Using One Story with Different Angles for Different Audiences with Chanta Wilkinson: Podcast Ep. 236

Using One Story with Different Angles for Different Audiences with Chanta Wilkinson | Speaking Your Brand

Subscribe to the podcast!

You know that including stories, especially personal stories, in your presentations is important to connect with and engage the audience. This is true whether you’re giving a keynote, a business presentation, or a training.

Along with integrating various stories and examples throughout your presentations, you can also have one core story that illustrates your topic and why it’s important.

This is what my guest Chanta Wilkinson and I have been working on during our coaching sessions as part of our Thought Leader Academy.

Chanta provides trainings and workshops for organizations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, so we identified a story going back to when she was a young girl that perfectly illustrates why she has gravitated to this work and why DEI is so important.

Even better, we’ve identified different angles she can use from this one core story, depending on who’s in the audience and what she wants to emphasize.

You are going to love Chanta’s energy and passion for what she does!

Enrollment for our Thought Leader Academy is opening again in September! Get the details and join our interest list at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/.

 

About My Guest: Chanta Howard Wilkinson is the founder of Chanta Wilkinson Consulting, LLC, where she provides diversity, equity and inclusion consulting and assistance to organizations implementing diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and best practices. Chanta previously served as a Human Resources Consultant for small to mid-size businesses in Delaware and New York City. Prior to that, she served as the Associate Director of EEO/AA for Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. In addition, she also served as a Deputy Attorney General and an EEO/Affirmative Action Coordinator for the New Jersey Office of Attorney General and an Associate at a large New Jersey law firm. Chanta holds a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, a BA from Rutgers College, and a Diversity & Inclusion for HR Certificate from Cornell University.

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 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/236 

Chanta’s website: https://www.chantawilkinsonconsultingllc.com/

Download our FREE workbook on how to position yourself as a thought leader: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/guide/

Get on the interest list for our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/

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

Connect on LinkedIn:

 

Related Podcast Episodes:

236-SYB-Chanta-Wilkinson.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

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

Carol Cox:
How can you use one core story with different angles for different audiences? This is what I talk about with my guest, Chanta Wilkinson, on this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast.

Carol Cox:
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.

Carol Cox:
Hi there and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I'm your host, Carol Cox. I hope you've been enjoying the episodes we've been doing around thought leadership. It started a few episodes ago, number 232, where I talked about are you an influencer, an expert or a thought leader? And then the next episode to 33, I explain three types of thought leadership models that I've identified. Those two episodes have been incredibly popular. I've heard from a number of listeners that those two episodes have really got them thinking about their own role as a thought leader and their desire to evolve from an expert to a thought leader. So definitely go back and listen to those two episodes if you haven't already. And so now we're doing a series with some of the women who've been in our Thought Leader Academy. Last week we had Marisol Erlacher on the podcast. Today I have Chanta Wilkinson. Next week Cyndi Shifrel. And then the week after that Betsy Jordyn. I'm really happy to showcase these women on the podcast because I'm hoping that it gives you a sense of the types of women that enroll in our Thought Leader Academy, the different types of businesses that they run and the different thought leadership goals that they have.

Carol Cox:
And really the one umbrella that they all fall into is that, yes, they have a business and they want their business to do well, but they also have a mission. They have a purpose to what they want to do in their business and in their life. And that's where their thought leadership message and their thought leadership project comes into play. Our Thought Leader Academy is open for enrollment again, coming up very soon in September. You're going to want to get on the interest list as speaking your brand academy. This is a small group. We like to keep it intimate because we really do create a trusted, safe place for you to explore your ideas, your message and your story. And our goal for you in the Thought Leader Academy is really for you to think of yourself as a thought leader and to start positioning yourself that way within your business and within the speaking and other types of visibility that you're doing. You can get all of the details and sign up for the interest list as speaking your brand academy. And if you have questions and want to see if it's a good fit for you and what your goals are, you're welcome to schedule a consultation call with us any time you can do that right on the same page. Speaking your brand academy, there's a button to do so. Now let me tell you about today's guest.

Carol Cox:
Chanta Howard Wilkinson is a member of our Thought Leader Academy right now. She's the founder of her own consulting company, where she provides diversity, equity and inclusion, consulting and assistance to organizations that are implementing DEI strategies and best practices. Chanta has a background as a human resources consultant, and she was a lawyer. She worked with the New Jersey office of the Attorney General and at a New Jersey law firm before she decided to pivot from being a lawyer into now doing her own consulting. And we get into her background and some of her early stories of when she was young and how we see now that that has led her to the work that she's doing today. So what she and I talk about in this episode is around identifying that core story for your signature talk, whether you're doing a business presentation, a training workshop or a keynote talk, having a story that informs why you do what you do and why the work that you do matters to you, and then, by extension, to your audience, can really help your audience to connect with you more. But you can also do is that you can have one core story and then you can emphasize different angles of the story depending on who's in the audience and what angle makes sense for them. So that's what we dive into in this episode. You're going to love Ashanti's energy and passion for what she does. I have so enjoyed having her in the Thought Leader Academy, and so I know you're going to love her too. Now let's get on with the show. Welcome to the podcast, Chanta.

Chanta Wilkinson:
Thank you. I'm so happy to be here.

Carol Cox:
Well, I am thrilled to have you. You have so much energy and presence and charisma and I have really enjoyed having you in the Thought Leader Academy and getting to know you over the past couple of months. And so I really want to dive into the work that you do in your consulting business and really where that passion came from, where this drive in this mission came from. Because I think it will be helpful to the listeners as they start to think about the work that they do, and maybe even pivoting or refining the work that they do to align more with the passion and the mission that they have. So Chanta, tell us about the consulting work that you do and who you do it for.

Chanta Wilkinson:
I have a diversity equity and inclusion consulting business, and it is. A passion of mine. I enjoy it. My background is I served as a human resources consultant slash manager for several small to midsize businesses in the northeast region. Prior to that, I was a practicing attorney as well as the associate director of EEO and Affirmative Action for a hospital in New York City. And I would say that diversity, equity and inclusion work is work that I found. And it also found me at the same time as I was going along my career journey, and I would sit back and I would see friends from law school and different people, college friends and high school friends. And you would sit back and you would say, wow, you know, so-and-so seems like they really enjoy their job. So-and-so seems like they're really passionate about what they do. And I would often have times that I would question, Am I passionate about what I do? Do I really enjoy it? But my career sort of went along a trajectory where I found that I was always gravitating towards the work that had an investigative side to it, gravitating towards the work that dealt with affirmative action matters, dealt with EEO human resources, working with individuals, trying to come up with a resolution, mediation.

Chanta Wilkinson:
I did court training mediation courses to get a certification in mediation. So coming up with the resolution, being able to see a problem in helping an organization, helping someone find a solution to that problem. So I believe that's how I went along this path in all of my different career opportunities that I had up to this date. And I remember maybe three years ago, four years ago, sitting down and saying, you know, you keep coming back to diversity, equity and inclusion. These are things that are important to you. These are tenets that have a personal connection to you and that you feel passionate about. And I was having this internal monologue with myself for several years, and then I said, You know, this is work that seems so inspiring. You're able to align your mission with your personal mission with organizations that you care about and that want to do the good work. So it was sort of like a perfect marriage in between my interests, my background, every career opportunity that I had to date. So it was basically the perfect marriage of all of those aspects.

Carol Cox:
And so. Chanta So you've relatively recently struck out on your own, starting your own consulting business to work with organizations. Tell us a little bit about the types of organizations who you most enjoy working with. What do the organizations look like? And I guess more importantly, what is their executive leadership team and employees look like that they are excited to do the DEI work as well?

Chanta Wilkinson:
So far I've been doing a nice mixture between for profit and not for profit organizations, and I really enjoy working with both I with the not for profit organizations, I'm usually definitely passionate about the work that they're doing and the communities that they serve. So it's always great to see organizations that are out doing great work for the communities, but that are also doing that internal reflective work in-house to determine to ensure that A, are they best serving their employees and B, are they best serving the communities that they serve? So when working with board of directors for a nonprofit organization, they like to ensure that their leadership team is reflective of the community that they serve, that there are individuals sitting around the table that are also members of the communities that their services are reaching. And then there's that also that internal work that organizations like to do when looking within their staff and looking within their executive leadership in-house as well. Just to make sure, are we reflective of the community? Are we reflective of the community we serve as well as the community at large? And then there's the same when dealing with some of the for profit corporations. They're also looking at it from a vantage point of we provide these services to a customer base, to a consumer base, to a community. But are the individuals that's helping provide these services, are they reflective of the greater community at large? So it's great to work with organizations that are energetic about the work, that are committed to the work and that also see it as work.

Chanta Wilkinson:
And I once sat on a panel and when thinking about the work and talking primarily to for profit organizations, I try to look at it as your reputation, no matter what your business venture is, is extremely important. And if your workplace is not inclusive, if the environment that you are cultivating in-house is not inclusive, that is just as effective as having a defective product that can be just as detrimental to your brand as an organization and to your reputation as providing faulty or subpar service. So if you're if you're putting out a great product to the community, but internally your workplace isn't inclusive. If your employees engagement levels are not high, if your employees are not happy to go to work every day, if they don't feel like they are comfortable to bring their authentic, true self to work and. That their authentic, true self is also has a sense of belonging that can be just as detrimental, if not more than having a reputation for having a faulty product or defective product or just service that does not meet up to the expectations. So I try to with each organization, I try to focus on that, that whatever your consumer is, whatever your consumer base is, is equally as important to ensure that you're in-house, that your work environment is just as happy, engaging and inclusive as the products that you put out.

Carol Cox:
So that's a really great point and a few things come to mind. So I remember during one of our strategy sessions or coaching sessions that because we were kind of talking along these same lines that I mentioned, the Pepsi commercial that had come out a few years ago with I think it was Kendall Jenner. I don't know what are the Kardashian ones and how it was so tone deaf, because in the in the advertisement, she's like holding a Pepsi can because obviously advertising Pepsi and she's going up to like a line of police, like riot police officers in the middle of a obviously staged protest for this advertisement. And it's like, oh, here, just hand the police officer a can of Pepsi and everything's going to be fine. And then I think eventually came out that the advertising agency and whoever was involved at with it at Pepsi, there was there were no black people or people of color or I don't even know that I'll have to go check that who were involved in the creation of this advertisement.

Chanta Wilkinson:
And you see that often. And it was something that you would see generations ago where you would see advertisements that were in publications, Life magazine, Time magazine, and it was products that were geared towards a female consumer base. And it may be a woman vacuuming with a dress and pearls and heels on. And you can tell that this was, I'm assuming, during the era of Mad Men and the ad men on Madison Avenue, and there were no women sitting around the table. So the individuals that were putting forth this advertisement package for this product, in their mind, this is what women look like when they vacuum. This is what this is what women aspire to be as they're doing work. So you can tell, you see that generations to go and then to still see it now it's like there was not one person at the table who was able to say, this is tone deaf, this falls flat, this is totally missing the mark. This or this is inappropriate. So you see that often with some products and some advertisements and just some messages that are put forward and put out into the community that you say. Clearly there was no one who could sit at the table and say this false.

Carol Cox:
Exactly.

Chanta Wilkinson:
This is not hitting the mark.

Carol Cox:
Yes. And obviously, the work that you're doing is incredibly important. And there has been a dramatic increase in interest of of the work for both for profit and non profit, obviously, since George Floyd's murder last what end of May of 2020. So over a year ago now. And that was the big resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, the protests all across the country. And so we definitely have seen this increase in that. And so which is great, let's applaud companies for wanting to to go in that direction. What do you feel is what are they, a lot of them missing or what are they missing? That would be something that they could not easily correct, but that they could understand that it's not like, oh, I'm just going to check these few boxes and everything's going to be fine. What have you found is the work that these organizations really need to be doing.

Chanta Wilkinson:
And I think to many organizations is just that failing to realize that this will be work and that this would be a journey and that true transformation will take steps along the way, that patience has to be built into it understanding, and that you have to be uncomfortable with acknowledging and a bit of humility. You have to be uncomfortable with acknowledging that you as you're doing the work, as you're rolling up your sleeves and doing the deep dive to really get a pulse and a sense of how is your organization viewed internally? How do your employees feel about the working environment? Are you is it an inclusive work environment for all three individuals? Feel a sense of belonging. But as you're doing that work, you have to be comfortable with the findings that the findings because in order to really move the work along, you have to have a moment where you acknowledge your past and see how history has played a role in both your industry, as well as the personal history in your business industry as a whole and society as a whole. Take a moment to do the present reflective work, to say, This is where we're at now. It may not be pretty, it may not be great. And with anything in life, you may come in thinking, I'm doing great, we're hitting all the marks, but you have to have that humility and be able to withstand the critique to say, You're doing this great.

Chanta Wilkinson:
You can also improve in these three areas here. And a lot of organizations have to really position themselves to say that, you know, when working with someone, whether it's a consultant, whether it's an in-house director office or vice president, the goal and the role is to come in to say, this is what you're doing wrong and you are all horrible people. And this is why the goal is to say, and this is areas where you can improve. This is the work that you need to do to move beyond the great statements that were perfectly crafted last spring, last summer. Now, moving beyond those statements and saying this is the work that we're going to do, you have to put yourself in the position from the C-suite on down, put yourself in a position to learn. But the only way you're truly able to learn is to humble yourself to receive that information. Say, we're going to find out things about our organization that we truly need to improve upon. But we're not defensive. We're not taking a defensive stand. We're taking a stand of humility. Humility, a stand where we will say, you know what, we're ready to receive this information. We're ready to reckon with our past, acknowledge our present instead of vision for our future, to look forward to where we want to be better as an organization, individually and as a society.

Carol Cox:
Chanta, Yes, I love that and I love the word humility and really thinking about that as far as this work. Now, you mentioned acknowledgement and I know that's the first letter in the acronym for your framework. So can you just give us a brief overview of your framework? Because that's one of the things you've been working on as you've been going through the Thought Leader Academy Yes.

Chanta Wilkinson:
So it's been fun working with you and Diane and everyone in the Thought Leader Academy. That's one of the one of the many benefits of the thought Leader Academy is being able to work with a group of inspiring, supportive women that when they give you advice, they give it to you from a perspective where you sit back and you think and you say, okay, this works, this doesn't work. I like that suggestion. Thank you. You know, we're together so consistently that we get to know each other's personalities. We get to know each other's platforms, we get to know each other's businesses. So as someone is saying stuff and as as I throw out a suggestion or as I'm thinking of something, I can tell that someone on the receiving end is like, that doesn't really sound like you or that doesn't fit you. So you're trying to go over here. When we've gotten a sense of who you are, I think you need to focus on this. So when working with you and coming with my framework, my platform, you helped me develop. The ACT acronym, which stands for the A is for awareness and acknowledgement that an organization needs to do the internal reflective work, really roll up their sleeves and say, okay, this is where we're at now and we acknowledge a need for change. And then the see and act is communicate that you have to take it that next step further, be transparent, communicate that commitment to change, communicating that need, whether it's both to your staff, whether it's to your stakeholders, whether it's to your consumers, whoever you need to communicate that need for change, that you take that step of being transparent, being intentional and communicating that need.

Chanta Wilkinson:
And then the key is transformation, is that an organization will then do the transformative work to get from where they are currently to the vision of where they want to be in the future. But that first step is that acknowledgement and that and I look at the acronym from both a personal standpoint and an organizational standpoint, because we all while doing this work in other work that calls on all of us to be reflective, that we all have to take a moment to have that acknowledgment, that awareness. Okay. I see I see the need for change. I see why how I've been doing it thus far. It may not that it may not necessarily be appropriate, but that there's a different way of approaching it. This is the why behind it. This is why my actions are offensive. This is why my actions are falling flat. This is why my beliefs are harmful. This is why my unconscious beliefs are damaging. So taking that step, whether it's personal or on an organization standpoint, to acknowledge then the communication, because acknowledging it and doing it internally, that doesn't benefit anyone. You also have to communicate. You have to be intentional and transparent and letting everyone know this is where we're at as an organization.

Chanta Wilkinson:
Because one of the key things about communicating, especially depending on what your industry is and we we just know it's human nature as one goes, so does the others. And if you're in an industry where you step out front and you say, you know what, we're committed to this, and these are the steps that we're going to take, and this is what we're doing. A lot of your peers, a lot of your competitors, whoever else is in your industry, they look at that full step that you take and they're like, you know what, we're going to follow suit because no one wants to be the odd man out. So you kind of are being able to be innovative and a thought leader yourself and getting the movement, moving it forward and then that transformation, sitting, doing the work and you get a sense of gratitude and gratification with any process internally, individually or globally. As an organization, when you do the work and when you see the transformation happening and you're saying, we did that like we're we're a part of the change and we're all in a stage where everyone wants to just play their part, whatever their part is, and whatever the mission or whatever the charge is, everyone wants to play their part in moving all of the work for it. So acknowledgment, communication and transformation, I love it.

Carol Cox:
And this is why we love acronyms because they're so easy to remember. All right. So, Chanta, as I mentioned when we first started off, you obviously have a passion and a mission for the work that you're doing and you can see the threads throughout your career, even as an attorney and in HR before you started your own consulting business. And I know during one of our coaching sessions we started, I started I asked you some questions about what were you like as a little girl. Like, do you see how the work that you do now and and the importance that it plays in your life? Do you see a thread going back to when you were younger and you realize that there was an incident, a situation that happened, and so can you share that story with us? Because I think it's so helpful to kind of to think back to these particular stories, especially from when we were younger and then share them with our audiences because it makes us more relatable and it kind of and it makes it memorable. So I want it for the listeners who are listening right now, listen to Chanta Story. I would not be surprised if going forward now you associate Shonda with this particular story. So go.

Chanta Wilkinson:
Ahead. And when we first started working together, I remember sitting and this probably was week two or three and the Thought Leader Academy and the conversations coming up about personal stories. And I was like, I don't have a story that's interesting. I don't have a story that I mean, I thought I had stories that may relate to my work, but I just didn't have anything that that moved me. And then as you provided me with the prompts and I started to think back and I thought back at Young Chanta and I recall an incident where my mother promised me a Cabbage Patch Kids all I am of a certain age. So I was of the era where Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage. And, you know, I wanted a Cabbage Patch doll that was the doll to have. And, you know, with any little kid, if you tell them they're going to get something that's in their mind, and especially if you tell your kid we're going to go to at the time, the store, Toys R US, you're going to go to Toys R US after school to get a Cabbage Patch. All so all day I was excited. Probably several days I was excited because I knew on this particular day after school we were going to go to get the Cabbage Patch doll. So we get to the store. I'm excited. I probably ran down the aisles looking for the particular aisle that had the dolls, and I remember going down the aisle looking up and down. And so I said, Hey.

Chanta Wilkinson:
So I looked and then I walked away. And my mother, she just kind of sat she stood behind and didn't know where I was going. And I walked up to a young lady who was a sales representative, and I asked her if I could speak to the manager. Now, I was about seven, eight, so clearly I saw my mother do that. At some point. I can't take full, full credit for requesting to see the manager. But clearly I had seen adults in my life do that prior to myself, so I requested to speak to the manager. She got the manager. My mother again kind of stood close, but far enough to just see. I think she may have asked me a question like maybe What's going on? What are you doing? As the manager comes out? I say to the manager, Hello, my name is Lynette Howard, and my mother brought me to get a Cabbage Patch doll. And as you can see, and I think I did like a motion, like as you can see, I'm black and I came here to adopt a doll because that was the thing with the Cabbage Patch Kid doll that you were coming to adopt a doll that came with the certificate or birth certificate and everything. So I explained to the doll, to the manager that I was looking for a doll that looked like me and that there were no black dolls at the time on the shelf that leads. And he told me that, and I'm quite sure at that time in order was made and it probably if they received 100 dolls, you may have gotten 20 probably that were of color because there were other dolls besides black calls and white dolls.

Chanta Wilkinson:
So there probably were 20 of color. And by the time we got to the store, the 20 were gone. And he assured me that a new batch was coming in and that he took my mother's information. And upon arrival of the new batch, we got the phone call that my doll was there, Danielle, which I named her, and we went to pick up Danielle when she arrived. But I knew at that young age that it was so important to me and I wasn't able to articulate it there. I just knew that I want. Did all that looked like me. And along my journey into young adulthood, even adolescence and young adulthood, there were other instances where representation was so important to me. I couldn't articulate it. I didn't know. I didn't know that a desire for representation would lead me to law school. I didn't know that I would always seek out representation in other avenues, even based on the artwork that I that I have on my wall, the dolls that I did by my children. It was as I got older that I started to really see that thread and see how it connected from young Chanta to Chanta today that realized that this is important. And as a young girl, my mother promised me that I would be able to go to get this doll.

Chanta Wilkinson:
And I was so excited. And it was I didn't question it. It just should I knew it just should be. I knew that if I'm going to get a doll from Toys R US, that the doll that was going to be my adopted doll was to look like me. Like it was it just it just should be. It should be. So I had no reason to question it. I had no, like, common sense. Common sense. So then to get there and to say there are a lot of dolls here, but not one that looked like me and there was nothing inside of me because we've done that before where you'll say, Oh, well, they don't have one. Well, I really wanted this this shoe, but they don't have it too. I'll get this. Like there was nothing inside of me that was going to acquiesce, that was going to say, Oh, they don't have the doll that you want, but maybe you should get this one. No, like I knew enough to say, okay, I know what I want it and I want to know why you don't have dolls that look like me here. No. More importantly, when will you have her? And if you won't have her, will I be going to another store to get her? Like, I just. There was no other way that it could be. It was like, I may leave today without a doll, but at some point I'm going to get a doll, but not any doll. The doll that looks like me.

Chanta Wilkinson:
And once working with you, I realize that that was a story that could apply to my. But it was doing the work, doing that again, that internal reflective work, the work that I work with organizations to do. But it's also doing that work is finding you help me find my why in a time that I thought my why was was something else like I just assumed my why I was like, oh, well, you know, I enjoy doing this work or I like it or it's nice, but it really was. This is what's important to you and has always been important to you is representation is always been important to you to ensure that everyone feels like they belong. It's always been important to you to make sure our environments are healthy and that people are engaged and happy to be in an environment. And it's also important that communities that are served are there better serve when people who look like them are making the decisions that affect them. And that's all the representation. I may not have been able to articulate it at night. I may not even been able to to artfully articulated at 29. But as I progressed, I was able and with your help to see to see that thread as to why that mattered and why that story could be applied to my signature talk and to my framework. Because it is it is my why it is my big why it is what motivates me to do these things because representation matters.

Carol Cox:
Absolutely. Chanta, thank you so much for sharing that story. And there's a couple of things that jump out at me and I know we talked about this previously, but I think this will be helpful to the listeners too. So with the story that you shared, depending on who your audience is, what the topic is or the angle is for your talk, you can pick out or you can emphasize different aspects of that story. So your story is still there. So for example, if you can, you can emphasize the representation and belonging piece of it like you just talked about. There's another angle which is about advocacy. So you being willing at a very young age to speak up for yourself and to advocate for yourself. And obviously, you're doing that now with the DEI work, with the organizations that you help, like help you're advocating for this work and helping them advocate for for their employees as well. And then the other angle is kind of what we talked about with that Pepsi commercial where who are the decision makers? Who was at the table, who was in the leadership positions where they're making that decision? Because when that inventory was ordered for those Cabbage Patch dolls at the time, who was the one doing the ordering? Who was at the company, the Cabbage Patch Doll Company, deciding what kinds of dolls, what colors dolls, how many dolls to make? Where are we with stores? Are we sending these to all of those? So like you see how your story can stay the same, but what points you emphasize can shift depending on the audience.

Chanta Wilkinson:
And you also gave me a great way to view it, even in terms of innovation, because Cabbage Patch dolls, they they changed over the years. But you look at how other. Toy companies progressed. Mattel and this isn't known. I mean, I have a Cabbage Patch doll now for my daughter. A dear friend purchased her a Cabbage Patch doll probably because the friend knew my story. But Cabbage Patch dolls are still great dolls. They're still around. But when you look at how other toy companies progress Mattel with Barbie and you can find a Barbie that is reflected and representative of every I mean, they're Barbie dolls with natural hair. They're Barbie dolls who are individuals with disabilities. You know, when we were younger, Barbie came one size. Eventually there were different shades of Barbie, but at one point they were different shades, but they were all the same hair texture. And then eventually Ken came along eventually, and there were different shades of Ken, but there was still this uniformity with Barbie. But now you go into a store or you go online and I sit back and I'm so I'm just like, wow, like any young girl or boy, any person can go in and find the Barbie that speaks to them, that is reflective of them or that they just want to play with. And it's just amazing when you see how that innovates, how you have one company that was able to kind of see diversity matters.

Chanta Wilkinson:
Representation matters. And we know what our consumers want. And they want dolls. They want toys, they want figurines. Because Mattel creates more than just Barbie. They want figurines that are reflective of them. And the buying power are the parents and the children. But the parents and the parents want want to see that as well. They want to make sure that when they're purchasing, they're spending their money. They're spending it with a company that values them. And I know you value me as a consumer. If I'm able to see products that are reflective of myself and my children, then that's how I know you value me. So there's so many ways that you you allow you helped me look at it in that from that viewpoint, like there's the innovation aspect, the advocacy aspect. There are so many different aspects in working with you with the Thought Leader, Academy helped me take a story that that one didn't even come to my mind. And then too, when it did come to my mind, I was so narrow in scope at first. And you helped me see how that story can then be applied in different aspects of my speech for different audiences.

Carol Cox:
Oh, great. Shonda. Yes, the innovation piece that that is brilliant also, and I love that example. And so Shonda, you are definitely a Gold Star student because so in our Thought Leader Academy, one of the things that you all learn is how to create your signature talk using our framework, which we had the poster board with the Post-it notes set up into the three acts. And so you came to one of our coaching sessions and you had your whole board done with all of the Post-it notes on it, and I was so impressed with that. So Ashanti, can you tell me a little bit about kind of what that process was like for you, what the process has been like being in the Thought Leader Academy so far, and what you're excited about going forward?

Chanta Wilkinson:
That process was fun, but I would like to start with just the amount of information that we get from the Thought Leader Academy. There are so many resources, information, the weekly check ins, the weekly calls, the the webinars, the LinkedIn webinar and and how to create a webinar webinar. There are all of these additional resources. There are all of these additional resources that that really allow you to dig in. Like I take notes of, I'm told my notebook I would not because my handwriting is is it's beyond it's just I won't show it. I was going to say so, but I take notes, copious notes. I am engaging. I'm listening to what everyone else is saying. I'm listening to what you are saying and the other coaches and I'm processing that all. I look forward to doing the homework. The workbooks are such a valuable resource and I must stress that I actually saw the framework, the signature talk framework and aspect of it prior to even being in the Thought Leader Academy. But one of my very first presentations before I signed up for the Thought Leader Academy and before the speaking your brand summit, I downloaded the one of the framework and I use that in a presentation and I refer to that. And then from that I've been doing the thought Leader Academy, getting the framework, getting the workbook and just really because I really wanted to get the most out of this experience, but it's not hard to get the most out of it because there is a lot that you do get.

Chanta Wilkinson:
But I really wanted to get the most out of it, so I wanted to ensure that I set aside time to work on the framework. I wanted to set aside time to do the post board. I'm still changing it because when I initially did the poster board, I was going on a different route with the three A's. The act didn't exist. I have since changed it to the act and being able to play around and everything makes sense for the listeners who haven't seen the post or they may not know what I'm referencing in terms of like post-it notes and stickies and how I move everything around. But it's such a nice framework that is visual and it allows you to really go at a pace that is comfortable for you, but really digging it. And as you're digging in and doing the work, you're refining not just your talk, but you're refining how you think about things you're refining. And all of that is just practice for when you do presentations because you're able to have a conversation. Even learning like I was that person, that was when I did a PowerPoint presentation. I was trying to cram everything into one slide. Each slide was like way too much information. And then you see, but while doing the process, you're retaining so much of the information while you're doing your signature talk, while you're working on the post, or that you realize that you don't need to put so much in the slide for you to see because you have the key point.

Chanta Wilkinson:
And as you're doing the work, it's like the homework. As you're doing the homework, you're retaining the information and you become more confident when you speak. And then you can have a slide presentation that has slides that are not overburdened with information because, you know, you have it, you have it mentally, you have it because you've done the workbook. You've seen this stuff quite a few times, you've refined it, you've narrowed it down, and you're more comfortable with what you have to say and how you say it. So the experience has been great. I mean, there's so much about it that I can talk about ad nauseum from just being able to work with, to be in a group with the academy, with other female entrepreneurs, and to learn about their business and to learn from them. Because we get so many great tips and insights. Even yesterday in our call, I got something that was really profound that I wrote down that I will use. And you feel there is no judgment. It's a very safe space where everyone feels like there's no question that's too silly. There is no question as to if you present a question, someone if it's not Diane, because you usually get that answer right off, but someone is going to have an answer for you. And whether it's just another way of doing things, whether it's something else to consider, it's just such a supportive and encouraging and inspiring group of women and women. We connect outside of the lessons. We email each other, we set up conversations to speak.

Chanta Wilkinson:
So there is this network, but it's a supportive network and not necessarily it's How can I help you? How can we do this process together and we're in this together and with with COVID, the world has gotten so much smaller in a sense, where we're all virtual. You're meeting people from other states. You're you're getting to forge relationships with people who you have not had the opportunity to meet in person, who you may not meet in person or you may years from now, go to a conference where you get to meet them in person. But this setup is just so conducive to working together, to learning and growing together. So it's been it's been a great experience. You know, usually when you do something for a long time, you're like, Oh, when the end date comes, I'm going to I'm going to actually miss it. When the end date comes along, I will miss I will miss it. I'm not looking forward to the ending because I also feel like I'm getting a lot to process. And I think sometimes people look forward to the end date because they think that I'm going to have this, we're getting this during the process. Like we're getting the package that will be tied in a neat bow throughout the process. So you're you're really like once we're at the end, this ends. So there is a bit of, you know, you're not and you're not eagerly anticipating that because it's like, oh, this is. Oh, wow. What's nice?

Carol Cox:
Yes. It's not like the end of senior year of high school or college where you're like, you can't wait until final exams.

Chanta Wilkinson:
Yeah, it's like, oh, man, I'm going to miss this.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, exactly. Well, Chanta, this warms my heart. So much to hear that. And I completely agree how supportive the women are in the group. And this is one of the things that I, you know, I feel so grateful for is the women who end up becoming our clients and join really are so supportive and encouraging and inspiring and motivating to each other. And so you are definitely one of those women, so I'm grateful that you've been a part of our community. Chanta, Where can listeners find you online? Where can they connect with you?

Chanta Wilkinson:
You can connect to me. Dmi website, which is Chanta Wilkinson Consulting LLC and. I can also be found via email at at Wilkinson Consulting LLC and LinkedIn as well, which would be under Chanta Howard Wilkinson, I believe so, yes. Those are my socials.

Carol Cox:
Fantastic. Chanta, I will make sure to include links in the show notes so that listeners can connect with you there. And I am so appreciative of you and thank you so much for taking the time to come on the Speaking Your Brand podcast.

Chanta Wilkinson:
Thank you. I enjoyed it. Thank you very much.

Carol Cox:
Thank you again to Chanta for being on the Speaking Your Brand podcast and for being in our Thought Leader Academy. Our academy is open for enrollment again very soon. Get all of the details and get on the interest list by going to speaking your brand academy in the speaking your brand dot com slash academy 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 enterprise-grade admin tools, collaboration tools, share transcripts, upload many different filetypes, 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...

SYB-306-Dorie Clark-LinkedIn-1200x630

All Things Speaking: What to Charge, TEDx Talks, & More with Dorie Clark: Podcast Ep. 306

SYB-Podcast-305-Shannon Bumgarner-LinkedIn-1200x630

Spellbinding Storyteller Speaker Archetype with Shannon Bumgarner: Podcast Ep. 305

SYB-Podcast-304-CaraHouser-LinkedIn-1200x630

Provocative Performer Speaker Archetype with Cara Houser: Podcast Ep. 304

SYB-303-SusanMoe-LinkedIn-1200x630

Fabulous Facilitator Speaker Archetype with Susan Moe: Podcast Ep. 303