How Storytelling Helps Business Owners Communicate, Featuring Robert Kennedy on The Entrepreneur MBA Podcast
In today’s Entrepreneur MBA podcast guest, Robert Kennedy from Kennetik Kommunications speaks with Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions, a leading provider of small business lines of credit, about how storytelling helps business owners communicate. They talk about the format of a story and why storytelling has been important & will continue to be important. They also talk about communication how important that is to storytelling because there is no storytelling without communication. Business owner communication is very important for storytelling so how good are business owners at telling stories.
Robert Kennedy III, RK3, didn’t know he liked to speak…yet he always found himself in the position to do so…at church (he’s a PK), at school (ended up being a teacher for a while), with music groups (formed, led and recorded) and in business (started several businesses). What he has ALWAYS loved is technology. He once took apart a radio just to see if he could put it back together. He got it back together but it was never the same. Oh well, he was just 11.
The technology, the speaking, and even the radio came together eventually as his background includes time as a news anchor, classroom teacher, and technology trainer. Now, he works with business leaders who need to connect with their teams, especially on video. He shows them how to connect using storytelling as a tool. When he’s not doing storytelling work, he’s probably dabbling with something in his home studio or hitting a ball of some sort.
About Stephen Halasnik, The Entrepreneur MBA Podcast and Financing Solutions Financing Solutions is a leading provider of small business lines of credit. The credit line is fast, easy, inexpensive, and costs nothing to set up making it great for emergencies or opportunities. Stephen Halasnik, Managing Partner of Financing Solutions is also the host of the popular, The Entrepreneur MBA Podcast. If you would like to learn more about the line of credit program, please visit Business Line of Credit Here or call at 862-207-4118.
There is one thing that people are not doing that I see negatively impacting their online presentations, virtual meetings, etc. What is the one critical thing that a lot of people still aren’t getting right? Eye contact? Yes, eye contact from the time you’ve been a kid, you’ve been told you got to have excellent eye contact for people to understand that you’re having a conversation with them. So it is portrayed that you believe what they have to say is important, you’re engaged in the conversation, you’re present in the discussions, and this is generally done in person.
For some reason, people have forgotten this when we’ve gotten into online conversations. They don’t always pay attention to how their eyes connect with somebody who happens to be on the other side of the screen. So there are quite a few common mistakes. Oftentimes, people have their phones on the desk, or because the computer is on the desk and you’re taller than the computer, you’re looking down at the computer, you got the nose view, you’ve got all of these different things that are going wrong.
We want to talk about fixing that; I want to share with you a few things that will improve your eye contact and help you become a rockstar in your next virtual presentation or meeting.
The first thing that you can do to improve your eye contact in your virtual presentations, online presentations, and meetings is really simple. Start by recording yourself. Many people cannot maintain eye contact because they’re not comfortable with looking at the camera or looking at the lens and seeing themselves or seeing nobody on the camera; it becomes challenging for them to keep that focus. Make sure that you record yourself so you can become more comfortable talking on screen.
This next step is one of the more challenging things for people to understand or think about. When you have your camera set, you don’t want the camera just set at eye level, and you certainly don’t want to set below eye level. You want it set just a touch above eye level so that your eyes appear wider and you don’t look like you’re looking down on people. It also makes your face look brighter.
To improve your eye contact in virtual sessions, virtual meetings, online presentations, you can consider using a teleprompter if you need to. Teleprompters don’t necessarily have to be those big fancy ones that a president and other high-level officials use. Some teleprompters can be on your computer. They can be on your iPad, your tablet device, and teleprompters can also be on your phone. There is a great app called video teleprompter produced by Joe Allen. They helped me do more than just read the words that are on the screen. If I’m in a zoom meeting, I can use my camera through a teleprompter and still see the people that are in the zoom meeting; it also helps me to keep in contact with those in the meeting.
Don’t obsess over eye contact. And when I say don’t obsess, I mean, you don’t have to stare at the camera the entire time. There’s nothing wrong with sometimes looking away to do something or grabbing something you don’t have to worry about it. You may believe that people suddenly will end the meeting and leave you your meeting if you look away. Trust me; they won’t do that. What they want from you is connection. They want authenticity. They want you to be as natural as possible. And yes, they want to see your eyes too.
You can also find this post on http://kennetikkommunications.com/how-to-maintain-better-eye-contact-in-virtual-presentations/ & https://robertkennedy3.medium.com/how-to-maintain-better-eye-contact-in-virtual-presentations-462145fb902f
Have you ever had to give a speech or a presentation, and you just weren’t sure how to set up your address or structure it so that you could connect with your audience and have them get the point? I’m going to share with you five storytelling techniques that you can use to structure your speech and make you look like a presentation Rockstar.
You’ve been called on to deliver a speech, a report, or a presentation. And you don’t want it to be the same old boring speech, presentation, or report anymore. You’ve heard that storytelling is an excellent way to bump up the engagement and connection factor. But you’re just not sure how to bring stories into work or data built or data-driven presentations.
I want to share five techniques that you can use to structure any good story or presentation.
The first technique is called the hero’s journey. In the hero’s journey, this is a journey or a technique you’re all familiar with. A lot of movies use this journey. The hero leaves their home, and they set out on this crazy journey. They go from something comfortable, something they know, something they’re used to, into this threatening unknown. After this, they fight a big battle; they overcome a great trial. And then they return home with a reward or with some new wisdom. This wisdom is then used to help their community. Many stories follow this; this technique helps to take your audience on a journey with that hero, goes with them through the fights, goes with them back home, where they’re then able to utilize those stories to share with those at home. All the new wisdom that they’ve discovered. Joseph Campbell wrote a great book called the hero’s journey. And if you’re interested in finding out about that technique, I recommend reading that book.
The second storytelling technique with which you might want to be familiar with if you’re not already familiar. It’s called the mountain. Now, in the first part of the mountain story, you’re just telling everybody what’s going on, you’re creating context, you’re setting the scene. But the mountain is this journey, where there are ups and downs, there are breaks, there are challenges, resolution challenges, you got one challenge, then it’s solved. You’ve got a second challenge to solve the third challenge, and then it’s off. It’s like one of those personal stories where you almost feel like you are constantly having trouble. It never ends. And the thing about a mountain story, unlike the hero’s journey, the hero’s journey usually has a happy ending; the mountain story does not have to have a happy ending. It could end with someone dying, and it could end with the story not resolving as you would expect it to.
The third storytelling technique that you want to be familiar with is one that’s called nested loops. Now in nested loops, you layer several narratives inside of each other. A friend tells you their story. And then that story includes someone wise, maybe telling them a story that changed their lives. And it changed the arc of their story. For example, I remember writing a story about how I was practicing for a group in college. As I was doing that, a friend or someone was a chaplain of my College who came to watch, and he said some words to me. He told me a story. And that story changed how I viewed myself as a leader. If I’m suggesting that story to somebody, I’m telling them the story that my guru said to me inside of the story. So they hear my story plus the other story of wisdom. And then they’re learning how that story of wisdom affected me and changed my life arc. That’s what a nested loop does.
The fourth storytelling technique is the media rez, or in the middle of things. Using this technique, you start in the heat of the action; you start in the middle of the story, as it says in the name. You might be in the middle of the climax, in the middle of the conflict, in the middle of the battle, right when this story begins, but then you circle back to the beginning. And you tell how this started, and you give a little bit of the build-up before returning through that middle through that battle, on to the end of the store. Many movies work this way. Look for any movie that has or features flashbacks.
The fifth storytelling technique is what is known as sparklines. Nancy Duarte uses this technique, and a sparkline is where you contrast what is happening currently with the hope of an ideal future or fantasy. An example of this, you will probably look for many political speeches or many sermons. They share with you what is happening now, the crazy that’s happening now. And then they tell you what that future is that you can look towards. These are very inspirational speeches, and they want your audience to move to action. They share with you a different future, a different possibility, one that doesn’t exist already, but an idealistic one, one that is perfect. One that is aspirational gives people something to hope for. Martin Luther King delivered what was called the I Have a Dream speech. And this was a speech that used sparklines talking about all of the different things that existed now or then. And then comparing that with his dream of what could be speeches and presentations are that much better and much more interesting.
When there’s a story involved, stories are much easier to structure when you understand how they’re put together, and you have a framework.
You can also find this post on https://robertkennedy3.medium.com/5-storytelling-tips-to-make-you-a-presentation-rockstar-741cca054782 & http://kennetikkommunications.com/5-storytelling-tips-to-make-you-a-presentation-rockstar/
I find myself distracted with emails every time I get into the office. For me, it starts as soon as I’m logged onto my computer and checking what’s new in there- especially if a specific task is awaiting completion! With so many distractions at our fingertips from social media to articles about things unrelated to work or personal life, sometimes before you know it 20 minutes have gone by without producing any progress on your current project that requires attention.
Here are three things that I’ve learned to do to increase my productivity and keep me on track. Since distraction is one of my biggest stumbling blocks in achieving productivity success, here’s something that I’ve learned to do by my computer. I keep a notebook, and these are the three steps that I’ve learned to follow;
I will create a list of everything that I need to complete, and I will do this away from the computer. I do not want to be distracted writing this list, or what I will also do is write this list from the night before. This is so beneficial as you tend to have a clearer mind space at night, you are more relaxed. This then results in your remembering all the minor and essential things you need to accomplish the next day. It also helps to reduce morning stress. So first thing in the morning, before I even turn on my computer, I will run through my list again to see the list of tasks I am to complete for that day.
Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritizing tasks is crucial to being organized and staying productive throughout the day. If we do not prioritize our tasks, then we do not have a structure to follow. We might get started on low priority tasks and then get distracted from the fact that we have a high priority task to complete. When we realize there is a top priority task that is to be done in the next 20 minutes, we get flustered and may become thrown off for the entire day. Prioritizing also helps with distractions; if you know that you have a few high priorities tasks to get done right away, you will try to complete these tasks before moving on to anything else.
Time management is my final step for productivity success. I assign all my tasks a time limit; I will say 30 minutes for this task, 30 minutes for that, 15 minutes for this,15 minutes for that. I will also place all my tasks into my calendar to be aware of a time that is blocked off for a specific task. I usually have a time blocked off in general terms on my calendar anyway, but now I make it more specific to the tasks that I must accomplish.
To recap, I write everything down. I write the three top priorities, and then I block them into three short task-driven times. I try to do this first thing in the morning before I sit down in front of my computer. Let’s go ahead and make sure you are achieving productivity success in your daily life.
You can also find this post on https://robertkennedy3.medium.com/3-steps-to-productivity-success-bb805d16fca4
I wanted to share three tips for dealing with public speaking fear, nervousness, and anxiety. I was looking online, and I saw a question that asked what causes public speaking anxiety? What causes people to be so fearful about public speaking? I remember the very first time that I was on stage; my mouth went dry. I could feel my tongue. I could feel every bump on my tongue. And I looked out into the audience, and I saw a thousand eyes. A thousand eyes focused on me. That was my first public speaking experience.
It was a crazy, nerve-wracking experience. And the reason why it was nervous and nerve-wracking for me was the same reason that a lot of people don’t want to speak. The number one reason people are anxious about public speaking is that they think everybody is there to judge them and critique them. They believe that everybody is sitting in the audience with a great book and a notepad ready to write down everything that is going wrong. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reason that persons are there is to gain value. So if you think that they’re there to judge you and critique you, and that is playing in your head, then that’s going to be how you come across. So I want to share with you three things that you can use to get yourself out of that mindset.
Recognize that your audience is there just to gain value from your speech. Whether it be a motivational, informative, or educational speech, they have come to learn from you. Persons are there because they are looking to hear something from you that they can then apply to themselves to make their world better. After all, they ultimately want to be more prosperous. They want to be happier. They want to have better relationships. They want to feel better about themselves. So everyone just comes open expecting to get some help from you.
You also have to recognize that they have fears, too. If persons didn’t fear it, they would be right up on the stage with you and beside you if they weren’t scared about it. If there are a thousand people in the audience, 98 percent won’t get up or be fearful. They’ll be scared out of their wits to get up and speak on stage. So recognize that they have fears, too.
Make your audience your focus point. Don’t worry so much about your fears. Focus on what is it that you can share with them because this is a conversation. What can you give to them so that they will be able to achieve what they came for? Again, they want to be happy. They want to be more wealthy. They want to have better relationships. They want to be better people. How can you help them with that? Focus on them.
You can also find this post on https://robertkennedy3.medium.com/3-tips-for-how-to-deal-with-public-speaking-fear-nervousness-and-anxiety-a7694c95a1ef
Become an amazing, confident online presenter with these three tech tips and tools. Having astounding content is very important. It has to be very very good. Not good, it has to be Excellent.
Let’s discuss three tools and technologies that can really help in getting your online presentations to that next level.
If you’ve used zoom or any other similar tools, polls are something that is included inside of say zoom, but maybe you’re not using zoom. There are some other polling tools that you can use such as poll everywhere, which is one of my favorites but you also have Kahoot or mentee meter. Now you can do a lot of things like ask multiple choice questions or multiple response questions or questions which involve choosing from a picture or two. There are a lot of different things you can do, including word clouds and other different question types or poll types to really increase the level of engagement in your presentations.
When we think about teleprompters, a lot of people think about those clear plexiglass devices that presidents and other politicians use to go through their speeches. But there are a lot of different teleprompters you can use. I use some all the time, especially when I’m making videos or doing online presentations to keep me on track. I can see the text right in front of me, but I can also look directly at the camera in order to look like I’m engaging with my audience. You can use teleprompters on your smartphones, your tablets, your iPads, or your I-phones, or an Android. One of my favorite teleprompter apps is teleprompter premium or teleprompter plus by Joe Allen. You can check that out!
If you happen to be using slides, a lot of times, you share slides, and you put these slides on the screen, and they take up a lot of the space. Persons don’t get to see you, or they see you in a little box in the corner, or maybe you’re not there at all. I like to be able to jump back and forth between my slides without a lot of effort so that the audience can connect with me and they can really see how I interact or feel about the content. One of my favorite tools for this is the Prezi video. Tools like the Prezi video allow me to go back and forth between the slides, the text, the content on the screen, and me. It helps with the purpose of looking the audience in the eye and physically engaging with them.
You can also find this post on https://robertkennedy3.medium.com/3-tips-for-great-online-presentations-3ba207fb0699
I want to share with you three things you can do to become a more exceptional speaker. I use the word exceptional because many people want to be speakers, want to be motivational speakers, want to be inspirational speakers, want to be different types of speakers. But a lot of people don’t do the work that it takes to become exceptional. Many people do not hone their skills; they don’t sharpen their tools to become exceptional.
I met a gentleman who said he was a motivational speaker, and he wanted to become a professional motivational speaker. He was going to schools (and I’ve seen him speak at several places) but his entire demeanor, the way he presented himself, was low energy. I don’t know if I’d be motivated by him. He was in a situation where he joined a group with me to help him become a better speaker; after a few meetings, he stopped attending. When I called or texted, he would say he got busy with his “thing.” So he wasn’t putting in the work; he wasn’t hungry. He didn’t want to be a better speaker; he just wanted to have the title.
If you want to be a better speaker, you’ve got to put in the work. When you are an exceptional speaker, several things happen:
you get referrals,
you get rebooked multiple times,
you connect with people,
they fall in love with you,
they enjoy your energy and being around you.
To become an exceptional speaker, you have to read. If you’re not reading, you’re not getting any content. You don’t have any stories to pull from; you don’t have any information, you don’t have any expert knowledge to use. All you’re pulling from is the stuff floating around inside your head. If you’re only watching reality TV, then you’re not going to have content that vibes with people; you’re not going to have content they view as credible. So you want to make sure you read.
Writing is also a crucial part of becoming an exceptional speaker. We all can write and read the words before us, but our minds have to process these words. You have to put words on paper in a way that’s accessible to people that they can understand. If you can understand the flow of it when you’re writing it, then you’re going to be able to share that with people. Often, as speakers, we just use off the cuff, we are just speaking, and we’re just talking about things. Sometimes we just ramble on, and we don’t have a structure in mind with how we will share information. So what you’ve got to do is begin to write a bit more because when you write, you can see the flow and its structure better. You can see what the question is or what the point is initially; then, you can add supporting statements underneath or take people on this journey. It’s a bit harder to do that; If you’re just speaking off the cuff, you’re rambling and unsure which way to go. So writing helps you to figure out what are some of the structures that work that you can use.
Practice, practice, practice, you’ve got to practice! I create Youtube Videos weekly, and that helps me to practice my speaking. I’ve seen speakers who do not practice before an engagement, ended up using a lot of filter words, apologizing, flustering and their speeches ended up not having a flow as the words are just coming out of their head. Speakers will be invited to speak at an engagement, and all they will write down is a standard title “ I have come to speak with you today about……….”. They will begin speaking, and you can get the sense that they are not prepared. They will start apologizing a lot, and this will then, in turn, make your audiences begin to lose confidence in what it is that you are presenting. They’re not using their expertise and their experience. I would like to point out that you don’t want to apologize; you’ve got to practice.
You can become a rock star and exceptional speaker using these three tips. Number one, read Number two, make sure that you write. Number three, make sure that you practice.
You can also find this post on https://robertkennedy3.medium.com/3-top-tips-to-become-an-exceptional-speaker-8f3c89a8f8e3