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Podcast: Growing Your Business Through Public Speaking With Arel Moodie, True Speaking Success Founder And Keynote Whisperer


Arel Moodie S2F Podcast Image

Raise your hand if the thought of speaking in front of people makes you cringe. My, there’s certainly a lot of you.

But I’ve got good news for you: you just learned a public speaking strategy while you were reading the first sentence of this blog post, and you probably didn’t even realize it. Don’t worry, I’ll explain in a little bit. First, though, we need to talk about what it means to speak publicly.

Just What Is Public Speaking?

If, when you hear the words “public speaking,” you immediately think of making speeches to huge crowds, you’re only partially right. There’s lots of reasons why you might need to speak to a group of people: you could be pitching a new idea to potential investors, hyping up your team for the next fiscal quarter, or simply getting to know your customer base.

Why Do I Need To Be Good At Talking To People?

If you’re an entrepreneur just getting your brand off the ground, or a well-seasoned business owner who is expanding your company, then you already know the importance of speaking. You know that you need to be able to express your business concepts and plans to all kinds of people, from investors to bankers to clients to partners to employees.

Being able to express yourself clearly and concisely, without ego or guile, could mean the difference between your business’s success or failure. Failing to provide all the relevant facts or present yourself as a trustworthy person could cause you to lose some amazing opportunities for growth. And we mean growth in both the business and the personal senses.

Who Is Arel Moodie?

So who is Arel Moodie? Why, he’s the man with the public speaking plan. He founded Message to Masterpiece where he provides one-on-one public speaking coaching. And as if that wasn’t already an incredible accomplishment, he also has a podcast called The Art of Likeability where he teaches people how to be truly likeable so that they can be heard.

He also taught you your first lesson in engaging your audience.

According to Arel, you should “never go down to your audience’s energy. You always bring your audience up to your energy.” One way he accomplishes this energy-raising magic trick is to prompt his audience members to raise their hands. This gets them engaged and sets the standard for how they should plan to react during the rest of the speech.

These are the types of strategies that Arel is best at providing. His mission is to “get folks to realize how valuable the idea of community within the workplace actually is.” That’s why he coaches business owners and entrepreneurs to interact with their audiences, and take an interest in them for their own sake and not for selfish gains.

So many public speakers love the sound of their own voices. But it’s the people who don’t think they should be public speakers that should be, according to Arel. These are people who are humble, who know that their story doesn’t matter unless it can help their audience.

This is how our Stride 2 Freedom podcast listeners can build trust in their clients and grow their business: by speaking to them with the goal of focusing on their audience, and to help their audience succeed.

Who should I interview next? Please let me know by clicking here.                                 


In this Freedom Speaker Series episode with Arel, you will learn:

  • How successful public speaking leads to a sense of community in the workplace
  • Why your story is only as important as what your audience can learn from it
  • How to raise the energy of your audience
  • Why you don’t need to be ego-driven or even very confident to speak publicly

Listen Now

We are fortunate to have Arel available to spend time with us on this edition of Stride 2 Freedom. If there is a speaker you’d like us to interview, click here and let us know. Stay well. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Show Notes and Links From Episode:

Arel Moodie

Arel Moodie LinkedIn

Message to Masterpiece

Episode Transcript:

Russell Benaroya: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Stride 2 Freedom podcast. My name is Russell Benaroya, and I’m the co-founder of Stride Services, a virtual back office, bookkeeping, and accounting firm serving hundreds of clients around the United States.

This podcast is designed to help small business owners focus on growth and innovation. In other words, focus on those things that inspired you to start your business in the first place. We call it your genius zone. We do our job on this podcast when business owners feel like they have the trust and confidence to build the right team of partners around them that will help them grow. Thanks for joining. Let’s go.

Hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Stride 2 Freedom podcast where we help business leaders get and stay in their genius zone. My name is Russell Benaroya. I’m your host and Stride 2 Freedom is brought to you by Stride Services. Stride Services is an outsource bookkeeping and accounting firm serving high-growth professional service companies and helping those business owners achieve their highest and best use. You can learn more about Stride at www.stride.services.

Okay. Enough of that. I am stoked today to be interviewing my friend, Arel Moodie. Hey, Arel?

Arel Moodie: What’s going on, man? Thanks for having me. I love you helping people be in their genius zone.

Russell Benaroya: This is the greatest gig ever. It’s such a joy. I’m telling you, Arel is a bright light of awesome in a sea of uncertainty. What I love about Arel is he is 100% about empowerment. In his genius zone, he is empowering others to be amazing speakers. He helps them convey their why, to get people engaged, to help them grow their business.

I wanted Arel on the show because business leaders that can get on a stage or on Zoom and effectively communicate their story can transform their business trajectory. Arel helps leaders do that through his company, True Speaking Success, which we’re going to learn about. We’re also going to get a bit of a taste of speaking tips and tricks today I hope.  He is called the keynote whisperer so let’s actually do some whispering. It’s so good to see you. I’m so happy to have you here.

Arel Moodie: I can’t wait to dive into this. Public speaking is a craft that I am so in love with. I think there is nothing that can impact people and change their lives or change a business quicker than what can happen with a really well dialed-in presentation. I’m happy to jump into as much as we can.

Russell Benaroya: You are also a podcaster. You have a podcast called The Art of Likeability. I don’t know how current it is. I know it’s pretty popular. I am interested, before we jump into speaking, I love this concept, The Art of Likeability, why did you launch it? What does it do? Why does it matter?

Arel Moodie: What’s interesting is that I think that likability is the factor that when you authentically tie into how to connect better with others and become likeable, if apples to apples, I had to choose between someone who I didn’t like and someone who I do like, 10 times out of 10, I’m choosing a person that I like. I realized that there was so much that I loved talking about that just didn’t fit within my keynotes.

All of the content that went on The Art of Likeability podcast is all about how to interact with others and connect that doesn’t fit neatly into one of my keynotes, but it’s really valuable. That’s where it came about. I wanted people to be able to have the “it” factor without it being a genetic gift that they happen to have, but they can actually systematically create it.

Russell Benaroya: What do you think are one or two things to keep in mind around likability? What are people really attracted to? What makes them magnetic? You’re magnetic, so maybe a little self reflection.

Arel Moodie: Thank you. It’s very kind of you to say it. If I could give you the big Domino to likability that will knock over all other dominoes, it’s genuinely being interested in other people instead of trying to be interesting to other people. That’s an old Maxim that I think has gotten lost in the sauce.

Likability isn’t about me telling the best stories. It’s not about me being the most charismatic person in the room. It’s about me generally being interested in other people. We live in a world where everyone is shining the spotlight on themselves. When you shine the spotlight on the person you’re speaking to, it’s so refreshing that you actually will find it so much more interesting.

Now, here’s my one caveat, you can’t be interested, just solely so you can figure out how you can be helped by that person. It’s got to be interest for the sake of curiosity. 

Russell Benaroya: 100%, I was just going to say that. If you let your ego enter the dynamic, you’re going to miss the energy of what that interaction is designed to accomplish, which is an authentic connection.

Arel Moodie: I’ll give you a very specific example of how that plays out, which is one of my favorite likability techniques. Typically, when people first meet someone, their first question is, what do you do for a living? That question is a yardstick of measuring “how successful am I compared to you”? Or “are you someone who I can potentially do business with”? To me, it is a very self interested question, though it’s guised as “I’m interested in you”.

A better question when you first meet someone is to ask them, what’s one thing that’s new or exciting in their life? If that person happens to talk about work, great. That means it’s new or exciting to them. But if they are super interested in heirloom tomatoes and no one’s ever given the opportunity for them to talk about heirloom tomatoes, and you get into this great conversation about tomatoes, you’ll be more connected with that person. Then you happen to find out that they’re the CEO of this really big company, you’ll have a better connection with that person than if you started with “what do you do for a living”?

Russell Benaroya: I couldn’t agree with you more. I asked a woman on a call this week a question. We kicked off and I said, “What is one thing I can celebrate with you that you did this weekend?” And it was just a warming conversation. It was fun. I got to know her in a bit of a different vector before we jumped into outsourced bookkeeping and accounting.

Arel Moodie: I think that, ultimately, when we connect with humans as humans, and we connect there first, all the other stuff will fall into line very easily. I think if we like someone first, it allows us to be more interested to figure out… What you want is someone interacting with you and then going, “I like that person. I want to help that person. I want to see them do well.”

That’s way better than me trying to figure out how I can sell you something. I’ve always found that naturally and organically is the best way for partnerships and relationships to develop. It’s one of the things we do with the folks that we help with True Speaking Success: doing that from the stage, doing that from interactions with people. I tend to find that when you can do that consciously, you’re giving yourself almost a superpower in our self-absorbed world. 

Russell Benaroya: Let me backup for a minute. Maybe you could give us a bit of a story line of your journey because you are, in so many ways, the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. I believe  that you are totally unemployable because you have created every opportunity that has happened in your professional trajectory. It looks like you are a creator. Just share a little bit where that drive came from.

Arel Moodie: I’ve never had a real job.

Russell Benaroya:  Yeah, exactly. That’s why you’re unemployable.

Arel Moodie: I worked part time jobs and I sucked out of them. I wasn’t the best at those. Honestly, the desire for it came from an exercise I did when I was about 19 years old. I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a fantastic book that many people have read when they first get started. I was very young when I read it and one of the things that they said is that successful people think differently. Rich people think differently than everyone else.

I did this little exercise where I wrote down five people that I think are successful. Then I was gonna go interview them and find out, what do you do? How did you get there? What was your process?

Now, what I didn’t realize is that every single person who I wrote down were all business owners and entrepreneurs. I didn’t write down a lawyer that I knew or a doctor that I knew, which other people might deem as the person they call successful. I realized it was the pizza shop owner. It was the comic bookstore owner in my college town. That was actually a huge identity shift within me when I saw that everyone who I determined as successful was an entrepreneur.

I interviewed them. Then by meeting them, I got introduced to a man named Mr. Angelo, who was the entrepreneurship professor at the University I attended. I was enamored by the way he thought, by the way he interacted with the world. When I met him, I was like, “I want to be like this guy.” He’s my mentor to this day and I haven’t stopped since.

Russell Benaroya: What you provide to your clients is like an amazing arrow in the quiver of their toolbox to represent themselves to an audience, to their clients, to the community. Why did you decide, of all of the things that you could do, to channel your energy into what today is True Speaking Success?

Arel Moodie: I am wildly protective of the art of public speaking. If you’ve ever seen Dave Chappelle talk about comedy, or if you’ve ever seen Tom Brady talk about football, you can tell that they love the craft. For me, out of everything I’ve ever done in the world, I find the art of public speaking..

There are a lot of people who can get up on stage, talk, and then people will say they did a good job. But there’s a distinction between the folks, like Tom Brady or Dave Chappelle, who want to understand all of the intricacies of the art, that all of the details matter. Ideally, they have a very successful long career in what they love.

I haven’t found anything that has made me fall in love with it as much as delivering a presentation and what a public speaking engagement done the right way can do. I think that’s why I’m so passionate about it. One of the things I realize is I still speak. I love speaking. I have a speaking engagement tomorrow morning, but I can’t be everywhere.

But if I can help empower people to create their stories, to structure their presentation, to come up with what I call message masterpiece, then they can impact people that, one, I’ll never meet, and two, they can grow their businesses more authentically, more organically and more effectively because they’re utilizing this tool that I think is underutilized or misused by most others.

Russell Benaroya: When your kids ask you, “Hey, Dad, what do you do?” how would you explain what you do to a fifth grader? I don’t know if your kids are in fifth grade.

Arel Moodie: Basically, what I tell them is that daddy does presentations and he helps people put together presentations that they can use to impact people and make more money in their business.

Russell Benaroya: For the business owner, that light bulb went off and said, “Wait a second, you just attached speaking to revenue!” Tell me why so many business owners either don’t utilize or miss apply, as you said, speaking in their toolbox of capabilities to grow revenue?

Arel Moodie: The number one thing people don’t do is they don’t speak. They either have a fear of it, they don’t understand it, they think they won’t do well or something like that. So they just don’t do it, which I think is a shame.

Then you have a group of people who do speak, but they care more about the sound of their own voice than they care about genuinely helping others, which is a whole category that we won’t get into. Then there’s another group of people and this is what’s fascinating, and you’ll see them with people who speak.

It’s one of the few art forms where you can go on stage and suck and people will still come up to you because they’re nice and go, “Thank you so much,” as long as you weren’t offensive, as long as you weren’t mean. What happens for a lot of people when I say they under-utilize it is they get told, “You did a good job,” or “Thank you. That was so great.”

There’s a couple of ways that I help people understand if they’re actually doing a good job. Three of the questions are business focused, one of them is concept focused. Number one, if you get asked to speak immediately after that event at another event. That’s a good sign that you did a good job.

If you get someone who comes up to you and says, “I loved everything that you were talking about. How can I work more with you?” They’re drawn to you. If they’re pulled in and they want to be a client of yours, then you did a good job.  If the event planner says, “We need to rebook you for next year. This was great”. Those are three key signs that you did a very good job at the craft.

If you’re talking to a participant and you want to know if you did a good job, if someone comes up to you says, “Thank you. That was amazing,” ask them, “Thank you for saying that. What did you take from my presentation?” You will be surprised at how many people say things like, “Everything! It was all good,” which means it really wasn’t. Or they say, “I loved how funny you were.” Well, then you were a comedian; you weren’t using the art to change lives and impact people.

So when we look at underutilization, people can think they’re doing a great job because they get an attaboy after they present, but if you actually really want to know if you’re impacting lives and making a difference, those are three simple ways and one question you can ask to find out if you actually have made the impact and moved people in a way that impacted them and also for your business. I think both of those aren’t exclusive; they work together.

Russell Benaroya: Arel, I have nothing to say. I don’t have a story that people would be interested in. I would love to speak but I’m just not that interesting. I don’t have anything to say. I’m sure you’ve heard this 100 times. Unpack that.

Arel Moodie: That’s the person I actually wish would speak more because that’s the person who actually is humble enough to realize that they shouldn’t take themselves too seriously. Unfortunately, lots of people who love speaking take themselves way too seriously. They go, “Everyone loves my story. I must share it!

The first thing I would say to that person is that you’re already in the right place if you’re thinking that because you understand the importance of humility. I don’t want to speak unless I can improve upon the silence, which is a good mindset to come in with. That’s number one.

Number two, I’ve discovered this over and over again. To you what is absolutely basic, no big deal, and normal is literally utterly life-changing and transforming to someone else. Every single person who has achieved something, you, Russel, run this incredible company. I love how you say you help people make good decisions and help them live their fullest potential and you do that through outsourcing the finances and the bookkeeping.

There are so many skills that you’ve learned that are just fishing water skills for you that to someone like me would be mind blowing. I’m reading this book right now. It’s called what’s called The Ultimate Blueprint for an Insanely Successful Business. I started reading it and it made me think of your business.This whole book is just basically about how to keep score of if your business is doing well, how to read financial statements.

Most people just get a financial statement and they go, “Okay. Thanks. I appreciate you.” But if you’re like, “What does this look like compared to last year?” “Are we growing?” “How much money do we have on hand?” You can have revenue, but no profits. Understanding it. That’s what the whole book is about.

I’m reading this and my mind is exploding. I’m 99% sure that if you read it, Russell, you’d be like, “That’s just a Tuesday in the office for us.” But to someone like me, it’s mind blowing. So we have to realize that even if we think we have nothing to say, if we’ve accomplished anything, then that means that there’s someone who can benefit from what we’ve learned along the way. If you’re humble enough to say, “I don’t have anything to say,” you’re probably a great candidate for someone who should be saying something. 

Russell Benaroya: I feel like you could speak on so many different topics and be engaging and compelling. You have certain topics that you do present on. What are they for you? What are your keynotes?

Arel Moodie: I have two different parts. There’s a student side of things. I got my feet wet with students; I love speaking to young people. My big message to them is that effort is everything. What I mean by that is you don’t have to be naturally smart. You don’t have to be naturally talented. You don’t have to come from a wealthy family to do well because those things are outside of your control. But the one thing you have full control over in this world is your effort.

The whole presentation is about how to get them to switch their identity and their perspective from being smart or being talented to being hardworking. If you can make that shift, I think it’s one of the most powerful things we can do.

So many people think, “I’m stupid, I can’t succeed.” No, there are a lot of stupid people who do well. But hard work and effort, that’s a whole other game plan. That’s my focus on the student side.

On the professional side, I do a lot with team building and helping leaders. It’s this idea that it’s not about what stands in front of you; it’s about who stands beside you. What I tend to find with so many teams is that you will spend the majority of your living life with your coworkers. We live in a world where community is disintegrated. We go home, we don’t even know who our neighbors are.

Lots of people probably couldn’t tell you the names of five neighbors that live on their block or live in the apartment building. We have been isolated through COVID so we interact with our coworkers, but we don’t build community with our coworkers. If you can actually build it through coming together and having the mindset that work actually can be a community versus I show up and I leave.

My whole goal is to get folks to realize how valuable the idea of community within the workplace actually is. And it comes back to a bigger overarching goal, whether it’s students or adults, that the “Who” is greater than the “What”. The “What” can always be overcome with the right “Who”. Who you see yourself as or how you see your teammates is going to be the difference between people who do well and people who succeed.

I’m really passionate about that because I think that ultimately, a lot of people’s lives, if you don’t take it by the horns, your life will suck. The people who live great lives are the people who decide to steer the boat, turn the motor on, and drive it versus letting it come to you. I think that our relationships with others and with ourselves is the greatest currency for happiness and success. I’m really passionate about that and others achieving that for themselves. 

Russell Benaroya: That’s inspiring. It’s interesting that you have these keynote topics and then you have a business, which is True Speaking Success. I’m curious how you relate those to each other.

let me tell you why I’m asking that question: I may own a services business, or maybe I own a tech company, but what I speak on may not be on the business. Maybe it’s something else that showcases a bit about who I am as a human and then I have this business on the side. I’m curious how you relate these two things?

Arel Moodie: Here’s what I’ve observed time and time again, from all the clients that I’ve worked with who are business owners. What they want to speak about is something that they discovered and learned on the journey of running their business.

They may not want to speak about advertising and marketing. They want to speak about how they created a sustainable company. They really care about being green and carbon neutral and they did that within their company so this thing they learned along the way.

If you’ve got one life to lead and you’re building a really successful company, you learned all these lessons along the way and those lessons are more intimately what you care about than saying, here’s how you balance your checkbook.

What everyone has to realize is that, at some point, the technical side doesn’t become the thing you need to master anymore. The ideas side becomes the thing that you need to. Ideas are the infinite game. The technical side is a little bit of a finite game, but an infinite game that you can always get better at is way more interesting to people.

The way I make both work is that when I speak, I get better at my craft. I can then go take my experiences and then teach my experiences to my coaching clients who want to grow their business and want to succeed as a speaker. One of the biggest things that I see is really smart people, really intelligent people, really successful people but they can’t figure out how to dial in their message.

Well, what is it that makes me different? I know what I do and if I sat down for three hours, I can explain it, but how do I get it to the sound bite? They’re in the water. It’s like asking a fish, “How do you swim so well?” If you can actually articulate it, then what happens is when you build that idea, people buy into your philosophies and ideas. By buying into your philosophies and ideas, if you have a service that they need, they want you to be that service provider.

If I emotionally connect with Russell and I care about Russell, then I want to know how he does business and I want him to do it for me if I need that problem solved. It actually doesn’t become an extracurricular activity; it’s actually directly baked into a smart and intelligent growth strategy for people who care about spreading messages that they love.

Russell Benaroya: How do you guide your clients to define that balance between humility and what might feel like ego needing to surface? I’m going to tell them what I have done. This is about me. But is it really about me? Or no, it shouldn’t be about you. Some people don’t like to talk about themselves.

This is an art form and managing the ego is something I think we all try to do in life. I’m curious how you guide your clients?

Arel Moodie: The first thing to understand is that I hear people say this and they’re misguided: they say, “I have a great story.” No, you don’t. Your story doesn’t matter. My story only matters to the level and effect that I can use it as a tool to impact my audience.

So when I’m talking about myself, I can only talk about myself as a tool and a mechanism to demonstrate, illustrate, and then teach an important lesson to my audience. Where most people miss the boat is when they say, “Well, let me tell you my story,” which people are interested in. They want to know your background. Then they talk about, “I did this, I did that. I accomplished this… and if I can do it, you can too.”

No. This is how you do it. You tell your story of overcoming it, but then you show how you realized something; that relationships are the most valuable currency in the world. Then you put it on your audience: what is the relationship you need to strike back? What is the relationship that you need to spend more time on that maybe let go to the wayside because you’ve been too busy.

If I use my story as a tool and a mechanism to demonstrate, illustrate, and then teach an idea, then my story isn’t actually about me. It’s about my audience. But if I tell a story and just talk about myself, that means it’s not a tool to help others. It’s just a way for you to beat your chest like you’re a gorilla in the jungle.

Russell Benaroya: When you’re either keynote speaking or maybe you’re leading a workshop, can you talk a bit about how the energy of the audience factors into the presentation? What are ways in which really effective speakers engage the audience to become a participant in contributing to the content?

Arel Moodie: One of the greatest lessons I was taught early in my career is that you never go down to your audience’s energy. You always bring your audience up to your energy. You are always the thermostat. My favorite room to walk into is a room where there was just a really boring speaker so the energy is super low.

I love that because I know I’m about to be a cool breeze of fresh air, hopefully. There’s a couple of very specific things that you can do. You train your audience of what is acceptable behavior. If I say, “Out of curiosity, by a show of hands, how many people love spreadsheets?” That’s not a good question because, usually, if you ask a question like that, you want to make it so that it’s a yes. Let’s say a little differently, “How many people love when they find out they made more money this quarter than last quarter?” Everyone should say yes to that. I say, Put your hand up.”

Now, here’s what happens in that moment. 20% of the room will put their hand up and most of the room will. If I put my hand down and only let 20% of the room put their hand up, I lost. I just went down to their level. If I want everyone to say yes, I’ll say, “By show of hands, who here loves it when they make more money this quarter than they did last quarter?” “Let me see the whole armpit. Don’t be shy. Put your hand all the way up if you’d like it. Thank you.”

After I say thank you is the moment that I get the full room and I don’t give up. What most people do is, “Oh, this room is cold, let me stop.” No, I’m going to keep my hand up because if my hand is up long enough, they feel uncomfortable and then they raise their hand. Then I say thank you very quickly, very upfront. Then when they do, I say,  “All right, let’s get a quick round of applause.” As soon as they give me the round of applause, Thank you.”

The more I say thank you and the more I acknowledge what I think is the energy of the room, the more that they subconsciously will say, “This is what is expected of me,” and therefore, we rise to our level of expectation.

I’m constantly doing things that cause my audience to interact by either raising their hands, repeating after me, saying a word. And at first, it’s always cold. It’s never like immediately as I do it, it works. But as I keep doing it, and they keep doing it, and they say yes, it embeds in their mind. By the middle of the presentation, it’s no longer this uphill battle. It’s actually quite downhill. Then they have fun because it’s not boring and I have fun.

I encourage anyone that when you’re with your audience, don’t give up on them. If you say, “By show of hands,” if no one raises their hand and you put your hand down and go, “Well, I guess I didn’t work.” Now, they’ve decided, I don’t have to put my hand up anymore. If you stay with it, you’ll see that the audience will always come on your side, as long as you’re serving them and not trying to manipulate them. You’ve got to be of service not manipulation.

Russell Benaroya: Tony Robbins, I see him in his events and he’ll say something like, “If you agree with me say yes.” The energy is awesome.

Arel Moodie: If you watch Tony, he always says thank you.

Russell Benaroya: Yeah, that’s a good takeaway. I’m sure that a lot of speakers struggle with wanting to communicate as much value as possible. You and I are smiling and laughing a little bit  because we know that the audience is going to remember like 10% of it. How do you guide your clients in the less is more category.

Arel Moodie: It’s very simple. If you say two things in your presentation, you’ve said nothing. If you say one thing in your presentation, you’ve said everything. Your audience will only remember one thing. They might remember things about you; that you were funny or that you were engaging. They remember things like that, but in terms of ideas, they’ll only remember one idea.

So what you have to do as a speaker is say what is the biggest idea? What is the one thing that if they get and this was the only thing they would get would have the biggest influence in their life? Then you build your stories, and you build your examples, and you build the reasons why they won’t believe this and why they should believe this and why this is counterintuitive.

Your whole presentation is built around this one concept, but I promise you all the stats and data just leads you to this one idea. If you do that, your presentation becomes memorable. Most presentations, I will argue almost all, if you go to anyone in the audience, and six months later say, “What did that person speak about?” They may say, “He was funny. He was so charming.: “What did he talk about?” “I don’t know. He told us one thing that made me laugh.” But what did you take from it? Nothing.

If you only teach one idea, then everything builds around it and then they get it. I would encourage anyone that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to teach too much because it does the complete opposite. If you don’t believe me, tell me one thing that you learned in any of your college classes your freshman year.  I bet you at best you could tell me one or two things.

You spent months with these professors, didn’t you? But you can’t remember anything. You probably have an entire class where you remember nothing from the whole class. So this happens. If it happens to you, it happens to your audience. One thing is everything; two things are nothing.

Russell Benaroya: Arel, I’ve got the keynote, I’ve summoned the courage to express myself, I’m feeling confident, and I don’t know where to channel that energy. Am I engaging with you? Do business owners engage with you because they want to be on some main stage or they want to speak at their association? Or is it that they want to speak to their company? Or do they want to have better communication with their clients? Where are the channeling opportunities if somebody’s listening to this and saying, “Okay, I get it. How do I best apply it?”?

Arel Moodie: The first thing is messaging. When you have a message that’s a masterpiece, you can use that in your social media posts  to portray a congruent message. You can use that in your team meetings to make sure everyone is focused on their truenorth. You can use that during keynotes, during workshops, during all staff meetings. You can use the messaging anywhere.

Now, for someone who says, “I want to speak on a stage,” and I think it’s the dream stage. It’s the idea that imagine if you could speak on a stage in front of a roomful of your ideal clients, and you can impact and move them and never pitch them, but present in a way that they decide for themselves that they want to work more closely with you. Then you impact people’s lives, probably get paid to do it as well, then afterwards, you get clients. That’s the best thing.

Those rooms are typically rooms that are association-based? Russell, if you have to tell me your ideal top 20% clients, who are the ones you love working with? What do you know about your top 20% of clients?

Russell Benaroya: I see this room of marketing agency owners that do about 2 to 5 million in revenue and have an aspiration to grow a business to over 10 million and be a true owner of the business, not just a producer in the business.

Arel Moodie: Okay. I go online and I type in the keyword “market agency owner”. Then all I do is put the word association next to whoever my key client is. There just happens to be a list and I shared it with you so you can use it. Someone who says, “Here’s a list of these top marketing and advertising associations.” Those are your starting points.  These are where your pregnant pet presentations are.

Now I know that this is an association, a collection of my ideal clients. Now, every single association, their single largest deliverable to their members is their annual event. Most of them have annual events, some of them have quarterly events, many of them have monthly events, local events, state events, regional events, national events. Events, whether virtual or in person, are a big part of any association. And what does every association need at these events? They need speakers.

A lot of the folks that they want, they want someone new. They want someone who has a voice that maybe isn’t the person who’s spoken at that conference for the last 20 years because if I’m an attendee, I don’t want to hear the same person, 15 years in a row. I need Russell Benaroya to come in and share his philosophies that are going to impact me and help me go to the next level.

You then say, “I want to focus on speaking at these association events.” Then you go to their own conference websites, you do a request for proposal, you connect with their event planner. There are lots of strategies you can use to present, but then you’re speaking in a room full of your ideal clients.

If you do that, and you focus your presentation in a structured way, there’s no way you don’t leave there with a bunch of clients. And they love and they want you to speak more. They want you to consult with them and they want you to speak to this other conference. Then you get a snowball effect, where one event leads to another, leads to another but it’s with your dream audience.

I would encourage anyone who does want to take their business and tie it to revenue, that’s how you do it. Use a pregnant pet presentation.

Russell Benaroya: If somebody wants to come and work with True Speaking Success, and be your client, how do they do it? How do you welcome them into your model?

Arel Moodie: What we do is everything is by application only because I’m really keen on the idea that you have to be a good energy fit. We turn down lots of people who don’t have the right mindset. If I feel like you’re just someone who’s money hungry, nothing wrong with money, but if that’s your only focus, I’m not going to be the one for you. I will show you how to get there, but your heart has to be in there. If you’re not heart first, then it’s not a good fit for my tribe or folks.

What happens is people go to truespeakingsuccess.com, they can learn more about our different coaching programs. There’s a very quick application you fill out that lets us know more about who you are and what you’re trying to achieve in the world. We review that and if we accept that application, we set up a meeting with you.

Me or someone from my team will ask you a bunch of questions. If we think you’re a good fit, we’ll extend an invitation. Then you can work with us either for a three-month period, if you just want to sprint, or we have a one-year membership, where you can stay with us and make sure you have everything that you need. That’s the easiest way to do it.

What I would encourage anyone to do who’s listening, if you want to learn more about how to find opportunities and how to really dial in that one idea, I would just go to messagetomasterpiece.com. On there, I’ve got a webinar that it’s totally free and it’s really in depth. I wanted to make it more valuable than most people’s paid stuff and I really do believe it is. I encourage people to watch that and that’s how you can get more information on us, and also how you can learn more about what we do.

Russell Benaroya:  Awesome. There was one question that I should have brought up earlier: the distinction in speaking between in-person versus what’s really happening today, which is a lot of Zoom presenting. What opportunities does Zoom create for the keynote speaker and there’s probably a drawback as well?

Arel Moodie: I love virtual. I’m a huge fan of it and I hope it stays. It’s absolutely game-changing for 1000 reasons. I think people focus too much on having an audience in front of you, but if you do it right and you use the chat in the right way, you actually find that virtual allows the introvert and the extrovert to have a level playing field. You actually get more engagement than just in-person where the extrovert has the advantage.

Number one, virtual is amazing because if I’m doing a presentation tomorrow, I’m going to come down in my home office, and I’m going to turn my computer on 15 minutes before my presentation. I’m going to speak for an hour and a half and then when I’m done, hang out with my family. If it’s an in-person keynote, normally, I’d have to fly one day, be there for the day, do the networking and be at the event. Then if I am lucky, fly back that evening or the next morning, and then that flight takes all day to get back.

A lot of times speaking engagements in-person could take two to three days off your schedule. With virtual, it might only take an hour and a half. Now, obviously, the drawback is you don’t get that hallway time, that face to face time, that networking time, which is absolutely the biggest benefit of in person. But you have the opportunity to do more speaking engagement virtual and there are more opportunities to speak because these associations need more deliverables for their members.

We’ve actually seen an increase in the amount of people attending and the opportunities. That mom who doesn’t want to leave her family for three days now can attend that virtual conference without sacrificing family or work. That business owner who’s got a lot to do can’t take two days away from his business, but can take an hour and a half away. I think virtual has been one of the biggest blessings if used correctly and used the right way.

Russell Benaroya: Any pro tips on tools or technologies that you’ve used that have been helpful in the virtual speaking arena?

Arel Moodie: I am super low-tech on purpose. When I do virtual, the two main things that I use and use very consciously are the chat function and breakout rooms. If you can remember that the transformation happens in the breakout room, not in your keynote, you’ll be a much better speaker than most people. The transformation happens when people actually talk about, apply, and work with the content you share. You can still do that in the breakout room where you have people match up and really go from passive receiving mode to active engagement mode.

I’m constantly pushing people into chat. Then what you’ll see is that by using the chat, as I mentioned, it levels the playing field for the introvert and the extrovert. Engagement goes through the roof. My highest engagement is on the virtual. I love going to events and folks are like, “We’ve never seen such engagement.” People don’t use the chat or under-utilize it.

If you use the chat correctly, then you’re not having people clipping their toenails during your virtual presentation, checking their phone during your virtual presentation because it’s easy to zone out. They’re engaged in the chat. Then there are things you can do like saying, “Thank you.” Make sure you’re saying people’s names.

In virtual, I can see people’s names. When they put an answer in the chat, I can say, “Thank you, Maria.” “Thank you, Russell.” I’m saying the sweetest word in the English; their name. I can’t do that in person because I don’t know people’s names. Now you’re engaging them because they’re hearing their name. It’s an amazing tool if used correctly.

Russell Benaroya: It has me thinking about some of these auctions that you go to, when you raise the paddle and the auctioneer is like, “Thank you, number 862.” It’s not your name, but your number is pretty sweet, too. They’re calling your number like, “Thank you.” It’s like, “Yay, I was acknowledged.”

Arel Moodie: By seeing people you let them be seen, and letting them be seen is one of the greatest gifts we can give.

Russell Benaroya: What is a question that people don’t often ask you that you wish they did or is an opening for you to share something about yourself that maybe people don’t know?

Arel Moodie: My philosophy is that if you say one thing, you say everything. I don’t have enough people asking me, “Well, how do you figure out what that one thing is?” I have 1,000 things that I could talk about. I have 1,00 things that I’m passionate about.  How do you figure out what is the one thing that your audience needs? I think figuring that out is not talked about enough and is super valuable.

Russell Benaroya: Arel, this has been awesome. By the way, I could continue talking about this for hours. One, you’re very engaging. This is an area that I have a lot of interest in. I see the craft and as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, as someone who believes that they have a message to deliver where I can be a vessel for experience, it’s really energizing to think about how to hone that in a way that delivers the gift to the audience. Thank you for spending time with me.

Arel Moodie: My pleasure, man. I appreciate you creating a space for us to have this conversation and creating a space for people to hopefully change their perspective on what can be accomplished in their life. Hopefully, with our small amount of time together, we change people’s perspective on what they can do with public speaking.

Russell Benaroya: I will obviously have the transcript in the show notes, but I will also put links to your website, which I certainly know is arelmoodie.com. Is it also messagetomasterpiece?

Arel Moodie: Yes, messagetomasterpiece.com is a great way for people to get some more information and get some great skills.

Russell Benaroya: Awesome. Thank you again, Arel. Have a great day, everybody. We will see you next time on Stride 2 Freedom. Thank you

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