Category Archives for "Build Your Expert Business"


Women and Motivational Speaking

1410500066293_Women-motivational-speakerThe majority of motivational speakers are men, and that needs to change. The good news is that it has been slowly changing over the last 20 years. It used to be around 8% women and now 21% of top motivational speakers are women.

Given that audiences are often more than 50% women, it makes sense to have at least 50% women speakers. Even at many events with 100% women audiences, you’ll find mostly male speakers.

Why so few women in this profession? Here is a list of possible reasons. Feel free to add in your own opinions.


  1. SUBCONSCIOUS PROGRAMMING: To be a motivational speaker is to stand in your authority and be “the tall poppy”. Tall poppies get cut down. You have to have the courage to receive pushback from your audience, to embody the truth of your message and inspire people to action. In many cultures, this kind of behaviour has been seen as “unladylike”. Many women took on subconscious programs as a girl about what they can or cannot do as a women in the world. They’d need to erase the limiting beliefs and replace them with a more supportive beliefs. For more free tools on being a Self Confident woman check out our free online tutorial entitled:The Art of Mindset Mastery: a 5 Step Process for Turning Self Doubt into Self Confidence
  2. RELATIONSHIP VS GOAL ORIENTED: Women traditionally prioritize relationships over achievements. Being a top motivational speaker requires being highly goal oriented and ambitious, since it’s very competitive. Many women prefer to be “one of the crowd” than the lonely leader at the top, or more focused on child rearing than chasing the podium. That said, there ARE ways to be a speaker and do it in a feminine way. We coach many women speakers to get to the top of their game.
  3. PREJUDICE: Many event planners don’t think women are generally as good as men when it comes to inspiring an audience. We also hear event planners say that male speakers sell more from the stage. If they get a commission on what the speaker sells, then it becomes a bottom line issue. That said, there ARE plenty of women who are excellent motivational speakers. Check out the roster at The Women Speakers Association.

Audiences around the world need to be hearing from more women, so that the messages people hear are more diverse.


To get started, think of audiences you’d like to connect with and how you’d like to positively impact them. Avoid the mistake of trying to be a speaker on all motivational topics to all people, because it’s very hard to get booked to speak that way.

STEP 1: Think about groups you’re already connected to. The more specific, the better. It could be teachers in alternative learning school systems, or new mothers in their 30’s, or leaders in virtual reality gaming companies.

STEP 2: Brainstorm on all possible motivational topics you think would help that group. For example, “How to Boost Creativity” might great for teachers in alternative schools.  New mothers in their 30’s might need “Work-Life Balance” motivation. Leaders in gaming companies may need “The Power of Dreaming”.

STEP 3: Pick just one topic to get known by. This is just to get launched. You can branch out after that. For example,  Brene Brown did that in her TEDx talk “The Power of Vulnerability“, or Elizabeth Gilbert did that in her TED talk, “Your Elusive Creative Genius“. Most people totally relate that topic to that speaker.

STEP 4: Just decide how far you’d like to travel, whether you want to speak at live events, or virtual ones, and if you want to get paid or not to speak.


Then, you just get online and see what events fit your criteria, and call the Program Manager and see how they book speakers. Once you book one event it will snowball into others if you play your cards right.


If you’d like more details on how to become a motivational speaker check out this FREE Webinar with Carla Rieger entitled: “How to Book Lucrative Speaking Gigs“. It will give you a step-by-step process for getting booked.



How to Find Humorous Stories to Tell

If you lead a team, coach, or speak to groups, try telling a humorous story.

Why? Because it:

  1. captures interest much better than dry concepts
  2. helps people remember your point
  3. opens people’s minds to your message
  4. builds a bond of trust with your listener

Check out this short 6 minute video below for quick tips on adding humorous stories to your repertoire.


Here are 5 ways to find or create humorous stories

  1. BEST MISTAKES: Back in the day of pagers a friend went to a realtor’s conference because she wanted to network with them and build a clientele. During the conference she noticed that everyone had pagers. At lunch she went home and put her garage door opener on her belt, just to fit in. When she went back to the conference, a guy walked up to her and said, “Nice garage door opener you’ve got there.”
  2. GREAT TURNAROUNDS: I client of mine was working at a home improvement store in the paint department.  Customers usually discover a problem after they have already spread the paint on their wall.  Often people show up with half empty paint cans wanting their money back. Special colors are not accepted for return. One customer got so upset at my client that he said, “You can take this paint and shove it up your ass!”  My client responded by holding his belly and saying, “I’m sorry sir, you’re the third person to say that today so I’m all full.”  The customer laughed and they were able to move on. (Stevie Ray)
  3. EXAGGERATION: A client of mine kept returning our budget proposal saying it needed to be smaller.  No matter how much trimming we did, the client kept pushing for “Smaller, smaller!”  I finally took the proposal to a copier and had it reduced to two inches in size.  I sent it to the client and said, “This is about as small as I can make it.  Tell me what you think.” He called me saying it got a huge laugh in his office and that he would now accept the proposal as soon as he could find his magnifying glass. (Frank Friedman)
  4. EMBARRASSING MOMENTS: A woman went to a drugstore store. She was in line with her items, but one item didn’t have a price on it. The cashier got on the microphone and announced “Price check needed on aisle 13 for Tampax, super size.” The employee at the back of the store instead heard “thumbtacks,” so he got back on the microphone and said, “Do you want the kind you push in with your thumb or the kind you pound in with the hammer?”
  5. PUBLIC DOMAINGoogle “Funny story + your topic” and find a public domain story. For example, Tips I learned from the Easter Bunny are: don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, walk softly and carry a big carrot, everyone needs a friend who is all ears, a cute little tail attracts a lot of attention,  everyone is entitled to a bad hare day and some body parts should be floppy.


  1. Write it out
  2. Edit it down to just the most important points
  3. Try it first in a low stakes social environment to see how it goes
  4. Finally, try it in a business or work setting

Let me know if you give it a try.


The Power of Laughter (ebook and MP3): Get more examples of humorous stories. Laughter increases learning ability, camaraderie and engagement. Check out this entertaining ebook & MP3 program. On special right now.


Storytelling in Business Online Course: (8 tutorial videos and worksheets) Discover a Step-by-Step Process for Crafting and Delivering Stories in a Business or Work Setting to Increase Engagement and Buy In from Your Listener. Also on special right now.


The Best Kind of Story to Attract Ideal People to Your Business

shutterstock_196202477Think of a speaker that had a big impact on you. Chances are they spoke about their long term vision, their life mission and you felt aligned with their values.

Now, think about the last time you were trying to motivate someone to make a positive change. Perhaps you were talking to your team, or a client, or speaking at an event. Were you sharing your mission, vision and values? Were you telling them WHY you are suggesting they change? Many change leaders forget to do this.

Here’s an example from my life. As a teenager, I had a job as a banquet waitress at a university conference centre. I loved this job because all I had to do was serve buffet food to people going by, collect empty plates, pour coffee and smile a lot.

The best part of the job was that I experienced various conference speakers and events. One event in particular changed the course of my life. I saw three speakers. The event was about the environment. There am, I served the meal and I’m standing at the back ready to pour coffee. I’m in my polyester black and white, scratchy uniform. The first speaker I see is a politician. He’s listing statistics and policy changes that incentivize big business not to pollute. People’s eyes are glazed over. I had to pour a lot of coffee to keep them awake. Second speaker, a social activist. He’s yelling and raising his fist in the air about corporate self interest, and insincere politicians who do nothing. I see people wake up but they have a grimace on their face.

Finally, I see the third speaker. It’s is a woman. I’ve actually never seen a woman speaker before. Her name is Dr. Helen Caldicott. She’s written a book called “If You Love This Planet” and there is a documentary about it. Do you remember that book? She tells us that physicians are noticing more and more environmentally related diseases occurring in the population. They start Physicians for Social Responsibility in the United States to educate people on what’s happening and calling people to take a stand– not necessarily because it’s their duty as a citizen, or out of a place of feeling a victim of corporate greed, but calling us to…love this planet.

It was the first female speaker I had ever seen, and the first one who asked us to take collective responsibility for what was happening, and to do it out of love and not hate. You could hear a pin drop as she spoke. People were transfixed– mouths hung open, coffee cups hung in midair, tears were rolling down the faces of many of the listeners. Two things happened to change my life after that experience. One was that I decided to be more conscious of my behavior and to indeed “love this planet”. And the other was to become a speaker who could open people’s minds like she did that day. Those two decisions change thousands of decisions I made over the next 30 years.

What thought leader changed your world and what were the values they were sharing? Feel free to leave your comments below.

And, if you’d like a step-by-step way to use powerful stories in your business environment, check out Storytelling in Business.

3 Easy Ways to Deal with Presentation Anxiety

1405731649691_dealing-with-anxietyDeadlines and performance pressure can bring on anxiety…like having to give a business presentation or do public speaking.

The good news is that there are now proven ways of dealing with it, that don’t require professional help. They only need a small amount of time and open mindedness.


3 top tips for releasing presentation anxiety:

  1. Play the “What if” Game

List 3 anxieties in  starting with the words “What if…”  For example:

“What if I people don’t like my presentation?”

“What if I don’t get ready in time?”

“What if I can’t remember what to say?”

Do 3 turn arounds starting again with”What if…”  For example:

“What if I people DO like my presentation?”

“What if I DO get ready in time?”

“What if I CAN remember what to say?”

This will get the creative mind chewing on something positive, and then you’ll find the anxiety drifting away.

  1. Trace Your Worry Back to it’s Origin

Use a journal and try tracing the worry back to it’s origin. You’ll often find nothing there. Use “voice dialogue”, whereby you have a conversation with your Higher Self and Lower Self.Often there is a tendency to be angry at the Lower Self for feeling that way. To counteract that, make sure you treat the Lower Self with care and respect; like a scared child that just needs compassion and support. For example:

Higher Self: What are you anxious about?

Lower Self: I’m afraid I’m going to mess up this presentation.

Higher Self: And what most concerns you about doing that?

Lower Self: If I mess it up I could lose credibility and business.

Higher Self: And what most concerns you about that happening?

Lower Self: Then I’ll lose income and respect in amongst my peers.

Higher Self: And what most concerns you about that happening?

Lower Self: Then I’ll go bankrupt and have to live on the streets.

Higher Self: And what most concerns you about that happening?

Lower Self: Then I’ll live a hard life full of regrets for not living up to my potential.

Higher Self: And how likely is that to happen?

Lower SelfNot very. It seems silly now that I think about it.

  1. Assess Level of Importance

People who suffer from anxiety often have a bad habit of “turning mole hills into mountains”, of exaggerating the possible negative outcomes, of catastrophizing. For example, do you find yourself giving too much importance on future tasks and labeling them as “emergencies” when they aren’t? Ask yourself “Will anything that bad happen if I don’t do this now, or don’t do it perfectly?” Chances are the answer is “No”. Often when you do that, the anxiety evaporates into nothingness.

For more help, check out Confidence Gold for Speakers (online program)


Need more engagement when you speak about your business?

Are you trying to open people’s minds to change?

Are you telling them WHY you want them to change?

Many people seem to forget this small but vastly important step.  I love reporting on Change Artists to pay attention to, such as Jane McGonigal. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.

As you may know, I teach the change agents of the world to “Speak Your Purpose.” Jane’s bio starts with just that…

She is a PhD who is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games — or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems. She believes game designers are on a humanitarian mission — and her #1 goal in life is to see a game developer win a Nobel Peace Prize.

What’s Your Mission?

Think about that for yourself. What is YOUR mission? Do you even have a mission behind what you do? And if not, below is a quick self inquiry to discover what that is. It doesn’t have to be a lofty mission.  But if you communicate WHY you do what you do, it magnetize more income, impact and loyalty from your tribe.  Most people just share WHO, WHAT and HOW. Who you are, what you do and how you do it. That is the first sentence of Jane’s bio. See if you can add in the second…WHY you are doing this.

Your ABOUT Page

According to Google Analytics stats, the majority of web visitors spend the most time on the “About” page. People want to know WHY you do what you do…especially if you are an expert in your niche, a business owner or in any kind of leadership role at work.

Start with WHY

In his popular TED talk, “Start with Why“, Simon Sinek shows how top performers in work and business make it easy for people to understand their values, what they stand for, what’s important to them. It magnetizes all kinds of good results. But not enough people do this or they don’t communicate it in a way that people can really “get” it.

Here’s how you can begin to do that. Answer these 2 questions about your expertise, business offering or leadership role:

  1. How are you, your services or products making a difference?
  2. How are you, your products or services useful to the world?


Find out your communication personality style, especially when giving business presentations. This will help you focus on your strengths as a presenter, and less on your weaknesses. Just click here:

The D.A.N.C.E. Personality Style Quiz

Find out whether you’re a

  • Demonstrator
  • Assertor
  • Narrator
  • Contemplator
  • Expert