Transcript Episode 84
Episode 84: Finding Your Speaker Soulmate with Leisa Reid
Stephanie Skryzowski: Welcome to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. The show for purpose driven entrepreneurs who wanna get inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, expand it to your purpose and grow your business in a big way.
I’m your host, Stephanie Skryzowski, a globetrotting CFO, whose mission is to empower leaders to better understand their numbers, to grow their impact and their income. Let’s dive in.
Thank you for having me, Stephanie.
Sure. Well, if you are somebody who has a calling to speak to serve, to teach, you have, uh, an interest in making an impact with a message or some kind of knowledge that you have, then that pretty mixed explains where I’m at right now. I am the founder of get speaking gigs now. and I love sharing my message to make an impact on other people’s lives.
I feel like I have something I can help people with. And so how I got here, I actually have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in speech communication back a billion years ago when I went to college . And, but even if I went further back. I’ve always been interested in being a teacher, even when I was a little kid, like I was taking gymnastics and I wanted to be a teacher and I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher and cetera, and so forth.
So I actually did teach communication at, in college. Um, I taught at the university and then had a pretty long spell of not speaking, you know, meaning officially I, I was in [00:02:00] sales and management and leadership and business ownership and all the things. And I didn’t become a professional speaker till I was 40.
And I, and we can go into that story and admit it, but I took a leap of faith and decided to follow my heart feels like I felt like I was finally home. I’m like, oh my gosh, this is what I’ve been wanting to do for my whole life. But I’m 40 now. And that’s why I mentioned, you know, if you have a calling to speak, because I think a lot of times the people that I work with.
Have that inner voice inside. Like I think I have something to say. I think I should, you know, I can see myself up there and it’s, it’s like a little niggling, like a little like tapping on the shoulder type of a thing. And especially for entrepreneurs who know that they can really help other people.
That’s, that’s the people that I love to work with because you could have. You could be sitting on a treasure trove of, of information that can really help [00:03:00] somebody else. And I think that’s really powerful and to keep it to ourselves, it’s like, ah, you know, that’s not, that’s not helping as many people as you can help.
So, um, the get speaking gigs now is really, yeah, you could have the best message in the world if no one hears it. How good is that gonna, you know, be for anyone. So it’s about like getting the message out.
No, it was, it was a different leap of faith. I was working in corporate and. In, I managed a sales team at a university. And during several years in, I had, had started taking these personal development workshops. I had gone through a divorce. I had, you know, just had a lot of [00:04:00] challenges and. I thought okay.
Time to really make sure I’m checking in. Like my, I grew up with my dad as a hypnotherapist, so I knew that my subconscious thinking was super important. I just, if it’s subconscious, meaning like you don’t even know that it’s there. How do you know what you’re thinking? That’s causing the issues that you know, you’re having.
So I thought, let me do a little digging. I wasn’t afraid to do that, but I, I was lucky enough to find this company that did that. And it came to a point where they were looking to hire someone to, for business development for their company. So I was already madly in love with this work, and, but I’m in this, you know, high paying high pressure executive position
And so that was my big leap of faith of taking that job. It was a pay cut it, but it was definitely more in line with my values. Um, it was more in line. What I really felt I wanted to do, um, making a bigger difference. And also my daughter at the time was fairly young and I thought, I think I, like, [00:05:00] I don’t have, like, I don’t, I don’t wanna be burning the Kim at both ends for her whole childhood.
And then she’s like, oh, I never saw you, my mom, you know? And so I really, uh, thought, okay, I’m. I would say in making that tough decision, I don’t know if anyone can relate to this or if you can relate to this, Stephanie, I thought I would rather do it. And if it doesn’t work out, figure out something else, then regret not doing it and wonder like, oh, what if, what if, what if so, was it an easy, easy decision?
No. Um, but I knew it would be better to go for, you know, what my heart was telling me than to be afraid of. Not trying if that makes.[00:06:00]
Yeah. So, so. And I realized I, I left a couple pieces out, is that they? So yes, they hired me to do business development, but what that meant was going out and speaking about mindset and the power of your mind and the power of your thinking and the power of your choices and really giving people I got to facilitate it.
Wasn’t just. Speaking. It was like giving people an experience of their own thinking. It was really, really powerful. And then inviting them into a workshop that I already knew was gonna be amazing for them and could like significantly change the results in their life. So I was selling something that I was super passionate about and I would get to speak.
So that first year I booked over 80 speaking engagements in my local area, brought in hundreds of clients and filled these personal development workshops. So that is how. So you said like, oh, well, did you start your own business? No, not right away. In fact, I didn’t even know I wanted to teach speakers. I just, I was like, you want me to speak about mindset?
You want me to no problem. I could, like, I [00:07:00] felt like, yes, this is exactly what I would love to do. And I got to meet so many amazing people and learn about every which way to do speaking, you know, I was throwing into so many different scenarios. It was a couple years in. That I looked back and, and saw all the speakers who cause I I’m the founder of the OC speakers network as well.
And speakers would ask me for help all the time. They’re like, how did you get that gig? How did you do that? How did you do that? And I realized, oh, I guess what I think is easy. Isn’t easy for everybody. And apparently there is something I’m doing that’s different and that’s helping and that’s getting results.
So let me really take a step back and look at what strategies, if I was gonna teach this to someone else, how simple can I make it? how easy can I make it for them to duplicate and replicate what I’m doing currently? And that is how get speaking gigs now was born in 2017.[00:08:00]
Oh, okay. I have lots of secrets. Yes. I have lots of secrets, but I will share the number one. Honestly, this is the number one most effective secret to get a steady stream of speaking referrals. And I still use it to this day. In fact, I just got an email right before this recording that, um, that [00:09:00] one of my, that there are some results from this secret that I’m gonna, that I’m gonna teach you.
So I’m really into. Well, I’ll just start from the, okay. We have so many exciting things we can talk about Stephanie. All right. So it’s called what I call the speaker soulmate system. So finding your speaker soulmate. A lot of times people are listening and they’re like, what does that mean? What’s a speaker soul night.
I’m gonna explain it. It’s somebody that you think of. You’re like your best friend circle. Like you just have a couple really, really, really close friends. Right. So that’s what I’m thinking. When I think of speaker soul night, like a couple, a handful, probably not more than five, just starting with one can be super powerful.
Even if you only had one speaker so night, that could be really powerful. So you think of this person who speaks similar frequency as you. Just so that it’s kind of fair, you know, little easy and, and equal. Um, maybe if you’re getting started as a speaker, you find someone else who’s getting started, or if you’ve been doing it for a while, or, you know, I typically speak about five times a month.
So most of my speaker [00:10:00] soulmates speak fairly frequently. That’s pretty high. Most, most of my clients speak once, twice or three times a month. So. Then they need to be someone, you know, like, and trust of course, right. Because you’re going to be literally referring them and asking them to refer you. So it has to be somebody that you could say like, yes, you know, Stephanie, she knows her stuff.
I’ve seen her speak or I’ve taken her workshops or I’ve been her client, whatever you need to like, really know that person’s talent and know that they’re gonna show up and be on time and deliver. Right. Cuz your name, you’re sticking your name on that. And they’re sticking their name on you. And then the third thing that’s really, you know, makes it the, you know, the Reeses, peanut butter.
Per, you know, special, special sauce is that they speak to a similar audience as you, but they’re not your competition. So like for me, I speak to a lot of women’s entrepreneur groups. So if [00:11:00] another speaker also like one of my speaker soulmates, uh, specializes in follow up another one special is in publicity.
So those are, or one other one is social. There, we all speak to women entrepreneurs, but we’re not doing the same thing. Right? So when you set up a system like this, you find that person. And of course there’s more details to it, but it’s not, it’s not rocket science then, uh, all of a sudden you have a steady stream of referrals just coming to you because you’re benefiting from someone else’s hard work and they’re benefiting from your work.
It doesn’t mean you don’t ever work or anything like that. But, um, my one, my original speaker soulmate has referred over a hundred speaking engagements to. And that means Stephanie, no cold calling, no Googling speaker opportunities and filling out long applications. You know, that’s the stuff that kills the dream of speakers, the cold calling and the rejection and the putting, you know, [00:12:00] put all the admin effort and not getting anything back or getting, um, a no that can kill your dreams really quick.
If you’re not super confident, cause you start going, oh, I wonder if. You know, is it me? Maybe I don’t have enough of this and maybe my thing’s not good. You know, all the things, but you don’t even know what’s real. If you don’t get the feedback. So this way you get that direct line, uh, referral and introduction, it makes it so much easier.
absolutely. And it’s, it’s one of those things that I think. I came across it accidentally just through using my networking skills. I was like, oh, well let me find a strategic partner. I didn’t call it speaker soul night or anything like that. But as we did it over years and even through moving and pandemics and it still works and it’s like, it’s, I think a lot of times entrepreneurs.
Think you have to get out there and get visible and meet as many people and go to as many this and hand out your cards virtually or otherwise, it, it, it can feel a little overwhelming and I’m like, honestly, if you just focus on the couple that handful and dig deeper rather than wider, you can really make a huge impact.
It doesn’t have to be that hard.[00:14:00]
And I’ll say OC stands for orange county. Cuz I live in orange county, California. We used to meet in person right across the street from the beach. But you know, when the pandemic hit, we, we meet virtually now and people ask me like, oh, are you gonna go back in person? I’m like, no, we’ve got people all over the world.
This is amazing. Everyone can join in. And we do speak a referral circles. When we meet, we meet this the first Tuesday of the month. One to three specific I was gonna say specific that’s so funny. Pacific there’s like comedian who says specifically speaking anyway. So, or specifically she always mixes those two.
So. Anyway, I started because I love collaborating, connecting, [00:15:00] networking, educating, supporting all those things. And so I thought, well, there’s not really anything for speakers out there. I’m trying to get, this was back, you know, almost 10 years ago. And I was like, I’m trying to get speaking engagements. So I’m gonna hang out with other people who are also trying to do that.
And then maybe we can like combine it’s I’m all about like being a kid, like let’s Brett put all toys in the middle and, you know, share instead of like, no, this is mine, you know, it’s like, yeah, it’s more fun. And so. I’ve been doing that since 2013. And I did that’s end up how that’s, how I ended up connecting with my speaker soulmate, but we didn’t really know what it was gonna turn into.
We just were like working together in an unofficially and it’s still an unofficial relationship, but it’s not like we have a contract or anything like that. You know, we just like each other and then. Once I realized how powerful and how, how many results each of us were getting from that relationship. I was like, oh, okay.
This is something. And I, I would tell people about it sort of, but [00:16:00] I, I didn’t really name it. I don’t remember when I named it, but it was like, oh yeah, this is, this is really cool. so now I, this is a thing. Yeah. And so I, obviously, I had mentioned BFF a couple times. That’s best friend forever. If you’re listening and you don’t know, and.
I’ve always been blessed with amazing female best friends in my life from the, as long as I can remember. And I started a podcast called how I met my BFF with one of my best friends from childhood. We grew up in Alaska together and we interview other best friends. And the more and more I think about as Stephanie, the more it’s kind of like, do you remember.
Everything I needed to know in life. I learned in kindergarten kind of a thing it’s like that only, like I learned from being a best friend. Like I think we should have more of those qualities and tactics, I guess you could say practices in business. Like, [00:17:00] would you, what would you do for your best friend?
How are you as a best friend? Like how can you bring the qualities that you bring to your best friendship into business? Because if you’re working, that’s a big part of your life, right? Why not have fun doing it? Why not really enjoy yourself doing it? So that’s what I’ve been thinking about lately.[00:18:00]
Um, yeah, in a way I don’t call it that, but here’s, we. Very intentionally and I’ve changed it over the years. You know, it’s been a long time, but the new iteration, the current iteration is we have what we call speaker mingle time, where when you come in, you go into breakout rooms with two or three other people.
And so you can just talk, I mean, I give a little bit of a guidance, but you can just really get to know each other, which I think is missing on zoom because just staring at the sea of muted. People is not super inspiring to a lot of speakers who like to talk. So it’s like get in there and mingle, chit chat about yourself.
Let’s make it work. And so then we come back and I facilitate a conversation about appointed topic and I always have like a lot of content to share if they wanna opt into that, like they can get free content, but I usually just do a couple tidbits and it’s typically a topic that is hot, you know? Um, are you using a CRM to get speaking gigs?
Uh, do you have a speaker reel? How do you, [00:19:00] um, create a vision for your speaking? What else should we, how do you get on podcasts? So I’ll do like, just like different things that are kind of around speaking, but I don’t present, like everyone needs to be quiet and listen to me, I give a little bit of tidbits and then we facilitate a conversation.
So that way, if. Some people on the call have never been on a podcast. Other people are like, oh, I have a podcast. Do you wanna be a guest on like, here’s what I’ve learned? Here’s the software that I have, whatever. And that way it’s really like having a cause I call it the speaker. So, uh, speaker. Network and lounge, like I want it to people to feel like they’re in my living room, we’re hanging out, we’re having this cool dialogue.
It’s back and forth as much as you can on zoom. Right. I think we’ve kind of lost a little bit of that in zoom, but now it’s possible. So I try to make that happen. Then we move into what I call speaker referral circles. You go back into breakout rooms. Now we’ve all kinda loosened up a little bit. We know like, we know, you know, we know what you do, and you’ve had a chance to talk to people, but you then ask for something specific.
Like this is [00:20:00] the type of referral I’m looking for, who can support, who can help. And I give examples of how you can support someone that you maybe just met. You know, it’s, what’s low risk. What’s, what’s comfortable. You’re not forced to do anything, but. That’s how the magic happens. Sometimes people say, how did you get so many speaking gigs?
I’m like from being nice to people and asking for what I, I, I know what I need and I ask for it and then they give it to me and I give back. Right. That’s that’s the magic, honestly.[00:21:00]
Yeah. If they, if, and certainly open I’ll, I’ll give a link at the end. If people wanna have a conversation with me about that. Definitely. I recommend starting with getting your, what I call, get your talk, ready to rock. Meaning. If you it’s really hard to be a speaker, if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
And I know when someone’s not ready, cause they’ll say, oh Stephanie, what’s your topic? What do you speak on you? Go, oh, I speak on anything like finance and bookkeeping. And I’m like, well, that’s not a talk title. So if you were really a speaker, you’d say, well, my talk is like, you know, da, da, da. And you would kind of know it.
Like I wouldn’t expect to have a a hundred percent memorized, but you would be able to speak confidently about the topic. Right. And so. If you’re going to say you’re a speaker. That will be the first question people ask you. Oh, what do you speak about? And so you really wanna make [00:22:00] sure, I always say you wanna be ready to be ready?
Like if you ask me tomorrow and that’s like my little litmus test, if someone asks you to speak tomorrow, would you be able to say yes, I can. I’ll be there. Done. I want you to be able to speak in a box with a Fox in a boat with a goat, right? Like you can do it and you don’t you don’t be like, oh my God, I don’t have my slides.
Why, why would you not have your, oh, I don’t, I don’t know what my talk is called. Why? Well then how can you say you’re a speaker? a little bit of tough love, but like let, but, but let’s get you ready to be ready. And the other side of that oh, sorry. The other side of that is a lot of times people think, oh, cool.
I just need my talk and then I can be a speaker. I’m like, well, that’s the first step, in my opinion, that is like the first step. And when I work with people, we’re not just like creating a talk out of like basket weaving. I mean, it’s gotta match your business, your audience. So there’s STR strategy that goes into this type of talk.
That’s gonna attract clients, right? So it’s not just a talk [00:23:00] about. Soybeans, you know what I mean? It’s, it’s a talk that makes sense for your business, but then it’s creating a strategy to get that talk out there. Like how are you going to get booked? And that’s why my companies like get speaking gigs.
It’s not just like, get your talk done. That’s just part of it. that’s the first little step. Yeah.
Mm-hmm perfect. Exactly. Love.
Exactly. That’s so powerful, Stephanie, because I always say, I always say, um, I look a lot of [00:24:00] metaphors that obviously I had a fun childhood, I guess, because I always say you don’t want any rocks and dirt on the slip and slide, right? Like you wanna just slide right through, like you just, nothing can adhere, you know?
So if you can get your slip and slide already to go have it ready to go that way you slide on right through. And it’s like, energetically, if you’re not ready, you are. I, I hear this from people who aren’t my clients yet, who are like, you know, talking to me about being my clients or becoming my clients and they’ll say, oh, I, you know, I know I’m ready to get started on this because I keep turning, speaking engagements away.
I, you know, was asked and I never called them back. I didn’t follow up. And I’m like, that is money on the table. Like. Stop it right. We wanna . And it’s also a sign that you have something valuable. If people are saying, oh, I want you to speak. Then you wanna take that? And let’s work on the fears and the anxieties and the resistance and all the dirt and rocks on the slip slide.
Let’s get it off there. And that’s what I like to do. Help people with.[00:25:00]
Oh, my gosh, I get quest. I get asked this question a lot and I think my, my answer might surprise you. I don’t. [00:26:00] Think a lot about that, because it’s more about what strategy works for my client and why. And I don’t think of it like Mac versus PC or paid versus not paid. I think what makes the most sense for your business?
Where are you gonna get the most bang for your buck? And there have been many, many times where not only have I not charged a speaker fee, um, I’ve waived my fee. We’ll call it that instead of speaking for free, right. A little little shift there. But I’ve made, you know, five figures in a speaking engagement where I wasn’t able to sell and I wasn’t getting paid a speaker.
That’s very good. That’s very great. And so when you’re thinking about, okay, if I have my talk ready to rock and it guides people to that next step in becoming a client, is that, and like you said, I love what you said about, and that’s a key being very strategic about what you say yes to, if you are literally being put in front of your ideal clients and or prospects.
[00:27:00] That is, could be worth way, way more than a speaker fee. Okay. So there’s, so that’s just my stance in general. That’s my stance. So I don’t go, uh, and I have clients who do, who do all, all, all. Yes. And like they will waive their speaker fee or they get paid, um, as speaker fee, depending on, on the client and the talk.
So it’s not so much like a. There’s this magic thing that has to happen when you, when you shift into it. Cuz some people start as a paid speaker and they don’t have a lot of experience. Usually I find that it helps if you’ve had experience. Like it sounds like just from what you said, you’ve, you’ve been out there, you’ve done the things you’ve gotten, you know, you’re ready to go.
That. You already have some confidence, like, okay. And I know I’m really good. I’ve gotten tons of feedback. I’ve, you know, it’s been, I’ve been doing this for a long time. I think I’m ready to step it up. That’s then you go, like you start shifting your strategy. Okay. Then where would this paid speaking [00:28:00] engagements be for me?
And would it still make sense for me to do that? Like, does it make sense for me to travel or are they, can I do that virtually? Have I written a book lately? Have, you know, what’s my social media reach, like, um, Are my, are my clients at those places. Right. So like really thinking about all those pieces. I don’t know if that answers your question exactly, but that’s how I would approach it.
Yeah, that’s, that’s a big myth mistake that I see, especially women’s [00:30:00] speakers make is giving so much content. I call it either. Thanksgiving dinner, your audience, where you’re just, they’re so full and pass out on the couch after your talk. Cause they can’t process all the stuff that you told them. And then often there’s a.
Our receiving muscle can be an atrophy where we’re uncomfortable or maybe we just haven’t had sales experience ever. And then selling from stage. Oh my gosh. Like talk about ratcheting up your anxiety and resistance and any money issues that come up, all the things can come up right. And get triggered.
Cuz no one could do your pushups for you when you’re on stage. So it’s about, so when I work closely with people, it’s like, okay, How would you feel comfortable offering whatever that thing is? Do you like that? Are you in love with your offer? Are you in love with that next step? Do you feel again, all the rocks and dirt are off the slip and side, so you’re just like, so.
Generously lovingly giving this next step [00:31:00] instead of like, oh my God, I don’t know what they’re gonna think. I don’t think I’m selling. And, uh, I don’t wanna feel uncomfortable asking, like, that’s not gonna get you sales when you’re coming from this worry place. So that’s another thing that I’ll work on with people on the, get your talk.
When I, when I work with them one on one, it’s like, I’m listening. I’m watching, I’m listening to their ton of voice. I’m listening to like, are they excited? Dreading? Where are we on the scale of like your offer? Because if you’re not into it, no, one’s gonna, why would anyone be into it if you’re not into it?
Well, I’ve had a lot of it, a lot, a lot, a lot of experience over the years with sales in general, and I’ve sold lots of different things. I will say for me, I always needed to believe in what I was selling. Otherwise it wasn’t gonna happen. Like I worked for Z for, oh, I should say I worked for a large.
Company for two weeks, one time, this isn’t, you know, when I was in my twenties and it was miserable. Cause I hated, I just wasn’t. I didn’t, I couldn’t feel it. I was like, there is nothing special about this thing that I’m trying to sell. It’s just, it was torture. But, um, I also. Didn’t think of myself as a salesperson or I didn’t wanna go into sales, which is ironic.
Cause I, you know, that’s what most of my career was [00:33:00] in. I remember I got interviewed, um, when I was looking for my first like real job after getting my master’s degree and I go into the executive recruiter and he’s like, you know, you should be in sales. And I was like, oh no, no, no, no, I don’t know. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Well he was a better salesperson than I was because I job, you know, and. And, and I have to say that did lead me into another sales job that I really did love and, and so on and so forth. And my dad used to teach sales and he would teach, you know, as a hypno therapist, he would teach. I mean, he was getting his own clients as well, and he would teach NLP techniques.
And so I just, I think I was sort of marinated in a lot of it without even knowing that. Doing it. Um, but it, it always has to come for me. There is that big integrity piece. Like I’m not gonna sell anyone, anything. It’s gotta be something that I believe in. And I think that they’re gonna really be benefiting from.[00:34:00]
Yes. And like there’s something, or if there’s any, again, it goes back to that slip side thing. Like any resistance, I’m always, I’m like a little resistance detector. Like where are we in the process of like, what, like one of my clients was afraid to send emails out. I’m like, okay, well then let’s talk about that.
Let’s have a, what’s the worst thing that could happen. What are the fears that come up? Okay, well, they’re gonna come up every time we send an email. So how can we work on that? And. So it could be just being on the stage. It could be, there’s so many different. Our minds are so complex. So that’s another thing that I’ll help people.
It’s like, it’s not a one size fits all. It is not, but anywhere along the path that we’re stopping ourselves from that success from helping other people, that’s where I’m like, okay, how can we, how can we turn this around?[00:35:00]
Oh, okay. Well, they can get, you can get, if you’re listening the five top tips to get more speaking gigs. Woohoo. You wanna get that at, get speaking gigs now.com. So that’s get speaking gigs with the S now.com because you want more than one gig, right? You wanna get more than one gig? Um, If you’re hearing this and you’re thinking, oh my.
She is speaking my language. Like I really wanna do this. I really wanna make a big impact with my message. I’m not really sure where to start, but like, if you’re a coach or you, you know, you have a program or product, or like, you know that like, gosh, if you just got a couple clients, you you’d be great, like that could make a [00:36:00] big difference in your life.
And you really love teaching people then. You can go ahead to, um, get speaking gigs now.com/chat and book what I call speaker readiness assessment. And that is an opportunity for us to just do a deep dive and find out like, what’s going on? What’s your vision? What are you trying to create? How can I support you with that?
Um, what’s holding you back all those things and we’ll have a juicy conversation about, about you and what you’d like to achieve. And if I can support you in. Moving forward. We’ll talk about that too. And that’s at get speaking gigs now. Dot com slash chat.
Thanks for listening to the 100 degrees of entrepreneurship podcast. To access our show notes and bonus content, visit 100degreesconsulting.com/podcast. Make sure to snap a screenshot on your phone of this episode and tag me on Instagram, @stephanie.skry and I’ll be sure to share. Thanks for being here, friends, and I’ll see you next time.