This week you’re getting TWO speaking coaches in one episode! For the first time EVER on the show, I’m sharing my mic with my “competitor” to bring you the most amazing conversation on all things speaking, storytelling and the five stage languages YOU must master to become magnetic on stage.
You’re going to be obsessed with today’s guest: speaking coach, storytelling and communication expert— Mike Ganino. So whether you're a first time-speaker or a seasoned speaker, this episode is going to make you laugh… and take ALL the notes. I’m advance— you’re so welcome ;)
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Heather Sager 01:03Well, Hey friends, welcome back to another episode. We'll do a quick intro today because I have a treat for you. I know I say this all the time, but this is going to be a good one. We are doing a first ever on the show where I am bringing on a fellow speaking coach. We're going to kind of geek out on a lot of things speaking but specifically to help you, the online business owner, get your speaking skills down. We're going to demystify a couple things, get into storytelling, and we're going to talk about a couple big things with storytelling. Today we're gonna talk about being on stages, stage presence. We're going to jam out on my favorite thing around delivery skills and really what you need to keep in mind when you're showing up on stages beyond just your message, and Mike shares with you what he calls his five stage languages, which might sound familiar but with different words, and I think you're gonna love it.
So let me tell you quickly about our guest today, Mike Ganino. He's a speaking coach. I met Mike a year and a half ago, almost two years ago, actually. So he was an emcee at a conference where my client was hosting. So I was working, that was when I worked with Tyler McCall on his opening and closing keynote for his big online business summit, Online Business Conference. I can't remember the name of it exactly, but so it was an awesome event that he did virtually. He asked me to come in and help him with his opening story and in his closing for the event, and I had the chance at one of our planning meetings to meet Mike who is the emcee for the event. And incidentally, I say this in the episode but I told Mike which I had never told him before. Instantly know that thing where you meet someone who's your direct competition and you're like, sizing them up? And you're so like, Okay, what do I got going on? Like, oh, instantly, I tried for like a half a second to do like the size up thing, and I instantly was, I was drawn to him.
Mike is magnetic. He's captivating. He's charming. He's funny. He knows how to command a room. And one of the hardest things being an emcee on a stage is being able to like, blend that cheesiness factor, but also without being so cheesy. He did that really, really well. But he's a professional speaker and speaking coach. I'll give you the formal bio. He's created what's called the Mic Drop method. He's also got a podcast called the Mic Drop moment. It's awesome. Like, it's really good. You should go listen. But if you'd like his style today, definitely go binge his podcast and be sure to give him some love on social media and tag us both, so we can tell Mike that our show was pretty awesome. And hopefully we can have him back. One of the things we talked about the show was that it would be super fun for us to do speaker reaction videos on YouTube, where we actually watch people's keynotes and we sit together and do some reactions. I thought that would be fun, so be sure to post on social if you would love us to do that, but let me give you the official. Mike is a public speaking, storytelling and performance coach. He is amazing at his communication expertise. I'm reading his bio in a very terrible way right now. This is why I don't read bios, y'all. This is probably less than learn.
Anyways, Mike has been named some of the top public speaking coaches by Yahoo Finance and as California's best speaking and communication about coach by Corporate Vision magazine. He's got a whole laundry list of fancy things with his bio, so I'm gonna drop it in the show notes so you can read it so we can jump into the episode and I can stop this embarrassing ramble but here's what you need to develop Mike. He's the real frickin deal. He knows what it takes to show up on stage, tell a story but one that's actually useful for an audience. You see, there's an art form when it comes to storytelling that a lot of people get caught up in this idea of just telling stories because they think they should but there's actually a performance factor that goes into storytelling. It starts with really having your intentions in place, and Mike's going to talk through that today in the episode so without any more rambling or delay, although, I can't promise there's not rambling because we both totally ramble in this episode. It's so freakin good. I want to pass the mic over to Mike in this episode. I hope you enjoy Well, Hey friends, welcome back to another episode. I am freaking stoked for today y'all because I have never ever had another speaking coach on the show and today, we are popping the peer cherry. That sounded so weird, but I feel like that oddly works for this introduction. Mike. Welcome awkwardly to the show.
Mike Ganino 06:42
I love having my peer cherry popped.
Heather Sager 06:48
I feel like this is so indicative of being on my show, as you never know what the hell is going to happen, and here we are, Mike.
Mike Ganino 06:56
This feels like our DMs. This feels like us in the DMs, voice messaging back and forth about whatever random marginalia we're talking about.
Heather Sager 07:05
Yeah, here's the thing. I mean, we talk a lot about the show of like, being real and having fun relationships so here we are with that. Okay, so in the official intro y'all heard a little bit more about Mike, but let's just let's jump right into it. I have to say, I think I told this to you before. But Mike the moment I met you, which was in a Zoom meeting, now almost two years ago, which sounds crazy. Instantly, I was like, who is this character? And I had the hint of going oh, wait, he's a speaking coach. And for a half a second, I was did the whole like judgy evaluation thing, and then instantly, I'm like, no, I love him. I love him and I need to know Him and I need to be friends with him. And now here we are, I've clawed my way into your universe.
Mike Ganino 07:10
So here we are cherries popped.
Heather Sager 07:16
Yes, it totally is. So okay, so Mike, why don't you give the like non official bio for yourself. I'm dying to know. I actually want to know is this question. How the hell did you become a speaking coach?
Mike Ganino 08:06
You know, it was really accidental for me. I spent in my early 20s, I was in Chicago and I really wanted to get into theater. And so I was a flight attendant and I was doing improv and sketch and writing and acting in commercials while I wasn't on a plane. And I really, really wanted to keep following that path but I'm also type one diabetic. And so it's impossible, it was impossible back then, before the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, for me to get health insurance that wasn't employer related. They wouldn't cover me with diabetes. They just couldn't say no. It wasn't that it was expensive. They could say no. So I always had to have a real job. I could never just do like a side job and, you know, wait tables, and then work in and do theater because I needed the benefits that came from that. And back then in 2001, nobody was giving benefits to hourly employees like we do now, and so I had to keep working in the restaurant industry. I stayed. I got way more successful there than I was doing theater and all of that because I was doing it part time.
And so years later, I sold the restaurant company, and I was ready to do the next thing. I started speaking and a client after about a year of speaking and this is in 2014 now. A client came and said, Hey, can we have you come back this year? We want to work with you again, and I thought oh, great, yeah. You have high turnover so it was a hotel group. You have high turnover so it's new people. So yeah, I'll come back and give the message again. And they're like, no, no, we don't want you to speak. And I thought to myself, you know, once an actor, always an actor, like my whole life, and I thought you're not the first people to tell me you would pay me to shut up. And what they wanted was for me to come and coach their executive team on their speeches for the event because everyone remember the stuff I told them. They remember the stories about my grandma working with her at Pizza Hut. They remembered all of these little pieces of it. And they never remembered any of the things that they needed to know to do their job. That they needed to know the new initiatives and the way they were going and how things were going. They didn't remember any of it because of the delivery and the content. And so they said, can you come back and work with our executive team? And I thought, okay, yeah, sure. I made up some, you know, they're like, how much is that? It was like, I have a very clear pricing schedule for that because I have no idea so I made up some pricing. Let me look at my offers real quick. And I said this much and this is what we'll do. And they're like, Okay, yeah, great, let's do it, and I went in person. They'd already, you know, like, the marketing team had written the presentations for them. And I went into, like, punch up the presentations and the delivery, the performance of it. And I remember then being like, Oh, this is how the, like, 15, 20 years in the restaurant industry as an executive, and all of that time on stages in theater, figuring out how to blend the two. This is what I'm supposed to be doing with all of that, you know, because you hear those messages of like, what is your purpose? What are you doing, and I was like, I was like crying on camera, and laughing on stages, and then running restaurant companies. I don't know what the purpose of that is, and I finally found it then.
So I quickly pivoted and started working almost exclusively with people on either storytelling, like their brand storytelling, helping them think about their, you know, what they say in orientation, or what they say when they go out and speak at a conference. I worked with a lot of tech startup founders here in Los Angeles with General Assembly and things like that, helping them figure out what their story was and how it would come out of their mouths. Because as you know, we both know, it doesn't matter what someone wrote down for you, what are you delivering? And that's really how it all started. And then from there, I thought, I really liked the coaching of speaking a lot more than I really liked speaking. Although I like speaking about speaking, so I don't know.
Heather Sager 11:51
It's a weird love. It's a weird love. People always make the joke all the time around like, Oh, it's so meta. It like this is a very specific example of life. Because it's not just the speaking thing, right? This thing, anything about what we do. It's not just about the speaking on stage, like piece. It's a skill that people talk to people all the time so they're always speaking. So it's just constantly this meta thing that everything that you do transcends over everywhere.
Mike Ganino 12:15
So yeah I mean, we were talking before about just people going on podcast and introducing themselves, and they would never think to come to us, and say, like, hey, I need help with that. But it's, why are you going on a podcast? You're probably going on a podcast to get people to be interested in you, to want to listen to the rest of the podcast episode, and right at the beginning of that intro, we blow it, and that's public speaking, like you're saying, you know, like, all of those are opportunities for us to share our stories and to connect with people.
Heather Sager 12:43
Yeah. Okay. I love that. Let's jump into it. One of the things I really wanted to talk about today is, as I mentioned, when I had first met you, instantly, I was like, Oh my gosh, this guy is lovable, likeable, interesting, like, helpful. Like, there's so many things that came to mind right away, and it's not just in the words that we say, it's just the how that you carry yourself. And I know, one of the challenges a lot of entrepreneurs face, right, is they spend their time on their keyboards, like trying to prime in the perfect caption or trying to write out their blog post, or whatever that is, right? And then they go to open their mouth, and it comes out flat. They are just like the ER of communication and they don't want that. So why don't we dive into the heart of, the idea of, I'm curious how you navigate this with your clients around how to help someone realize that you're not boring, and you don't have to sound boring.
Mike Ganino 13:35
I think it's, it's so hard, because I always want to be the person that says we can like strip content from delivery, and almost always the delivery issues or content issues, I find. I really wish that my company, that my business could just be performance coaching, but almost always in the performance, the issue is the content, that you don't actually believe what you're saying, you don't feel comfortable saying what you're saying, and so it comes across a certain way, or it was so difficult the message that you had to memorize it and recite it and now you're reciting something, so of course you sound boring, because you're worried about getting the words right, instead of really thinking about what am I trying to achieve here? What is my goal here? In the in the world of theater, in the world of acting really, there's something called taking actions, and I call it verbing the target because I think it's a little easier. A lot of people think of performers of actors and they think, Oh, they're pretending to be something all the time. And I say no, that's like that soap opera actress. If you're pretending like I'm mad and I want you to know, I'm mad, but we're never just mad, ever. We're always like, I want to punish you right now. My intention is punish you. So my verb is punish Heather. That would be a version of mad. Also, it could be scold Heather. That could be a different version of that.
Heather Sager 14:53
Why are we coming after Heather?
Mike Ganino 14:57
You know, I just make it a real because we're here together. So the thing that I always think about is when we're thinking of performance and being boring, often what's boring is that we have no relationship with the words we're saying. And when we're saying them, we don't really know like, what am I trying to achieve with it? Am I trying to console Heather? Am I trying to reward Heather? I try. I'm making it better now. Am I trying to comfort Heather? Because in real life, you know, whenever I get feedback on performance, being, you know, that sounds inauthentic, that sounds phony, I think. Well, the way that you talk to your kids versus your husband versus your neighbor versus me right now is all different, and they're all authentic versions of Heather. But they're all different versions, because you have different goals in mind, right? Like, with my daughter, if I want to soothe her because she fell and she's crying, then I'm going to respond a different way than if I want to, like, scare her from falling. I'm going to respond a different way because we have a different goal. And what I find often happens, the reason that it comes across boring, or the reason that we feel halfway through that we're like, why am I still talking I'm bored, is because there's no energy with the intention behind it. We don't know what we're trying to do to someone. It's just words I memorized and now I'm here sharing it with you. That's usually what I think is the big issue.
Heather Sager 16:17
Yeah. So how does that typically come out for someone that you wouldn't notice like, right? When somebody is either, somebody that we see a lot, especially in the online marketing space which a lot of our listeners are navigating right now is that they're taking language that they got from other people thinking that like, oh, I have to say it this way, or I have to incorporate this kind of message in order for people to take action. How do you help navigate with someone who's will say, has become a parrot to other people's messages or they're kind of going through the motions pulling from someone else's script?
Mike Ganino 16:52
For me, that's why I really, really double down at it. Almost everyone who works with me, somebody who comes in, they're like, Oh, I just want to work on this content, like, I just got to be really honest. I'm gonna push you really hard to tell your story of this, and it doesn't mean we need to tell the story of your life because I don't think we have one. We have many little story. And we don't want autobiography, anyway. We want memoir or we want personal essay on stage. And so what I always think about is, when I see that, when I see someone doing the thing, where it's like, Oh, I know where you swiped this idea from? I just say, what is your personal relationship with this? When did you witness this? And a lot of times, that'll be like, well, I don't know. Okay, well, let's keep digging until we find it because the solution to it sounding like you and feeling like you is we need to figure out like where in your bones, where in your psyche and your aura, whatever you're into, where did you experience this and can we pull from there? Can we pull the actual words you want to say? The feeling from that place versus I just wrote this down or I took it. This is what happens a lot. And I'm sure this happens with you as well, because so many of the people that we both work with I think so are online entrepreneurs, that they take copy from a from a sales page, and then they try to make that their like persuasive speech.
Heather Sager 18:07
Mike Ganino 18:07
And it's like, well, no, that's not people who are reading that with a very different mindset than they are sitting here to experience you and so we need to rethink that. So what I see a lot is people coming with either autobiographical thing that they wrote down, and it's like, here's how it happened, and then that doesn't sound natural or real. So I said, Well, tell me more about this. What did it feel like what was going on? Let's be trim it down, but explode it out as well. So we don't need to cover as much space, let's cover less space and go deeper. And the same thing when they have that like sales page speech that's like, oh, this feels like you're reading to me a copy from a sales page. Well, tell me more about how you experienced this? How do you know that? I always think I push people all the time when they make claims in a speech and it's like, you can never have a great life without a dog. Okay, when did you experience that? How do you know it to be true? What proof do you have from that? Can you show me from your life, from your experiences where that happened? And that almost always really opens people up and it fixes the boring thing because now it's like, oh, yeah, actually, there was a time when I was little and I didn't have a dog and my life sucked, let me tell you about that, and we can usually find something interesting in that.
Heather Sager 19:18
Okay, I love, I love that you brought this up. Immediately what came to mind for me was an analogy I use a lot but never in this way but I think it applies here. When you were talking about the mistake of people making using the sales script to then become their talk, right?
Mike Ganino 19:35
Heather Sager 19:35
I think about okay, so we all I mean, 97% of us in the world travel with iPhones or some kind of smart phone thing, right? I think about when we use our maps or our Google Maps for directions to get to somewhere and we no longer pay attention to where we're driving or what's happening. It's just tell us to turn left, turn right, estimated mileage like, if you're not present with it, right? When you get to the destination, you have no idea how you got there and you become reliant on the map. I think about like, that's what happens when you use that sales page piece, right? Where it's just like you're going through the motions but the experience of the drive itself, you did not notice anything. And I don't know, I think about like, it's different. My phone died a couple of weeks ago and I had to make my way across Portland with no map which was a whole new experience. But like, I noticed so many things that I had not seen in a very long time and just the journey and experience of it was way more fun, right? I don't know, but
Mike Ganino 20:35
I think it works because your audience doesn't, your audience didn't show up to just have you say, we're here and we're gonna get there. Send me the blog post if that's the case, like, send me the thing I can read on my own. I didn't fly here, I didn't travel here, I didn't clear my day to watch you here in order for you to just told me the seven steps to Instagram thing that I could have read on your blog. So like, can you take me on the journey? And part of that journey, as you're saying so beautifully, I think is the guide posting and the mile posting along the way and what is going to be like? What does that transformation going to be like for them? And often, we can't really go there if we're not willing to think about what was my journey like to thinking this? You know, like, how did you become a person who knew the seven steps of the Instagram thing? What was your path like? Probably your audience is gonna go on that same journey so why not make that the path you take them on versus trying to just tell them these are the things you need to know and listen to me because that's what people run into, right? I'm going to front load this with telling you all the reasons you should listen to me because I'm smart, I've done this and I've been featured on and I've been there, I've been this and share the stage with so and so. That's why you should listen to me. Now let me speak to you with my seven steps which you could have written a blog. Taking them on the journey, beginning to end. The same psychological journey you probably went on to understand that thing. That's power. That's power, and it's exactly what you're saying about noticing how you got to Portland?
Heather Sager 22:00
Yeah, okay. I love that. And you know, one of the things when we think about taking on the journey or doing the storytelling piece, I was creeping in your stories a couple of weeks ago, and you were doing a good like behind the scenes after one of your days with a client. And you were talking about the something around the juxtaposition between stories and facts and be able to pepper in things to create an experience. Can you talk a little bit about that because I think a lot of people struggle because they think they're either, they're so like, they want the proof, the data. They really love the numbers, the facts piece, or people put themselves in the camp of like, I just love the stories, I'm not a data person, but you do a really good job of blending both and talk about like, why you need both? Can you do a little mic drop that for a moment?
Mike Ganino 22:44
I think probably I'm trying to remember what I was talking about. I think that I probably was talking about the idea of like needing to humanize the information you're sharing, needing to humanize the facts, because that, again, if it's just the facts then just send me the blog post and the data. What I needed to do is bring them to life, to put them, to humanize them, to give them some shape for me so I understand how to, how they fit into this transformational journey. They need that context of understanding where does this fit into, what's going on, what's not because again, the saying of people don't like change, whether it's true or not true. At the beginning of a talk, if we just say, here's the things you need to do. The audience is you know, maybe, but also like, I don't know, it's kind of easy to stick over here. And if we can put that into humanizing those facts with bringing some real life experiences to it, whether it's yours or your own. You know, you have speakers like Brene Brown who use her own stories to humanize the facts, but you have a speaker like Simon Sinek, who doesn't, we don't know anything about him. He doesn't share his personal life on stage but he humanizes the facts through his delivery. We know exactly how he feels about what he's saying. And the companies that don't start with why, the companies where leaders don't eat last, we know exactly how he feels from his performance and he brings in other stories from wherever, you know, to help humanize the information he's sharing. And so I think that that's something that across the board, we should be looking at when we outline a talk and we say, okay, here's what I want to share, looking at it and saying, how can I humanize this? How can I bring this to life? And then, you know, either I say the fact first and then I tell you a time about I learned it or I tell you that I learned it and then here's what I took away from it. But it's really, I think it's really, there are so many people out there who could probably teach things that we teach. So if we don't bring our perspective, our story of how we experienced it and what it looked like to it, then I think it makes us a little bit replaceable. And so I think that the answer to impostor syndrome, the answer to unremarkable illness, the answer to a marketing issue, reputation issue, is to dive deeper into those facts you want to share, how did you experience them, or when you saw them happening, how did you feel about what you saw, why should we be outraged with you? And I think that those are the speakers, they look at the people that we see really moving people, I think they do that really, really well, you know, versus just saying, here's some data about vulnerability. Try out them.
Heather Sager 25:21
So, okay, I love, some of the words you're using around, it's like, how did you experience that, or what's your perspective of that, or why do you believe that? What you're hitting on here is I know, something that you're really passionate about is this idea that so many people think that I don't have any good stories, because they hear that Brene Brown, who tells brilliant, hilarious, but very vulnerable stories, it's kind of her thing, or Mel Robbins is really great at going off on stories, or whoever you can think of when they think of a stage, typically, the person has perfected the story to have a really good balance of humor and vulnerability and there's just so much detail that you stick with it. And then the average person is like, I mean, I read novels, or I watch Netflix, but I don't have any big dramatic moments in my life. Therefore, the narrative is, I don't have any good stories, which you and I both know, is not true. So I know, I talked about this all the time and I have a full episode around the myth that we don't have good stories, but people never still believe me. So Mike, can you like help, like, be my wing man on this and help people understand that, like, you don't have to have the crazy giant stories.
Mike Ganino 26:27
I think actually, that the crazy giant stories actually make you less relatable. Like, I've worked with astronauts who've been up in space, looking back at Earth, I've worked with Mount Everest climber telling the story, I've worked with some really like remarkable things happen to these people. And you know what the issue is, they can't just get there and talk about sitting on the edge of space because the people in audience are like, I have no, I can't relate to that.
Heather Sager 26:51
I'm just imagining the story moment. It's like, you know, that feeling when the rockets about to take off and they're turning off all the buttons and the headsets in your breath? And you're like, no, I do not know that moment.
Mike Ganino 27:02
Right. Like, you know, scary it is when you're floating around space. No, I don't know what that's like. So they have that relatability issue with those big old juicy stories, where it becomes, what we have to find for them are the moments of like real deep personal. The more personal, the more universal it will be, and so we've really got to dive into what that's like. So even like the astronaut, I remember talking about like being on that edge of space and looking back and I thought, well, what else was that like? When else have you felt that? What did it make you think of? What else was, what were places where you've experienced something like that before, because that's how we can find a way in for the audience, because those big stories, and we see this all the time with celebrities who go on talk shows. They don't talk about like their big extravagant lives, because that's unrelatable in a way, because like, I don't know what that's like, like, they don't go on and talk about having a personal shoppers go for them to the grocery store. They don't do that. They go on and they share to being at the gas station, or a funny thing that happened here, a funny thing that had here. They don't share those moments that are unrelatable, and so they share basic little things and they say, what's the insight in this? And I think that that's, I think somewhat freeing is that we don't have to. Nobody wants our autobiographies, you know, unless you're a famous historical person. They want the memoir. They want you to say, you know what, I'm going to look at coffee cups in a really interesting way that I think you might have looked at too you might have experienced as well. And that is really, really I think where stage power comes from, where story power comes from, is really looking at those small moments because what happens to the audience is when you're talking about the the moments over coffee that have been really meaningful to you, what they're thinking about is their moments over coffee that are really meaningful to you. You know, forget all of this, I'm not even gonna get into this, like the brain fires a story, when my brain fires your brain, fires and we're both fired. Forget all of that. The power of story is that me sharing some deep moment about coffee and what it meant to me to sit across the table from my grandpa everyday sharing it, the audience would then think of like, well, who have I been across the table with? And it's such a personal story that you would think, well, that's really specific, sitting across the table from your grandpa every morning before he went to school and we would have coffee and we wouldn't really talk but sometimes we would talk, we just share what we're doing that day. That's very specific. But it's also something probably people in the audience start to say, well, who did I do that way? Maybe it was a dog, maybe it was roommate, maybe it was a friend. And that's the power of a really small story about coffee versus sitting on the edge of space is really, really unrelatable. And it might get you booked once, like, hey, come in and tell us the really remarkable thing. It's not going to get you booked again because the audience didn't feel anything. You know, they just were awe of you, but they didn't connect to you and that's the power. I think all of us regular folk have is the ability to get the audience to feel something that connects us versus just thinking we're really cool.
Heather Sager 30:02
Yeah, I like to say that it's the difference between an audience being impressed versus an audience being inspired.
Mike Ganino 30:10
Heather Sager 30:10
And there's a difference, right, is when those big stories can be really impressive, like, look what you did, like I can be in awe of your accomplishments. But if they're not inspired to do something with your accomplishments or your story, what's the point? Right? So there's a difference within that. I love that so much. You know, this is very random. As you were talking about those really silly moments, right, that are so relatable. I think about, I always forget about this. This is so dumb, but stupid shit, I share in my Instagram stories. So this like, I think this is all relatable for any business owner who's going to show up in stories more, what should I talk about, but like, stupid shit. Okay, I was traveling around this week at the time this recording. I flew down to San Diego to go to an event and I walk in my hotel room, and it was at a Marriott Vacation Club. It was like the cheapest thing I could find in the little area I was at and that it was three rooms. There was a bathroom, there was a living room, and there was a bedroom. It was like a big triangle. The bathroom was like the most ridiculously large bathroom on the planet. And I walk in and the toilet is in the center of the room. And I was just sitting there thinking like, I do not understand, there was like this back little galley area that looks like that's where the toilet should have gone. But somebody made a plumbing error and so they just put a counter there but there was no light and no mirror and it was this really weird, forgotten moment. And I just stood there thinking like, is this weird? Like, it's so weird that I think it's weird? Is it weird that I'm analyzing where the toilet is? So I went on my Instagram stories at a tour of my hotel and like, position the question, is this toilet placement weird? And I got more frickin DM replies about the toilet than I had for anything related to speaking in the last 30 days. So I'd like, it's just the power of the most ridiculous moment that if you've ever thought of this, is this weird? That probably is a damn good story to tell.
Mike Ganino 31:57
Yeah. And what a funny thing, like, even if you put it in law, like I'm sure in five years, you're gonna think of some way that this is related to putting your content in the right places, in your speech, there's going to be something where this is now a story you can use to highlight something else. I absolutely believe that.
Heather Sager 32:15
You know, it's funny with that, that might be actually a really good activity, I guess. We can use that word on here for people to do it. You probably do this too with your clients. I always telling people as you have interesting things come up, keep a log of your stories. We call it a story vault or a story bank. But what you just pointed out is the beauty of a lot of times we don't actually know how we'll use our stories, like what they'll connect to, but just cataloging them as they happen, we won't forget them and then we can always come back and pull them when we are like, oh, we need a story here to talk about something and come back later and you can connect the dots. But you don't always have to connect the dots just to tell a story, like I think it's kind of interesting.
Mike Ganino 32:36
Like the great thing too, I think for what makes, I think what makes it a story for stage is the perspective, not the thing that happened but perspective. And what's so great about that is again, this toilet incident in San Diego, your perspective on it can shift and it can mean lots of different things, like the what happened is not that interesting, what it meant or the perspective we take is what's so interesting. And I think one of the great things about that, that's kind of like freeing to the average folk like us is that like, it means that you have endless stories from the same five or six things that happened to you. You can look at them from different angles and have that same thing mean something different each time which I think it's just so, so lovely. It's so freeing in a way.
Heather Sager 33:39
Yeah, it is. It is. Okay, I really, really love that. Okay, that word perspective keeps coming back up. So I really, really liked that. Let's switch gears and talk about performance because I know that's something that with especially with your theater background. That's been something that you really excel at. I know a lot of people are challenged by the idea of being theatrical onstage. I think the word that comes to mind, people think like, oh, that means I have to act a certain way, that I have to show up in a way of somebody who's more charismatic than me, but that's not really what it means. Can you define a little bit more about you talk about when it comes to theatrical performance or delivery skills?
Mike Ganino 34:15
The first thing I always like to like highlight here is when we think about who are the people that if you really said like, these were people who are charismatic, almost always want to have people think of that it is people who are ridiculously present and not people who are ridiculously big energy. So a lot of times that I can think of a very specific people, there's a really famous British vocal theater coach and she has a great idea called, this great framework, called the second circle. First circle, second circle, third. First circle is and we all go through them all the time. There's not like I live in this one. We're always in and out of them. First circle is where you're kind of imploding a little bit. You're sending the message, don't talk to me, glasses on, I'm not interested. This is not available for you. Third circle is pushing energy. I call these Maverick speakers. This is the kind of coachy speakers who just kind of yell at you on stage and you leave feeling inspired. I'm thinking of one very specific person with a huge divorce situation, and or like the Tony Robbins of the world's kind of thing. It feels like oh my gosh, because they're just using pure conviction and energy to like, get you to do something. But it's like a comedian who gets you to laugh in the moment, but you don't leave thinking of anything. It's like, oh, I had a aha moment. But like, I'm not moved by that later, I'm not considering it. And then there's second circle, which is where you're really present where you are actually in relationship with the audience. And what I think a lot of people, when we hear the word charismatic, or we hear the word performance, or we hear the word theater, we think of those third circle, people who are just pushing. It's so big, it's all the time but that's really hard to connect with, you know. That's really hard to, for most of what we're doing, we're not in arenas needing to fill the room with our energy. We're trying to connect with the 500 people, the five people, the one person here with us. So that middle section is where the audience does affect you. The third circle, you're not affected by the audience, you're just shoving, pushing, not even aware of them. That second circle, you're in relationship with them back and forth. And what I think really charismatic people have when we really think about them, is they're in that place where they're really present with you, where it feels really alive when you're with them. And that is achievable for everybody, introvert, extrovert, ambivert, whatever kind of vert you are. That is possible for everyone because you're not trying to push and be something you're not, and none of us need to be actors on stage because that is where really bad delivery comes from, versus saying, what am I really, how do I feel about what I'm saying? And you can go back to that verb of the target I was talking about. What is my intention here? I want to be sad in this moment. But what is my goal here? Like, again, great actors are not pretending to be something. They're not saying, I want to be sad here, I want to be angry here. They're always aiming, and that's why it's called act. I'm acting on you, I'm not acting like something, I'm taking an action, I'm doing something. And so on stage, that's possible for everybody. Whether you are a big a big energy person or a quiet, calm person, you can constantly be modulating yourself based on what am I trying to do here. I'm trying to console them, I'm trying to accent them, I'm trying to enrage them, I'm trying to, you know, pick a verb to them. It also makes it much easier to connect one on one with people when we're talking about eye contact, which is wildly difficult for a lot of people. They're either doing a helicopter, or that helicopter, the sprinkler thing where it's like I am making eye contact but you feel it, nobody feels anything, or they're like looking just above the heads of the audience, or they're looking on the ground as if the answers to the test are there for them and that words are gonna pop up as their teleprompter, versus if I think of verbing the target, I think who I'm talking to her right now and I am in this part of my speech, I'm trying to enrage her, like I am enraged by this. So I don't have to pretend to be anything, I just have to say and do the things to be clear with my actions, what I'm trying to get done. And so that I think is possible for everyone and you don't have to pretend to be anyone else. You just have to say, okay, well, if I was trying to console her, what would I do? How would I act? How would I speak? And then you can play, we teach the five stage languages. Verbal, like what are the actual words you choose the fun alliterations and things, which is different than when you write them? The vocal, so the five places you can play pause, pitch, pacing, passion, punch. How can you play with those based on what is available to you, not being someone else? How can you play with their physicality? How can you play with visually what they see? And then how can you play with their imagination and embedding little images in their head? Those five stage languages regardless of if you're big, big, like shot or rowdy energy or you're calm and you don't ever move on stage, those are available to all of us to whatever degree they're available to us. And that is how I think most people can find a way to be really effective in performance is to say, I'm just making choices on what's available to me through that lens because most people never thought about that. Like, oh, I have choices with my voice, I have choices with this. I never think about that. They just think I just show up and do something. But depending on what we're trying to do, we can modulate quite a bit.
Heather Sager 39:40
Yeah, I'd love that. What would you say of the languages?
Mike Ganino 39:43
Oh, there are five stage languages. Yeah. Verbal, vocal, physical, visual, imaginative.
Heather Sager 39:52
Perfect. I love it. Okay, great, great, great example. When we were talking and you mentioned before, around how when it comes to information should write like, people can do what you do, right? This is just very indicative of what Mike just described. That's his language around the same things that I teach, right? I just put words on him, and how beautiful it is, we're gonna go like pull back the curtain here for a second and break the show, and then we'll come back into it. But I want to give you all a real time example, because many of you are operating your business right now totally terrified that there are other people that are out in this universe that do the exact same thing that you do. Let me just be clear, Mike. And I technically do the exact same thing but you can get the flavor of just listening to us. We drive really well together but we both have very different personalities, very different examples, different language around our stuff and there is more than enough space for both of us. In fact, like we're having fun talking about this shit together, right? But like just this idea, I hope that this episode today becomes a great example for any of you who are freaking the F- out around having, quote-unquote, competitors, or being worried that other people are doing the same shit as you like, get over it, get over it and start focusing on how can you, I think what you're specifically talking about here, Mike, this theatrical piece these languages on stage, this transcends offstage. So thinking about when you show up on social, when you think about writing your emails, when you think about copy, like just think about what makes you uniquely different, and what you're talking about here, transcend into that. So I really want to hit on that because I think a lot of people shy away from it. And they just say a lot of bullshit rah-rah around like, be more you, nobody compete with you, you are value and I say, no. Like, if you want to have a successful business, you sure as hell better have people who do what you do. Otherwise, there's no market for what you do. Oh, my gosh, just my little random little soapbox.
Mike Ganino 41:37
I love it.
Heather Sager 41:38
I think we got to call that out. So going through the languages, I love that you said that. From your perspective, what do you think is the biggest opportunity area for people? I know it probably change, varies on the person. But do you see across the board of across those five languages of what people really need to focus on?
Mike Ganino 41:57
The two biggest ones are physical and they're also the two that give you the biggest, like a little bit of work on them gives you the biggest punch, the physical and the vocal because a lot of people think like, well, this is just where I am. And it's like, okay, but if you think of verbing the target, right? What would you do here? Well, I would, and I try to avoid there's something in directing in theater, theater film, called line reading. Line reading is where I'd say, Heather, say it like this. I didn't want to go. That's called a line reading where I'm telling you how to be and now you're being that actress, right, because it's like, I'm trying to mimic Mike versus if you were doing something they said, I don't, what are you trying to do here? And it's like, I want them to know I'm angry. Oh, you don't sound angry? So you want me to feel like angry with you? Yeah. So I don't know. I don't believe it's angry. What else do you got for anger? And then the the person that we're coaching the actress in the world of theater and TV, film, they can then figure out what is angry mean for me versus a line reading from the director. And so we try really hard in our program to not, and it's one of the ways that like other coaches that we've tried to bring in, it doesn't work because they want a line read too much. And it's like, oh, now they're just trying to be a version of you versus themselves. But the vocal and the physical are almost always and a little bit of work there, really can punch things up. And physical, the big thing is just you're on video, someone's doing video summits, they just get real stuck in uncomfortable positions. They don't, you know, I was told, you know, someone I shouldn't just gesticulate later, and it's like, I'm gay and Italian. I'm gonna just gesticulate all over the place. Okay but is it a
Heather Sager 43:35
I got really dirty, I know it's just a gesture word, but when you say gesticulate all over the place like it's really sound dirty, Mike.
Mike Ganino 43:43
It's giving the like beginning of the show to hear off the rails at this point. Okay?
Heather Sager 43:48
There are no rails on the heather Sager show
Mike Ganino 43:52
Those cool magnetic trades, it just floats. But the issue with gestures is, is it a a protective gesture or is it ineffective? Like are you doing it habitually? You're nervous versus an effective gesture that is actually helping you to share your message so I think, and then pacing in person. People moving and so we always talk about motivated movement of like, why did you move there and the other thing. This is a really fun little thing. The next time you're watching some live theater or even theater, even actors I think on on TV shows you would see this, and certainly really great stage performers, speakers. They always look where they're going to walk and then they go to it. So instead of just like Oh, I'm over here and then I'm gonna go over here. They always look, I see you I'm walking over there to you and I'm gonna talk to you for a minute and it feels really alive. It feels like have you ever, do you understand the same third rail energy like it's the third rail on the on the subway that's gonna like electrocute you. It feels like third rail energy and what happens then the audience is like, should I better? I'm engaged because that person's gonna come over me. Yeah, that's where engagement comes from not from getting your audience to tickle each other and give high fives. It comes from them feeling like this is visceral, man. Like what's going on? And that is physical and vocal, almost always.
Heather Sager 45:15
Yes. Okay, I love it. I 1,000% agree with both of those two things. It's interesting. Okay. So anyway, if you're listening to this, most likely you're listening to the podcast, y'all come back and watch the YouTube video version of that. Go in the show notes because you can actually see, just naturally speaking, and Mike is not do anything crazy with his hands, gesticulating all over the place but you can actually see, right? When we talk about being comfortable on camera, like you have to start getting comfortable so it helps, right? Watch that slash go watch. Mike, do you have a YouTube channel? I should have asked you that before we started.
Mike Ganino 45:47
This is our big thing for the fall. You know, I was going through this process and it's like, what are the things instead of doing all the things that I want to be like, I just was really good at this. It's YouTube. So we're gonna start, we have a whole thing with YouTube. I'm gonna do a bunch of reaction videos.
Heather Sager 46:00
Great. Oh that's what I want to do. Okay.
Mike Ganino 46:03
We can do it together. Will you come on?
Heather Sager 46:06
I would totally do that like that's been on my list for a while. Like, I would love to do reaction videos like that's fun.
Mike Ganino 46:11
Fun, fun, fun. Well, we'll find someone fun and we'll do one together. That would be really fun.
Heather Sager 46:17
That sounds good. So I want to say to y'all, I'm going to point to a lot of Mike's, he's got some incredible content. You have to follow him on Instagram because he's just fun to watch him and his very adorable daughter in his Instagram stories. Like, she's so cute. She's so freaking cute so will follow along. But Mike has really really good content and amazing podcasts where if you liked his style around how he teaches, it's very aligned, y'all. If you are interested in becoming a better speaker, you have to start absorbing more information and trying things out on your own. So expand it, go listen to Mike's podcast. There's so many credible guests on them and really great content. And then Mike, as you mentioned, has incredible program and one of the things that he does is he actually works with people one on one in LA. So I know y'all, you love me. You can work with me. You can work with Mike. I just want you to share your message out with the world. So Mike, the best place for them to learn more about you is at mikeganino.com. Correct?
Mike Ganino 47:08
Yeah, yeah, we got it all there. You just wander around and find what you need.
Heather Sager 47:12
Okay, perfect. Okay, I love that. So we'll get that. If you had to, let's go like a big wind up. We're closing at this interview question if you haven't gone on to that. What would you say, I'm not going to say the question where I asked for your best piece of advice but based off of our conversation today, I know that there's probably something on your mind that you want to share with the audience to close wit, so I'm going to wind up and hand it over to you.
Mike Ganino 47:37
There's no difference to an audience between you and the words you're saying. What I mean by that is you are a message in this place. It's different when it's in writing. I've got your book, I've got your ebook, I've got your handout, I'm on your site, looking at your copy, those things can do the heavy lifting for you. Branding could do the heavy lifting for you. When you show up, which is why it's so powerful. This thing that Heather and I help people with is so powerful. When you show up and you open your mouth, and you look around and you start to move and you see someone and you move towards them, or you just gesticulate all over the place, they cannot separate you from your message. So all of the time that we spend working on slides, working on words, working on bullet points, working on scripting is futile and absolutely worthless. If we don't also spend time controlling, getting into relationship with this vessel. And I don't care what your size, what your ability, what any of those things are, right? But this body of yours is your tool. When you step on those stages, when you turn on that video screen, when you open up your Instagram, or Tiktok, or whatever you're doing there and you're going to do something, it is no longer about the words you say, it is about the full being of you, all of you. And every single part of you is a piece of that message and make it so that the audience cannot take their eyes off of you. That is possible and that is available for all of us.
Heather Sager 49:17
Amen, brother. I love and I couldn't agree more. Thank you so much, Mike for being on the show here today. And just I mean, true gift. I know it sounds super cheesy but what a gift. You and I have been chatting for a long time we've had the idea of being able to chat together and so I just love the fact that we were able to share this today with our audience and I am just so grateful for you. So thank you so much for being here. Y'all give Mike some love on Instagram, go check out his website. He's got some incredible resources. Please go give him all the love, and would you let us know what you do with today's information? Like we want to know how you use it. So if it inspires you to go shoot a story about a toilet or tell a random story in your next video, whatever that looks like. Be sure to circle back and tell us because that's probably the best part of what we do is actually watching people use our information to share their stories. All right, Mike, thanks for being here.
Mike Ganino 50:06
Thank you for having me.
Heather Sager 50:07
All right,friends, and we'll see you again next week. Bye for now!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai