Jason Hartman talks with Anne Bruce who is author of 14 books including Speak for a Living: The Insider™ Guide to Building a Profitable Speaking Career, Perfect Phrases for Employee Development Plans, Be Your Own Mentor, Perfect Phrases for Documenting Employee Performance Problems, Discover True North: A Program to Ignite Your Passion and Activate Your Potential, Motivating Employees. More at: http://www.speakingofwealth.com/category/podcast, or on iTunes.
Over the years, Anne Bruce has evolved from the best-selling author of several books in the field of human behavior, leadership, and motivation to an inspirational force and a respected specialist, speaker, and trainer in the area of human development and personal growth.
Thousands of people around the world have adopted Anne™ no-nonsense approach to Discover True North and have learned to be the author of their life story.
Anne™ workshops and keynote presentations, including this book, grew out of her powerful and life-changing courses taught worldwide, known as the Human Potential Series: Inspirational Programs with Substance and Soul and America™ Got Talent in the Workplace!
Anne has had the privilege to speak, write, or train for such prestigious organizations as:
*The White House
*Ben & Jerry™
*Harvard Law School
*Baylor University Medical Center
*The Conference Board of Europe
*The Southern Company
*American Society of Training and Development
*Marriott / The Ritz-Carlton Hotels
*MedAmerica Billing Services, Inc.
*The American Red Cross
Introduction: Speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches and info marketers unite. The Speaking of Wealth Show is your roadmap to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you are looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big time personal brand, and become the go-to-guru. The Speaking of Wealth Show is for you. Here is your host, Jason Hartman.
Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Speaking of Wealth show. This is your host Jason Hartman and this is Episode #2, where we talk about profit strategies for speakers, publishers, and consultants. That’s what the speaking of wealth show is all about. And today is certainly along those lines, where we have an interview with Anne Bruce who is the author of 14 books, and one of them that we are going about today is Speak for a Living: The Insider’s Guide to Building a Speaking Career.
So, I hope you enjoyed the last show with Harvey MacKay, the author of Swim with the Sharks and many other great books. And let’s go to the interview with Anne Bruce, and I look forward to future shows on Speaking of Wealth Show. We have Denis Waitley coming up and whole bunch of other great shows in store for you, so keep on listening and spread the word about the Speaking of Wealth Show. Here’s the interview with Anne Bruce.
It’s my pleasure to welcome Anne Bruce to the show. She is the author of Speak For Living: The Insider’s Guide to Building a Speaking Career. I’m sure this interview will be full of lot a good tips on how to increase your speaking fees, make your marketing sizzle, travel the world for free as a speaker, and getting the bookings you want. Anne welcome. It’s a pleasure to have you on the show.
Anne Bruce: Oh thanks a lot Jason. It’s great to be here.
Jason Hartman: So, tell us about the inspiration for the book and your background first. I know that you are the author of 14 books huh?
Anne Bruce: Yeah, absolutely. I am working on the 15th and a novel as we speak. It’s been an exciting time, but you know with all the writing I do, and you can imagine with 14 books, you are writing a lot. Nothing compares to the power of speaking of conveying your message in an articulate, compelling manner that will influence people and draw people to you so that you can grow yourself, brand yourself, and make yourself more effective overall.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And the one benefit you didn’t mention, but that of speaking and of course as everybody knows you can earn a great living from it but the benefit I was thinking of is that sometimes the best way to learn a subject is to actually teach it, isn’t it?
Anne Bruce: Absolutely. When you are facilitating a program, a process that’s your own and all of – I do lots of training and I speak all over the world. And I convey to people the core messages that are in my books and that has become one spinoff to how I certainly make my living. You know, I am an employed development coach, I am a professional platform speaker and a keynote speaker, and a life coach. And so all of those job titles, if you will, require that you will be able to connect to other people and facilitate their success. That has got to be the driving force, facilitating other people’s success.
Jason Hartman: Excellent point. I think when people hear this interview, they are thinking, well I don’t plan to start a business and become a professional speaker as it were and earn my living that way. There might be people that are inside of a company now, who want to increase their income or their career status as a professional speaker, as a trainer, but do it internally, become sort of a speaking intrepreneur rather than an entrepreneur as it were. Does this apply to them as well?
Anne Bruce. Absolutely. And that’s a brilliant point that you bring out. That Speaking for a Living is not about being necessarily in business for yourself or an independent platform speaker. You can work for an organization and take this book and tools in it and make it work for you. And a great example of an organization I am working with now, that’s not necessarily well-known like Google, and Zappos, and Microsoft, and Southwest Airlines but it is MedAmerica Billing Services Inc. And this is an organization that has been extraordinarily successful in the industry as medical billing services for emergency program physicians and emergency room physicians.
And you would think that might sound a little, you know, kind of policy driven or and more analytical. But this is an organization who has taken the initiative to invest in their people, bring in an employee development coach, that would be me, and develop and brand their services and develop their people through emotional intelligence.
So they took my book, they are using the processes, they are using the training programs as I used them as an example because this is the kind of organization that you would not think could take these tips and tools and magnify them, but they have brilliant leadership. Jimmy Proffit is their president and COO of the organization. He has made a commitment to taking Speaking for a Living, that bringing in internally like many organizations can do, and showing individuals how to empower themselves to how they present and how they learn and how they develop their emotional intelligence and their skillsets.
It is – I love that example because this is, you know, an American company that is doing some extraordinary things on a worldwide basis.
Jason Hartman: That’s fantastic. Talk to us a little bit more, if you would Anne, about the branding aspect. I mean I published a book about 10 years ago on personal branding entitled Become The Brand of Choice, and I believe there is some very, very big power in one’s brand, however I think this is become a little bit cliché almost, maybe the last five or six years. And it’s still important and Speaking for a Living can certainly help a person build a brand and be recognized as an expert, as a thought leader. How do you see this playing out in the speaking world?
Anne Bruce: Well I agree with you. It has become somewhat cliché. I couldn’t agree more. However, it is still incredibly important to understand how branding applies and you know we can take the concept of branding and individually make that work for us on a wide variety of levels. I get very excited about it because I don’t just refer to branding. I refer to becoming a thought leader. You have to be a thought leader, Jason. It’s not just about, you know, having a well-known name, there’s got to be substance behind it. And there is, you know, there is going to be action behind the good intention or else everything means squat.
So you really have to have a bold, a self-assurance, know who you are, know what you want to deliver and I call it becoming a thought leader. When I’m doing coaching, I do a lot of executive coaching, a lot of life coaching for individuals and I show them how to do this, and how to take various strategies to expand their brands. Meaning, your brand is your personality, it is sort of like the culture of an organization. All that is, is the personality of an organization. Well, your brand is your personality that is the natural extension of who you are. Because if it’s not natural Jason, it’s phony, it’s not real, and people crave authenticity. So without authenticity, branding is moot.
Jason Hartman: No question about it. Just saw a great quote on Facebook and I can’t remember the whole thing, but I think it was it was Leo Buscaglia said something like, You are the best person at being you of all, stop trying to be somebody else and be the second best of being them.
Anne Bruce: That’s right, that’s right. You are your – When people say, you know, who is my competition, I always say your competition is you, at your best. We’ve gotten so diluted with so many things going on around us, we forget who we are, what we stand for, you know, like the saying goes, stand for something or fall for anything. And I really like to underscore a point here and that is, you tell the world who you are by how you communicate.
And under that umbrella of communication there can fall how to speak for a living, whether you’re an employee of an organization, like the employees I coached in MedAmerica, or if you are an individual who is an entrepreneur, or both, or just someone coming right out of college, or an individual who is reinventing themselves for that second or third career.
So it’s how – What do you tell the world is the question I would ask your listeners and how is that being perceived. Because the end result of everything we do comes back to one thing. And that is not so much what we write or what we speak in our presentations or at the meetings we attend. It comes back to how we make people feel. How do you make people feel by what comes out of your mouth, what you put on paper? This radio show you have is extraordinary. We know that people worldwide listen to this radio show and that you create an experience for your listeners. That is a well-known fact among the listenership of this radio show.
But it is because you are creating an experience, it’s not so much. I wish I could say gee, it’s so successful because authors like myself get to be on your show. I wish that were the case, but it’s not. It’s the feeling that you provide by how you gather the experts together, the questions you ask and they are always smart questions, and then how you disseminate that to your audience worldwide. And you create an experience, hence a feeling, and that’s the power of what we are talking about.
Jason Hartman: When you say about the experience here, you are right on and it reminds me of that well-known book On The Top of the Experienced Economy, lot of comparisons to Disney in there. I read that about 10 years ago I think. And it is very true. People remember and benefit from experiences, and that’s what speakers and thought leaders can really provide to people.
But let’s not make this whole business of speaking seem Pollyanna. We’ve got people who are just becoming interested in this as a career or a second career, and experienced professionals that have been doing this for a long time listening. And every business has its good things and its bad things. When it comes to understanding the business of professional speaking, tell us about kind of the good, the bad, and the ugly, if you will Anne.
Anne Bruce: Well, the good is, you know, you got to love it. You got to love it from your heart and if you are a person who wants to help people, that’s good. That’s the good part because you are in front of them, whether you are in an organization, in front of your colleagues, or on the platform in front of 5000 people in Las Vegas and you’re helping people, that’s the good. The bad part is you have to be a person of tremendous perseverance, because you can imagine this is quite a competitive field. This is not a field for wimps. If you are looking for adoration and a wonderful feedback constantly, then you need to get yourself a puppy.
Jason Hartman: [Laughs]
Anne Bruce: Because, then you’ll get licked all the time on the face and you will get tons of adoration. This is a business that can chew you up and spit you out in terms of hardcore feedback, and that might be somewhat it’s not like the way you comb your hair when you’re standing on stage. I mean, you can get that personal. Now that’s kind of the bad.
The ugly is the fact that, it is career of physicality. You must have tremendous physicality to do this job. Because on contrary to popular belief, we don’t just show up and limousines pick us up and you know, it’s like Oprah Winfrey coming to the hotel and you’ve got, you know, fruit baskets and champagne. That’s not what happens. You show up, your meeting, you know, a sky cap with, you know, a couple of hundred pounds of boxes with your books and luggage and then you are crawling around on the floor at the conference centre trying to find a plug and set up your booth and sell your wares and then get up on stage, and then do book signings, and that could go on for, you know, 16 to 17 hours a day.
So when I say physicality, I don’t mean that you must be a person who does not have any physical challenges. I will tell you I work with individuals who are physically challenged, maybe in wheelchairs, speakers who don’t have limbs, and they can, you know, they can literally outsustain me any day. They have tremendous energy and they get the job done.
Jason Hartman: But I think the distinction there is its energy, and that energy usually comes really from passion.
Anne Bruce: Yes, that is a brilliant point. It has to be a passionate thing. You cannot turn it on and off like the faucet. I wake up in the mornings sometimes I am a pretty positive person. I‘ve written 6 to 8 books now on motivation and attitude and I believe in it. It’s, you know, it’s like a religion to me. I do believe in the power of having that right mental attitude to get through. But some days I wake up and I’m sure you do too, you know, you just don’t feel you’re 120% or firing on all cylinders, or maybe you’re tired because you’ve been doing other thing. Well that’s okay, but that’s not okay in front of an audience.
So you have too always have that energy reserve, where if you are not feeling it, you still act it. Zig Ziglar says when you act the part, you do the the part. You look energetic and everybody feels that energy, because there are no excuses in this business. You can’t say Gee, I have a headache today. I don’t feel like going on stage or Gee, I feel a little tired, I don’t feel like catching that flight to Chicago. You have to have the passion that overrides it all. And that comes from attitude. And attitude drives choice and attitude drives behavior.
So I often say to people who want to be in this profession or employees in organizations who want to present and speak for a living, I say to them what is your attitude daily, do you have the right attitude, and that’s different than positive thinking. I am not talking about positive thinking because that will not bring you success. You can wish that you were an astronaut and speaking to NASA every day, but if you don’t have the technology and the background, you’re not going to able to do that. All the positive thinking in the world won’t work.
But attitude, that will work in any situation, personal and professional in your life. And when you adopt an attitude of passion as you’ve just said, you will indeed make better choices and you will indeed exert a behavior that is attractive and compelling to the outside world. So they want to draw you in and include you more and then guess what happens. You’re more competitive, you’re the first choice, you’ll make more money, you’ll have more success.
Jason Hartman: Absolutely. So we understand that there will be discouragement, there will be setbacks, it’s not easy, it’s not at all glamorous. Some of it is glamorous, but mostly it’s a lot of hard work. And I remember when I was just starting out many years back, I did the rubber chicken circuit. And you know that’s how I would get good at speaking, is by looking at the audience, judging their feedback, changing course based on that feedback. And it’s not written feedback necessarily. It’s not a bunch of evaluation forms. It’s sensing that, sensing what they are perceiving and receiving and what they like and what they don’t like and what works and what doesn’t work.
But after all that, and after we’ve had the right attitude and we’ve done all that, what are some of the nuts and bolts in terms of marketing? I mean without marketing, speakers do not get discovered. They do not get bookings and their career goes nowhere.
Anne Bruce: You are so right. I mean you know, it’s like having – You know, the best spaghetti recipe you know in America and you open up a restaurant but if no one knows about it, then you are going to go out of business.
So it’s the same with speaking. If no one knows about you, who you are, and how magnificent you are, then you are going to miss it. I assure with everyone – You probably saw in my book, in the beginning of the book, I have a section, it says Where the hack is Toad Suck? Well, Toad Suck is in Arkansas and that was one of my first speeches I ever did. I literally had to put the notes to my speech on top of the haystack inside of a barn.
Jason Hartman: (Laughs)
Anne Bruce: Now, now – And I got paid I think $500 for that speech. I thought it was like $5 million. I was so happy. I am originally as you know from New York, so this couldn’t have been different from the culture I grew up in and the culture I know. But then one of the things that would be in a speaker, whether you are doing this for your organization and travelling for the company or doing this independently, you have to – You are marketing yourself. You don’t have an attitude about who you’re marketing yourself to.
If you are in a barn in Toad Suck, be thankful for it. You see experience how everyone there, you know, what you do to pass out your card. Then if you are fortunate enough to get a gig in Las Vegas for a couple of thousand, autoworkers or wherever their business might be, a restaurateur, etcetera, doctor’s, it doesn’t matter. That’s awesome because you have a bigger audience. But don’t ever underestimate in your marketing effort, don’t ever underestimate the size of the business, or the audience, or the city. Because you know what? We’re a global community now and someone in Toad Suck might very well be the key to a magnificent opportunity in Geneva, Switzerland for you. That has happened for me, where I’ve been with very intimate groups that you would think, oh this might not be too impressive –
Jason Hartman: It’s a waste of time where –
Anne Bruce: It’s a waste of time. If I have two people and I am in Cleveland, Ohio and we’re sitting in someone’s home, doing discover through north expedition on one of my books or whatever it might be, I treat that group of two people the as same as I would 20,000 people in an arena, you know, in New Orleans. It doesn’t matter. In my mind, it is a human connection.
Jason Hartman: So, so Anne on that note, I would say that speakers and aspiring speakers definitely should remember there are no small parts, only small actors, right?
Anne Bruce: I love it. I love that quote. That is an amazing quote. I love it. And remember this, if you would decide it as boring, then so are you. And I say that in my book. If you’re website is boring, then so are you. If you’re marketing is boring, then so are you. You now, if your listener’s go to my website, you will see that I give an entertaining presentation in my website to try and draw people in.
Now, my own experience is that when I tend to make a short list for speeches and I am being considered for a conference, a key note, etcetera, if the client doesn’t indeed go to my website, I have a real good shot of getting that job Jason. And part of it is because I make it easy, there is not a lot of things you have to navigate or figure out, it’s not rocket science, it’s entertaining, and I drive home that word. Whether you are working in a corporate environment or you are an independent speaker, you must be entertaining, and colorful, and enthusiastic, and funny and lighten up. I don’t care what your subject matter is. Because if you don’t have those elements, you are going to lose the attention of the world. We are an immediate gratification society. We love to be entertained. We are looking at BlackBerries and blueberries, you know, screens everywhere and computers, and people want to be entertained.
And so, what level are you going to take your entertainment value to and what wow factor? This, I really want to drive this point in hand. What’s you’re wow factor? W-O-W. And once you answer that question, how do you prove it? And you know, so if I were to say to you, Okay Jason, what is your wow factor? And you think, gee, what is that? Then I say Jason, how do you prove it? That would be the litmus test for what we are discussing. And I find without being able to answer that, you could have a struggle.
Jason Hartman: And so people need to really do some internal soul searching to discover their wow factor. But beginning in, I just want to say is that it kind of along the lines of that learning by teaching thing is, if you’re new and you are an aspiring speaker, get out there and speak. That’s how you will discover it. It will just hit you probably when you are right in front of a group, talking the local rotary club or some small venue on the rubber chicken circuit. And if you’re doing your service or paying your dues, and suddenly you realize, hey-that is what makes me special, that is my thing, I can kind of own that, right?
Anne Bruce: You are not kidding, I grew – And you know what, before I graduated to Toad Suck, Arkansas, I gave my speeches to my Siamese cat, Guido. I put Guido on the bed and I gave my speeches to him.
Jason Hartman: (Laughs)
Anne Bruce: And so, that was my first audience. And I say that distichously to some degree but very meant from the heart. In other ways, those people who might see my book, Speak for a Living, you will see in the very beginning of my book, this speaks exactly to what you said Jason about doing some soul searching, I have a very in-depth assessment, all outlined right there, starting on page 5. And it goes on and on and on and it asks the hard questions, as you said, the good, the bad, and the ugly questions that help you assess, are you really cut out for this profession. Are you really cut out to present, whether it is being a trainer within an organization or a manager who does trainees, or an independent speaker with your own business? I have put together an in-depth assessment there and I am very proud of that.
Jason Hartman: You sure have. I am looking at it now. I mean there are some really good questions here. Are you willing to start out small and work your way up to larger engagements? Are you thick skinned? Can you handle blunt criticism from strangers? Because you’re going to get plenty. I know. Are you doing this to be famous and make a lot of money? Do you expect to be treated special because you’re the speaker or the trainer? This goes on for pages and pages and it’s nine pages long questions like that. Wow.
Anne Bruce: Yeah. Lots of it in the real world is, you know, they are going to be times when you are in front of a group and everybody is dressed up, and it is a dinner meeting and everybody has already been to cocktail hour, and then to the bar, and then wine with dinner, and somebody is going to say something or do something. I’ve had food thrown at me at the podium, you know, from someone who has a little, you know, have a little bit too good at timing and got a little carried away.
Things happen. I’ve been in, you know, speaking when there was an earthquake and the chandelier fell down right on the stage. I mean, you know, you got to plan. I call planning to be spontaneous and you know, that’s sort of an oxymoron obviously. But I tried to let people know go with the flow because you are being paid to make a presentation. It doesn’t make you any more special than anyone in that audience. And here’s one you know, my really top tips I tell people. If you can’t write the highlights of what you have to say in your speech or at the back of your business card, you’ve got too much to say.
So don’t get caught up on telling going on and on and on. Chunk it down. Chunk it down to the – In our business, the media business, we call it, you know, sound bites or pole quotes in the newspaper business. Get it chunked down and if you have, you know, I don’t care if you are doing training for three days in your company. If you can’t put the highlights of that training program on the back of your business card, you’ve got too much to say.
Jason Hartman: Yeah good point, good point. People can only remember a small portion of it. You can’t give them your whole thing. You got to have an elevator pitch. I guess it’s made with that sense.
Anne Bruce: Yes, that’s right. But they will remember how you made them feel.
Jason Hartman: Sure.
Anne Bruce: And so when they leave the room, I don’t care if they remember everything all the points I went over in my speech. I want them to leave feeling better than they ever have felt before and saying I cannot believe how amazing this was, when can we have her come back and speak again, when can I attend another training program that Anne Bruce is going to facilitate for our company. That’s the feeling I want to emote.
Jason Hartman: Let me take a brief pause. We will be back in just a minute. (Music)
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Jason Hartman: And I want to cover some more points here and time is somewhat limited. You talk about public relations and being savvy with publicity and making it work for you, just a couple of quick tips on that one.
Anne Bruce: Absolutely. Don’t be afraid to doing a number of things. You just, you know, get on the internet. First of all, in my book, I list, you know, lots of resources, so everyone out there know is that there are lots of wonderful resources that are affordable. But you can get on the Internet and start small if you have not done television or radio before. It’s fine. Whatever your topic is, we all have a different topic, tie it into something that is news worthy, timely, and topical.
And so obviously, if you are a financial planner, we have, you know, an economy right now that’s influxed and a lot going on. There is tons of news-worthy topics you can tie into. If you are a political consultant, obviously we’ve got lots of things coming down the pipe here in the next few years politically. Tie into things that you see in the newspaper or on television and make those calls to producers and to assignment editors. And be different. Set yourself apart from the pack. What’s going to make you sizzle? PR is so important and you’ve got to be someone who is not afraid of the media and just keep it short and sweet and keep it – Remember the three lessons, newsworthy, timely and topical. If you can do those three things, you will appeal to lots of media venues and internet opportunities and it will result in dollars in your pockets.
Jason Hartman: Yeah absolutely. Just riding on the coattails of the current events that are already happening out there, that is a great secret to publicity and PR and no questions. Speakers get to travel and their travel is usually almost always paid for by the company hiring them. Tips on travelling around the world as a speaker and trainer?
Anne Bruce: It’s the door opener to seeing the world. I mean, I have been all over the world because of this profession and it’s been a magnificent experience. And I encourage people in my book. I have a section there called [inaudible 00:26:04] say ya’ll that, you know, you could be from Texas and you’re going to Paris, and you got to remember we are one humanity, one global world.
And so people in Germany, or Dubai, or Denver, or Budapest, or Boston, everyone has a different cultural paradigm. And if you are fortunate enough to be invited to come in and make a presentation, everyone is eager to hear your perspective and new ideas from different parts of the world. Because the world is shrinking so much, there are more opportunities. So when you speak for a living, what’s so exciting is that those organizations find you because remember, you had an amazing website, and so people find you on your amazing website or through an agent which I list 150 speaker bureau agents in my book as well. That makes it worth the book along.
And so you get both to go and make that presentation to a foreign country and all I really, really recommend to people is do your homework before you go, because culturally, things are very different in Australia, or Asia, you know, Europe, or the Middle East, and so you want to be respectful wherever you go and not offend people, because the majority of the people in the world and businesses don’t operate the way we do. We are very fortunate to have, you know, wonderful working opportunities here and the culture that makes a little bit easier for us but in the other parts of the world, we have to be respectful of what is culturally appropriate. So you do your homework. But yeah, it is all paid for and the only thing that, you know, and my husband goes with me all the time. You know, we’ve travelled to Spain, and Italy, and France, and Germany, and Switzerland and, you know, you name it, together. But when you do have your spouse or significant other going with you, just know that you always keep those things completely separate financially from what the client pays for you.
Jason Hartman: Tip quickly on speaker’s bureaus. I mean, one way for us speakers to get engagements and to get more bookings is through the use of speakers’ bureaus. What’s going on in that industry that has changed a lot over the past several years, namely with the internet, what are some of your tips on signing up with speakers’ bureaus and then working with them?
Anne Bruce: My number one tip is be prepared. Now in the book, you can download a 150 of the top speaker bureaus in the world and their contact information. But here is what happens Jason. People call the speakers bureau or e-mail them way before they are ready. They want you. You have to have a track record. So that goes back to your saying, get out there and do whatever you have to do initially. They want a track record. They want a video of you in action. They want to see Jason in action and in action on the stage with your style. They want to know how many big companies you have spoken to. You have to have the speaker’s packet. I had talked about that in the book. I give all the information on how to put that together. Very important. Because they are very selective, and they should be, as to who they represent because that’s how they make their living.
And so you want to be sure that you are really prepared before you call them. You’ve got lots of video that is professionally edited, lots of track record and you can show them that you are making a solid fee on your speaking engagements so that they’ll book you. If you are out there, you know, speaking for honorariums, an agency is never going to pick you up.
Jason Hartman: Good point. Back to the branding question for just a moment. You like to quote Warren Buffet on that, right? What were his words and wisdom on that topic?
Anne Bruce: Well, I’m a big Warren Buffett fan and you know, he is just so amazing and this one every time he is asked, you know, Mr. Buffett, what is the most, you know, important skillset that anyone can have to be successful? Because this man, is one of the most successful businessmen in the world. And his answer is path. His answer is the same and that is presentation skills, speaking skills. You must be able to speak in public. You must be able to present your ideas in an articulate compelling fashion. That will be the ticket to your success, to you getting promoted, to your ability, to grow yourself, brand yourself, and make yourself a talent that people are clamoring for.
So, I follow the Warren Buffett philosophy on that. And it is very exciting to hear someone like him of that magnitude, share that very simple tip. And it just means starting out at Toastmasters or taking a class at a local college, or reading some books, or buying my books, Speak for a Living, whatever it takes. Do something because it’s never in vain and you will be improving yourself and growing yourself. And like Maya Angelou says, you know, to quote her now that we know better, it is incumbent upon us to do better.
Jason Hartman: Great quote.
Anne Bruce: And we know that when we sharpen our speaking skills and presentation skills, we will always do better without exceptions.
Jason Hartman: Yeah absolutely. Hey, two final things I want to cover here Anne, and that is towards the end of your book, you talked about becoming almost famous, you talked about the journey of speaking, and then life as a professional speaker.
Anne Bruce: My favorite actually. One of the favorite things I have it on page 222, at the very end of the book, you know, I talked about years ago there was a famous daredevil circus act known as the flying Wallendas and Karl Wallenda was one of its leaders and he was the tightrope performer, and one of his famous quotes is being on the rope is everything, all else is waiting to perform. And I love that quote because that sums up Speaking for a Living. You are waiting to get out on that stage or in front of your colleagues and the rest is preparation. And you know Jason, you and I both know having had media backgrounds and being authors, it all comes down to the preparation. And so many times, people crave that spotlight and they fall short because they really haven’t put the energy into the preparation. This is a business and a skillset that requires lots of practice.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, definitely.
Anne Bruce: I still do and I have done thousands of speeches and people, you will often tease me because the night before a big event, they’ll say, What are doing tonight? I’ll say, Well, you know, I’m going to stay in my room and practice my speech and they go, Well, haven’t you done this a couple of hundred times? And I would say, Yeah, but you know what, the minute you get complacent, you get dull. And so you want to always never take it for granted, sharpen, sharpen, sharpen your skills because there is always room for lots of improvement.
Jason Hartman: As Napoleon said, the most dangerous moment comes with the victory, because we become complacent and that is a very, very dangerous time in one’s life, for one’s career. Never take it for granted. No question about it.
So the other thing I would like to add to that is, is the whole thing of rehearsing mentally. And whenever I have a big day, where I am doing one of my boot camps or my masters’ weekend that I conduct twice a year, in the morning, I really like to get a little bit of solitude and just kind of rehearse. How is this day going to go in my mind? It’s not really practicing, it’s practicing mentally. And athletes have used that very successfully, and pilots use that, and lot of people used that. It’s just a great tool to just rehearse in your mind how it’s going to go.
Anne Bruce: Well, you know, I’ve done a lot of work with NASA and so forth, and they do the same thing. You’re absolutely right. It’s a visioning. You have to envision the situation and then the end result, how it’s going to end up and how it is all going to come together. And I as why when I show up for any event, I always will, the night before, find some way in the hotel or the ballroom or the convention center to get into the room the night before, and I just walk through it when there are no chairs, no lights, no anything, and get a feel, and I picture, as you just said, mentally, what it’ s going to look like?, what it’s going to feel like?, what it’s going to sound like? tomorrow when I take the platform. And when I do that, I am a big believer that, you know, thoughts become things. I have been in this business long enough to know that for a fact. I don’t do, you know, any negative self-talk, I am all – And you know, you got to remember, when you are out there, people come because they want to see you, they want to love you, they want to learn from you.
People aren’t coming there to throw rocks at you, they are coming because you are there. What a wonderful honor to have that happen and as long as – I have round from me. As long as I genuinely connect with my audience, whether it is 5000 or five people, my intention is to help facilitate each person’s success. I’m not there to facilitate my success. I am there to facilitate the attendees’ success.
You can’t go wrong. There really is no way to go wrong. But if you get there and you are full of yourself, or you think you are better than everyone else, or you’re missed because your room was in a suite and your bed wasn’t big enough and the pillows were not comfortable enough, you need to find another profession.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, It’s just not that easy. But visualizing is very important. You know Denis Waitley taught me that at the young age of 17 and I’ll never forget it. It’s just a really, really important technique. And you know, when you mentioned going through the room and stand up on the stage, it’s funny because I see like videos of Taylor Swift, who is hugely famous right now. And she will be in the arena before the concert, just like little YouTube casual videos, not production videos, of her practicing to an empty arena, where the next day, 17,000 people will be there.
Anne Bruce: Yeah I love it. There is such power in visualization and power, like I said, thoughts do become things. There is a major karma in this business Jason. I mean, what you put out there and how you see it and feel it and envision it, and Taylor Swift, I love that example, I’ve heard that as well about her. I think, you know, I’m still doing that kind of thing. It is a very powerful and it becomes really the only rehearsal sometimes that you need because you feel it to your core and you know it because you already – You know, let’s face it. By that point, you know you’re material. It’s not about sitting down and going through your speeches in the words on a paper. If you don’t know your subject matter by then, it may be a little too late, I mean you need to know your subject matter. It’s more envisioning the bigger picture of success and what a way to, and what the people are going – and really being able to get into that. And like you said, Denis Waitley, I have all his books, I am a huge fan.
Jason Hartman: I had them on the show. He was a great interviewee, yeah.
Anne Bruce: I know. I know you did, and you know, just brilliant and what a magnificent person. But you know what? Sometimes, I wonder. Those techniques are so simple to do, and you know, what does that costs you to do that? It costs you nothing and no investment. You don’t have to buy a bunch of stuff. You don’t have to get, you know, an MBA or a Ph.D. All you have to do is show up, and you know, it’s sort of like the old Woody Allen saying, you know, the majority of the success comes down to one thing, just show up.
Jason Hartman: Yeah absolutely.
Anne Bruce: And having that, you know, the mentality that you are open to new ideas. Cause if you show up with an attitude, it’s going to hurt you and brand you in a way you don’t want to be branded.
Jason Hartman: And that can cost you a lot. Yu can spend years getting somewhere and then can pull it all easily. So this has been very enlightening and the website is annebruce.com, that’s Ann and E Bruce dot com. And Anne what would you like to say in closing?
Anne Bruce: I got so many things in my head right now cause you’ve done such a great interview. You’ve really taken me to my core and had me do some self-reflection and so, many things are popping up in my head right now. I guess I’d like to say have fun in this business, whatever level you practice it out, in a small way, a big way, a celebrity way, a corporate way, have fun and lighten up people. Life is short. Lighten up and enjoy the journey. If you will have fun and lighten up as a speaker and presenter, you will have the thrill and time of your life and that is a promise from me.
Jason Hartman: Excellent. Thank you so much for joining us today, Anne. We appreciate the good thoughts and the techniques and all that great advice and I hope people will seek out your book. It’s fantastic. We appreciate having you on the show.
Anne Bruce: That’s a pleasure. And continued wonderful success with your show as everyone knows what you’re doing. You are just a rock and roll star. So thank you for allowing me to be on the show.
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The Speaking of Wealth Team
Transcribed by Renee