Using Their Voices: Live Signature Talks from Our Thought Leader Academy Grads [Part 2]: Podcast Ep. 383

Using Their Voices: Live Signature Talks from Our Thought Leader Academy Grads [Part 2]: Podcast Ep. 383

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You heard half of our latest Thought Leader Academy grads deliver a 10-minute section of their signature talk last week on episode 381, now you get to hear the other three.

In this episode, our lead speaking coach Diane Diaz hosts Maria Flynn, Karen Williams, and Brigette Serfaty, PharmD.

You’ll hear how they’ve incorporated their thought leadership message, storytelling, humor, and their frameworks into their talks.

We also have a roundtable discussion about what they’ve learned from being in the Thought Leader Academy and what’s next for them as speakers and thought leaders.

This audio is from a live broadcast we did on March 19, 2024. You can watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2k6LFAjS-s

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/383/ 

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/ 

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383-SYB-TLA-Clients-Part2.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

383-SYB-TLA-Clients-Part2.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
You get to hear three of our Thought Leaders Academy grads deliver a ten minute section of their signature talk on this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses, running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker, I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies, and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is speaking your brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi there and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. This is your host, Carol Cox on last week’s episode number 381, you heard three of our recent Thought Leader Academy grads deliver a ten minute section of their signature talk. Now on this episode, you get to hear the other half. Our lead speaking coach Diane Diaz, hosted Maria Flynn, Karen Williams and Brigette Serfaty on this live show that was done just a couple of days ago on Tuesday, March 19th. As you listen to them deliver this ten minute section of the signature talk that they worked on with us, listen for how they’ve incorporated their thought leadership message and framework into their talk, their use of storytelling, as well as their use of humor. After all, three of them are done, Diane, Maria, Karen, and Brigette have a round table discussion about what they’ve learned from being in the Thought Leader Academy, which you’re definitely going to want to stay tuned for if you like to join us. Our next group starts in April, so coming up very soon, you can get all the details and you can schedule a zoom call with us and speaking your brand comm slash academy again, that’s speakingyourbrand.com/academy. Now let’s get on with the show.

Diane Diaz:
Welcome back to backstage at Speaking your Brand. I’m Diane Diaz, lead speaking coach at Speaking Your Brand. And today we have a very special live that we’re doing with three of our graduates from our most recent thought Leader Academy. So this is going to be very fun and exciting. They are going to share with you ten minutes of the signature talk that they worked on during our eight week Thought Leader Academy program. This is actually going to be the first time that they’ve delivered this talk publicly in the talk that they’ve worked on. So if you are watching either on LinkedIn or on YouTube, be sure to pop in the chat, say hello, and if you have any questions for them, pop your questions in the chat and we’ll see if we can get to those as well. All right. So they’re going to share these ten minutes of their talk with you. And then we’re also going to have a short roundtable discussion after everybody shares about their experience creating their talk, what they learned from that, how they incorporated humor memes, how they worked on using their slides, and more. So stick around for that. Don’t leave after they’re done. Stick around for that. So we’re going to go ahead and get started. And we are going to start today with Maria. So Maria’s educational background is in engineering I’m sorry Maria Flynn, let me give you her full name. Maria’s educational background is in engineering and she now works in the field of bioscience and technology. It’s very exciting what she does. And in her talk, she’s going to share with you the story that led to her book that’s actually coming out April 23rd, and it’s called, uh, Make Opportunity Happen. She’s going to share the story of that and what she learned from that. So go ahead and take it away, Maria.

Maria Flynn:
Thank you so much, Diane. It’s great to be here with you and to share the story of Orbis Biosciences and make opportunity happen. And I’m going to have to give you a little whiplash splash to get back to the beginning. Here we go. And as Diane said, April 23rd is the launch for Make Opportunity Happen. It’s been a couple of years in the making, so I’m very excited for that. But I’ll take you back to the beginning. I grew up in a farm in the middle of Kansas, and when you grow up on a farm, you don’t run down the street to knock on someone’s door to see if they can play. My closest friend was two miles away. But what you do do is become very scrappy and independent and resourceful, and you see people around you who can do practically anything. And because you don’t know any better, you think you can too. And so how that translates later in life is, oh, you need to run a biotech. We’ll figure it out and go do that. So this farm upbringing made for a very good entrepreneur’s toolbox. Now that I look back over life, and we built Orbis to prove the technology, get customers and merge into a larger pharmaceutical manufacturer. And our plan was to do that in 3 to 5 years. Then at year 12, we were rounding the corner to finally get that merger. And after 18 months of due diligence and negotiation, we were finally set to close the deal on March 31st, 2020.

Maria Flynn:
And then, as you know, the world changed. And it was during this time period that I focused on the word urgency. Because it always seemed that our urgency was so much different than whoever we were working with, whether it be investors, our customers, and now the acquirer. And I strategized, how could we align our urgency so that we could go at a pace that worked for us? And I finally found the answer to this question after all these years, and all you need to do to align urgency is to have a pandemic. Because as soon as this happened, it was like we all had this sand in our hands and it was falling through our fingers, and we’re doing everything that we could to keep that sand. We were all in the same boat, with the canceled plans and the figuring out how to do homeschooling and finding toilet paper and all those things that were going on at that time. And if we could just control this one thing and get this deal done, we could have some control over our lives. And you saw the lawyer lawyers who last week. All these important little details were now this week not so important. And we were all moving fast and this deal was going to get done. And then I got the call that I had been dreading from my partner at the acquirer and they said, he said.

Maria Flynn:
We’re going to need to push the date from March 30th 1st to April 30th. And my heart just stopped because this was my biggest fear. Realized that this event we had been working 12 years to get to was going to fall apart. And when I took this call, I was in my son’s bedroom because it was the quietest spot in the house. At that time, I didn’t have a home office because I went to work at Orbis Biosciences every day. And as I’m surrounded by all the books and the stuffed animals. Now. All I wanted to do was lay down on the floor and never get back up. And I asked my partner, am I going to get this call next month and the month after? And he said he didn’t know. And so I hung up. And I didn’t lay down because I saw all the books and stuffed animals, and I remembered that three little people were downstairs waiting for me because I was on deck for the next homeschooling. And this is the life of an entrepreneur. You make a plan. You do everything you can to execute that plan. Life throws you gut punches, but you have to keep going because people are relying on you. And they say a cat has nine lives. Nine lives. But I was on my 15th. Um, really felt like I was at the edge at this point. Think of a time when you were knocked down and you didn’t want to get back up.

Maria Flynn:
What did you do next? As entrepreneurs, we paint a picture of the world that others can’t see yet. It’s a new, exciting picture. And a lot of times in the early stages when you’re doing something new, you’ve got this, um, wide disparity in how people view it. There might be a couple people that are with you that thinks it’s a beautiful vision, but a lot of people think it’s the worst idea they’ve ever heard because they can’t see it yet. And many days it feels like this where nothing is going right. Everything is taking so long and is so much harder than it should be. You wonder what you have to do to make that a picture that other people can see. Sometimes you wonder if you’ve made a mistake by starting your business, and maybe you should just go get a normal job with a dependable paycheck and a fraction of the stress. And if you experience this, know that you’re not alone. You’ve got a whole tribe of people who have this feeling, and they’re called entrepreneurs. And I have one of those entrepreneurs that I’m happy to say it did go through on April 30th, 2020, and after I helped with that acquisition into the acquiring company, I moved on and went from waking up in the middle of the night thinking about my company’s problems to waking up, thinking about the problems of the entrepreneurs that I was working with.

Maria Flynn:
And I would think I need to tell them that story. They can’t make that same mistake that I made. They need to know about that great advice I got. They need to know not to take that advice I’m sure they’re going to get. And I start telling these stories over and over again. And then I started to write them down. And that’s what became Make Opportunity happen. And if we had more time today, what I would like to go through with you is how that you can make opportunity in time, but it’s not the time that you typically would think about. The T stands for taking that crack of opportunity in the door and pushing it wide open. The eye in time is to integrate urgency and patience. You have to have both, and you have to know when to be urgent and when to be patient. The aim is to make listen tuition a strength, listening for the feedback and having the intuition to know who to listen to, who to not when to go, when to not. And the E in time is to experience your next wind. Because it’s not about getting a second wind. You need many second winds. It’s about getting your next wind. So I hope to have more time with you sometime to go through this. In the meantime, I’ll look on Amazon on April 23rd. Thank you so much.

Diane Diaz:
Wonderful job, Maria. That was so great. I loved how you incorporated storytelling, but and it wasn’t just stories, it was personal stories. Right? And the picture that you used of your children, to me, is so meaningful and really drives home the point of the story that you were telling and how it impacted you. And then, of course, the use of memes and humor kind of lightens the, you know, the whole feel of the story a little bit to break the tension. So well done. How did that feel for you?

Maria Flynn:
It felt good. And when I was telling the story of getting the call and my heart stopping, you know, I could feel it in my hands of like what it was like and the sweat. Um, so, you know, one of the things we learned from you is to go paint that picture and the details. And when you’re the speaker, it really brings you back into that moment also.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. Well, I’m speaking of the way you could feel it. I could feel it, too. And I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not, you know, I wasn’t doing, you know, trying to sell a business or sell an idea, you know, I could feel it. So I know that everybody else could, too. Great job, great job. Thank you, thank you. All right, well, next up we have Karen Williams. Karen is a photo and creative director in her day to day work. But her talk today is going to share a powerful message about how a specific event, national event impacted her and then the role that we all play in the specific challenge that she is going to talk about and share with us today. So, Karen, take it away.

Karen Williams:
Um, thank you so much for that intro and I’m so happy to be here. Um, hi to everyone who is watching and who will be watching on the recording later on. Um, my name is Karen, or as I go by the black visual Queen, and I’m kind of want to start off kind of with a question how many people remember what happened on this date? How about now? The date May 25th, 2020 was a date that changed not only my life, but the lives of many black people.

Karen Williams:
It was.

Karen Williams:
The date that George Floyd was murdered. Eight minutes. And 46 seconds. Eight portraits minutes. And 46 excruciating seconds. That we witness because of technology being able to broadcast that instantly. In our world. That cause such a seismic event. Now for me as a black woman. That day awoken me. Of the years. Of internal. Trauma that I was hiding via code switching and assimilation in white corporate America. That day, I had to come to terms of I’m a black person in America and I’m not safe. I could be walking down the street and be taken out because I’m walking in the wrong neighborhood. But at the same time being so assimilated. Into the corporate culture. I was playing a role. In holding back. Diversity, diversity and inclusion efforts. What gave me hope from that event was the immediate outpour of support from people around the world, from celebrities, corporations putting their black squares out. Hey, enough is enough. We are going to do better. We care about Black Lives Matter. We care about people of color, and we’re finally going to do something about it. We’re going to actually we’re going to put those resources. Here’s our initiatives. But as we’re coming to the fourth year anniversary, which it’s insane to think about. I have one question to ask. Where did all the black squares go?

Karen Williams:
Think about that.

Karen Williams:
I just showed you. Look at all that support. But where are those black squares? And what’s disheartening to me is that.

Karen Williams:
We.

Karen Williams:
We made so much progress.

Karen Williams:
Only to go.

Karen Williams:
Back in time. As we see recently of all the die rollbacks, of all the rulings. Of of pushing die basically out. And push back from the outside world of. Bringing support to marginalized communities.

Karen Williams:
But.

Karen Williams:
When you really think about it. The resistance for us that I believe is or the problem is resistance for us. First it’s internal. Now I know as business leaders, people who can, who are in those rooms, who are at the table. You may be feeling. Hey, I might not have. I might mess up. I might not have the education to do something about that. As leaders, you want to have, you know, be running a successful, innovative, culturally diverse, you know, business. But internally you may be feeling like, uh, if I just say one more word, I’m going to get blowback and my position is ruined. And also secondly, it’s external because of your thought internally of saying something wrong. Externally you’re like, oh, but I don’t want to get that pushback from the public because you’re going against the tide right now where people want to go backwards. You want to push forward to progress. It kind of reminds me of this quote by Queen Elizabeth from The Crown. History was not made by those who did nothing. Think about all the change makers. Just throughout the years of Martin Luther King Gandhi. Again, you’re pushing against the majority, and when you push against the majority, you’re going to get resistance. But studies have shown. That having a diverse workforce. Not only creates and fosters loyalty and motivation and high morale, but it also.

Karen Williams:
Gives you a.

Karen Williams:
Boost in your bottom line. So I don’t claim to be an expert. I’m just a black woman who’s rose up in the ranks in corporate America, and I’ve just seen the effects.

Karen Williams:
The negative effects.

Karen Williams:
When a company’s lack Di resources for their employees. Low morale and a stagnant bottom line. So I created a framework. That I would go into further in this talk act. A assess and reflect.

Karen Williams:
First, assess where you are.

Karen Williams:
Reflect the values you want to be going to. You want that you embrace. And want to implement into your company. See? Create a plan and implement it. Okay, you know, I always say actions speak louder than words. You’ve got to act now that you’ve reflected and you know what you want to do. You need to put it into action. But most importantly, t track and progress.

Karen Williams:
And addressed.

Karen Williams:
Because again, when you put a plan in action, it’s not going to be perfect. Nothing is perfect in life. And that’s why you track and you see what happens, good and bad, and you make adjustments along the way. I want to leave on this. What the amazing Rosa Park did when she sat and refused and refused to remove herself from that seat to bring about change. You must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.

Karen Williams:
Thank you so much.

Diane Diaz:
Karen. That was so powerful. Great job on that. Congratulations. How how did it how did it feel delivering that like for the first time? Really? I’ve seen it, obviously. But how did it feel for you to deliver that?

Karen Williams:
I it felt actually great. And this is what I love about, you know, speaking the brand because you give us, you know, all these tools to not necessarily memorize your speech, but to be able to like, we have the speech in us, but to be able to pick up on cues and internally be able to know to go from point to point. And so therefore, when I stumbled a little bit, I just kept going because I was like, I’m just going to take it this way. I’m going to pivot. As it was said into the group, it was like, no one knows your speech but you. Right? So to, you know, be confident. And that’s what I picked up from all the wonderful people in our cohort of like, okay, we’re going to do it. We’re going to have tech issues, we’re going to have all this, but we’re going to just we’re going to do it. We’re doing it. So yes, it was amazing.

Diane Diaz:
Good. Well great job. I’m glad you mentioned the, you know, not memorizing it because to everybody watching this, you know, I’ve seen Karen’s content because we worked on it in the Thought Leader Academy. And then I saw the practice and now I saw it again. And it’s different each time. And that is okay. And so that is one of the things that we talk about in the Thought Leader Academy is this idea of you don’t have to memorize it, you just need to speak from the heart. You know your stories. Karen knows her story. She knows how she reacted when that incident happened. She knows how it impacted her. She knows what her lessons are from it. And so that’s what she did today is just share her story. And it was seamless. It was beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for sharing it with us. But also thank you for doing the work that you do and for having that important message. I think it’s it’s nice to have you out there sharing that with people, because I think it’s pretty impactful.

Karen Williams:
Thank you.

Diane Diaz:
Thank you. All right. Okay. So last but certainly not least, we have Dr. Brigette Serfaty. And Bridget is a doctor of pharmacy. She has a background in pharmacy in the pharmacy field. And now she works as an executive well-being coach, which is really exciting. So she’s going to share with you how to stop the spin cycle of saboteur stress, exhaustion and burnout to flourish in the midst of real life, which I think we can all relate to. So I will hand it over to Brigette and go ahead and take it away.

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
And thank you for this opportunity. I’m really excited to talk about this. Not also because of my stress burnout exhaustion story, but because of all the stories of my clients, my students, my kids. I think we’ve all been feeling it. And. I can’t advance the slides. Speaking of technology issues, Diane. There we go. So yeah, if you can do that for me. So so I’m this stress and well-being and resilience person now. But it hasn’t always been that way. So I have a 27 year corporate career. And so you mentioned that mostly in nuclear pharmacy quality and safety, a little bit of time in workers comp, pharmacy benefits. And now I spent a lot of time with high achievers in the the area of well-being and stress. So we we work on mindfulness. We work on how can we feel into our bodies. Um, I do workshops, I speak, but where I started was a long time ago on a farm. And if you can advance for me, please. This is where I started in Pocahontas, Arkansas. So we had one rule in Pocahontas, Arkansas. This is me with my book bag on the first day of school. I am so excited about this opportunity to go into the big wide world. And my dad had one rule when we were this age and still now work hard and save your money. And so I did really well with half of that equation. I heard the work hard part. I even taught my little sister to read before she got to kindergarten, as soon as I learned to read.

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
And I knew that to be really successful in life, all I needed to do was work hard. And that led to some pretty dysfunctional relationships with work, to be honest. And so for a long time in this long corporate career, I referred to myself as Work Barbie. So I had the work thing down. I said yes to all the projects, particularly those that people didn’t think I could do. So I got a master’s in radiological health sciences because I don’t like math. I very routinely would say yes to being a department of one when I knew I needed a department to five, so I took on all the hard projects. I made the coffee, I drank the coffee, actually kind of lived on it for several years, where I was living on coffee and adrenaline, and it was really, really proud of myself for working harder and faster than anybody else in the room. And that was not a functional way to work, although it got me to a certain level and you can advance. And I’ll never forget the moment when I knew that hard work was just not going to work anymore. It just couldn’t fix it. So I was in Saint Louis. This was like Maria, a middle of a merger and acquisition. So this was the third one of my career total of six before I finally exited corporate America. But this was the third one and I was traveling with our VP of HR.

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
I was sad because my nine year old daughter was at home, and so when I opened my suitcase, she had left bury her stuffed bear moonman and her blankie because she wanted me to know that she really missed me and I really missed her. But I knew that I had to keep trudging through this, putting these two very different cultures together. So we were trying to figure out how to train the two sides of the organization and bring them together into one safety culture. And so I was with our HR VP, and I was telling her all the things that we were going to do and the plans for my new team. And I knew my new team very well, even though they’d just been my team members for about six months. First of all, I was grateful to have a team. And then secondly, I really wanted to know what drove them. And so I was talking about all the things we were going to implement within the organization, all of the things that were important to my people. And I was excited about all of this mind map and all the things that we were creating together. And our HR VP put her hand on my arm and stopped me and said, where are you on this map? What do you want? And I mean, that question changed everything. I didn’t even know I could ask myself that question. I had been in this production mode for so very long, and so what I didn’t realize is how much my own internal saboteurs were running the show.

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
So I knew I was a tiny bit of a perfectionist. I knew it was a little bit of an achiever because of this work hard rule. But I didn’t realize how much that hyper achiever and that pleaser was really driving my burnout. And I had hit a wall. And oftentimes high performers do hit this wall or this plateau where they just can’t take on any more projects. And so if we look at statistics, they’re not great. Even in 2022, a couple of years after the pandemic, almost half of health care workers were burned out. And it’s even higher for teachers in secondary education. Um, the numbers continue to rise. So all workers in 2021 reported 79% reported job related stress. In all workers, 44% were looking for a new job. And those numbers continue to rise. And so this is really why my people come to me, is because they’ve often hit that same wall. And you can advance, Diane. And so a lot of my clients look like driven Daphne. And this is a real client whose name has been changed. And so she came because she was not feeling accomplished anymore and she was drowning in work. She was anxious all the time, really a lot of conversation about time. She was cynical and disconnected, which is a sign of burnout. Uh, she referred to herself as an emotional support animal for her family and her team.

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
She had a new job, and so imposter syndrome was kicking up for her. She was resentful and tense and anxious and exhausted and not sleeping. And so that exhaustion is also a sign of burnout. And importantly, her health was really taken a hit as well. And so she described her days as really as this tornado of all of the things that she knew she had done incorrectly, she just knew that she had done something wrong that was really going to torpedo the productivity of this new team. And you can advance. And so we started with time, and we often think it’s a time problem. And she did too. And so we looked at how she was managing her time. But more importantly, we looked at what lay beneath that, the beliefs and the internal chatter, that saboteur spin cycle that often drives our days and you can advance. And so we really start to listen to our own language. And this is a cue for me when I hear client language that we’re in this spin cycle. So there’s a lot of overwhelm, a lot of tasks, a lot of to dos that aren’t getting done. So that’s the place that we start normal busyness for all of us. We take a turn down the cycle and we start really hearing some scarcity language about no time, not enough resources, not enough energy, um, not enough money. Sometimes we take another spin and we get to this place of, I call it Lizard Brain or the land of the lizard, where our amygdala is really driving the bus.

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
And so that fear based part of our brain that can’t make good decisions, we can’t be empathetic. We can’t be creative because we’re driven by fear. Imposter kicks up here, and then finally we get into this place. That can be a pretty dangerous place where we feel isolated, like nobody understands. This is where burnout lives. Um, there’s also some mental health challenges sometimes that come with this and anxiety and depression, and we don’t want to get to the bottom of the spin cycle. This is my sign, Diane. You can advance the slides, but the good news is we can rewire the stress exhaustion burnout cycle to really create something else that has the kind of flourishing, high impact, high value that we want as high performers. And so the framework that I use is a bit of a take on the quadruple aim in health care. I call it quadruple V, and we’re looking first at what is the volume of our lives. And so that could be the number of tasks that we’re drowning in, the kind of the top of that circle, that cycle. It could also be and you could go backwards. Sorry. Um, it could also be the volume of chatter in our brains. And then we have to reconnect to our values. What are our values? Truly? Have we gotten away from them? Do we even remember what they are? And is our work and our home life still aligned with those values? Are we using our voice? Are we asking for the kind of support that we need? And as importantly, have we created a clear vision for our own flourishing and well-being? Because ultimately, that’s what’s driving the performance that we really want to have as as high achievers.

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
And so what we’re creating with this vision really is an upward spiral of well-being and flourishing. And so it’s not complicated in terms of the types of of ideas that we think about. We think about our mind, our body, our spirit and our surroundings. But we dig into that to say, what does it really mean to look at our surroundings? Are we in a culture that’s supportive of us or not? At different times I was not, and at some points I have been a body. Are we feeding ourselves? Are we nourishing ourselves in terms of food, movement and sleep? With our mind. Are we learning and curious and engaged in our work? Are we mindful of what’s happening with our stress cycle or not? Our spirit? Are we really paying attention to creativity, to intentional love and connection to the things that really feed our heart or not? And so you can can move on to the next slide. And so we created that sort of plan with Daphne. Um and the good news is we’ve been working together for about a year now. And she keeps working on a different part of this upward spiral.

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
She’s closer to her husband than she has been in years. Really importantly, she notices when the saboteurs are kicking up and she mindfully chooses her response. It could be breath. It could be a walk, it could be water. It could be all sorts of things that work for her. She’s present for her mom’s declining health and asking for the support that she needs from her husband, her sister, others. She’s enjoying time with girlfriends and her adult kids again, so she’s not just spending time at work. Importantly, she’s bringing mindfulness to her own organization and she’s not thinking about her imposter saboteur. She’s learning new skills. So she’s back in curiosity. She’s sleeping and eating better than she has in years, and she’s excited about the next chapter for her life and work and really feeling like she’s flourishing for the first time in a long time. And so I’ll just ask you, what do you want? Just like my HR VP asked me, what do you want and what’s your next step toward flourishing? And I’d love if you’re if you’re interested in taking that saboteur assessment, I’d love to talk with you about that. So you’re welcome to reach out. The QR code on the left will take you to the saboteur assessment. It’s free from positive intelligence and the QR code on the right. You’re just welcome to reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’d love to connect on this. And so Diane, I appreciate the opportunity.

Diane Diaz:
Bridget. Great job! Love the slides and I love your framework too. If everybody notices the framework, well, you had a couple of frameworks, but I love how visual they were. And with the movement and you’ve got the spiral moving up, moving down. Very effective. And by the way, excellent job handling tech glitches, moving with it, rolling with the punches. And this is what we talk about in the Thought Leader Academy too. So great demonstration of that today. How did it feel for you. And I know you know tech glitches aside how did it feel for you overall?

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
So um, tech glitches aside, um, which which were significant and sort of shocking to be honest. Um, it felt great. And so I don’t love delivering my own story. And so that’s, that’s vulnerable to do that. Um, it was interesting to go back to that time because I can still feel it. And, and I actually talked with my daughter about this. She just graduated from ITE training, and I showed her that picture of moon man and blankie and Barry, and she was like, I remember that day, mama. So she still remembers it too. It’s impactful to me and I’m so glad to to have come this far. So yeah, thank you for for forcing me to tell that story.

Diane Diaz:
Well, thank you for sharing that story. And when you were working on these slides, you and I were texting and I had looked at your slides and you had commented, I made a comment about that slide and you said how much you can kind of still feel that sort of angst of that slide. And I said, I don’t even have kids. And I felt it, you know, and it made me sad too, which sharing your emotional story is about being vulnerable. And I’m glad that you were able to do that, because I think that is what brings the audience in and what builds the rapport with them. To want to listen to what else you have to share. Which, by the way, we’ve all been Daphne. Right? So we need this message. So thank you so much for sharing that. Okay. So let’s do a little roundtable discussion. I’m just going to pose some questions to each of you. And we’ll talk about your experience in the Thought Leader Academy in a variety of things. So um let me start with you, Bridget. Bridget, since you just went, um, tell us, what were some of your biggest takeaways from your time in the Thought Leader Academy?

Dr. Brigette Serfaty:
Oh, the vulnerability was probably the biggest one as well as humor. And so, um, I’m very comfortable. I mentioned telling other people’s stories. Um, and so it’s new for me to really tell my own in this type of setting. So I tell a minimum retreats a lot or one on one and coaching, but in a larger audience, I hadn’t figured out how to do that from a bigger stage. And so it’s an opportunity for me. Um, and then humor. I’m I’m so very serious and so, so humor is new as well. And, um, uh, hopefully I can continue to incorporate that.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. Good. So I’m glad you mentioned those two things, because in the Thought Leader Academy we talk about adding layers to your talk. Right. And those are some of the layers, stories, humor, ways to engage the audience like that. And as I said, I think your story being that it’s personal story, brings the audience in, and it can be hard when you’re in a very serious profession to incorporate humor or to incorporate your own personal stories, because it feels like you have to have sort of a division between your own personal self and the content you’re sharing or the audience you’re speaking to. But as you can see, in fact, it’s very effective for bridging that gap. So well done to you. So thank you for sharing that. Um, Karen, let me ask you a question. What would you say to someone who was nervous about sharing more personal messages because your your whole talk is based on your personal experience. And so what would you say to someone who is nervous about incorporating personal stories in that way into their talk?

Karen Williams:
I think the biggest.

Karen Williams:
Light bulb moment when I was working with, um, a media trainer is when I was giving a talk and they said, it’s it’s it’s great, but it’s, you know, where’s the juice? And she meant like the personal, you know, connection. And I kind of told her my fears of, you know, again, being vulnerable and just talking about my own experiences. And she said, you know, what you have to offer. Think of it as, you know, it’s a gift and it’s like an act of service in a sense of, you know, if you don’t talk about it, then maybe that one person who was meant to hear it doesn’t hear it. So that helped me of like overcoming that of, hey, this is scary. This is maybe not be. This is not like a popular topic, but it needs to be discussed. It needs to continue for me. Di it still needs to be you know you know it. Mhm. In the atmosphere you know in currency because of you know again. Things haven’t changed. As I say in my speech, it’s going backwards. So it’s like every time I get up there and I’m feeling nerves, I’m like. I want to give this information. Because one person in that audience might spurn an act of change that could lead to something bigger the ripple effects.

Karen Williams:
Mhm.

Diane Diaz:
Yes. Yeah. I’m glad you mentioned that. I know, you know, we’ve talked about that in working together through your time in the Thought Leader Academy. This idea of, you know, the message that you’re sharing is very um charged. It can be very uncomfortable. Right. It’s and it’s, it’s got a lot built into it. Right. So how I think you’ve done a great job, maybe partly because of the background that you have as a photo director and understanding the impact of imagery and things. You’ve done a great job of making it very, um, making the audience see your story, but also see the importance of their role in what you’re talking about without it being like you’re beating them over the head with it. So you I think you do a very good job of walking that fine line of telling the story, and it being how letting them be receptive to it. So well done to you for that. So thank you for, for for sharing your message and for telling your story. And Maria, I wanted to ask you because you come from a very technical background. So what has it been like trying to shift from giving technical information to telling more of a story and adding all those layers in and bringing the audience into that versus just information, information, information, because it is, you know, your background is very technical, which is lots of information. How has that felt? How have you managed that? And what did you take away from Thought Leader Academy to help you with that?

Maria Flynn:
Great question. It’s almost like I planted that one, although I didn’t, um, uh, but to me, one of the most impactful, um, um, changes in going through this experience is how you’ve taught us the journey to the thought leader and how you start. And it’s a lot of information, and a lot of this is, you know, what should you be taking away? Um, and I’m still working on, on that. Uh, but a lot of times we stay in that information because we think that’s where the value is, but the value really is in. Where is your point of view different from voices that haven’t been heard and really getting getting to that? So, um, it’s felt really good. And it was very eye opening. Um, to and I think that beyond the presentation and the work that you help us with that, like that journey to thought leader, I think is a very valuable change in all of us.

Diane Diaz:
Oh, I’m glad to hear that. And so I think because there’s probably a lot of people in the audience who come from those technical backgrounds who think, oh, I don’t need to tell a story or it’s just going to I’m just going to share all this information about what I do, and that’ll be good enough. But as you can see from Maria’s talk, the power of story can still make its way into your talk when you’re talking about technical information versus so, you know, building that connection versus just being the expert and sharing everything, you know. Right. So and for Maria. And so you’re promoting a book. And so I think it helps with that as well to bring the audience in and then make them want to know more, which is why they buy the book. Right. So I hope so. I hope so too. So definitely check out Maria’s book. Well, thank you all of you for joining us here today. Thank you, Bridget, Maria and Karen for sharing your stories, sharing your talks with our audience, with everybody watching. And for those of you who are watching, if you want to create your signature talk, and if you want to learn how to incorporate more emotion and stories and all those fantastic layers, be vulnerable, tell your stories and make an impact on your audience. Our Next Thought Leader Academy starts April 2nd so you can join us there. You can go to speaking your brand.com/academy for all the information, and then be sure to connect with our wonderful speakers from today. Thank you again, Bridget, Karen and Maria for joining us today and sharing your talks with our audiences. And I know you’re going to have a huge impact when you start going out and giving these talks on a wider stage to many more audiences. So congratulations to all of you.

Carol Cox:
Didn’t they do a fantastic job? I am so glad that they had this opportunity to debut their signature talks to a live audience. Stay tuned because we have more of our clients coming on the podcast to talk about what has made a difference for them regarding thought leadership, integrating storytelling into their talks, and more. So until next time, thanks for listening.

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