Get Out of Your Way and Start Becoming Truly Influential

As a self-proclaimed learner, I’m almost always taking a course, reading a book, or listening to an educational podcast. My latest indulgence is a course called  “Speak to Inspire” with Lisa Nichols

Now I’ve been a speaker, storyteller, and facilitator for years, so I thought I would take this course to pick up one or two little nuggets. But Lisa has other plans, and in this 30-day course, with bite-sized deliveries, she’s already given me pages of notes, and I’m only on day four. 

I loved the analogy she used of a perfectly cooked steak. It’s hot and sizzling and seasoned to perfection. Imagine I serve that steak up to you on the lid of a garbage can. All of a sudden, that perfectly seasoned steak doesn’t look so appealing. 

But if you put that same sizzling steak on a beautiful plate atop a silver tray. You’re going to think that steak is a meal fit for a queen. 

That steak is your message. How you present your message to people will have them either pushing it away in disgust or gobbling it down, asking for more. Such rich imagery! 

In this blog, I’m sharing a few of the insights I’ve gained from the course so far. I’m hoping you’ll find something here that might help you when it comes to speaking to one person or a thousand. 

Speaking to Be Heard vs The Art of Enrollment

Speaking to be heard is like serving up that big, beautiful steak on the garbage can lid. We’re speaking from ego, wanting to make sure you say what you need to say, but not in a conscious way. 

“Speaking to be heard is unconsciously emphasizing the importance of the words I’m saying. 

Now, I have to be real with you; the first time I heard this, I was like, “yeah, isn’t that what I’m supposed to be doing?” 

But then Lisa opened my heart to a new perspective, and it cracked me open. She introduces the idea of mastering the art of enrollment. 

Did you catch where the focus is when we’re speaking to enroll others? It’s on them! 

Finding out what’s essential to the people you’re speaking to and then build from that special place. 

From this place, there’s nothing for us to defend; nothing for us to prove; nothing for us to protect; nothing for us to hide. 

You can see how that is a muscle of mastery and not something that will happen overnight. It takes an intention and then attention. That is masterful influencing skills. 

I’ve had a couple of incidents just this week when I served up my message on a dirty garbage can lid. Not my proudest moments, but so helpful to learn how to do it differently next time. 

Stories are the Heartbeat of Connection

If you know me at all, you know that I love stories. After creating and hosting several storytelling shows and teaching storytelling to hundreds of people, I know the power of a great story. 

Lisa Nichols does too! And she said something in a way that I hadn’t heard so succinctly before. 

“Your amazing stories are disguised as a moment or incident in time. They just don’t look like stories yet.” 

Great stories are birthed from incidents you have every day. 

When I actively hosted and told stories regularly on stages all over Chicago, I was glad when something “bad” would happen. Even in the middle of it, I knew there would be a story that could come out of it. 

Our crawling through the mud, crying on the kitchen floor, losing our shit stories are the best connectors of all. Because they say to your listener I’m like you; I’ve been where you might be too. You are not alone. 

There’s so much more from this class I’ll be sharing in the future. I do hope you were able to take something away today that resonated with you.