreat 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 backstage with Speaking Your Brand. I’m Carol Cox, founder and CEO of Speaking Your Brand. I am excited to bring to you today three of the women, the incredible women who attended our three day in-person client retreat that we held just last week in Orlando, Florida. It was three days of practice on our stage, feedback and coaching, and then professional filming on day three. And all of these women hit it out of the park when they stepped on to that stage. So I wanted to invite them on to talk about their experience at the retreat, why they decided to attend, what they learned about developing stage presence, and about speaking as a performance.

Carol Cox:
Their newfound love of improv, which I think is surprised all of the women who were there. We also want to talk about storytelling within your presentations and talks and feeling confident not using notes or a script or even slides because we didn’t allow them to use any of those things. Let me introduce Lee Comerford, Shannon Bumgarner, and Denise Musselwhite. So glad to have all three of you here. Lee Comerford is an executive leadership coach. Shannon Bumgarner is a corporate leader and a what she calls a feminist because she works in Stem, uh, promoting women and especially pay equity for women in Stem. And then Denise Musselwhite also works in the Stem field. She’s a former CEO, CIO who’s now the founder of her own company, Tech and Thrive. All right, ladies, so let me Denise, let me start with you. Why did you decide to attend our in-person retreat? What were you hoping to get out of it? And then how did you feel when we finished?

Denise Musselwhite:
Well, I joined the retreat because I’ve been following you for, um, probably a decade now. And, um, listening to your podcast, fangirling over everything that you share, I learned how to speak, um, intuitively. Besides the class that I took in college, I just kind of came to it naturally as, um, a curiosity. And I’ve been speaking on stages for workbook workshop facilitation and teaching technology concepts to other leaders for 20 plus years. And I thought, now that I’m a CEO and founder, I should probably step it up and create the opportunity to speak on larger stages and to relinquish my, um, connection to slides and notes and more importantly, to meet some amazing women. I mean, coming together with other women who have, um, great stories was really important to me. And I really loved that it was in person. Yeah, yeah, that was the that was really the top deciding factor for me was that it was an in-person interaction with other people, um, to do this work.

Carol Cox:
Lei, I know that you heard about our in-person client retreat a year ago when one of our other clients attended who, you know, and she mentioned it and you contacted me right away, March of 2023. And you’re like, I want to come. When’s the next one? And I’m like, well, it’s not for another year. She’s like, that’s okay, I’m going to sign up whenever you open registration. So why did you want to come and what was your experience like?

Lei Comerford:
Yeah, it was uh, it was incredibly frustrating when you told me I had to wait a year. Let me just be honest. Um. And I understood that all the reasons why, um, you know, I was so excited about the opportunity because, you know, as a speaker, I know that there’s more that I could be doing. And I really wanted the opportunity to up level what I was already doing and to become a little bit more intentional, uh, about how I was doing certain things and how I was telling stories. And my, my coach friend who introduced me to you just said this was transformational for her. And I have to agree, that’s exactly how I would refer to it as well.

Carol Cox:
Oh, great. And Shannon, we first started working together way back in 2019, so almost five years ago now, and we worked on and off ever since then. And I was so excited when you decided to join us at our retreat. So tell me, why did you decide to come and what was your experience like?

Shannon Bumgarner:
I think for me, Carol, people may be surprised by this answer, but I was struggling to refind and keep my voice, so I was really struggling with the stage, did I? How do I cut through the noise? Does my voice really matter still? Why am I doing all these things? And it came up in quarter four for me and I thought, wow, you know, she’s just given me this phenomenal opportunity to refine that voice and use it for a world that I think needs it. But I really needed the confidence boost, and I really needed the presence of the amazing women on this phone and then the amazing women that we had an opportunity to meet while we were there.

Carol Cox:
Well, one thing you said to me, Shannon, while we were there is you said, oh, now I get it that speaking is a performance no matter what your topic, no matter if you think that, oh, I have a corporate topic or a training topic, or I’m speaking to corporate audiences, speaking is really about performing. So, Shannon, why why what what led you to that? What how did that reframe speaking for you?

Shannon Bumgarner:
Okay. So we’re gonna get ready get ready to get real here. So I thought, oh, I’m just supposed to stand on stage, be animated, but I, you know, maybe move a little bit, but I’m really I’m delivering information. And what it really connected for me was I’ve been preparing for this. So I was the kid who, when the band was out in the field at football games, I was the little kid twirling my baton on the sidelines. I am a embarrassingly a former beauty queen, so I have been on the stage, uh, with the crown on my head. And I was a cheerleader in high school, so performing it, I guess, has come natural to me. But I thought, oh, well, I’ve never thought to bring this whole performing thing to speaking. Well, who ever thought about that? And I was like, oh, well, this makes complete sense. Now. It’s not just information giving, it’s actually a performance in a good way and entertainment, because you’re trying to bring the audience in.

Carol Cox:
And Shannon, you did a great job at that. You had your baton there as a prop and you had your incredible sparkly shoes and all different colors, which we absolutely loved. I think you get the award for Best Dressed for At the Retreat, and you really did like you acted out your stories. You you used the stage and it was so much fun. Denise, you also incorporated some props into the segments that you ended up filming. So tell us a little bit about, uh, incorporating props and active storytelling and also seeing speaking as a performance.

Denise Musselwhite:
For me, I didn’t realize how much of a performance speaking was. I just am naturally animated when I speak, so it didn’t connect for me until I really got there. And we did a lot of that improvisation work. Um, it clicked like, oh, okay, I get it. The improv loosens us up to get out of our own way and out of our own heads. So it gave me the confidence to start to use and test some props. I did a little bit of testing of props in a keynote that I did for Women in tech, um, organization, and that went really, really well. So I incorporated that prop into my talk at Speaking Your brand. And that prop is an enormous bottle of champagne. And, um, that was really fun to professionalize its incorporation, but also make it relevant to the story and having feedback from the other women practicing how I might do that, and incorporating the other props that I used, really gave me new confidence that I could do that, um, more broadly in upcoming speaking engagements.

Carol Cox:
And think about how memorable you are using props and using storytelling using our ideal story ingredients, imagery, dialogue, emotion, action, and lesson when you were sharing your stories. Now, Leigh, I know that in the first few days you were practicing your speaking segments and the story that you told about Sally. And then I had the recommendation. I’m like, well, you know, why don’t we dig into doing some more dialogue and have you actually, uh, act out as if you were having a conversation with Sally? So tell us a little bit about that. How did that shift for you seeing how to incorporate storytelling into your talks?

Lei Comerford:
Yeah, it was it was night and day. Uh, if I can be, you know, kind of that blunt. It was, it was eye opening because I was telling the story, but I wasn’t necessarily telling it from the perspective of really engaging the audience. And when I switched and incorporated your feedback, it was that opportunity of everyone was leaning in and they wanted to know, okay, what was what was next, which was, uh, which was really fun being on the stage and seeing that interaction with everyone in the audience.

Carol Cox:
Because then you started instead of just, like I say, like it’s almost like writing a description of what happened is one way to to share something, but then actually saying the dialogue. So then, you know, I had this zoom call with Sally, and then Sally said this. And then I was surprised that, you know, she was reacting this way, and I could see the disappointment in her face and all of a sudden, like, it’s like a movie scene, like, we’re there with you.

Lei Comerford:
Yes. Yeah. It was it was like I said, it was a lot of, um, a lot of fun, but also a really quick realization of, I want more of that. Um, and, and to really be able to bring the audience in.

Carol Cox:
All right. Let’s talk about improv. As those of you who have listened to the Speaking Your Brand podcast know, Diane and I have a love hate relationship with improv. We’d love it because of how much it gets us out of our heads and into our bodies as speakers, but we also hate it because it’s really hard, you know, it’s hard to think of things on the fly, especially things that are funny. You know, you’re supposed to, like, act things out and think of, of what? The scene. So I’m going to go to you, Shannon, was this the first time that you did improv? What were you thinking going in, and did you end up do you have a love hate relationship with it now or just a love?

Shannon Bumgarner:
Okay, I’m gonna be really honest. It was like the one thing I was like, do I really want to go to this retreat? Because she’s gonna make me act like a fool on stage. And I knew a little bit about improv. I have done it once in a in a virtual zoom call, so I knew that. Yes. And piece of it. So I knew that. But I have to admit I’m not good at it, but I actually I have a love relationship with it now because I think it’s creative. I think it allows me who I’m a little bit of a nerd, just just a little. It allows me to get out of my head like I’m not in my head. I’m just free flowing. I’m letting my body and my storytelling take over. So I think I have a love relationship with it, but I’m still terrified. I will have to say, I’m not sure I’m ready to sign up for a full improv class quite yet, but I would highly recommend it. And, um, if anybody on my team is listening right now, you’re getting ready to experience it at some point in 2024, in a in a team event. So it’s coming for you.

Carol Cox:
Oh no. Now they’re they’re running away hiding now Shannon.

Shannon Bumgarner:
Probably under their desk or. Yeah they’re hiding.

Carol Cox:
All right. Lee, what about you? Have you ever done improv and what were your thoughts?

Lei Comerford:
I had, um, participated in a in a workshop. Uh, it’s been several years ago, and, you know, everybody raise your hand if you’d like to volunteer for our next activity. Why not? Let’s do this. And it was improv. Oh, was I surprised? Um, loved the opportunity to try something different then, um, afterwards, I’m like, what was I thinking? Um, so it was really nice to come back in and do it with, with this group because we were all silly. We were all having a good time. There’s a whole lot of laughter going on and a whole lot of. Shannon, to your point, in the moment, we were all incredibly present. And, you know, even though we think we are all the time, we’re not. So it was that opportunity to be fully present and creative, to think, okay, what am I going to say next? Or what am I going to do next? Um, Shannon, you talked about. Yes. And I loved the freeze game and, uh, and yes, Shannon, to your point, those of you and some of my upcoming workshops get ready. We’re going to be incorporating some of this for fun.

Carol Cox:
Great. It is. It is so fun to be silly. You know, we had dance parties throughout Lee. You led us in a conga line, which we have a video of on LinkedIn. Sandy Robinson, she did the electric slide with us, you know, on our practice stage on a certain song. So it was just it was really it was just fun to kind of be silly to move around. And I could see between day one, when we started to day three, when we filmed, how much more comfortable you all felt using, like using your arms and legs, using your bodies. And that was really the goal for us with playing the freeze game. All right, Denise, what about you? Improv. Was this your first time and do you love it or love hate it?

Denise Musselwhite:
I’ve been to improv shows where I’ve watched and enjoyed improvisation, but I hadn’t ever participated in myself before. To be very honest. I think I wanted to try it because I’m super curious about stretching and challenging myself. I was so embarrassed by all of it on day one, but I saw how it really just created camaraderie among all of us more quickly, how it built trust, and how it helped us to understand each other from a like not a serious perspective and just see who see each other for who we were authentically. So I really appreciated it, and I’m thinking of ways that I might incorporate it into future talks to loosen up and, um, to do ice breaking with audience members, perhaps. Um, but I think it’s really valuable, especially on highly technical teams. I could see its application there because highly technical teams, Shannon and I have the opportunity to work with highly technical teams, tend to, to, um, be more closed off and only want to talk about, uh, details and kind of, um, problems. Uh, so I see it as a real asset there to create teaming.

Carol Cox:
It’s like the new trust fall.

Denise Musselwhite:
Yes. Oh, I hated Trust Falls. I was going to.

Shannon Bumgarner:
Say, I think this might be more fun than Trust Fall.

Carol Cox:
Right?

Denise Musselwhite:
You just triggered me with this, I.

Carol Cox:
Know, am I dating myself? Right. Like, oh, no.

Denise Musselwhite:
No, oh, no. To trust falls, right? No.

Carol Cox:
All right. So we’ve talked about speaking as a performance. We’ve talked about kind of active storytelling in the use of props and how how, uh, how helpful improv and even our dance parties were. So as I mentioned, at the top there, we didn’t allow you to use any notes or written script or a teleprompter or even slides when you were doing your filming on day three. And, Lee, let me start with you because I know you do a lot of, you know, corporate style presentations and workshops. How did that feel not to have slides or notes or a prompter and then what? What are you taking away from that for future presentations, even when you do use slides?

Lei Comerford:
Yeah, I was missing my assistant, which is the PowerPoint behind my head. Um, so it was it was weird. It was different. It was at first really uncomfortable. Uh, yet after practice, uh, and and stepping into that opportunity, it was the realization of, do I really want everybody focusing on a slide versus focusing on the message that I’m trying to deliver. And I have even though I will continue to use slides, that’s just what I do. I’m going to use the opportunity with the clicker to actually blank out the screen much more regularly, so that the audience does have a chance to really focus on the on the important message that I’m trying to get across versus, uh, reading whatever may be on the slide.

Carol Cox:
Yes, that’s an excellent point. I love slides, too, and I use slides for really, you know, nice imagery or a video clip or a funny GIF that I want to put on there, or audience question. But I do the same thing where I’ll intersperse either a blank slide like all white or all black. So I will click to that, but there’s nothing for the audience to look at at that point, because they need to come back to me for whatever I am talking about. So yeah, that’s that’s a great point. All right. Uh, Denise, what about you again? I know you’ve done a lot of presentations, especially at tech related events, which and they love slides, right? That’s like their, their, uh, their best friend. So how do you how are you feeling about slides and notes?

Denise Musselwhite:
I really appreciated not having to worry about them, because I felt like I could connect more with the audience because I wasn’t so worried about the clicking and what the slides said, and whether I was saying what the slide was saying. So I feel like it brought out a different level of authenticity in my audience engagement and connection that I that maybe gets interrupted when you have a slide, um, because you’re not really connecting directly with the audience because they are looking at the slides and not making eye contact with you. Um, so I really loved relinquishing them. It was very difficult. I have to say. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but I found that I was more prepared than I would have been if I had slides. Because I didn’t have the slides, I felt more prepared.

Carol Cox:
Oh, okay. That’s good to know.

Denise Musselwhite:
Yeah, because I had to understand what I was going to say and what my point was, I didn’t I knew a slide wasn’t coming to remind me, so I felt more prepared than I do. I did with slides because I realized now that I lean on them.

Carol Cox:
As we all do, right? They’re like, oh, that’s oh, that’s what I’m talking about. Next as you click to the next slide.

Denise Musselwhite:
Yeah.

Carol Cox:
All right. And then also um, the other thing Shannon I want to come back to you. Is that so I know that you had said to me during the retreat that you feel like you have you’re finding your voice again, which I am so glad to to hear, because absolutely, you have such an incredibly powerful voice and platform, and there are so many women who look up to you. So tell us a little bit about stage presence and confidence. How are you feeling now after spending the time that we did last week? Kind of. What have you learned about stage presence and about feeling more confident to use your voice?

Shannon Bumgarner:
I think one thing I had to retell myself was that the audience is rooting for you, regardless of what audience that you’re in because of nothing else. They’re there to receive what you’re there to say. So they’re they’re rooting for you to be successful, I think. So that was the reminder that I needed. And I think the second thing, it sort of ties to what I said before, but really seeing myself as a performer allowed me to be free again. So I think I had put myself in a box and said, thou shalt fit this box. And I felt like I was just standing there like a stiff board. And this movement allowed me to be me. And so my top value is authenticity. So this retreat helped me to really feel like the stage was my world, right? Not just the the round circle of a Ted talk or a box that you put yourself in. I was the world is my stage. I guess the Shakespeare quote, I think I butchered it, but probably pretty close. Yeah. Um, that I think that’s for me where it helped me find my confidence. And to be honest, the vulnerable stories that some of these women shared about themselves on stage, I thought, wow, if they can get up there and and tell those stories like Mona is coming to mind right now, I can do this. And the the things that I have to say matter.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there was there the women there who shared some very personal stories, and they did it in service of the audiences that they speak to and the transformation that they hope that their audiences can, can apply to themselves based on the lessons and the experiences that these other women had. And also what comes to mind is that all three of you have frameworks that you that you have, that you’ve developed and that you you also filmed a little bit of sharing your framework while you were at the event. Shannon, you have human as your acronym. Denise, I know you have your Thrive framework as an acronym. And Lee, you have. Okay. It’s not quite an acronym, even though I did suggest Soar, but it does have that does have those letters in it. All right. So can you talk talk to us a little bit about frameworks, the power of frameworks and how you incorporate them into your talks? Lee I’ll start with you. Yeah.

Lei Comerford:
Awesome. And I loved the recommendation of of Soar. As you said, an acronym. It’s easy to remember. Um, for me it’s the framework. And again, slightly different order and one different word. Um, but it is that opportunity to really get the points across for this is what you’re going to learn. And in having those nuggets at the beginning of a talk throughout the talk, and then you wrap up at the end with that reminder, this is what we’ve covered. It takes everyone through an entire journey together. Um, I’m still working on because I’ve only been home a few days from the retreat, so I’m working on how how might I? I haven’t decided if it’s a definite, but how might I incorporate the shift to soar or something similar? So, um, so I love the acronym and we’ll see.

Carol Cox:
Okay. That’s that’s good enough for me. All right. So and then Lee, let me, let me have you talk a little bit about stage presence. What is stage presence mean to you and how are you feeling about that now going into your future speaking engagements.

Lei Comerford:
Yeah. Great question. And it’s it’s that opportunity for before it was just like yeah I’m up here or I wasn’t I would leave the stage because I wanted to be amongst everyone throughout the room and I was walking over people. I mean, please, it was crazy. Um, in at least a couple of scenarios. And now I understand the importance of being on stage and and having that connection from, from there. I think the presence aspect is as you move, every move that you make is intentional. And I didn’t think about that before. So where I might be moving from one end to the other just to connect with different eyes. Now the intentionality is based on what I’m saying and what I’m doing and what’s coming next. So I’ll say intentional is something that it’s a big word with me and has been for years, and yet we found another way to incorporate it in how we move and how we present ourselves on stage.

Carol Cox:
Yes, as I told you at the retreat, if you’re going to move, which I encourage you to do, move with intention, right? I’ll just like wander around or seesaw back and forth. And there were there were some of you of the 11 women who attended last week, there were some of you who liked to pretty much stay grounded in one spot and then and didn’t move much. So like, okay, let’s try moving a little bit more. And there were some women who liked to move a lot, like all the time. And then as we were coaching and giving feedback, I think they realized that actually moving with intention and like I said, staying stay still for a paragraph or two, not just like a half a sentence or two, because then it helps the audience to focus more on what you’re seeing, not just watching you move around the stage. So there’s definitely a balance there, uh, in the movement with intention. I love that, Denise. What about you? How what? A stage presence mean to you? And how are you feeling now going into your future speaking engagements?

Denise Musselwhite:
You know, I the what I learned about stage presence was very, very specific to the way that I was moving and the pace in which I spoke. Those two are the areas where I felt like I had the greatest opportunities for growth, um, because I would move around a lot. And like Lee mentioned, I would be more focused on audience connection, like trying to look at the audience and, um, kind of speak to one person in the audience, which I think at one time I was only looking at her and talking to her, and she’s like, what’s the deal with you, Denise?

Carol Cox:
Just like staring you down, right? Yeah.

Denise Musselwhite:
And I didn’t realize I did that, but it was I do do I realize now that that is what I do? It was a strategy that I learned in order to, um, slow myself down and to not move as much. But now I realize that I can’t just focus in on one person. I need to move around the stage with intention to make the connections with what I’m saying. And as a result of that, I think that I am more prepared for, um, bigger stages, which may have felt intimidating to me in the past. I, um, last year had my first opportunity to be on a large stage with more than five. You know, I’ve been on large stages for my entire career because the organization that I worked for previously had, you know, over a thousand people. So that was pretty commonplace. But they were my colleagues. So that’s a little bit different. Um, in a speaking engagement type style, um, I now feel more confident for that larger stage where I don’t know the whole audience. That was really important for me, where I have the confidence that I don’t need to know people in the audience in order to engage through what I’m saying and with the intentionality of my movements.

Carol Cox:
Yes.

Carol Cox:
And you and you really came a long way from day one to day three in that. So it was, it was, it was great to watch. It was great to watch all of you, all 11 of you really transform from day one to day three. Take our coaching and feedback and incorporate it pretty much right away. You know, as you practice on the stage. And we would give you feedback. And I know that’s not always easy to do, especially in an intimate setting. Or there were 15 of us in total, 11 clients. And then for speaking your brand team members. And we joked on day one that pretty much all of us would rather deliver our talks to 500 strangers than to 15 women. And that that we know who are in in this small, intimate environment. So, Shannon, let me come to you. How are you feeling now about, you know, going out? What is next for you? Uh, tell us a little bit about your speaking topics and, and what you’re looking to do speaking wise this year.

Shannon Bumgarner:
So my speaking topic has shifted a little bit. So as you mentioned on the outset, I, I am and will always be a feminist and a huge proponent for women in Stem. But I found my calling with human centric leadership, and it links to the human framework that you alluded to a little bit ago. So I really want to propagate that to all kinds of audiences. I am working on my keynote talk for Human Leadership. So that is coming. And then a shout out to to Sandy Robinson here, who was one of our cohorts. She is inspired me to look for the Ted stage. So the Ted stage is something I’m starting to research and Caroline may be coming your way should that happen, uh, to get a little bit more coaching and help to make that happen. So that is my new bucket list goal, to bring that human centric leadership to the Ted stage.

Carol Cox:
I love it, Shannon. And you know, here at Speaking your Brand, if you tell us something, we will keep following up with you.

Shannon Bumgarner:
I know, and now I just blurted it out to a whole audience and is being recorded, so I cannot walk it back now.

Shannon Bumgarner:
In the universe.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, you’re gonna be amazing at the at a Ted talk, and they’re going to be fortunate to have you. So yes. I can’t wait to hear about that. Denise, what about you? Tell us about your speaking topics and what’s next for you with your speaking engagements.

Denise Musselwhite:
Well, I am looking forward to expanding my catalog of speaking topics beyond the thrive operating system, which is what I’ve been talking about most recently, and to incorporate more opportunities to facilitate and speak at women conferences, women in tech conferences, um, providing a keynote or a medium sized group facilitation to help people move the needle on some of the barriers that hold them back from their, um, potential. So that’s what I have my eye on. I am putting myself out there for, um, associations with some of the conferences that I enjoy attending to see if I can’t make some leeway there, and then looking forward to the opportunities that will present themselves as a result of the Speaking Your Brand retreat and the recordings that you all are going to provide to us so that we can, um, create a speaker reel that is more professional and available to individuals who might be considering considering us for speaking engagements.

Carol Cox:
Fantastic. And Lei, tell us about your speaking topics and what you have on the horizon.

Lei Comerford:
Yeah.

Lei Comerford:
Um, currently I’m actually speaking on five different topics, and what I’ve realized is there’s another one out there that I’ve, that I determined during our time together last week, and I can’t wait to work on that. I’m going to keep it hush hush for now. Um, but that is coming up. Um, but I’m super excited. I’ve got several speaking engagements already on the books for next month and others coming up later in the year. Um, but a keynote, uh, will also be at the end of next month. So, Denise, to your point, uh, a large stage is very comfortable for you. I will be speaking to somewhere between 5 and 600, which to date, uh, will be the largest in person that I’ve had. I’ve spoke from a perspective of it being live streamed to thousands. Um, but they’re not right in front of you, so you really don’t know they’re there. So I am excited with the confidence that, um, that I was able to, I think, build and realize, yes, I’m the one on stage. Yes, I’m the one with the lights. Yet the message is for the people who are listening. And I said that before the conference and I say it now. So looking forward to sharing my voice and sharing my message with many moving forward.

Carol Cox:
Wonderful.

Carol Cox:
And as I like to say, you are the messengers your audiences are waiting for. And I really, truly see public speaking as a conversation with your audience. As we talked about at the retreat last week, it is not just a one way. It truly is a dialogue with the audience. Even if they’re not seeing anything out loud. You’re feeding off their energy. They’re feeding off your energy. You have that empathetic mirror neurons connection going on with your audience. And there’s. Nothing. I consider it such a privilege to be a speaker, to have that opportunity to share with the audience. And so I know the three of you do the same thing at your speaking engagements, and I am so excited for you to continue to put yourselves out there. For those of you who are watching us, make sure to connect with Lee, Shannon, and Denise on LinkedIn. They’re they’re right here on LinkedIn. And if you’re listening to this on the podcast, go to the show notes and you can watch the video as well and connect with them on LinkedIn. If you would like to work with us to develop your thought leadership message and create your signature talk, as well as learn the business of speaking, we do that in our online Thought Leader Academy. We work with you both one on one and in a small group. You can get all the details about that as speaking your brand comm slash Academy. Our next start date is April 2nd, so coming up very soon. I do not yet know when we’re going to be doing another in-person speaking retreat workshop, but but we’re.

Shannon Bumgarner:
Holding you accountable for it.

Carol Cox:
Yes.

Shannon Bumgarner:
Carols. Trying to figure it out. We’re like, do it, do it.

Carol Cox:
I know.

Carol Cox:
No, we I mean, truly, it is the highlight of our year to spend this time together in person. There’s nothing like that. Like it is so unique. It is so, so special and so fulfilling. So we’ll figure that out. For those of you watching and listening, the best way to make sure that you stay up to date is to join our email list. You can do that by going to speaking your brand comm slash join. And while you’re there take our free speaker archetype quiz. Be speaking your brand comm slash quiz to get on the email list as well. All right. Thank you again, Lee, Shannon and Denise for coming on our backstage with Speaking Your Brand and Speaking Your Brand podcast. It has been such a joy to get to know you and to work with you, and I wish you nothing but the best.

Lei Comerford:
Thank you so much.

Shannon Bumgarner:
Thanks. Bye.

Denise Musselwhite:
Thanks, Carol. It was great seeing you, Lei and Shannon.

Lei Comerford:
You too. Good to see you.

Carol Cox:
Wasn’t that a fantastic conversation? We have more roundtable discussions with our retreat clients and our thought Leader Academy clients coming up, so make sure to hit subscribe or follow in your podcast app so you don’t miss any of our future episodes. 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 automatic transcription software, generate automated summaries powered by AI, collaboration tools, 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...

Strategies for Getting Momentum on the Speaking Circuit with Cindy Rowe: Podcast Ep. 401

Strategies for Getting Momentum on the Speaking Circuit with Cindy Rowe: Podcast Ep. 401

Why Introverts Make Great Speakers and Leaders [Executive Speaking Series] Host Carol Cox: Podcast Ep. 400

Why Introverts Make Great Speakers and Leaders [Executive Speaking Series]: Podcast Ep. 400

Be a Voice of Change: How to Communicate Transformational Leadership with Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young: Podcast Ep. 399

Be a Voice of Change: How to Communicate Transformational Leadership with Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young: Podcast Ep. 399

SYB-398-Storytelling-LinkedIn-1200x630

Storytelling for Leaders: Crafting Narratives that Inspire and Persuade [Executive Speaking Series]: Podcast Ep. 398