59. How to Be a Great Stage Speaker [ft. Speaking Coach, Mike Pacchione]

How to Be a Great Stage Speaker - Speaking Tips from Guest Mike Pacchione

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At the ConvertKit Craft + Commerce conference—which was full of mind-blowing moments for me—I attended a workshop hosted by the mega-talented speaking coach Mike Pacchione and it was so helpful. Public speaking is such an important skill to learn, and it can be a huge advantage in your business if you do it well. He gave tips and tactics I’ve never heard before such as using your body language effectively, pausing between sentences to let the audience absorb what you said, and being strategic about where you stand on stage. We talk about why speaking well is important, what makes a speaker good or bad, and whether it’s possible for a bad speaker to become great. We also talked about the areas most speakers need to improve upon (and how they can do it), three tangible things to make your speaking more entertaining, and so much more.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • How Mike got into speaking
  • Why public speaking is so important
  • The qualities that make a good speaker—and a bad one
  • Three areas that most speakers need to improve upon
  • Tips for using your physical presence
  • How to get speaking opportunities
  • The minivan test
  • Mike answers your questions

Why speaking is so important for business owners

Many times, if you think of the businessperson you aspire to be, you’re likely going to picture them on a stage. It communicates excellence, ups your perceived value, and provides a massive financial opportunity. Even if you don’t think that speaking is the ultimate goal for you as a business owner, improving those skills will also help you communicate more effectively and create better content. It’s a win-win all around!

The qualities of a good speaker

How do you speak in a way that creates the intended effect within your audience? Mike says the most important thing is to learn to tell really good stories. That story does have to connect to a greater purpose, but stories are what stick with people. If you can master that skill set, you will be far and above most other speakers. The next quality that makes a speaker move from good to great is their delivery. You have to look excited to be up there. If you’re telling a joke, you have to think it’s funny. If it’s an emotional point, reflect the emotion that you’re hoping to evoke out of others. 

Three areas most speakers need to improve on

Public speaking is hard, but there are some things that most people get wrong. If you can up your game here, it will make you stand out from the crowd. The first thing is learning to use slides better—they should include more than just bullet points of your topics. Including nice visuals is great, but even better is using the slide to interact with. The second thing is confidence. Most people can get 60-70% comfortable with public speaking, but it’s hard to reach that 100%. You need to believe that you are the only person in the world that can give this talk—because it’s true.

By now, I hope you’re convinced of the importance of public speaking in your business. Not only that, but you should be ready to start improving those skills and making a strong impression.

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Resources Discussed in This Episode

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Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:10] Hey, there. Sam Vander Wielen here, and welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m so excited to bring you this episode today with Mike Pacchione.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:16] So, just a little backstory. Back in June, I went to the ConvertKit Conference. If you listened to Episode 54, you heard me talk about just how much I learned at that conference. It was so mind blowing. So many shifts. So many, like, big aha moments. So many cool things coming out of the marketing space. And I also attended a workshop that Mike Pacchione – who is a really wonderful and successful and talented speaking coach – put on at ConvertKit.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:47] And I just thought it was so helpful. Like, I attended his talk because I am somebody who is comfortable public speaking, but I don’t know if I’m any good at it. And I would just love to be better and improve and see where I could get better. And I would really like to make public speaking a bigger and bigger part of my business.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:06] It was something that I was doing before COVID. And then, once COVID happened, you know, all the in-person events stopped, and so I was I feeling a little like, “Oh. I don’t know where to get started again. And I want to get better at this.” And so, attending Mike’s workshop was just perfect timing.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:20] The other cool thing about it was that I kind of went into Mike’s workshop thinking, “Okay. He’s probably going to teach us how to not be nervous, and how to structure your talk,” and this kind of stuff. But instead, his tips were about body language and using your physical presence, and where you stand on the stage, and your voice, and pausing in between sentences to allow people to absorb what you’re saying. It was so cool. I just learned so much. I thought he was such a cool guy.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:51] So, I’m just really, really excited to share our conversation with you today. We talked about so much. We talked about why we thought speaking is important or why Mike think speaking is important, what makes somebody a good speaker, a bad speaker. Can a “bad speaker” become great, I thought that was one of the best things that we talked about. We talked about areas that most speakers need to improve upon and how they go about doing it. Three tangible things that people can do to make things more entertaining. We talked about what speaking does for our businesses and storytelling. And we talked about who actually needs to be the most excited person in the room. So, I’m really excited to share this with you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:35] Before I get into Mike’s official bio and our conversation, I just want to invite you, if you don’t already, to signup for my emails. I give an email to you all on Monday. And, typically, also on Thursdays I do a little legal Q&A session. But my email list is the best place to be if you want to hear a lot of behind the scenes of what’s going on. I email out about marketing strategies and tips, what’s going on in the podcast. I answer people’s questions, legal questions for their business.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:07] So, I have a super simple form that you can click on below and you can fill out to make sure you get my emails. They’re super valuable. I really only try to write you when I have something really good to share. But I would absolutely love to see you there. So, make sure you signup for that below.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:24] With that, I am so excited to bring you Mike Pacchione today. So, Mike Pacchione is an international speaker and speech coach, who specializes in helping executives, athletes, and entrepreneurs deliver smart and engaging messages to audiences of all sizes. He has trained more than 10,000 employees from companies like Nike, Microsoft, and Slack. Not so bad, right? So, I am so excited to get into this conversation. I hope you enjoy.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:54] And please reach out to me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and let me know what you thought of this episode. And while you’re at it, shoot Mike a DM on Instagram. He’s M-P-A-C-C, @mpacc, on Instagram. I can’t wait to see you on the other side.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:12] Hey, Mike. Thank you so much for coming on On Your Terms.

Mike Pacchione: [00:04:15] Sam, my new friend. I am stoked to be here.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:18] I’m so happy that you’re here. I was telling you before we hopped on that I have never gotten so many questions for a guest speaker, so I’m really excited. Why do you think that people ask more questions about public speaking than any other guests I’ve had before?

Mike Pacchione: [00:04:35] Yeah. That’s so funny. Because I would have a million questions about, like, accounting or legal. But I think because I’ve thought a lot about speaking as a practice and how most people don’t like it. I’m like, “Well, why do most people not like it?”

Mike Pacchione: [00:04:50] And I think there’s this illusion that the best speakers just roll on bed, put on their pants one leg at a time, make all records, and then go out on stage, and clean up. And I think most people don’t realize that it takes a good amount of work. So, if you don’t know that, then you just kind of fall down the cliff of, “Oh, I’m not good at this.” Like, all the feel bad for me’s. Like, “I’m not good at this. Someone else is better. I feel bad for me.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:05:21] There’s a lot that goes into it, and I think a lot of people don’t know that. A lot of people wonder about practices for feeling less nervous. And then, once you get beyond that and there are all these questions about, “Well, how can I get better, and better, and better?” And what’s really exciting is when people start to like it. And then, it’s like, “How can I excel at this thing?” And that’s the best.

Mike Pacchione: [00:05:40] I always tell people this, I stopped playing sports a long time ago. The last time there was any applause for me playing sports is when I was 22. And when I say any applause, there was, like, eight people on the sideline. It’s one of the only places after you graduate college, unless you’re a pro athlete, where you can feel the adrenaline rush of performance and applause. And once you move beyond being frightened of it and start to understand what you’re doing a little bit, I mean, it is the best.

Mike Pacchione: [00:06:19] And the feeling of nailing a speech, walking up the stage, and not sitting there saying, “Oh, I forgot this” or “Oh, I should have said this” or “Oh, I was too nervous”. The feeling of not having any abandon, just walking off the stage knowing that you accomplished what you can accomplish, that is the best. And I love more than anything coaching people to do that.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:41] Yeah. That is so cool. I mean, I feel like that about speaking. I’m the same way. I get a thrill out of it. So, I understand.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:50] So, speaking of helping people do that, can you tell everybody about what you do and how you help people?

Mike Pacchione: [00:06:56] Yeah. Totally. You, listening to this right now, you’ve got a great idea in your head, and I help you get that idea out of your head in a way that snaps, and crackles and pops with the audience. And it doesn’t just pop at them, but motivates them to do something. And I help you do that better than you can imagine that you could.

Mike Pacchione: [00:07:16] So, I help you with figuring out creative ways of bringing that idea to life. And how to pair that creative idea with slides. Your slides should not be your notes, which a lot of people do that. Like, slides are treated like a big note card. Your speech should go with the slides. And then, we try to coordinate the delivery with that too. And I help people with all three aspects of that. I help you understand it so that you’re not just on stage trying to be Mike. It should be you. It should be Sam. Because I think it should be whoever you are, listening, presenting, not me. But I help you do that to the best of your ability. And I help train you for that so that you can keep doing it again and again and again.

Mike Pacchione: [00:07:59] I’m happy to help people more than once. But the idea is that you work with me one time, and then after that maybe you need a clean up, but you’re good to go.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:07] Yeah. That’s awesome.

Mike Pacchione: [00:08:09] And it’s the coolest thing. I mean, I’m thinking of my guy, Neel Dhingra, came to me. This guy is like a multimillionaire. And he’s so boring when he starts, and he told me that. He was like, “Yeah. I have no life in my presentation.” And these days, this giant conference, and brings Gary V. in, and people love Gary V. but they also love Neel, and he’s on the same stage and he’s not intimidated. It’s the coolest thing I love to see. So, I’m babbling a little bit but I love helping people so much.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:43] No. That’s awesome. I love that you love what you do. And you’ve helped a couple people here and there. I was joking on Instagram the other day. I said, “This is guy is already up in commerce doing alright. He’s helped a couple people.” But tell me, like, what were you doing before this? How did you get into speaking and coaching?

Mike Pacchione: [00:08:57] A lot of people have speech anxiety. I never did – let me rewind. The only times I ever had speech anxiety where times when I didn’t put the work in. So, to me, it wasn’t fair to blame public speaking for that. So, same as not studying for tests, but if I take the test in front of everybody, everybody is watching me try to BS an essay, it’s the same feeling, it’s just not public.

Mike Pacchione: [00:09:28] So, to me, I never blame public speaking for that. When I was in third grade, I used to do show and tell and everybody look forward to me, and I don’t want to overdo it. It wasn’t quite hushed tones. But people were like, “Oh, Mike’s going now, let’s pay attention.” All the way through college, I experimented with public speaking in different ways of doing it, and storytelling, and I always loved it.

Mike Pacchione: [00:09:55] I never knew it was something you could do for a career. So, to me, the best thing I could do would to be a professor or be a teacher and be really interesting. When I got to college, I had this really, really awesome teacher. He still teaches there. I went to University of Richmond, Dr. Scott Johnson. And he came into class and he was funny. Like, he would make the content come alive with jokes and stories. And I was like, “Oh, you can do that?” I mean, that was freshman year.

Mike Pacchione: [00:10:24] And from then moving on, in the back of my mind I was like, “Yeah. Maybe I should be a college professor,” so I went to grad school for that. I learned pretty quickly that being a college professor has little to do with teaching.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:35] Yes. That’s my husband’s life.

Mike Pacchione: [00:10:38] Oh, I did not know that. What amount of time does he spent teaching versus research and grading?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:43] Two percent. It’s like nothing. He’s whole job is research.

Mike Pacchione: [00:10:47] When I learned that, I moved across the country. I moved all the way to Portland. I get there and I’m like, “Is this it?” But I didn’t have anything else to do. I mean, I was trying to find a plan B, so I just kept going to school. I graduated. Got a job. And I was an adjunct on the side. I mean, I had like God smiling on me [inaudible].

Mike Pacchione: [00:11:08] There’s a guy from Nike who sat in on the class. He wasn’t even in my class, but I was an adjunct, his girlfriend was there. He comes up to me on a break, he says, “Hey, you’re really an engaging presenter. Would you want to present at Nike sometime?” “Okay.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:21] Did your heart stop? I think mine would have.

Mike Pacchione: [00:11:25] It seems like something I should do. At the time, I don’t know anything. I don’t know if I’m not going to paid $100 or 1,000, is it going to be zero? What is it going to be? I just knew I should say yes. I put together a presentation. It was one of the few times I was intimidated of the audience, not ahead of time, but when I got on stage. I still remember being there, I got spotlight on me that it shares it out. And anybody from Nike could have been there. Phil Knight could have been there. I guess, LeBron, if he was on campus, could have been there.

Mike Pacchione: [00:11:56] I remember looking out and people weren’t, like, smiling or laughing the way college students were. And I just remember thinking like, “Should I be entertaining them?” It was weird. I had a microphone, you know, all these things I wasn’t used to. And I just let the audience defeat me a little bit even though nobody actually said anything. By all accounts, it went well. But it left me feeling like I could have done more and I could have done better.

Mike Pacchione: [00:12:26] So, from that moment on, I was like, “Okay. But that was fun. What can I do about this?” And I did a light amount of research. I found this company in the Bay Area called Duarte. I sent a really good email to the CEO. It was perfect timing, they were just expanding their academy. They needed people who understood story, which was me. And they needed people with teaching experience, which was also me. It was perfect timing.

Mike Pacchione: [00:12:54] I worked there for seven years. I went to just about every big company you can name. I did trainings there. I flew all over the world. And I just loved it. Because it was the same or similar script every single time, I felt like, “Okay. Well, I can do the thing where I’m presenting and it’s just the same every single time and I put no work into it, and it still goes well because the stuff is really good.” But to my credit, I would try to experiment with what would make people understand even more and even more and even more than that. And timing things, when to take breaks. If I change the phrasing on this joke, how would it sound?

Mike Pacchione: [00:13:39] And from that, I feel like I went in knowing a lot, learned more there. And then, the extra stuff that I did on the side would really, really help me with things like learning how to tell a story, with things like interacting with slides, knowing what people’s attention spans were like. And, really, a better understanding of what people’s pain points were.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:00] That’s awesome.

Mike Pacchione: [00:14:03] Yeah. Long answer to your question. But, I guess, my summary of that is when I look at my life, I am a pretty indecisive person. But speaking with the one realm, it always made sense. And, to me, it really feels like a calling.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:21] That’s awesome. It speaks to you. And it sounds to me like when you were at University of Richmond, Professor Johnson made you realize how transformative the way that you tell a story. Like, I could tell the same story in a boring way and he can say it in a less dynamic way, and you really took something from it. So, it sounds to me like you really took away the power of telling a good story being a dynamic interesting speaker.

Mike Pacchione: [00:14:48] Absolutely. I don’t know, do you look back, like, how many teachers did you have all the way through law school, forgetting the content, just them as a teacher held your attention? Do you have anybody?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:05] Not many. I mean, there was maybe one in law school – funny because it actually touches on something you taught us at the ConvertKit Conference – she was my torts professor in law school. And so, in torts, you’re learning like what is negligence, what’s assault, battering, all these kind of fun crimes. And so, she would act them out. She would have us act them out.

Mike Pacchione: [00:15:25] What?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:25] Yeah. So, like what we would learn, I remember to this day, this is the reason I remember what the self-defense rules are, is because she would have two people stand up in front of the classroom and one person would pretend to slap the other. But then, she would give a toy gun to the other person. So, that’s how she taught us. Like, if someone slaps you, you’re not allowed to shoot them in self-defense. You could slap them back, that’s the equivalent of what self-defense is. If someone shoots at you, then you could shoot back. And so, she would have us act this out.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:55] And so, that was the only dynamic law school teacher. Everyone else was like, “And on page 75 -” it was awful.

Mike Pacchione: [00:16:01] Totally. That’s what everybody does. And that’s what people in the court world too.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:05] Yes. Exactly. Yeah. Exactly.

Mike Pacchione: [00:16:07] But that’s amazing. How long ago was that?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:10] Yeah. That was in 2009.

Mike Pacchione: [00:16:12] 2009, and that still sticks with you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:14] Always. I always remember slap for a slap, punch for a punch. And I just remember everybody was, like, goofing off and pretending to really shock somebody. It was pretty funny.

Mike Pacchione: [00:16:27] But there not that many teachers who put that effort in.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:32] No. Shoutout to Professor Mutcherson at Rutgers.

Mike Pacchione: [00:16:38] So, good. Because the easy thing is, “Here’s what the homework was. Let’s slowly discuss this exact thing that you read already, for me to mind whether you should have done the reading anyway, if we’re just going to talk about it in class.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:49] And it’s really easy to do that in our business, too, where the people who are listening are experts at what they do. And so, people get into a very teach-y mindset of like, “Here are five things you need to know about Keto. Here are 12 things you need to know about lifting in this way.” Like, whatever. And so, they just kind of teach but I don’t think they keep it more conversational or even interesting. I don’t know, it’s a little bit flat. It can be flat.

Mike Pacchione: [00:16:49] Yeah. Can we talk about that for a second? This is one of the things I try to communicate to people, there’s a big difference between a blog post and a presentation. Because a blog post can be that, “Here are the five things that you need to do.” A presentation can also be the five things that you need to do, but you need to come up with a way to make those five things come alive on stage. Otherwise, why don’t I just read the blog post?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:36] Yeah. This is true. I can understand that. By the way, why do you think speaking is so important for us? What does it do for us as people or for the people listening or for our businesses?

Mike Pacchione: [00:17:52] I think if you want to live your life on your terms – final drop —

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:55] Shoutout.

Mike Pacchione: [00:17:57] … I think it’s one of the best ways to live a life on your terms. I mean, if you think about it, think about the business person that you aspire to be, I guess it depends a little bit on what your field is, but I think most of the time that’s someone who is on a stage. And that’s not a coincidence because that communicates excellence. If you do well, it ups your perceived value. And, frankly, the financial opportunity that comes with speaking on stage is tremendous.

Mike Pacchione: [00:18:28] And I’m not even talking about getting paid this week necessarily. I mean, that’s great. There are plenty of people who get paid 10, 20, or more than that to speak from stage. But a lot of times, it’s, “Oh. What’s the ConvertKit?” – the conference we went to. I don’t know how many people went to that conference thinking to themselves, “I need to learn how to present from stage.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:18:56] But the amount of people that I talked to after my workshop who then wanted to do it, it’s way up there. And I don’t know exactly how much money that will make for me. And I certainly didn’t look at that as the reason why I said yes to it. But it will definitely be five figures. So, did Nathan Barry from ConvertKit give a check for 10,000 to speak on stage? No. Will I make at least that? Yeah.

Mike Pacchione: [00:19:23] That happens all the time. If you’re an expert in your field and you’re speaking from stage, the perceived value goes up and up and up. And I think we all know that and that’s something that can be a career or it can be a really nice thing on the side, but it certainly helps with marketing ourselves, it helps with business opportunity. And I guess the one thing I haven’t said yet is it helps with your own confidence.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:19:49] That’s true.

Mike Pacchione: [00:19:51] Because there’s so much happening on your own stage. There’s, “Do I know the content? Do I know the slide order? Am I looking at people? What feedback are they giving me? That woman over there looks confused, should I do something about it? How much time do I have left?” There’s a lot going on at the same time, but if you can nail it, it’s the best feeling.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:11] Yeah. That makes sense. I mean, you put yourself in front of the right people. I think I told you a couple weeks ago, right before COVID, it was one of my biggest speaking opportunities that I had gotten to date. And I still get customers all the time who say, “I saw you speak at that conference,” and they’ve just waiting to purchase or whatever. So, it’s cool.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:31] But I also feel like everybody has different expression styles. And I have both speaking and writing, so I feel like I write differently than I speak. And I write sometimes more personal stuff, especially to my email list. And then, I like speaking. I like being in that position of being a bit more entertaining but also educating, and helping somebody, to motivate them. So, it’s different. I think people can find their style that way.

Mike Pacchione: [00:20:57] So, do you feel like you have a different voice on stage versus in writing?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:02] Yeah. It’s interesting, somebody who just really loves my email list, I feel like I’m always writing this kind of more emotional connectedness things to them. And on stage, I feel very excited by the idea of being up there and helping somebody, motivating them to take the next step. I feed off of that energy and I love being in that position. And as I told you, I’m not somebody who likes attention so I find it interesting that I like to be up there. But I enjoy that for some reason, that perspective.

Mike Pacchione: [00:21:35] That’s a funny thing, too. I like attention probably three times a year.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:40] On stage?

Mike Pacchione: [00:21:41] Yes.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:43] Yeah. Yeah. If I, like, win the lottery or something, I’ll take that attention. Otherwise, everyone leave me alone. That’s how I feel. Yeah, that’s how I feel.

Mike Pacchione: [00:21:55] So, actually that’s an interesting thing too. So, you don’t love attention but you’re good with being on stage.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:03] Yeah. Because I’m in a position of authority. I don’t mean a weird domineering way. I mean, I feel confident when I’m up there speaking. I’m not yelling at anybody. But I feel like I know I’m up there and everyone is looking to me because I’m supposed to be the expert, that’s what they tell me. But I find if I know what I’m talking about and I’m comfortable with what I’m talking about, like the substance, then I feel very comfortable. But, like, at my wedding, I ran down the aisle because I hated the fact that everyone was looking.

Mike Pacchione: [00:22:33] Wait a minute. We both ran down the aisle at our weddings?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:37] You did too?

Mike Pacchione: [00:22:38] Yes.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:40] I bolted. My poor dad was like, “Can you slow down?” It’s like, “No. We are going to get up there now because everyone is looking at me. And I would rather slink away into the darkness.” But I can be up on stage and I’m in my element. And I think a lot of people feel that way when they’re speaking about something that they know.

Mike Pacchione: [00:22:58] Can I say something that’s a little bit off topic but you can segue?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:23:02] Sure.

Mike Pacchione: [00:23:03] Speaking of weddings, okay, y’all, here’s a good reason to rehearse. Let people think it’s cool to wing it and I’ll just get on stage and I’ll see what happens. People love doing that. I think most of the time when people love doing that is because, to them, it’s like back when you were in high school, you tried to memorize a speech and teachers are back in the room with his or her red pen. And if you got a word wrong, it was minus two. I think a lot of us never dropped that feeling that’s in the back of our head.

Mike Pacchione: [00:23:33] So, a way to avoid that feeling is just to wing it because then there’s no scripts. There’s nothing to get wrong. But that is not good for the audience. It’s really rare that somebody is going to pull that off.

Mike Pacchione: [00:23:42] And if I can connect this to weddings for a minute, I sometimes tell these to people, like see what I mean, “Did you get married?” “Yeah.” “Tell me what the wedding was like,” and they tell me what the wedding was like. “What about the day before?” “Yeah. We had a rehearsal.” I’m like, “Okay. What was the rehearsal? What did you rehearse?” “Walking down the aisle, kissing the bride.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:24:05] So, if you’re rehearsing walking and kissing, two things —

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:09] And standing.

Mike Pacchione: [00:24:11] And standing, yeah.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:13] Oh, and sitting.

Mike Pacchione: [00:24:15] You rehearse those things, right? Do you think maybe you should rehearse this big presentation in front of a thousand people?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:20] That sounds like a good idea.

Mike Pacchione: [00:24:23] That’s my thought.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:25] Yeah. That makes a lot of sense to me. And so, what do you think makes a good speaker? We’ve talked a lot about good speakers, but what are those qualities?

Mike Pacchione: [00:24:37] Yeah. So, when you say a good speaker, Sam, actually, are you talking about the words they say, or how they say them, or both?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:44] That’s a good question. I would say, like, the person who reaches the intended effect of the audience. Like you said in the beginning, you want people to leave there motivated and feeling inspired, learning something, paying attention. So, what are the qualities of a person who can do that?

Mike Pacchione: [00:25:03] Number one, the ability to tell really good stories. It can’t be 45 minutes of stories. Like, you do have to connect that to a greater point and everything. But stories, come on, we know this. These are things that stick with people. So, if you can tell stories well – and I have a whole thing about that – if you can ramp up the tension on stories, and edit it the right way, and describe people quickly, I love helping people with that. That is thing number one that jumps to mind, for sure.

Mike Pacchione: [00:25:03] Thing number two is the delivery thing that jumps to mind. The person needs to look like they enjoy being there. And the advice I always give people is, even if you’ve given this talk 74 times, try to find that part of your brain that is absolutely amused with your own material. If it’s a joke, “Oh, my gosh. This joke is so funny.” If it’s a point, the mindset that you need to have for that particular point is like, “This is really insightful and helpful to people.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:26:04] I don’t mean that you get physical. But if you have a position of my material is helpful to other folks, then the natural extension of that should be I am excited to share this with you. And looking genuinely or being genuinely enthused about that is pretty huge. One of the things I was trying to tell people, if you don’t seem excited by your own material, there’s no way the audience will be. There’s no way.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:26:30] I think that’s a really good tip. I mean, I say the same thing about business stuff all the time of, like, people will put out products that they’re not super excited about. Like, that’s come true in your marketing so easily. And so, I could definitely see that on stage too.

Mike Pacchione: [00:26:44] And then, the third thing I’ll say that jumps to mind – and, obviously, I could give 100 – is it needs to be you. So, Sam needs to be Sam. When I work with people, I will often write sections of their talk and I’ll say, “Okay. Here’s what the intro should sound like,” but it needs to be Sam talking, not Mike. So, put this in Sam language. And that means not just for you. I don’t know, maybe I need cursing, right? So, that might be it.

Mike Pacchione: [00:27:12] But it also means some of your quirks are great to share from stage, because then the audience feels like they’re getting to know you more. So, the same is with podcast and all these things. It’s not just law. It’s law by Sam.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:27:27] Yeah. Yeah. You got to do it on your terms.

Mike Pacchione: [00:27:30] Yes. On your terms.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:27:31] We’re like plugging the show here. Except they’re already listening. So, I guess on the flip side then, what are some qualities that make somebody either a bad speaker or a bad speech itself?

Mike Pacchione: [00:27:48] Yeah. I think the first thing that jumps to mind is the speech is too much about the presenter, and I mean that in a couple of different ways. So, that can mean the speech is very braggy, which probably was my first. The other thing that can look like is you can tell that the speaker has overestimated what is at stake and they’ve made it entirely about their own performance rather than about how it feels to the audience. And you see that all the time.

Mike Pacchione: [00:28:11] Sometimes people actually say out loud I am nervous or I don’t like public speaking. So, it’s the same thing, the audience is going to follow whatever emotion you put out there. You just made the audience real nervous.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:25] Yeah. I have, like, crippling secondhand embarrassment syndrome, so I start to freak out when I see other people are really nervous and are embarrassed. And that actually happened a couple of times at the conference where somebody would say out loud or you could just tell so much from their body language. And I was sweating, I couldn’t deal with it. I feel for them.

Mike Pacchione: [00:28:48] Isn’t that how you want the audience to feel, right?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:50] Yeah. I feel for them and you want to just be like, “You got this. Just don’t say it out loud.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:28:56] It’s so funny, my friend, Brett, once said someone do that for him. So, I don’t think he ever got on a stage after this. But he was asked to give a speech. I don’t remember if he didn’t rehearse or he just go really nervous or what happened, but he just froze. Someone in the audience just shouted out, “You’ve got this, Brett.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:29:17] Oh, that’s so nice.

Mike Pacchione: [00:29:18] It’s so nice. It helped him in that day, and I think it was crippling long term.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:29:23] Yeah. Yeah. Do you think that somebody who is that nervous about getting on stage can overcome it?

Mike Pacchione: [00:29:29] Yes, for sure.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:29:29] So, you can change.

Mike Pacchione: [00:29:32] Yeah. On my podcast, I had Viktoria Harrison, so she’s an interesting one. She is married to Scott Harrison, Scott is the founder – I forget what his position is – but he’s a founder of Charity: Water. And his wife, Viktoria, worked there for a long time, she was, like, lead designer. Scott is the most natural speaker I’ve ever seen. And as per Viktoria, he doesn’t rehearse. He just stands up there and get it. He’s the person who actually is able to do that whatever he thinks [inaudible].

Mike Pacchione: [00:30:00] So, she thought that’s just what speakers did. Scott taps her to speak – I can’t remember who the audience was – but big investors of some sort. Just, “Hey, Vik. Just give an update on X, Y, and Z.” She just totally froze. Scott had to get up there and relieve her. She refers to it as “The Incident.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:30:19] So, she came up with this whole plan afterwards, where she’s like, Phase 1: I am going to stand in front of a group and read to them. That was Phase 1. Church Basement does that for a group. Steadily gives herself a little bit of a bigger challenge, a little bit of a bigger challenge, a little bit of a bigger challenge.

Mike Pacchione: [00:30:39] This was amazing but I actually factored into this because I was speaking at an event. I left early. I was like, “Yeah. I got to go rehearse.” She said, “Rehearse?” So, when she found out that good speakers actually rehearse, outside of Scott who is a mutant, then she started rehearsing. Now, she loves speaking. So, you can get better, for sure.

Mike Pacchione: [00:30:59] You know, there are a few different ways of doing that, one of them is to almost get in the version of you that couldn’t hack it the first time. That’s one strategy. If you’re motivated by, “I’m going to overdo this.” But I think, really, just treating it as a challenge and trying to get a little bit better, a little bit better, a little bit better. Here’s the thing, most people never do that. Most people just accept their fate when it comes to speaking, “Oh, I’m not good at this.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:30:59] So, the bar for it is really low. And if you just implement a little bit at a time, “Hey, this week I’m just going to work on something a little more interesting. This week I’m just going to try to be a little more comfortable. This week I’m going to try a story, like, people don’t try this stuff.” So, if you can do anything at all, you’d be surprised at how quickly you can clear that by.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:31:40] Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And shoutout to Viktoria for working that, that’s amazing. And I think that will help a lot of people feel better. And, also, I’m always trying to encourage, it’s not like manifesting becoming a better speaker. It’s work and so you have to say, “I want the end result which is to be on stage or to be a more dynamic speaker, to start getting paid to speak,” or whatever. That might mean that there are some things you have to work on. It’s not either you stay at home behind your MacBook or you’re giving a TEDx Talk. So, there’s a lot in between and we can work at it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:32:13] I also want to encourage everyone to remember that, like, this is also why I take such a brick-by-brick strategy of everything you do builds on this. Like, getting on Instagram and talking to your camera, and worrying what people are going to say to you back to that. Or doing Instagram Lives or starting a YouTube channel, starting a podcast, writing to your email list, that’s all starting to express yourself and starting to get comfortable telling your story and teaching, stepping into authority, and all of that.

Mike Pacchione: [00:32:38] It was interesting, so do you feel like Glo is the speaker at Craft+Commerce?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:32:42] Yeah. She was so good. Yeah, she’s so funny. And also, by the way, she was totally entertained by her own speech, she laughed half the time. I love it. If that was me, I would laugh at myself. I love that.

Mike Pacchione: [00:32:42] I was asking Glo about this. I said, “Did you ever have a bad speech?” And she said yeah. She had a mortifying one.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:32:58] Really? That’s [inaudible].

Mike Pacchione: [00:32:59] Right. You would never think that because she just owned being on stage, funny, impersonating her mom, all of it. I asked her what made the difference for her, and she actually said something similar to what you just said. She said, “Doing all the coaching on Zoom. Coaching other people and getting used to hearing her own voice, and try to make points, and telling stories.” That’s what made the difference for her. And she’s phenomenal. She speaks twice a month, and certainly could speak more if she wanted to. She’s also a crazy person that writes a new speech every single time.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:33:27] Yeah. That’s so wild. That’s so exhausting. She was great. And, yeah, she’s totally right. One thing that people know how much with everything, whether it’s speaking or writing content, filming videos, doing podcast, how many at-bats there are, and there are strikeouts, and there are fouls, and there are singles and doubles, and then there are homers. But everybody sees it as either, “I’m not going to go up to bat or I’m going to hit a homer,” there’s just so much in between. And I don’t think they realize if you want to hit the homer, there’s going to be a ton of singles for a lot of them.

Mike Pacchione: [00:34:01] And I think people don’t realize that even those things, Instagram Live and stuff – maybe a Live is a little bit different – Instagram Stories, TikTok, Reels, a lot of things that you see going viral are not the first draft.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:34:17] Yeah. That too, yeah.

Mike Pacchione: [00:34:18] So, it’s the same thing as speaking where it’s, “Oh, my gosh. She’s really good at it.” You don’t know if she’s been recording for three hours, post-take 17. But that happens all the time. So, it’s singles and it’s a lot of swing and miss that nobody else saw.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:34:36] Yeah. I could see that. I mean, you see a lot of speakers and people who want to speak more, what do you feel are three areas that you typically need to be improved upon the most?

Mike Pacchione: [00:34:48] So, I think one of those is the way that people use their slides. There’s a couple of inversions of that. One, I kind of mocked earlier, which is when people put their notes on a slide. I think because of the prevalence of TikToks and YouTube videos, there’s a good population that begun to see, “Oh, this is meant to be more than just a note card with bullet points.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:35:13] So, phase two of that is being a little more creative, a little more visual, using Canva, things like that, also very good. But the master level, which is what I always try to move people towards, is, it’s not just using Canva, it’s not just being visual, but it’s interacting with the slide itself. So, sometimes the slide is a character. Sometimes the slide can be part of the joke. But the backgrounds of the slide is helping you to tell the story out loud. And if you start thinking that way, instead of just I’m not going to do bullet points or I’m going to find some GIFs – I don’t know how you say it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:35:53] Yeah. I never know. But there were a lot of them at the conference, I noticed. Like, a lot.

Mike Pacchione: [00:35:56] Totally. And it’s good. But what’s even better is if that GIF is a joke on its own. Or if you say something and the GIF answers it. Using the slide as part of the whole act is a really, really good creative one that not many people do.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:36:14] I see what you mean. That would be really cool. Yeah, I could see that being very impactful.

Mike Pacchione: [00:36:14] Okay. So, let me catch this, everybody says public speaking is the number one fear. I always tell people, I don’t totally trust those studies. My joke is, I have difficulty believing that anyone in a den of vipers is looking around like, “Well, it’s not giving the future update right now.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:36:39] Probably I was giving a speech.

Mike Pacchione: [00:36:43] So, I really doubt that it’s actually the number one fear. But, again, people are nervous. I think most people, once you become more confident in yourself, that’s no longer a thing. But what is a thing is that you’re only 60 or 70 percent confident. And you’re not 100 percent there. So, said differently, you believe you know your stuff but you don’t believe you’re the only person that can give this talk.

Mike Pacchione: [00:37:10] One of the things that I always try to tell people, you were the only person in the world that can give this talk. Let’s do Sam. You’re not the only lawyer. Obviously, you’re not the only lawyer from Rutgers. You’re not the only lawyer in New York. You’re not the only online lawyer. You’re not the only online lawyer who does contracts. But you’re the only online lawyer who does contracts who was born in Philadelphia, and loves her dad that much, and has all those stories. So, that’s another place where you have to come alive on stage. But, also, you have to believe that. You have to believe that you’re the right one to give this talk.

Mike Pacchione: [00:37:36] And I always tell the story, I was presenting at a conference called Think Better, Live Better. This was, like, four or five years ago. Keep in mind what I do for a job. I am totally confident flying there. I know it’s a good speech. I arrived the day before. We’re doing, like, the walkthrough, click through the slides, make sure everything looks the right way. Every other speaker at the conference is selling a book in the back.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:38:09] I remember you telling us this, yeah.

Mike Pacchione: [00:38:11] At this point, I don’t even have a website. And I was just thinking to myself, “I can’t do this. I don’t deserve to be here.” I considered whether I should go to that organizer and ask out. But I really did this. I said, “No. Here’s why you’re the right one to give this talk. This is my experience. These stories are mine. Nobody else knows these stories. Nobody else can handle them. I thought through this. I know how to do the slides. I have X number of years experience doing that.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:38:42] And when you start thinking that way and thinking of your specific backgrounds, then you can walk out on stage knowing that you were the right person to present. Because if you’re 60 percent confident or 70, 80 percent confident, what that means is if you get a good crowd, you’re going to fine. Sometimes you don’t get a good crowd, and you need to be able to believe it anyway.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:39:09] Have you ever felt lost about where to begin with the legal side of protecting your online business? Some people say you can just wing it at the beginning and get officially set up later. Not a good idea, by the way. Whether you’re afraid to even start working with clients because you don’t want to do something wrong legally and then get in trouble or your business is growing and you sort of forgot to take care of the legal pieces, I’ve got you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:39:31] I don’t want you to live in fear of the internet police coming after you and your business. But you do have to do certain things and get certain things in place in order to legally and safely run your business online. As much as it just feels like an unregulated Wild Wild West online, that is very much not the case.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:39:48] As an attorney turned entrepreneur and former corporate litigator, I can assure you that there are rules. There are real steps that everybody who runs or starts an online business needs to take. And you’re not behind at all. We can get you set up and following the rules right away. In fact, we can even do it today.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:40:05] I want to teach you the five very simple steps to take to legally protect and grow your online business. You don’t need an MBA to be a successful entrepreneur and stay out of legal hot water. But you do need to dot your legal i’s and cross your t’s in a few key areas that can’t be skipped. That’s exactly what I’ll teach you in my free one hour legal workshop called Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business. Just head to mylegalworkshop.com, drop in your email address, pick the time, and I’ll send you a link to watch the workshop video whenever you have time.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:40:34] This is the best place to begin if you’re just getting started legally legitimizing your business, so head on over to mylegalworkshop.com and sign up to watch Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business now.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:40:49] Should the crowd’s reaction not faze you one way or the other? Or not dictate whether or not your speech is a good speech, I guess that’s how I should put it?

Mike Pacchione: [00:41:00] Yeah. I mean, it should faze you, right? I mean, if it does, laughing and clapping and everything, that should be pretty great. And if they’re bored, that should matter, too, and you should adjust to them. But the first sentence when you deliver on stage, you need to be delivering that with total confidence.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:41:18] And so, I was also thinking so much of what you shared at ConvertKit that I thought was really helpful and interesting was about how we used our physical presence on stage, like our bodies, our voices. So, can you talk to people a little bit about what some of your tips were around that?

Mike Pacchione: [00:41:37] Yeah. Completely. I think whether you’re presenting virtually or whether you’re in the same room with people, regardless, it’s like, “Okay. You’re the expert. Right now, I’ve got this great idea in my head. And, again, I’m trying to get it to snap and crackle and pop in yours.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:41:50] Well, how can that happen? Sometimes I write it really well. But that can sure help if I used the stage the right way, if I use my voice the right way. If I highlight with my voice this is the important part. Or if I use the stage. Some of the things you can do on stage, if you’re contrasting two different ideas, which a lot of time we are, Sam is contrasting life without contrast, and be really nervous, and never knowing, blah, blah, blah. Sam should just use one side of the stage whenever she’s that character.

Mike Pacchione: [00:42:20] And if she wants a contrast it to the guy who’s smartly paid $497 or whatever –

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:42:26] Hey, I’m stupid in math.

Mike Pacchione: [00:42:28] Okay. Whatever the cost is, it would be worth $497. But using the other side of the stage to show that same exact person that now they have a contract and now they can stop exerting all this Benkara on things that probably are not why they got into the business in the first place. So, using different sides of the stage for something, that’s a really big one.

Mike Pacchione: [00:42:49] But I think the most effective one, I guess, can just be used in the most different types of ways would be your voice. Because that’s true whether you’re presenting virtually, on the phone, frankly, when you’re at a meal, try either making your voice go really loud or really soft. And one of the greatest things is you can make anything sound important if all of a sudden your voice gets softer. I mean, if you really want to go for it, add a pause there.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:43:22] Yes. I remember you talked a lot about the pause and the timing. That was really interesting.

Mike Pacchione: [00:43:28] Okay. Ready. I love tacos. Tacos is so important. It’s the most important thing in the world.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:43:38] I think everyone can agree with that.

Mike Pacchione: [00:43:41] But, yeah, pausing a really big one. Let’s talk about that for a second. One of the points that I try to make with people, and this is especially true when you’re presenting virtually, people have often been told at some point in your public speaking career, you talk to fast. You got to slow it down. Sam, you got to slow it down.

Mike Pacchione: [00:43:56] It’s not actually what they mean. Right now, I am guessing you got a lot of people listening to this podcast, and I’m guessing at least some of you are listening at 1.25, 1.5, maybe 2X speed, and they’re totally able to track everything. Well, how can that be that case if I talk too fast and you talk too fast? Or one of your other guests talks too fast?

Mike Pacchione: [00:44:17] So, here’s my point, it’s not actually talk too fast. It’s that you don’t give the audience a chance to catch up. So, the TED Talk that I was pointing people to is Adam Driver, and just watch him in there do that. Adam Driver like Kylo Ren from the Star Wars movies, he talks super, super fast but he pauses, and he gives the audience a chance to catch up.

Mike Pacchione: [00:44:36] And a good way that you can implement that, what you would naturally do is you would write your speech out, and you would write your notes out, and you would do it in paragraph form. A good way to force yourself to pause a little bit is to write it more like song lyrics. You’re naturally taking a pause every, like, seven or eight words. Because it’s almost impossible to speak too fast. But it’s possible to lose the audience if you were speaking fast and you’re not giving the audience a chance to catch up.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:45:04] That makes a lot of sense. I remember you saying about pausing and breathing. That could be another thing. It’s very difficult to breathe while you talk.

Mike Pacchione: [00:45:11] It is. Remember that workshop that we did, I called a couple of people up to speak, and Grace was the last one.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:45:21] Yes. She was so funny.

Mike Pacchione: [00:45:23] She’s making me nervous. She wasn’t breathing. A lot of people, and for whatever reason it tends to be women, they don’t breathe. And a lot of times you see the red blotches on someone’s throat, probably because they’re not breathing.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:45:38] Because we get nervous, I don’t know. We got to breathe. But I thought it was helpful when you said that about pausing between sentences about taking a breath not only help us to do that. But I can only see for somebody, like myself when I talk about legal stuff, it’s not feeling as overwhelming either because people have a moment to digest, versus me moving on to the next point, and they already haven’t digested the first one. And then, I get into overwhelm with people, where they’re just like, “Oh, there’s too much for me to do.” And I could see a lot of people listening whatever they teach about it being something similar.

Mike Pacchione: [00:46:15] And pausing or I like to think it’s just silence, silence equals confidence. A lot of people think silence equals death. Silence equals confidence, actually. Do you remember the statistic that I shared in there?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:46:30] About speaking?

Mike Pacchione: [00:46:31] About silence?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:46:32] No, I don’t.

Mike Pacchione: [00:46:33] Oh. What the heck? This was good.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:46:33] It’s in there somewhere. There’s a lot going on out there.

Mike Pacchione: [00:46:38] I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. There’s a company called Gong out in San Francisco. They do AI that looks at what makes for successful sales people. They trade stock everything. They look at what makes for successful sales people versus just regular.

Mike Pacchione: [00:46:52] And one of the statistics that they share is that the best sales people, after they give a price, are willing to wait, I think, it’s 2.1 seconds in silence versus a more normal salesperson, it’s like a second or even less.
Which makes sense, right? Because we’ve all done that where we’ve given a price, like, “Yeah. I can’t afford it. It’s fine.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:47:12] Yeah. We’ll somehow come up with a refinancing plan in the meantime to kill the silence. You’re so nervous and [inaudible].

Mike Pacchione: [00:47:20] Totally. Totally. “$1,997.” “Oh, it’s too much.” “$1,200.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:47:25] And they’re like, “I was going to pay that.” But it’s true, yeah.

Mike Pacchione: [00:47:29] But it makes sense. Someone who is confident and knows that they are providing value would be a good sale. And you get all of that for $1,997, one one thousand, two one thousand. What do you think about that? Or whatever that follow up production is.

Mike Pacchione: [00:47:45] Silence actually equals confidence. It’s really hard for people to pause usually. It’s really hard to be silent. I think a good activity that almost everybody can practice is print out song lyrics. Seriously, song lyrics. Print them, read them out loud in your house, you have to stop at the end of each line, one one thousand, two one thousand, go.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:48:06] I could see that being really hard. Yeah. I think that’s a really good tip. And for the sales thing, by the way, since everyone listening probably is having these conversations, literally, in the beginning when I briefly started to help coaching business. In the beginning, I would say the price and then I would cover my mouth. I physically didn’t talk. I was on the phone so no one could see me.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:48:28] And then, eventually, this turned from covering my mouth to squeezing my hand. It was like a signal to myself to be like, “Just shut up.” In Philadelphia, we’re not used to being quite for very long. So, two-and-a-half seconds is like six-and-a-half years Philadelphia time. So, I would be just trying. But, yeah, hot tip for anybody, don’t be afraid.

Mike Pacchione: [00:48:50] Oh, I love that. You know, that’s actually a great speaking tip. Obviously, from stage you cannot just —

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:48:55] Cover your mouth.

Mike Pacchione: [00:48:55] … cover your mouth. So, at places where you feel awkward, it might be the content, it might be naming our price, whatever that is for you, give yourself a pre-meditated “I am going to do this so that I don’t just sit there and blush or get red faced,” or whatever your nervous tell is.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:49:13] Yeah. Your nervous tell, that’s true. I mean, you could probably do something with your hand like pinch your fingers or something. Something really small on stage, just a little signal to yourself.

Mike Pacchione: [00:49:26] Or, I’m a fan of find someone in the audience with a friendly face, and I pre-meditate and look at that person.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:49:32] That’s cool. That’s a good idea.

Mike Pacchione: [00:49:35] It doesn’t have to be someone you know.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:49:36] Better hope they don’t turn on you mid-talk and you’re like, “Oh, no. I was betting on you. And now you look like you hate me.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:49:36] When you have people in the audience that you know, do you like that or do you not like that?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:49:48] I like that, but I think like you, I probably do grab it. I guess you always notice somebody who looks like they’re having a good time. Like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is so helpful.” You can tell, and I’ll just feel like we’re dating now and I’m just going to look at you.

Mike Pacchione: [00:50:04] Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. This is so funny. I remember teaching in my first class in graduate school, I didn’t know how I was going to do it. But there was a student – this is the thing, students don’t realize – and maybe this changes when you’re, like, 63 or something – I’m a teacher and I’m presenting to 19 year olds, it’s not like I’m fully confident naturally unless I give myself pep-talk. So, when students look like they’re not enjoying it, your teachers notices that. Anyway, there was a sophomore who seem to be enjoying my jokes my very first time I ever taught. And I was like, “Yeah, Naomi. Yeah.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:50:46] Yeah. You just got to lock it. You got to find your Naomi in the audience and just lock in. Now, you guys are best friends.

Mike Pacchione: [00:50:51] Yes. Totally.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:50:53] Yeah. That’s a good tip. I could see that. Actually, somebody asked a really good – well, I’ll ask you about it later. But somebody asked me a good question about rituals, but we’ll talk about that in a sec.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:51:04] I also wanted you to share, I think that there are probably a lot of people who are listening, they’re like, “This is something. I want to be in this. But how do I get there?” And I know this isn’t specifically what you help people do, but in your experience, how does somebody go from sitting on Instagram and TikTok talking on Live to starting to get on to stage and to try to grow that part of their business?

Mike Pacchione: [00:51:29] I would try to get your reps in before a big conference. Sometimes people their big speaking opportunity is a big conference. And it’s not impossible to make that lead but it’s harder.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:51:40] Yeah. So, smaller conferences like –

Mike Pacchione: [00:51:40] Or even go guest lecture at a university. I mean, I will tell you as a former adjunct who this people are going to pay probably $1,600 to try a class, they would love to have a guest speaker.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:51:40] That’s cool.

Mike Pacchione: [00:51:58] And speaking to college kids will be more challenging than adults. So, I really think, gets your reps in. Feel what it’s like to have people’s eyes on you. Feel what it’s like to have people reading your slides instead of looking at you, being on their phone. Think through, “Oh. How am I going to handle this, someone’s on their phone? How disrespectful.” Because a lot of people just get mad and let it crush them.

Mike Pacchione: [00:52:28] But go through and be a guest lecturer at a college or maybe a small account of friends or [inaudible] club type events. Like, little things, low stakes things where you can just feel what it’s like before you start presenting at their conferences.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:52:46] Yeah. That makes sense. That’s what I started doing in Philly, I started hosting workshops at a cafe that would have this entrepreneurial community. So, I hosted one and then I was like, “Can I do this again?” And I came back two weeks later and they let me host another, and it grew. And then, I started doing them twice a month for six, eight months. So, I got all these reps in but also they grew.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:53:10] And then, because people attended those, they were like, “Hey, I know this person that has this meet up. This entrepreneurs meet up, for example, in Philly. Will you come speak at it?” And I spoke at that, it was, like, 40 or 50 people. And then, that girl just so happen to start the biggest conference in Philadelphia at the time for entrepreneurs, so I spoke at that. It was, like, several hundreds of people.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:53:29] And then, I used that like B-roll to go apply to WELL Summit because there was a requirement that you had spoken to a certain number of people, and that was way bigger. And it just kept going from there. But, also, being on people’s podcast. And I was on podcasts that no one listened to in the beginning. And then, podcast a little bit more. And it just kept going and going. It’s like a lot of those reps that we’ve been talking about.

Mike Pacchione: [00:53:51] But it’s easier than ever to get those reps. And that was really smart what you did. I love that.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:53:55] I didn’t know it, but like I keep saying, if you know that this is what you want to do, I just think there has to be a lot of this scrappy “I know what the end goal. I know why I want to be on stage. But let me just try all these different things and see how this goes and get better and better at this.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:54:13] And if you are listening, there’s got to be somebody who just maybe freaked out a little because, “Oh, shoot. I’m skipping a step and now I’m speaking at this conference next month.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:54:24] Oh, yeah. You can do that.

Mike Pacchione: [00:54:26] You can do that. More than anything else, here’s what I would do to prep. You are probably picturing because you’re going to work really hard on this talk, and a lot of work on the slides, and the story, and delivery, and blah, blah, blah. You’re expecting everybody to have a big smile on their face from the first moment. But that’s not actually what people look like when they’re learning. I mean, that will happen from time to time but not everybody in the audience is going to look like that for the entirety of your talk.

Mike Pacchione: [00:54:54] So, one of the best things you could do would be to get a picture of someone you know, maybe it’s yourself. Tape it to a wall in front of you – sorry. Rewind. Picture of them not smiling.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:55:06] Interesting. And be used to giving the talk without relying on that feedback.

Mike Pacchione: [00:55:11] Yes.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:55:12] Yeah. The validation.

Mike Pacchione: [00:55:12] Yeah. Alternately, give it over Zoom to somebody else but have them turn off their camera.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:55:17] Oh, gosh. That would be hard. The whole time somebody doesn’t have their camera on on Zoom, I’d come up with a whole story in my head about they hate me and they’re probably miserable. It makes me so nervous to not be able to see them.

Mike Pacchione: [00:08:18] Wait. Did I tell you the story, my China story?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:55:32] No. I don’t think so.

Mike Pacchione: [00:55:32] Oh, my gosh. Okay. I was presenting last year to a group from China, and it was a part of China where the bandwidth is terrible, so nobody is on camera. It’s China, huge time zone difference. I’m presenting at 11:00 at night, it’s a two hour workshop. My wife is asleep. My son is asleep. My dog is asleep and right next to me. Not a soul is on camera.

Mike Pacchione: [00:55:54] Culturally, at least this part of China with this company, and I was warned this, like, “You’re not going to get very much talking. People are trained to not ask questions or volunteer something that might make them look like they’re wrong.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:56:08] Nobody’s on camera.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:56:11] It makes me sick just thinking about it.

Mike Pacchione: [00:56:13] It’s time for Jimmy Fallon to be on, nobody is on camera and nobody’s talking. I had no evidence that anyone was listening to me. I was thinking to myself like, “You know, this could be a really elaborate joke.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:56:31] No one is even hearing it or laughing.

Mike Pacchione: [00:56:31] “Is anybody hearing this?” What occurred to me is that there are two different ways I could proceed. So, way number one is, I could be tentative because I don’t want to look stupid. Or worse, I don’t want to look like I think this matters when it might not matter to them. So, in other words, I don’t want to look like I can’t read the audience, which, hey, newsflash, I can’t because I can’t see anybody. So, that’s one way to go forward.

Mike Pacchione: [00:57:01] And I started that way. First half-hour, probably, I was that way. Two day workshop, two-and-a-half hours. First half hour, really tentative. And something clicked for me where I realized, I said, “You know, unless I’m really willing to just sign out this meeting right now, there’s no version of presenting this where I get to just leave. I have to deliver this.” So, I may as well be confident. And that totally changed the virtual game for me. I don’t care if people are on camera.

Mike Pacchione: [00:57:35] I did a workshop earlier today, and the person hosting was really, really nice and requested everybody to be on camera. There were 152 people in this department. There were maybe four who were on camera. Everyone is tired of being on camera. It’s like 2:00 in the afternoon. It didn’t affect me at all. Because I need to believe on what I’m saying and I need to just own it. And I feel like I go back to that a lot. But that’s also someone who’s been speaking for more than a decade.

Mike Pacchione: [00:58:02] So, if it’s your first opportunity, the best way to prepare for that is either camera off or a picture of someone who doesn’t look that excited to be there.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:58:14] Yeah. I’m sure the late night comics have a lot to say about this, because during COVID, they were speaking to a camera. Whereas, they are used to getting this live constant feedback. And they were probably just like – I don’t know, I remember them just being awkward and quiet and they would just laugh at themselves.

Mike Pacchione: [00:58:34] I remember, Pete Davidson on SNL saying out loud “This is really weird.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:58:39] Yeah. It is weird. It’s so weird. Yeah, it was just really different for them, so I can only imagine. Interesting. Well, that’s super helpful. It’s also helpful what I also took away from what you shared was that you are actively thinking about this as your speaking so that this is a dynamic that you’re shifting as you’re speaking. It’s not just like, “Oh, shoot. I got nervous and now it’s just all down the toilet.” It was like, “I’m going to turn this around mid-speech.”

Mike Pacchione: [00:59:07] Yeah. But you also have to train yourself. I wasn’t always like that. I think one of the great things about my Duarte years, I get used to every different type of person in the audience. And, especially, this real corporate – it’s almost always a dude – guys, you can probably think of some boring company, really high up, they’ve been trained to not have a personality. I don’t mean literally there was a training, but somehow they got the message, don’t have a personality, don’t smile.

Mike Pacchione: [00:59:39] And I think at first it was Tender Mike. It was, “Okay. Well, they must know this already, blah, blah, blah.” But where it eventually got to is I flipped the switch in my brain where when I saw that guy who tried to be on his phone or tried to act like they knew this already, I knew that this stuff that I was delivering matter. I knew I was really good at delivering it. I knew my own background. So, when I saw that, it was like, “Oh. Game on, buddy. We’re going to get you paying attention.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:00:08] It’s a challenge. And I think because you love it, so it probably feels so natural to you, too, now. But like you said, with a lot of practice. So, I think you gave the rest of us hope, that’s for sure.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:00:19] I also want to ask you about the minivan test, because we have not talked about that.

Mike Pacchione: [01:00:22] Yes. I forgot to say that. Okay. Sam, do you have friends who have minivans?

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:00:28] Yes. I think so.

Mike Pacchione: [01:00:30] Do they try to sell you on getting a minivan?

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:00:34] Not yet. No.

Mike Pacchione: [01:00:36] It will get there. Okay. Since in your 20s, everybody makes fun of a minivan. In your 30s, people start to turn the tide. Forties, it’s like half of my friends have minivans. Everyone of them sells me on it the same exact way. There are two different words used. Do you know what those are? One of the two?

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:00:58] No.

Mike Pacchione: [01:01:00] Everybody says either it’s so practical or it’s so reasonable. I know. Of course.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:01:08] Yeah. Everyone knows that minivans are.

Mike Pacchione: [01:01:08] Everybody knows it’s reasonable.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:01:08] That’s [inaudible].

Mike Pacchione: [01:01:13] Everybody knows giant white shoes are better for your feet, too. Wear those here. The minivan test is this, when there is a well-documented argument that everybody uses, you got to deliver it in a different way. But you can think of political conversations this way, it’s just insert topic here. It’s just sold the same exact way every single time.

Mike Pacchione: [01:01:19] The power of surprising the audience with a minivan pitch that is not just it’s reasonable, it’s tremendous. So, what if instead I still probably wouldn’t buy a minivan? But what if one of my friends instead of just “It’s so reasonable,” what if it was like this, “Mike, there’s going to come a day where you have more than one child, and you have a dog, and you’re trying to carry 18 different things out to the car. And you got your son in one hand. You’ve got your dog tied around your waist. And you’re trying to let everybody in the car at the same time. And you’ve also got a basketball in there. You’re trying to find a place for the cooler. Right now, you’re driving this and there is room for those things. But every single time, you have to play a little bit of touches to get in, don’t you?”

Mike Pacchione: [01:02:25] “Yeah. I do actually.” “Well, what if you could just slide the whole door open on both sides and the kids could just get in themselves. And there is plenty of room and you could stuff things here and here and here.” Sam, that would be a much more effective pitch.

Mike Pacchione: [01:02:40] So, my point here with the minivan test when it comes to presenting, if you have a message or if you have a particular point that everybody sells the same way, try to come out with a different direction.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:02:53] I can imagine a lot of people relate to that. How do you recommend to someone that they come up with this different direction? Like, what angle should they think of it as? Like, for me, what you just described with the minivan, I’m thinking you went from describing just kind of all features of the minivan to really painting the picture of the problem that you’re running into. It’s just like classic marketing strategy. Would you recommend approaching it from that point of view?

Mike Pacchione: [01:03:22] So, if nothing else, yeah. And that will work almost every time. When I say work, I don’t mean people will buy it necessarily. But people will have that moment of like, “Oh.” And that’s a good point.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:03:29] Connects with it.

Mike Pacchione: [01:03:30] Yeah. So, that will work almost every single time. Another thing that you can do a lot, it just sounds so basic and most people don’t ever do it. When I work with people one-on-one, what I will often do is insert a topic here and I say, “Okay. So, what do people think you were going to talk about in this presentation?” Sometimes we’ll test it.

Mike Pacchione: [01:03:51] We’ll actually ask one of their friends or someone who will be a typical audience member and say, “Okay. Sam is presenting on stage. Here’s the name of her topic. What do you think she’s going to talk about? What are some things that you expect to hear in a 45 minute presentation?”

Mike Pacchione: [01:04:03] And it’s not that that rules out those things. But we at least need to consider whether we need to present that in a different way or we need to have a powerful example or we need to pull the rug out and surprise the audience. To your starting point, it’s just what are they expecting and what would be something that I could do that would surprise them. So, surprise, I think, is the key concept there.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:04:29] Yeah. I like that. I like that. That sounds really cool. I’m sure a lot of people are going to come up with ideas from that. Speaking of the people, they submitted a lot of good questions that I want to ask you.

Mike Pacchione: [01:04:40] Let’s do it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:04:42] Lauren asked, “What is the simplest way to win over a big audience? And what’s the quickest way to lose a big audience?”

Mike Pacchione: [01:04:50] Simplest way to win over a big audience is to be either funny or at least likeable at the very beginning. So, when I work with people one-on-one, one of the things we obsess over is the very first line. The first line is usually, “Hey. It’s great to be here. How is everybody doing?” “Hey, I’m Sam. I’m from Philadelphia. Have you had a cheesesteak before?” You wouldn’t say that but certain people would. So, we obsess over it.

Mike Pacchione: [01:05:12] And listen, I’m not saying it has to be this advanced because the second line matters. So, a great first line and you don’t know what to do with it is not that helpful. My friend, Joel, I helped with a talk. And his first line was, “So, I was in Antartica.” Whoa. Whoa.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:05:31] Yeah. That gets your attention.

Mike Pacchione: [01:05:32] Yeah. That got my attention. My favorite talk that I have given or at least my favorite first line, you’re going to like this, I said, “It’s a humbling moment when you realized you’ve turned into an a-hole.” And I say a-hole because that’s more me. You’d probably curse but –

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:05:47] No. I don’t curse that much. Just every once in a while to the point where we had to label.

Mike Pacchione: [01:05:54] Explicit. You would Snoop Dogg.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:05:56] I would be honored to be in his company.

Mike Pacchione: [01:06:02] My point there is just you need to really, really focus on the beginning and doing something and it gets your audience to like you. Not that I’m funny person. I want to recommend trying to be a funny person if you’re not. Just so you know, the key to comedy is commitment. That’s what Steve Martin says. If you go out there hoping that people will laugh, oh, man, that’s a dicey proposition. Because the next 44 minutes, 50, you’re going to tough if they didn’t laugh at that first joke.

Mike Pacchione: [01:06:29] So, if those things don’t work, it’s like what is a narrative that you can begin that declares to the audience that I’ve thought about you. That might be as simple as here is my topic, what is something that, if I were to remove your pain point – and you should actually say what the pain point is – you would now be able to do. And if you can do that in the first minute of your talk, that’s a pretty good start. If you can declare to the audience I’ve thought about you and I’m trying to help you, that’s a pretty good start.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:07:06] That’s really cool. And what do you think is the fastest way to lose the audience?

Mike Pacchione: [01:07:13] Talk about yourself. Talking about the resume. This is a good metaphor to think of, I had a college friend who been married. Through a strange sequence of events, he got married on the property of a really famous celebrity. Like, every single person that’s in existence knows who this guy is. Out of courtesy, him and his wife invite the guy, but they don’t think he’s going to show. Well, I wouldn’t tell you the story if he didn’t show. Forty-five minutes in, the guy shows up.

Mike Pacchione: [01:07:44] I wasn’t at this wedding. My friend was. He said, “It was the strangest thing. Name of celebrity shows up. Nobody said a word. In fact, the whole room went silent. And it was like the oceans parted and he has walked to the front of the room. And we just all expected him to give a speech and he did. And he started talking about how beautiful the furniture was. And do you how old this wine is? And have you taken a tour of the property? Did you see this? Did you see this? Did you see this?”

Mike Pacchione: [01:08:14] Now, this guy ends his talk after ten minutes. You would think somewhere in there he would talk about – I don’t know – congratulations husband and wife. Nope. Entirely about himself. People don’t go to that level at a beginning of a talk necessarily, but a lot of people start with their resume.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:08:31] Yeah. They think they have to establish credibility.

Mike Pacchione: [01:08:36] So, I’ve been doing this for this many years. And I’ve worked with this client. And this guy is really impressive. And this, and this, and this. I get the instinct for that. But there’s a much smarter way of doing it, which is to tell a story. And when I say story, I mean an act or example. Or, “I was working with insert impressive company here or insert impressive person here,” and tell the rest of that story. And that way, you get two for one. And now that story needs to be about the audience. But if you do that, then you’re making yourself likeable by telling about something the audience can relate to, and you’ve just declared authority. And that’s a much better way to go.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:09:10] That’s really cool. Okay. That’s helpful. Somebody asked, “How do I not bore people? What captivates better, lots of details or a quick straightforward story?”

Mike Pacchione: [01:09:26] I assume those are about two different stories, right?

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:09:30] Yeah. I mean, they’re saying what captivates better, like a story that has a lot of details or a story that’s really straightforward.

Mike Pacchione: [01:09:35] You should do one detail. I mean, the worst storytellers are – no. Not the worst. Picture a bad storyteller in your life. You don’t have to say who it is.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:09:45] They go off on tangents.

Mike Pacchione: [01:09:48] So, what’s the tangent sound like?

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:09:50] Just all over the place.

Mike Pacchione: [01:09:53] Probably what’s happening to that person is they’re remembering details from that story as they were telling it. So, they’re saying, “I was going down the school one day and I remember that I had eliminated my cup holder and I heard a hawk go overhead.” And as the person listening, you’re thinking to yourself, “Okay. Lemonade, that’s going to matter later. That’s going to matter later.” It doesn’t matter later, right? It never does.

Mike Pacchione: [01:10:17] So, a little bit of detail is great. It’s great to hear the thoughts that went through your head. It’s great to hear one detail about the room that you’re in. It’s great to hear one detail about the person you’re talking to. So, one detail tends to be good, maybe two details. But when you start talking about lemonade and [inaudible] socks, and why did this [inaudible] cut me off, those things don’t matter.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:10:41] Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That’s helpful. My dad, by the way, was the king of giving directions. He’d be like, “Sam, do you see the Wawa? The Wawa is coming up on your right? Do you see it? Do you see it?” I’m like, “Yeah, dad. I see it. I see the Wawa.” “Okay. That’s on it. Keep going.” I’m like, “Well, why did I focus on the Wawa?” Now, I’m more disoriented and I got over in the other lane. I was like, “How was the Wawa relevant to the story?” That’s always what he did.

Mike Pacchione: [01:11:06] My mom, I remember the first time she gave me directions to drive down a store, it was the same thing. Like, a whole legal path. And it was like, “You will see blah, blah, blah. Do not turn.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:11:13] It’s like, “Why do I need to know that? Just tell me where to turn.” It’s so true. It’s really funny he always did that. We get so laser focused on this Wawa and end up being nothing.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:11:25] Natasha asked – this is a good one – for tips for combating nerves or is that part of what makes showing up so rewarding.

Mike Pacchione: [01:11:37] Unless it is a talk that you give a ton, then your nerves will go away because you’ve already proven to yourself, “I can deliver this.” But if it’s a talk you’re giving the first time, second time, third time, and you have nerves, that’s not a bad thing. Think about times in your life when you’ve been nervous, sporting events.

Mike Pacchione: [01:11:58] I was nervous when I proposed. Did I think my wife will say no? I mean, it wasn’t like shooting a tree if we found a 25 percent chance. We talked about it. So, my point is just, nerves communicate something at stake that’s good. That’s what propels you to a greater performance.

Mike Pacchione: [01:12:21] That’s it. I get the question. What you need to do is to rehearse enough that you know it. If it is your first time and, typically, you’re nervous, you need to rehearse enough inside and out. And then, you need to give yourself – this is going to seem contradictor – freedom to not say it the same way that you just rehearsed. So, the rehearsing is just to get it in your brain. The audience has no idea what you’re supposed to say. They have no idea what your script sound like.

Mike Pacchione: [01:12:51] So, once it’s in your head, you’re not going to forget it at that point. It’s in your head, and now you know it well. Now, you’re on stage. And once you’re on stage, you can run with it and take it to a different direction.

Mike Pacchione: [01:13:03] Here’s an excerpt if it’s helpful – what was the movie called? – Taxi Driver. Jodie Foster was all excited to be in that movie because De Niro was a legend for his ability to imprompt. She’s super excited. She’s like, “Oh, my gosh. I’m going to hear all about this.” She shows up the first day and De Niro just schools her because he knew the script inside and out day one. It was because he knew it inside and out from day one that allowed him to do all this adlibing.

Mike Pacchione: [01:13:32] You don’t need to know a speech that well, especially someone who’s presenting a lot. But if your first learning it, it would be good to get it in your head in such a way where you’re not having to consciously remember the next line while you’re looking at all this people in the audience.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:13:48] Yeah. This is like how I learn recipes. I nailed recipes so then I know how I can deviate. But if I don’t learn the foundation of the recipe first, I don’t even know where I can take a detour. I feel like that’s kind of similar.

Mike Pacchione: [01:13:59] That’s so good. That’s perfect comparison. Sam, when you present, when you’re talking to your audience, what is literally going through your head? What is the picture in your head? Are you thinking line to line? Are you thinking —

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:14:14] No. I’m one of those not rehearse people that loves to wing it.

Mike Pacchione: [01:14:16] Oh, come on. But you don’t wing it, wing it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:14:21] No. I have, like, a structure of what I know I’m going to teach. But I think especially because of what I teach about, you know, if I’m talking about a contract, what makes the contract, or what makes website policy, it’s always the same. So, it doesn’t really change. The stories can kind of weave through out. But I’ve given a lot more of a those kinds of talks.

Mike Pacchione: [01:14:40] That makes sense. I think a smart thing that you’ve alluded to – I don’t know if you alluded on this – is having a bunch of stories in your back pocket that you can pull out at any moment as examples. And, actually, you know what? Let’s have that – Natasha, I think, the one who asked the question?

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:15:00] Yes, she did.

Mike Pacchione: [01:15:00] One of the things you can do is to get to something, like, when you’re ready to talk, start with something that feels really comfortable to you, because that will give the same [inaudible]. A lot of times that’s a story.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:15:13] Yeah. So, a story that you feel comfortable telling or that the story itself kind of puts you at ease?

Mike Pacchione: [01:15:20] Well, probably both. But certainly the first part that you feel comfortable telling. Something that you feel confident will just shake you out of the little funk that only happens when you are overthinking how important the talk is.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:15:20] Okay. That’s super helpful. All right. And I think Natasha’s last question is a good one to end on because I can imagine you have some good tips for this for clients that you worked with, “What are you pre and post speaking rituals or ones that you recommend to people?”

Mike Pacchione: [01:15:57] When I work one-on-one with people, I always give people a pep talk the night before to clear to them some of the things we talked about, why you’re the right person to give this talk.

Mike Pacchione: [01:16:10] I know you’re a football fan, but just the Eagles, or do you know –

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:16:13] Packers too. I know more broadly.

Mike Pacchione: [01:16:14] Wait. You know the Packers too?

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:16:15] Yeah. Because Ryan is from Wisconsin.

Mike Pacchione: [01:16:17] Oh, my God. Okay. So, I work with this guy, Brandon Bostick. Is that name familiar?

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:16:23] Yeah.

Mike Pacchione: [01:16:24] You know who that is?

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:16:25] Yeah. No. I’ve heard of him.

Mike Pacchione: [01:16:26] Okay. So, Brandon is an amazing human who had a bad play. And because of that bad play, he got a lot of hate mail and all these things and stopped loving football. But he’s doing great things now. And he’s talk is about coming out of that. He was presenting at a conference. He had never spoken at a conference before. And he had this little like, “Ah, yeah. but -“

Mike Pacchione: [01:16:54] So, I still did this pep talk thing. Like, this guy played in NFC Championship, 60,000 people at crazy – or whatever the Seahawks Stadium is called, the 12th Man, and all this. I’m like, “Does he really need this pep talk?” I decided I should give it to him. And he talked about it. I mean, he said the night before, “This feels like tomorrow is game day.” The guy did played in the NFL, been in the NFC Championship game, and he told me that he got a lot nervous there.

Mike Pacchione: [01:17:30] So, all of this to say, if you don’t have Mike coaching you, you need to come up with your own reason why this talk is going to go well, why you’re the right person to give this talk. I find myself actually repeating those things backstage. I’m also listening to music. I listen to pump up music. I mean, I rehearse the night before. I rehearse with pump up music on. When I say pump up music, I mean like the same stuff I would use on a run. Because that gets my heart rate up and it gets me excited. Like, you should be excited when you go on stage.

Mike Pacchione: [01:18:03] I’d never watch the person before me speak [inaudible]. But I’m backstage. There had been times that’s in the hall, like, Wonder Woman posting backstage. Nobody else is back there. Do whatever you want. But mostly I am focusing on why this is going to go well.

Mike Pacchione: [01:18:20] Because the talk will go well. I mean, obviously, if you’ve worked with me, it will go well. Sometimes speeches don’t go well. They rarely go as poorly as you think they do. It’s understandable if they don’t go as well as you wanted them to. But you should still take time to write down the things that you felt were best, whether that’s an individual line, whether it’s a whole story, a particular slide.

Mike Pacchione: [01:18:48] The thing where you felt like you were in flow, that’s what you should really focus on after the talk. Sometimes you’re lucky enough the whole talk was in flow. Sometimes it might only been 30 seconds. But that’s what the focus on and why that happened, so that next time you deliver, we’ve got a place to start from.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:19:04] Yeah. It’s like muscle memory. That’s awesome. That’s really helpful. Well, this has been so much fun. I can talk to you all day. But I also think it will be helpful for you to tell everybody how they can find you, contact you, where they can learn more from you, and work with you, obviously.

Mike Pacchione: [01:19:21] Yeah. Totally. So, one site is bestspeech.co. There, you can sign up for free resource that I think is super helpful, where we will send you a series of emails that are the Seven Traits of a Best Speaker at Every Conference. Basically, it’s the stuff that you need to know to be the person that everybody remembers.

Mike Pacchione: [01:19:49] A podcast that I love, the Best Speech podcast, almost always interviews. One of the things that’s kind of cool that we do from time to time is we’ll play someone’s TED Talk and then we’ll interview them. It’s cool. “What you were thinking at this part? Why did you do it this way? Is there anything you wish you had done differently?” So, I love being able to do that.

Mike Pacchione: [01:19:57] I love working with people one-on-one. The other thing that I love that we’ll start recruiting again in October is what I call Speech Club. So, that is for people who want to up level their speaking. And the promise at the end of that is you will have a battle tested talk that you’ve received feedback on already, you’ve got the stories ironed out or at least you know what to iron out, so that you can go on stage knowing already that it’s good. That would be the best feeling instead of going out there and you’re like, “Well, I hope they laugh.” You already know they’ll laugh. I read it by people already.

Mike Pacchione: [01:20:31] So, these are all things that I love. Obviously, I love doing all this. And I have loved talking to you, Sam, my old friend. I feel like we’re friends from third grade or something.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:20:40] I know. You’re the best. I’m just so glad that you did this. I think people are going to get so much out of it. And it’s cool that when this episode comes out then your group program will be starting soon. So, guys, reach out to Mike if you want to learn. But I’m also going to mention people are going to learn a lot from listening to your podcast, just hearing that in real time is going to be really helpful.

Mike Pacchione: [01:21:01] Yeah. It’s super cool. I love doing this.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:21:03] Thank you so much for doing this.

Mike Pacchione: [01:21:03] Sam, thanks for having me. You’re the best.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:21:10] Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast.

Sam Vander Wielen: [01:21:24] You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.




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