The Heather Sager Show

The difference between good, great and exceptional speaking (and why you should care)

February 14, 2022 Heather Sager Episode 136
The Heather Sager Show
The difference between good, great and exceptional speaking (and why you should care)
Show Notes Transcript

Do you consider yourself a good presenter? Maybe you’ve worked hard at it— or maybe you were born with natural talent.

Maybe you wouldn’t classify yourself as “good” when it comes to speaking to audiences (but you’d like to).

Either way, the important question to ask yourself  is— what measuring stick are you using to make that evaluation? Chances are it’s all just— feeling.

And while emotion is critical when it comes to speaking, it isn’t the best assessment tool ;)

Truth is — it’s difficult to measure our own skill of speaking when there isn’t always numerical data to pull from. I mean, sure, when we use speaking for growing our online businesses, core metrics like leads and sales will tell us if we’re on track.

But if you are “off track”, how do you self correct to know exactly WHAT to work on?

Speaking is a SKILL. And in this episode, you’re going to learn how to evaluate yourself on the 5 levels of speaking. I’ll also walk you through my matrix for identifying skills to lean into in your business (and which to stop trying to learn).

Grab the show notes and full episode transcript here. ➡️

Ready to elevate your speaking skills so you can attract your ideal customers like a magnet?

—> Join the Speaking Workshops right here.  It’s my 3 Part Live Training Series created for the online entrepreneur ready to become a magnet sharing their message from live and virtual stages without second guessing what they say. It’s happening soon, so grab your spot asap.

Make your onstage moments grow your business 👉19 Magnetic Phrases to say on stages, podcasts & live video to send your ideal customer running to your opt-in 👈Grab this actionable, fill-in-the-blank style guide with swipe worthy examples to attract leads like a magnet (without sounding scripted or schmucky). 

Learn more —

>> CONNECT WITH HEATHER ON INSTAGRAM @theheathersager for daily tips and inspiration. 

Well, hey friend welcome back to another episode of the Heather Sager Show. I am thrilled you're here today. This episode, it's a good one. It's a good one and one that we all need. It's going to obviously relate to speaking and using your voice in business. But I also think you're going to be able to relate this to other areas of your life. So spoiler bonus, this will really help you in probably many areas. It also has helped me understand parenting a little bit more, but more on that later. Let's do a quick live update before we dive into the content today. I am on, to the time of this recording, I recorded on Friday before this episode airs. I'm on day 16 of 75 Hard. If you've been following me for a while, you know, this is the second time that I've done it. Well, technically, third time because the second time I did it I had to quit but anyways. I'm sore. That's what I wanted to say. I'm sore and I am uncomfortable. And I also am covered in bruises which you might be thinking what the hell what are you doing yourself, lady. I'm not do anything crazy. Well, I'm doing something crazy. I'm doing walks every day. I am working out every day. I'm doing my AB rehab program to heal my separated ABS which were discovered last spring. If you're listening the show, you're like girl, stop talking about this shit. Well, here I am. I'm just giving you the updates because there's a point to this, I promise. 


Anyways, part of the things that I've realized is it isn't just about getting my body like back into movement and stretching. I have, as you guys may have known, I have a bone condition I was born with called osteogenesis imperfecta which means I have brittle bones so I broke a ton of bones growing up as a kid. It's the reason why I have a hearing loss and we're hearing aids because the bones in my ears don't work, story for another day. But what I've discovered is the whole how osteogenesis imperfecta works. It's because of the collagen levels in my body. And one of the areas that it impacts which is not studied very well yet, is the impact of fascia which if you are not familiar with how the body works, all of our muscles and organs and everything is wrapped in this layer of, for lack of a better term, what's called plastic wrap. It's obviously not plastic wrap, but it's called fascia. And when your fascia is tight, you cannot fully access your muscles. So fun story. I have been foam rolling and really working on stretching out and loosening up my fascia. And I discovered this really awesome product. I'm not going to get into it. Maybe I'll share on that later on my Instagram. But it's this tool that you use and you rub, it looks like a sex toy to be perfectly honest with you. But it's it's like a massager, which sounds even more like a sex toy but whatever. You rub your, I'm doing it right now, like you rub your, rub it across your like arms, and your legs, and stuff. 


Anyways, because of my sensitivity, my arms and my legs are covered in bruises, and it's so, oh my gosh, it's just crazy. I don't know, I don't know why I feel like they need to tell you all this. But it does actually apply to what we're talking about today. I'll make that connection here in just a moment. But the point of the story is I'm sore. I am uncomfortable, because I'm starting this new workout routine, but I feel good. I feel like I'm making progress even though I look. I look like I got in a really ridiculous fight with a tiny gnome who poked me with some kind of tiny broom. They're like little dots everywhere, anyways. Okay, so what's the connection on this in what we're talking about today? Well, here's the thing when you start something new, it's uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable, and in some cases, pretty painful, and you might not necessarily see progress before you feel progress and that's really what we're gonna dive in today. Because I think a lot of times, we're specifically talking about speaking today, and I'll get to that in a moment. But I think a lot of times, it's hard for us to acknowledge and honor our progress. It's also difficult for us to fully evaluate how we're actually performing at something when maybe there's not always numbers or results to pull from. 


So let me start with this question, when was the last time that you tried something new. And I'm not talking about trying a new fad, molecular gastronomy, restaurant or something or doing something like dry January or what I'm doing, 75 Hard. I'm not talking about that kind of thing. I'm talking about a new activity, like playing the piano or rock climbing or maybe a new skill in your business, like learning Facebook ads, which I'm doing right now. I really want you to think back and ask yourself, real honest question. When was the time you tried something new like that? You got it. You got that time in mind? Follow up question. Were you any good at it? Were you any good at it? And typically, this could be answered, I would say in three ways. You either say oh, hell no, I was terrible at it. And you were like, I'm never doing this thing again. 


So for example, let's say you decided to try doing cold showers and you tried it and you hated it. You were like hell no. You're not that that requires any skill but whatever. Go with me on that metaphor. But you tried it, you sucked at it and you said no freakin way so you gave up. Maybe you tried it, and you were actually pretty okay at it, pretty good at it so you did it again, or maybe you're terrible at it but you kind of enjoyed it so you made the decision to work at it and get better. Wherever you landed on that, I really want you to think about how this idea of trying something new, how it relates to so many different things in our business. 


Now, when we think about our businesses, a phrase or a word, I talk about this word all the time. But we don't always think about this in context, what we do in business. We think about all these things we have to do, all these tasks we have to do. But I want you to really own the idea of skill. What skills do we need to be effective in our business? And it's not really a word that's you, it's a word used a lot in corporate when it comes to HR, like one of the competencies and skills of our employees. But in the entrepreneur space, I don't know, we're a little more like creative and look at all this fun, exciting stuff we get to do. And there are social, there's marketing, there's email, there's podcasts or YouTube, digital courses, coaching. There's all these things, but we don't necessarily think about them as skills. But many of these things actually require acquired skills. 


And when it comes to skills, what I want you to consider is where you fall on the map of skill. So I want to give you two tools today in which to think about your skills, think about the tasks that you do in your life for business, and evaluate whether or not you should be doing them. And then we're going to talk through how to pinpoint exactly where you're at on the skill of speaking, so that you can figure out where you go next, you ready? Now, this is an audio episode, obviously. You're going to have to bear with me because I'm going to paint the picture of a visual here for you in a moment. I'm going to visually describe a matrix and you're smart. I'll describe what that is and you'll be able to visualize that, but I'm going to walk you through a matrix, and then I'm going to walk you through the other ones not really a visual framework, but if you could follow me along, if you've consuming my content before or been through my workshops, you know, I'm really huge on drawing out information visually to help you remember it and understand how it fits together so called frameworks. I'm going to walk you through again, two of these today. 


So when we approach this idea of a skill, so this new thing that we're going to be trying that requires skill, I want you to think about there's a matrix, which if you're not familiar with that word, it's simply put, it's a square that has four quadrants. Okay? And on the, I want you to think about the two sides of the square. It would be the vertical axis versus the X, vertical versus Y. I don't remember which one's X and which one's Y, but whatever. Okay, you have two different variables we're looking, how good you are at the thing and the second one is how much you enjoy the thing so follow me for a second. On one side, it's you're good at it the other side, you suck. I'm the other way we look at it is on one side, you enjoy it and the other side, you hate. Okay, very, very simply put so let's look through our options. 


Number one, if you suck at something, and you hate doing it, you should quit right now, in my humble opinion. If you suck, and you don't enjoy it, you should quit. Second area we can look at is if you're actually good or kind of good at something, but you still don't enjoy it, you should quit. And when I say quit, I'm using this very simply. I'm not getting into the sophistications of business around you should. Stop doing it. You should delegate, you should hire. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm just talking about for you with a certain skill or task, if you're good at it, but you don't enjoy it quit because it'll drain the shit out of you. End of appoint. Third area what you think about is if you suck at something, but you enjoy it, work on it. If you suck at something, but you enjoy it, work on it. 


Now let's use reality here for a moment. The example I like to use with this is you know the show American Idol. It was super hot when I graduated from high school. Those first couple years after high school, when Kelly Clarkson was on and a moment like this, everything I can remember, oh my gosh. Anyways, my favorite week of watching American Idol had nothing to do with the winners and everything to do with the first week where they had America's worst singers who for some reason delusionally thought that they were amazing. You know what I'm talking about, right? It's the audition week. And I know it was all for promotion and getting views. But oh my gosh, were so many, it's like, for every one singer, there was 43 terrible ones. And based off of the drama they put on TV, these people thought that they were good. This is an example of they really enjoyed it. They loved it, but they sucked. 


Now for you, you need to have a heavy dose of reality here. If you're trying to become a singer and you were terrible at it, bless your heart. Keep singing, but please don't make a profession out of it. What I'm talking about here is, let's use an example in business. Let's say right now, let's use speaking. Let's say right now that you freaking suck. Sorry, we're just gonna say let's pretend for a moment that you suck. You get sweaty all over in your body, and would you show up or even think about showing up to speak? It just doesn't come out. You fumble on your words. It's just a little a little bit of like, it doesn't work, right, to the point you're not even doing it. But let's say that you actually really enjoy helping other people. So you have this desire to connect with people and you see yourself as the kind of person who could do it, but you just currently suck at it. Okay, if that's you, work on it. Okay, that's the quadrant you're in. You can think about other things. 


For example, if you suck at writing right now, but you actually enjoy it. You can develop the skill of writing and so on and so forth. You can think about so many things in your business and life, that's the third quadrant. You suck, but you enjoy it. You're going to work on it. Now, if you're good at something and you enjoy it, this doesn't mean you get to live in this little square and all will be good. Because if you're already good at something and you enjoy it, your focus is to become exceptional. Because in life and business, if we just sit in our goodness, if we just say, oh, we're naturally good at this, or oh, we've come far enough like this is good. What happens is the world around us evolves, and the pace in which the skills and expectations of those around us grow, they start outpacing our goodness and what starts to happen is that good is no longer good enough for the results we want so then it erodes on our enjoyment of that thing. 


You follow what I'm saying here? You have to think about what your natural skill set is with a skill set you've developed paired with your enjoyment of that skill or task, and make smart decisions of where you're going to put your energy for which skills to grow. So if you suck, and you don't enjoy it, quit. If you're good, and you don't enjoy it, quit. Essentially, bottom line, if you don't enjoy something, quit, but make sure that you're not labeling yourself as not enjoying it because you actually don't enjoy it, not because you don't enjoy sucking at something. Notice that nuance difference, right? If you feel like I tried something and you sucked at it, so therefore you didn't like it, because you don't enjoy it, I'll give you the same advice that I give my seven year old. Just because you suck at something does not mean you will always suck at something. So imagine yourself being good at that thing and then ask yourself the question, would you still hate it if you were good? Well, if you're good and you still don't enjoy it, well, then you quit. You follow me with those two there? If you don't enjoy it, ultimately, you quit. But if you suck, and you enjoy it, you work on it. But if you're good and you enjoy it, you become exceptional. 


I'm going to lay out this grid if you go to the show notes on here. We will actually put this grid in the show notes on my website so you can link those wherever you're listening to this video, listen to this audio, whatever it is we're doing here. I think that'd be really powerful for you because it helps you when you start feeling the sense of stuckness, the sense of what the hell am I doing right now, right here. For me, this gives me a lot of clarity around is this something I actually want to be working on. Now this episode isn't about your hobbies. Although, I mean, you can apply these principles, of course, to rock climbing or whatever else I mentioned earlier, but this really is about speaking in your business. So let's think about this in the context of speaking. 


Now if you're listening to my show, I know that you already know or if you're new around here, and let me just clarify. When I say speaking in your business, I'm not just talking about speaking on traditional stages. I always say a stage is simply a platform to share your message so I want you broadening your definition of what speaking looks like. You can speak sure on stages at events, at virtual summits, at virtual events. Speaking also takes place when you show up on Facebook Lives or Instagram lives, or in your course videos, or in YouTube videos or any other videos that you do in your business. It can be speaking like I am now on podcasts or guests, you know, on other people's podcasts. It can be speaking on panels. It can even be your coaching calls inside your programs or with your one on one clients or even sales calls. All of these are what I call stages. And every time that you step on to a stage, you were using your voice. 


So my question is, where are you at with it? Do you suck? Do you enjoy it? Are you kind of good? Are you in between the, I'm not really exceptional, I don't know but I would say I'm good, but I'm okay. It's where do you fall in it? All of these things I just mentioned, these stages. These are what you could call quote-unquote tasks in your business and they require you to speak with your audience. Again, I'm going to ask you the question, what is your current skill level if you were being super honest with yourself? You know, the other day I was listening to a replay of a coaching call inside coaching program that I'm in, that I'm actually a member of. The coach, Coach Brown, he was sharing the story of when he got started. And he has a very successful seven figure business. He's been doing this a very, very long time. And he was talking about when he initially, it was back in his career actually. He was going up to do a presentation and he was really resistant of doing the presentation and his boss at the time was like what the heck is going on? He's like, I just don't want to mess it up. I just don't want to suck. And his boss looked at him and said something like, well, there's your problem. He said, why? His boss said, you're going to suck. You have to like, you literally have to, I don't want to say you literally have to suck, because whoa, like, whoa, that's going out the wrong hole. But you actually have to, oh, my gosh, the tangents on this episode are so great. I can't believe I started the episode saying my sex toys and that I just had something about literally sucking it. And then my mind went there and now yours went there and now here we are. 


Anyways, back to the story of Coach Brown and his mentor boss. His boss said, you have to suck because you have to start to like, you have to start there, right, you're gonna be bad before you can do it enough times to get good. And when you're good, you can only like before you get like, you have to get good and then you become great and then you keep going until you become exceptional. I can't remember what he used specifically in his language. But it's this idea that, I say this all the time. As entrepreneurs, we've experienced some level of success in whatever our niches that we do, whatever level professionalism. We've experienced success before. And I think the biggest challenge for high performance like you and I, I'm just gonna assume that if you're listening to show you are a high performer, and that, you know, you have some damn good skills. Let's just give each other high five and say, we got going on here. 


But the challenge that you and I both have, is when we start new things, we expect our past experience and past success to make us somehow we get a hall pass to be good at this new thing we're doing. So for example, just because you've had great success and you've rocked it at certain areas, before, you have this vision in your mind of how you want to show up, let's say on a stage. Let's use an example of on a podcast interview. You've listened to so many podcasts interviews, so many great ones, so many terrible ones. You have this picture in your head of how you want to show up but yet when you do, you fumble, and it does not match that picture you have for yourself, so you get, oh, pissed about it and then you don't do it. You plan a little bit more and you say, okay, how can I work to get better at it, and not allow yourself to show up fully because it is not as good as you expect for yourself? 


Well, let me tell you, friend, you got to suck it up. You got to like be terrible at it before you can get better. And if you want to become great, you got to start there. Now the tricky thing here is if you have any sense of natural talent. If you have any natural talent when it comes to any skill, but specifically, let's talk about speaking here. Here's what happens. When you have natural talent for something, you adopt the belief, I'm good at this. I'm really good at this. And you have two choices with that. So let's say if you're like me, I'll just be point blank. I'm not going to pretend that I'm just like you, I was a terrible speaker. I was a terrible speaker, terrible in relation to where I am now. But when you look at any of my personality profiles, I have a natural gift with words. I'm going to own that. I'm never going to sugarcoat or tell any of my clients or students that somehow were just the same. I'm just like you. I'm not special. I think when people say that on their webinars, by the way, and all that other stuff, it's bullshit. We all know it. There's something natural and special about that person, right? And for me, I am a really good communicators. That's a strength I've always had. Now I haven't been comfortable always using it. I haven't been comfortable using my voice and I've had to learn how to be more intentional and how to get really exceptional with speaking. 


But when you're naturally good at something, you adopt this belief, oh, I'm good at this so therefore I don't have to work very hard but you have two crossroads. You can choose door number one. I don't know if you can hear my dogs barking out there. They're wrestling. Hang on, hang on real quick. I gotta go take care of this dog situation. Okay, here we go. Doggies are good. We're back. So when you have natural talent, you adopt the belief. I'm good at this. I'm good at this. And you then have two choices with that skill. So let me make this relative to speaking. I attract a lot of people who are good at speaking. They love being in front of groups. They thrive on it, love the energy of it. They don't have any fear around it, or if they did, they've since got over it, but they love it, right. But the question is they don't want to be good. They want to be great. So this is where you get to choose which path you go on. If you're naturally good at something you can be like Venus and Serena Williams, and lean in and say how can I become the best in the world at this skill? You go all in and you say, alright, I'm going to learn everything I can to fine tune this skill to become exceptional. That's one path.


What I see most people do is they take a second path, they what I would say is ride the glory train of their talent like a foot thing about by the way, glory train is that inappropriate term? I don't think so. I don't know that just spilled out. Anyways, they ride the train of saying I'm actually good at this, like, I'm gonna run with it. And it reminds me of like, the kid who peaked in high school, if you think about it, like they were the most popular kid, they were really great at football, and they were like the star. And here we are 20 years later and they haven't gone anywhere. They're still working. I don't know where at the local ice cream shop scooping ice cream, this very same job they had when they graduated high school. I don't know, nothing against you if you work at ice cream shop. I love ice cream. I would eat so much ice cream if I went to an ice cream shop. But what I'm saying here is there's a difference between resting on your natural talent and refining your natural talent to become exceptional. Because what I found and this was me for years, natural talent can be a blinder, because it can feed your ego. Your ego was saying you're really good at this. You were so born like this, man, like you're so lucky, you're so good at this, you're amazing at this and that ego will destroy your business. 


As entrepreneurs, we have to commit to being a work in progress even when we're good at something. We cannot say that we have mastered it, or we are rocking at it or whatever else. We are a work in progress. We continue to refine it. We have to own that we are a work in progress and we don't downplay it. We don't apologize for it. And we most definitely do not undervalue what we bring when we are working progress. Just because we're working progress does not mean that we're not qualified and equipped and amazing at what we do. Example, for me, I'm a speaking coach, and I am constantly figuring out how can I be better? How can I use better examples? How can I slow down, maybe be a little less offensive or rambly at times. Granted, this is my podcast. This is my casual stage, y'all. We're having like a fun coffee chat conversation here. But I'm constantly thinking, how can I get better? What can I do to make myself better, and I share those lessons with my students. But just because I'm working on it does not make me any less qualified to teach you how to become a badass speaker in your own right. 


We have to shed this idea that because we're learning a skill, but because since we're growing, somehow that makes us less worthy of being an expert or qualified. And granted, you got to think about what you're doing. If you literally just learned a skill last week, you should not be out in the world teaching it in my opinion as an expert, at least. So we have to be able to own this work in progress. So let's own where we are right now with the skill of speaking. I'm going to give you five levels that you can think about and I want you to peg where you are right now. And more importantly, I want you to identify where do you want to be 90 days from now, so that you can hone in on the craft of speaking. By the way, there's a ton of podcast episodes you can listen to on the show to help you with that. But the point is on these touch points we mentioned earlier, sales calls, coaching calls, live streams or visibility efforts like virtual summits, podcast interviews, speaking, event stages, all of those things are touch points that you have with a prospective audience or your existing audience. And you're either showcasing a level of your brand that speaks to your intentions, or you are eroding your brand perception of the audience. So you have to continually elevate your skills in order to come across as the brand you desire other people to see you as. 


So let's go through the levels. These aren't overly, not a fancy here, y'all so I'm going to give them to you and then we're gonna clarify it. So level number one you suck. And I say that term loosely is not like an offensive thing. But we've all sucked at something right and I want to use it as more of a permission to make you laugh at yourself to be like yeah, I suck right now and that's fine because we're moving to level two. So number one, you just suck. Number two, you're fine. Number three, you're good. Level four, you're great and level five, you were exceptional. You suck, fine, good, great, exceptional. A little cheeky playing on these things. And if maybe you're not so much the cheeky type might I recommend a different speaking coach. I have some recommendations, by the way. But for me, I'm gonna be cheeky with you, we're gonna have fun with it because learning is going to be messy. Just like for me with my health right now it is messy, and it's a little painful. And I have really weird bruises to prove it. But if we can't have fun with it, if we can't poke fun at ourselves and have fun in the learning process, we're gearing up for a really long emotionally draining road friend. So here we go. 


Level one, you suck. You get to figure out what this means to you. But what I define as the oh my gosh, you suck level is this is you've never done it before. Whether it could be you've never done a sales call before, or you've never done a virtual summit before, or you've never spoken on a Facebook live before or you've never gotten paid to speak before. Whatever it is the thing we're talking about here, if it's the first time you're doing it, it's okay. You're gonna suck it up a little bit. Give yourself the gift of taking the pressure off and just saying, my goal here is to get through it, to learn how to get better. You're in the stage of not knowing what you're doing. You're just kind of figuring it out, just trying to get comfortable with what the thing is. For me, I love level one. And that's going to sound really weird. But I love this level when I'm trying new things because it gives me permission to leave my need to be really good at things. It allows me to leave at the door. It actually forces me to leave the door. Because here's the thing, if I try something new and I actually am not in the I suck zone, I have to really ask myself the bigger question, am I pushing myself here? Am I only choosing to do things that I am naturally good at because that feels safe? And I think if you're not taking risks, you're not really stretching your potential. Boom, that was a mic drop there. If you're not taking risks to be uncomfortable, you're not actually stretching your true potential, not meeting your true potential. So I like this level, I think give yourself permission, if you're there. Great. Own it. Because hats off to you, you started. And now we can have some frickin fun and figure out how you can become better. 


Level two is you're fine. You're showing up. You're probably still nervous, maybe you're a little clunky with it. You probably don't know how to tell a lot of stories here. But the your fine level means that you can do it. You probably don't get results from it, or at least the results that you'd like, but you're fine. This is your safe zone. We're not dying here but we're fine. But you also have this, like the immediate need of I don't want to be fine like I'm an I need to get better. So moving into level three is you're good. Now at this level here, this is the level I would say that a lot of people enter with natural talent. You're good. You're most likely have this entertaining quality factor about you, maybe you're good at storytelling, maybe not as intentional as you would like them to be. But you're good at stories, you bring an entertainment factor to it. You bring interesting content that gets people thinking. People actually give you feedback that was really good. Level three is a great place to be in. However, if you're an entrepreneur, and your voice is actually a tool to drive more interest and desire for your programs and products, good is not good enough. 


So level four, this is where you're great. You are really embodying more of an entertainment factor. You use a variety of emotions. You start bringing in strong content that structure well. Maybe you've subscribed to a few things like my stuff, or it starts helping you structure in some messages and messaging. And your content seems to strike that chord, wow, this was exactly what I was looking for. It's that just in time for them to hear it kind of content. And the cool part of when you're great your audience actually uses your content. Know the nuance difference between the level three, you're good and level four, you're great. Level three, you get them thinking. Level four, you get them acting. 


Now a lot of entrepreneurs the highest they will get this level for your great and that is an exceptional level to strive for because you're resonating with your audience. You are making an impact. People are using your information. You're great but there's another level. There's always another level to strive for this level of being an exceptional communicator. I'm still striving for it. I would argue I'm living in it and I'm striving for the next level of it. But when you're exceptional, you leave a lasting impression that has a ripple effect to the people you speak to because you have impacted their life.


Now you might be listening going, I don't really need to be the big motivational speaker of my era, that might not be you. And that's cool. I want you to strive to be your version of great and continue to refine that because there's always a next level within level four. But if you're listening, you're like, oh, I really want to make a significant impact in the world with my message. I want other people thinking about my message for months and years to come, decades to come. If you were born with this little, this is gonna sound so cheesy, but following me, you were born with this little like, seed planted in your heart that you're meant to do really, really, really big things with your work. It requires you becoming exceptional with your speaking skills. It's up to you to evaluate where you are. None of these is good or bad even though I technically use the you suck and you're good. Sorry about that. But it's just a metric like, like an odometer on a car, speedometer, odometer, whatever the thing is here. It just evaluates where you are. That's it. It evaluates where you are right now and you get to set the desire of where you want to be with your skills. 


But what I would really take away from this is this, when you think about these levels, I want you to imagine them stacked on top of each other right now at the bottom. Level one, you stuck. Level two, you're fine. Level three, you're good. Level four, you're great. Level five, you're exceptional. We're stacking bricks, one on top of the other. I want you to think about this main difference between the bottom and the top. On the bottom of this stack of bricks, focused primarily on yourself. What are people gonna think of me? What am I going to say? What if I screw up? What if I fall on my face on a stage which I have before? What if all these scenarios, right, the focus is on yourself. The secret to getting to the top of that stack and living has an exceptional communicator with other people as an exceptional speaker, is when you're there, your focus is on the people that you're talking to and with. You focus less on getting things so perfect, you focus less on rambling, insane sex toys on a podcast or your dogs interrupting you when you're barking or all these other little things that would break you out, lower down in the levels. But when you're at the highest level, I mean, it doesn't mean that you're going to show up totally blabbering and incompetent. But your focus is so much on your audience that you're able to deliver at a level that is exceptional. 


Now, it's not as simple as just saying focus more on your audience. There's things that need to happen in order for you to effectively focus on your audience. But you have to start with understanding and owning where you are and how where you are is impacting your business results. So let's go back to that list. Stages that you speak on right now. Are you speaking on event stages? Are you guys speaking other people's programs, virtual summits? Podcasts? How are those activities driving leads and awareness back into your brand? honest assessment. Let's think about ways that you're connecting with your current audience on Facebook Lives, on Instagram lives, thinking about your own podcast, doing videos for social media or for content, even your coaching calls or your sales calls? What's your level of results on those things? Your level of engagement, your average customer spend with you. Your conversion rates on your sales calls, your conversion rates on your launch? I mean, I don't mean to get all mathy and techie and geeky? Actually, I do. But the question is, it isn't just a feeling of how I feel about how I show up on these stages. The question is, what are the results you're getting? And the bigger question, are you satisfied with those results? What difference would it make to you in your business if you leveled up your communication skills and just one of these areas? Do you think that if you showed up a little bit more intentional, a little more focused, a little more polished, had more effective stories or talked about how people pay you without being all awkward, do you think then your business would grow? I know for me it was a game changer. Even though I went on a big long tangent about how I'm a natural communicator. I didn't know how to communicate for business. I didn't know how to craft persuasive messages. I didn't know how to make sales presentations and marketing. Those are things I've learned. In my now almost 20 year career. Holy crap, I'm getting old.


Did you know my high school reunion is happening here this summer? Side note, seriously, that's crazy town. How fun that time flies. But the beautiful part is when we can look back and say, wow, look at all of these skills I have pulled in all those experiences along the way that equipped me for where I'm at right now. You have so many skills that you're exceptional at. The question is how can we apply them into your speaking? How can you bring those gifts and skills that you refined into the messages that you bring to your audience? This week, your assignment, should you choose to accept it as to get really real and assess where you are. But more importantly, I want you to pick a milestone and say, where do I want to be in 90 days? Do I want to own my level at fine and move to good? Do I want to work on my level of good and say in 90 days, I want to be great? For those of you who are like great, how can you be even greater? Or how can you start making meaningful strides to become exceptional if that's your vision for yourself? I want you to answer that question with a resounding like, yes, that's where I want to go. This is a skill I don't want you to wait on because here's the thing, whether or not you acknowledge where you're at in that pyramid, you are on that pyramid, that layer of bricks, wherever you are on it, you're on it, so you can choose to acknowledge it or not, but you're on it. And the longer that you resist owning where you are, the longer you're going to stay stuck at a level that you are. 


So if you happen to be one of the scary souls, I feel you that you're terrified of showing your face or showing up live or pitching that podcast. If you're sitting there and you're not actually getting on the stage because you're afraid that you're actually going to map out and suck,  newsflash for you, you're at level suck. Hiding from the stage or not, it's not going to change it so you may as well get your tush on that stage. Suck it up while your audience is small, so that you can start making strides to fine, to good, to great, on your way to exceptional. That's the thing. I want you to own the shit show that is. Sometimes when we show up to record or we show up to speak, it's not always going to be perfect but what matters is that you're there. It matters that you show up and you use every single opportunity to get better. 


And hey, as you're listening to this, if you're thinking like yeah, all right, that's preaching again. She also yelled at me and we did some really weird shit today. That's cool. But if you're thinking that yeah, I do want to get better at this. I do not want this thing to be another put it on the shelf, think about it later because it is a skill that you're already using. The question is, is the skill getting better? If you want to learn how to get better at the skill of speaking, you want to be more intentional with your voice, if you want to start leveraging your voice as a way to actually attract clients and make your call to actions and your pitches of your offers more fluid and more magnetic to your ideal clients, well, here's your first step, friend. This is my little like segue way into my pitch today. If you're listening to this podcast episode at the week, it goes out or within those first couple weeks, this airs in the month of February 2022. I want to invite you to take the first step, grab your ticket to the speaking workshops. They are back. We have three live workshops over the course of two and a half weeks where I'm helping you level up your skills, your communication skills. If you participate in the speaking workshops in the fall, good news, we've retooled. We've refined. The focus on these workshops is specific to the skill of speaking, to help you get better at using your voice with more intention and more magnetism so that when you show up, people say holy wow, there's something about her, something about them that I just need to be around them and I want to learn more about them. How do you increase that oomph when people hear you speak both in how you speak and also the message that you bring. So if you want to join us for that you can head on over to workshops. If you're listening to this episode later in the year, still go to that link because you can get on the waitlist for the next time we do it or there'll probably be another workshops at some point this year. 


So with that friend, I want to thank you for joining today. Thank you for laughing along with me on my crazy randomness on some of these side tangents. But most importantly, I want to give you kudos for shining the light on yourself and really truly assessing where you are because just imagine when you own where you are. You can get so much better navigating where you want to go. So with that, friend, I can't wait to hear what resonates with this episode with you. Send me a message on Instagram and please tell me which tip, nugget or random awkward thing that I said that really made you laugh. Should we messaged at @theheathersager and I will see you next week.