Our Guest Today
Dr. Todd Dewett is a professional speaker, author and coach. He is also the author of the book The Little Black Book of Leadership. His series of Lynda courses on management and leadership is not to be missed.
“Get Over Yourself” is the title of his TEDx in Dayton, Ohio where he is preparing to give his talk. Todd will be telling a story about how to get over yourself and become a real person so people will want to connect.
Todd’s talk isn’t available for inclusion in this post at this time, but we plan to add it in as soon as it becomes available.
The Short Talk Question
I like to ask how people condense a talk into only a few minutes. His average talk is an hour to an hour and a half.
First he gets the talk boiled down to its core locking in on the message. Then scripting it out and memorizing it.
He had to be far more careful about being concise. He’s a storyteller so being short is not what he typically does. Cutting out all the fluff and getting to the point is super important.
The Most Important Part Of The Talk
For Todd, it’s the story that takes the center stage. But we asked for his take on other important elements of performing on stage. Things like:
- Power poses
You’ll have to listen to the podcast to get Todd’s take on those elements.
Once you have a message where it needs to be you have to figure out how to deliver it the best possible way you can. The non verbals used to get the message to the audience is as important, if not more, as the verbal. He decides exactly how he needs to stand and hold his body for a phrase. Todd thinks it is 51% of being successful up there.
Want To Get Really Good At Speaking?
It is very obvious when you listen to Todd that he’s a naturally good speaker. But to become great he studied the greats.
He watched countless talks by great speakers such as Bill Clinton. He watched how they varied things for effect among many other things. Then he would pick one of those variables and work on it the next time he was on stage.
This is a continual process that he has done and will always do. It is true that great speakers stand on the shoulders of great speakers that came before them. For example, he developed his own hand gestures around Clinton’s. But it became his own unique expression of that speaking variable.
Get Even Better At Speaking
Say yes to every possible talk you can. Speak everywhere. Lions clubs, church groups… virtually any place that will have you.
Every great speaker who is getting paid to speak started out giving as many talks as they could. And not just paid but free. Todd spent years giving free talks; honing his craft. This is where you learn.
Todd spent a lot of time trying to be the person he thought his audience would want. He dressed the part. He wore a jacket.
Then one day, a close friend told him perhaps that makes you socially aware but you should show your tattoos.
Todd asked why.
Because people like real.
This is a really important point. The proof is in the pudding. Todd’s career took off after he became who he really is.
This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean everyone should go out and do this. Todd even acknowledged being real comes with risk.
At the end of the day, what makes it all work is the message. When you walk on the stage, no matter how you look, you have to earn the audiences respect. What comes out of your mouth, more than how you look, is what will truly win the day.
What’s Really Scary
People will respond to their perception of confidence. When you have more confidence than those around you, they will buy in to what you’re saying or doing.
This speaks volumes to just how important it is to become great at speaking. One of Dino’s secrets are to walk up to people at events and ask them if they’re having a good time, almost as if he is running the event. It’s a great ice breaker.
Want To Be A Professional Speaker yourself? Follow Todd’s advice here:
- Watch talks by the greats (including comedians)
- Give free talks and talk often
- Get testimonials when you do speak
Watch Todd’s TEDx Talk
Connect With Todd
What We Learned Today
- Professional speaking and how to ask for references from past talks.
- Mike’s new favorite TED talk: Apollo Robbins – The Art Of Misdirection.
- We’re being too hard on speakers who read from notes
- Become great does not just happen without effort (Thus the title of this episode)
- Use #drphd if you’ve listened to the end and did what said with your name
- Some people are naturally born speakers. But everyone can get better at it.
- The standard Todd sets for his speaking events is to make people laugh, learn and cry
- We all agree we have to bring Todd back on to discuss the business aspect of speaking