FTC Joel | Speaking Success

Speaking The Truth: How To Use Your Story To Carve A Path To Success With Joel Weldon

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If someone who has been called the “worst speaker ever” can build himself up to become one of the world’s best, then learning how to carve your own path to success with your story shouldn’t be an impossible thing to do. For renowned motivational speaker, Joel Weldon, speaking is easy, but not because he had an innate gift for it. Starting out as someone who can barely speak to 17 people at age 28, Joel worked to develop his skills in speaking to make a successful career out of it – eventually becoming one of the original founders of the National Speakers Association. Building on the lessons he has acquired throughout his career, Joel created the Ultimate Speaking System – a veritable encyclopedia of best practices in persuasive message delivery perfected over four decades of experience. Join in as Mitch Russo brings him in to the show to disclose how you can take your one-on-one communication skills to an even higher level and use your speaking skills to create videos, appear on podcasts, conduct webinars and engage in virtual one-on-one calls during COVID-19.

Speaking The Truth: How To Use Your Story To Carve A Path To Success With Joel Weldon

As you know, the world changes every day in surprising ways. What doesn’t change is your need to promote yourself and generate new clients. I wrote an eBook called Profit Stacking Secrets. It’s a complete marketing system. It covers 28 different methods to get no cost placements, publicity, attention, connections, and ultimately new clients. I’m giving it away for free the first part anyway, and you can get that by going to ProfitStackingSecrets.com and it will be on its way to you instantly. Use it to get free press, get on podcasts, even build a new partnership. It’s my gift to you for free. On to my guest and his amazing story.

Imagine being told you were the worst speaker ever by a guest in your audience. How would you feel? Would you quit? After all, he had no experience but was determined to figure it out. Speech after speech, he watched the audience and notice how they reacted to his ideas, and then carefully, step by step, he crafted a complete system for persuasive message delivery and did so in a way that he has perfected over four decades of experience. He is a hall of fame professional speaker with over 3,000 paid talks on his resume. He has personally coached and critiqued well over 10,000 speakers as the personal speaking skills coach for well-known people, such as Kevin Harrington, Verne Harnish, Dan Sullivan, he knows what you need to do to nail your next presentation.

He’s also the original founder of the National Speakers Association and was named a legend in the speaking business. Based on those credentials, it’s hard to imagine that when he finally got the courage to give his first presentation in front of seventeen people at the age of 28, he was told that he was the worst speaker ever, yet he told me that he couldn’t even lead a Sunday school class in silent prayer. How is it possible that someone would know speaking experience or abilities could have created a speaking career that’s lasted over 4.5 decades? Readers, you’re going to find out real soon. I asked him to disclose to you how you can take your one-on-one communication skills with your customers, clients, team members, and loved ones to an even higher level, as well as your speaking skills to create videos, appear on podcasts, conduct webinars, and virtual one-on-one calls that you’re doing because of COVID-19. You are going to learn a lot. His tagline is “Speaking made simple: How to be an even more effective speaker.” Let’s welcome, Joel Weldon.

Thank you, Mitch. You read that introduction but let me ask you a question. If suddenly the phone rang, and somebody was talking to you and they said that they would you to come on a podcast and it would be a small audience, as a matter of fact, it would be a fixed audience of about 70 of your ideal prospects and you’d get an hour to talk to them. What would be your reaction? Would you say yes? After you said yes, would you be thrilled and excited and couldn’t wait for this opportunity to come to talk the next day? Would stress come in? Would you start to be concerned about, “How am I opening? What am I going to close with? What stories will I tell? How am I going to get everything in an hour?”

I could talk for days about what I’m doing. Maybe you might be nervous or concerned. Hopefully, none of that would ever happen. You should feel confident about what you know and what you do, and that you could share those ideas with the people that you’re trying to connect with. This theme that Mitch created, Your First Thousand Clients is such a great metaphor for what life is about. If you’re going to get advice from somebody, you shouldn’t be getting advice from somebody who’s done what you want to do, who has been where you want to go, who can guide you on that journey and save you time, effort, energy, and a lot of money in the process.

I bet, Joel, you have a system that will help people do that, but before you get to that, I want to know how this all started for you. I gave readers an idea based on our conversations about where you came from. Tell us a bit about your experience. What was it like? I understand that you were in the encyclopedia business at one point in your life. Do you want to tell us a bit about that?

If you want to sit, it started when I was born, how about we go there? I was a little baby. What happened over the next 28 years wasn’t much. In high school, I never gave an oral report. I was terrified standing up in front of my classmates. I took a failing grade. Maybe you can think back when you were in high school, what were you like? I’m sure you’ve changed too. I couldn’t even lead my Sunday school class in silent prayer. That’s true. You mentioned that I was the original founder of the National Speakers Association. I was one of the original. Cavett Robert was the founder, but there’s only seven of us left, still speaking full-time since 1974 when we started that.

At that kind of background, how would that come from somebody who couldn’t even talk? The basic reason is that speaking is a learned skill, but I didn’t know anything about speaking. After high school, I turned down a college scholarship because I didn’t think I was smart enough to go to college. I became a carpenter. For the next 7 and 8 years, I worked baggy nails, digging ditches, going nowhere fast. In 1967, at 26 years of age, I was making $62.50 a week, working long, hard days going nowhere fast. Imagine if you think back when you were 26, how much were you earning a year? Mitch, I’m not going to put you on the spot, but I know you are financially retired with no concern of money in your forties, but that’s only fourteen years after I was 26.

Joel, to answer your question, I was making $17,000 a year, and I felt I was wealthy. With $17,000 a year, I was able to have a car, an apartment, a girlfriend and going out to eat as I wanted. The world has changed, but now $17,000 would hardly pay for even rent for a couple of months.

You could imagine from the time Mitch and I live because we’re much older. My Social Security number is five. I’ve been around for a long time. I can remember when Baskin-Robbins had one flavor. We go back a long way Mitch, and I know you’ve been around too, but that gives us experience. That’s what you want. You want somebody who’s going to help you, who’s been where you are wanting to go. Back to what happened, how does somebody who can speak to anybody, has no skills, no communication ability become a hall of fame, a professional speaker for four and a half decades? Speaking is a learned skill. Business creation is a learned skill. Mitch, you created a software program using computers in creating a program. It’s a skill, you weren’t born knowing that.

You will never make it dealing with people unless you change the way you think about yourself. Click To Tweet

As you’re reading, whatever it is you do, you had to learn how to do it. The question is how good are you at what you’re doing? That’s going to determine how much income you can earn. As a carpenter, a guy in our church offered me a job to be a commission salesperson. I didn’t know what commission meant. He said, “That means we pay you what you’re worth.” I didn’t like that idea right away, but he gets me selling encyclopedias for World Book, door-to-door would be a wonderful career. Mitch, I know that you have a lot of people that have done amazing things, but I would tell you that I set a record. I made 1,200 sales calls in the first four months and one sale. My manager Mr. Campbell said, “You are the worst salesperson I have ever hired in my 22 years with World Book. You’ll never make it dealing with people because you have the worst attitude of anybody I’ve ever met.” If somebody said that to you, Mitch, how would you feel?

Joel, somebody did say that to me.

What did you do about it?

I looked at that person square in the eyes and I had three words go through my mind when they said it. I was an engineer. I applied for a job in sales. The person I applied for the job for said to me, “Mitch, you’re a good engineer, but you’re not cut out to be a salesman. Great salesmen are born Mitch and you are not one of them.” I looked at him square in the eyes and I had three words go through my mind. Joel, can you guess what those words were? They weren’t “Go F yourself.” I said, “I’ll show you.” I went on to take a job with his competitor in sales and become one of the top three salesmen in the entire industry and made him cry. That was my goal. To make him sick that he didn’t hire me at the time. I know what you’re saying. It’s hard to recover when someone tells you, “You suck.” What did you do?

He said the most powerful word I’d ever heard. He said, “You will never make it dealing with people, unless you change the way you think about yourself.” That was the magic word. I said, “Mr. Campbell, how do you do that?” He reached into his desk drawer and he pulled out a record. He said, “You need to listen to this record.”

A phonograph record?

Not a big CD, a record with a hole in the middle. I said, “I don’t dance.” He said, “No, it’s not a singing record. It’s a speaking record.” It’s the largest selling recorded message of a spoken word ever produced on a recording called The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. As you’re reading this, if you’ve never heard The Strangest Secret, which is still the largest selling recording of its kind in the world, go to YouTube, it’s available on a video or audio, and you can hear this amazing message. In one week of listening to that message over and over again with my wife, Judy, hearing these principles and the strangest secret was this, which I know you know, he said you become what you think about most of the time. That hit me. At age 26, I started to think, “What have I been thinking about?” I realized all I thought about was what I couldn’t do. What if I flip that? What if I thought about what I could do? After a week of listening to that message over and over again, I decided to go back, try to sell those World Books, the same territory, the same price.

I went out the first day, and by noon, I doubled four months of effort. I made two sales in four hours after making one sale in four months. My life changed that day. I had an old beat-up Volkswagen with a cracked rearview mirror. I pulled the mirror down and I looked at myself and I said, “I did it.” I thought, “What did I do?” The same product, territory, and price, but different thinking. As you hear that story, what are you thinking about? Are you spending your days, nights and moments thinking about what you can do or what you can’t do? It’s so simple, that middle switch. I thought, “What if I could think that way every day?” Mitch, by the end of that year including the first four months of no production, I became the number one salesman out of 1,100 that worked for Mr. Campbell for World Book in that region. I was on fire.

What did your boss say when you started to bring sales in one after the other, that same individual who gave you that magic word “unless?”

FTC Joel | Speaking Success
Speaking Success: Speaking is a learned skill. Nobody is born knowing how to do it.


He became my mentor, my lifelong friend and my guide. He died at 92. We have stayed in touch all of these years because I was an example of what he knew was so true and what Earl said that our thinking determines our experience. I became his poster boy for what was possible. That’s how I became successful in selling the encyclopedias. I moved to Arizona from New York where all of this happened and that’s where I made my first presentation, September 4th, 1969 in Tempe, Arizona. The first time standing up in front of a group of seventeen schoolteachers talking about World Book. That’s when that gentleman came back in, he said, “Would you some feedback on this meeting?” I said, “Yes.” He said those magic words, about the worst speaker I have ever heard in my whole life.

Joel, there’s an interesting point here. I wanted to share with you that I’ve observed in you and I’ve observed in my own life. I observed this in many successful people’s lives. Isn’t it interesting how the universe places people in our pathways to aid us on our journey, even then when we’re not looking for them? Even then when we don’t know we need them, but they seem to show up and would that one word unless, would that one message follow this guideline, listen to this record, it completely changed the trajectory of your life? Isn’t that amazing that that happens?

It happens for everyone. I believe that there’s a plan. Every person was born for a reason. There’s a plan for our life, but unfortunately, most people don’t pay attention to what’s happening. I’m a bit short of 80, and I feel I’m 39. Everything that has happened, I’ve looked back at my long life, every single thing prepared me for what I’m doing. All those years in construction taught me how to build a building, from the foundation had to be level and square and true than everything else above it when so much easier. The same thing with building a presentation, the foundation, the preparation was the key. Every single person in my life positive or negative became part of a plan. I’m married to Judy for many years, my wonderful wife, with two wonderful daughters that both work with me and my business. All of that came because my father left when I was born, and I had no father in my life. It was my mother and I. I decided I was going to be a great dad if I ever had kids.

That’s why I have a relationship with a 50 and a 40 plus-year-old daughters that are like when they were 6 and 7 years old in our relationship because I was there for them and with them when they were little. It’s all because I had no father. Everything happens. Your right Mitch, that at the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you. That’s a quote by Gerda, the German philosopher. That’s true. If you think of your response, I’ll show you when somebody told you, you couldn’t do anything. When this gentleman told me I was the worst speaker in the world he had ever heard, or at least in his life, I didn’t say that. Ask me what I did.

What did you do?

I was crying like a baby. He said, “Joel, you’re a grown man. You’re 28 years old, stop crying. You’re not a baby. I’m going to fix you.” I’m wiping the tears away, I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “You’re going to come to Toastmasters with me and we’re going to fix you and teach you how to speak.” In 1969, I joined the Tempe, Arizona Toastmasters Club. Several years later, I’m still an active Toastmasters every Monday at noon. I’m in our club in Scottsdale, Arizona with my daughter, who’s also a speaker. It’s been a marvelous transition. The point for you to read this, it’s not where you start. Every roadblock that you think you face, if you look at it the right way, it’s a stepping stone, it’s a building block.

It’s not a roadblock. You’re going to use that experience to move forward in your life. Having this background in construction and knowing that there has to be a plan has enabled me to build systems in speaking. Once I learned the basics of speaking, then I systematized everything. How to open? How to write an introduction? How do you use visuals? How to add humor? It’s all systematized so it could be repeated easily. That’s how we’ve gotten well over 1,000 customers using our ultimate speaking system, it’s simple, clear and easy based on this beginning.

If you’re at the beginning of your career, cherish every moment of these things. If you’re in the middle of your career, like niches as a young guy, cherish that. When you get to the end of the line where I’m approaching, and I’m certainly never going to retire. Retire means out of service in the Navy. You don’t ever want to be out of service. You want to be in the battle all the time. My youngest grandson is at Annapolis. He taught me that. When a naval ship is retired, it’s called out of service. He calls me pops. He said, “Pops, you’re never going to be wanting to be out of service.” Don’t think of retirement someday. Think of getting better and better at what you’re doing. Mitch does this and he doesn’t do it for the money. He had that when he was in his 40s.

I do it Joel because I love to help people. I love to serve. I love seeing my influence change many lives sometimes. That’s why you do it to Joel. I know that you do it for the same reason.

If you look at it the right way, every roadblock that you think you face is a stepping stone. Click To Tweet

I also know, and why I’m good at coaching people is I have never worked with a speaker, I’m talking about not a professional. I’m talking about somebody who has a business that needs to be speaking to their team, on videos, doing podcasts, we’re doing webinars. I’ve never a speaker who was worse than I was. If I could do what I’m doing with this system, imagine what they could do. Many times, we see people who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, that would be in the speaking industry, they were high school valedictorian. They won all of the debating talks in school and then they become a speaker. For you, it was easy, but what about if you can’t lead your Sunday school class in silent prayer, and you can’t talk to a small group of people, what about you? That’s where this concept comes in that it’s about learning how to speak. I have three basic beliefs that I’ve learned in these years.

That’s the first one, that being an effective communicator is a learned skill. Second basic belief. This is important and you are the epitome of this. Be yourself. Your biography and all on your website, we see that giant of a man, Tony Robbins. I know as you’re reading this, you have seen or heard Tony Robbins. Everybody has. He’s in movies, he’s on television, he’s done his seminars, podcasts. He’s a well-known phenomenon. Look how he’s got this energy and he’s running all around and he’s this giant guy. That’s not who Mitch is. The second basic belief to accept, if you want to be an amazing communicator, be yourself. If you’re dull and boring, speak dull and boring, but you set it up. I have a client called Boring Bob by his company. I met him when he was giving a presentation. The CEO had me as the keynote speaker at a sales meeting. He said, “Joel, after you is Boring Bob. The meeting goes downhill, but I got to have him every year because the people need to hear what he has to say about the numbers, and nobody else can do it, but Bob. Maybe you could help him.”

I watched his presentation and he was right. He was boring. I met Bob and I said, “What did you think about it?” He said, “I hate doing this. They all fall asleep. They all make fun of me. I’m boring.” I said, “Would you to do it better next year?” He said, “Yes.” In working with him, I came up with an introduction and an opening. I said, “Don’t change anything else except the first few words you say, what’s said by the CEO before you start and then do your normal thing.” He said, “You mean to be dull and boring?” I said, “Yes. That’s who you are. I’m talking to you sitting here alone, you are probably the most boring person I’ve met.” He started laughing. He said, “That’s what everybody tells me.” “Why would you try to change that? You’re the CFO of a successful company. You’re good at what you’re doing.” Think about you. Is there anything, as you are reading, where you think it’s a limitation? Maybe you have an accent. Maybe you’re older or younger than your audience. I made fun about my age because I’m always the oldest one in the room so I make fun of it.

My Social Security number’s nine. I can tell you I have an autograph copy of the Bible. I remember when the Dead Sea was sick, but yes, I might be older than you, but I’ve got some young ideas. That’s called anticipating and objection. What we did Mitch with this guy, the CEO, the next year, said, “We’re up to the part of the meeting where the CFO gives you information. Normally in the past, everybody falls asleep. We call him Boring Bob because he’s boring. We have a new plan this year. Since you’re all part of the sales team, if the person next to you starts to fall asleep, it is your responsibility to wake them up. For those of you in the front row, here’s your assignment. If Bob starts to fall asleep, while he’s talking, you got to run up on stage and wake him up. Let’s give some real cheers to the most boring speaker. As a matter of fact, if you looked in the dictionary under boring, Bob’s picture is in there.” They gave him a standing ovation, to begin with. I wrote the opening and all he said was, “Thank you for that. Some of you know Evelyn, my wife, we’ve been married 27 years. On our first date, she slapped me. I wasn’t getting fresh. She thought I was dead.”

They laughed. He went right into his presentation. He never changed the thing. They loved it because they knew that he knew and he made self-deprecating humor, he laughed at himself. He got a standing ovation at the end. This has been years ago until he retired, he became the highlight of their annual sales meeting because they couldn’t wait to see what he would come up with. He came up with many boring things that he had done during the year. That became his moniker in that company. Be yourself. The third basic belief to accept is, it’s all about your audience. It’s not about you. You don’t want to say, “This is my favorite story. I love telling the story.” Who cares? Go in the closet and tell it to yourself. What you could say is, “You’re going to love this story.” Here’s a story that’s going to drive home the point of how important it is for you to be passionate about what you’re doing. Make it about your audience and drop in like I have if you go back and read this. What would you have done? If that was you, how would you have felt? What would you have said if somebody said that to you? Those you called the You Factor part of my system, how do you gauge your audience, your stories, your message and make it about them?

This is valuable, Joel. I want to thank you so far for what you’ve been sharing, but I also wanted to add one other element that I have found for myself that works well. What I like to do when I give my keynote is, I like to include elements. First of all, I never speak in the past. I always speak in the present. If I’m telling a story about something that happened 30 or 40 years ago, I present that story as if it’s happening right now. This makes the whole story come alive in the minds of everybody in the audience. Have you found that to be true for yourself as well?

I haven’t used that technique. I’ve seen that but my technique in coaching people in their stories is to make it about the audience. One way to do it is, come with me as my invisible partner. As we’re walking into a meeting room, you and I, this is of course your story. One way to bring your audience in is to be my invisible partner or imagine you and I are sitting there, and someone comes up to us and tells me that I’m the worst speaker they had ever heard in their life. What would you be thinking if you were that? If they said that to you, how would you react? I have a friend named Mitch. He answered with three words. He said, “I’ll show you.” He went to work for their competitor and became the top salesperson. That’s one thing that you can do. It’s putting them in, but anything you do that engages the audience and keeps them connected is the key. From my experience, whenever you say, “I,” you disconnect. Whenever you say, “You,” you connect.

Joel, when you say, “We,” does that have that same effect?

It’s not the same impact. It’s also plural. How many times have you heard guests adhere? You guys reading, first of all, women aren’t guys so you should never say guys. You should also never use plurals. I know how many people read your blog. You’re one of the top 200 shows in the world. You’ve got thousands of people reading this, but I know there’s only one of you watching, and that’s you. You want to talk to one person and the name is you. If you go back to the beginning, I said, “As you’re reading this.” I didn’t say “All of you reading this. The thousands of you out there.” Why don’t you want to do that? If you’re talking at a live event, a virtual event or a vehicle like this because if you use plural, Mitch, you can let them off the hook.

FTC Joel | Speaking Success
Speaking Success: Make everything you say about your audience. As a speaker, you need to gauge your stories and your message and make it about them.


All of you out there. I know some of you are struggling and I know some of you might have an addiction. That’s a problem for you. If I said, “You know what the situation is when it comes to addiction. Many entrepreneurs suffer from these addictions. Maybe you’ve had that in your own experience. If you had, here’s one thought to think of. I’m not saying you’re an addict, but I’m only talking to you and I don’t know your situation or success.” Mitch’s talking about people who’ve had over 1,000 clients. I don’t know how many clients you have, but I imagine you have more than one. If you have one, you can get two. If you get two, you can get four. You know what exponential growth means. If you keep reading this, you’re going to get so many great ideas from Mitch and the guests that he brings you. All of that was a you focus. That’s the third premise. First, it’s a learned skill. Second, be yourself. Third, make everything you say about your audience.

Joel, everything you are saying is valuable. Joel, what’s our next step. If we want to build a great presentation, you’ve given us some incredible tips. Where does the system start?

The system is exactly what you said. It’s a system on how to organize your ideas. All the years that you’ve been speaking, and in the 3,000 paid talks I’ve had, no one has ever said these words to me. I’m guessing no one’s ever said these words to you. “Mitch, we’d like you to come on and talk as long as you want.” Has anybody ever said that to you? “We have a podcast. Talk as long as you want.” You would say, “I can go for about a week, maybe two weeks. Do we have enough time to cover that?” No. One of the challenges as you’re reading this, you are an expert at what you do. You should be using speaking to grow your business. That’s what that little tagline says up there, using speaking to grow your business. How do you know what to speak about when you have so much material? That’s what my system does. It helps you organize your ideas, connected to the specific audience you’re talking to.

How to open? How to close? How to add humor? That’s a system. How to have powerful visuals? How to get audience involvement? What I’ve created is the ultimate speaking system. It’s videos, audios, printed materials, it’s online, plus we have a coaching program where I work with certain people like names that Mitch mentioned in the beginning. I’m an active member of the Genius Network, Joe Polish’s wonderful group. These are high-level entrepreneurs. In several years that I’ve been an active member, over 160 of them have hired me one-on-one to work on their presentations. That’s where I met Kevin Harrington and Dan Sullivan, the Founder of Strategic Coach, and also Brian Tracy, who I’ve known for many years. He hired me to coach him on his speaking. He teaches speakers how to speak, but he knew I brought something he wasn’t using, and he got even better at it. That’s what I have. The bonus we’re going to give you is I have a wonderful video and our clients think it’s one of the best it’s called How to Open Any Presentation? That’s going to be a gift. Follow the simple instructions and we’ll send that to you. If you want more information, we can give it to you on the Ultimate Speaking System and the coaching that’s available.

Joel, this system that you’ve created, how long does it take to learn? If I wanted to start learning your system, what time commitment I need to commit to?

One of the tools in the Ultimate Speaking System is called Quick Start. It’s an online course on how to create or improve any message in under three hours. You’ll know everything about how to open, close and organize your ideas by following five steps that are part of the system. It applies to any presentation that you’re giving, including the one that I’m doing, which is completely extemporaneous. I don’t have any notes. I don’t have any plan other than what Mitch’s asking me to talk about. One of the things in this Mitch that I know you know, is that the closing should never be the call to action. As an example, if I was going to wrap up this and I want you to come to the next podcast and we’re going to have a special guest, Mary Lou Jones. I’m going to tell you about Mary Lou Jones so that you tune into the next podcast. That’s the call to action. That should never be the end. You want to put it close to the end, bottom quarter or so of your time, but the closing should be something that has an impact, that summarizes what you’ve said. When Mitch says, “Joel, what do you have to say as the last thing?” I have prepared my closing and it’s 22 words, that’s it.

Save it because we’re not at the end yet.

I’m telling you what’s coming. You don’t want to miss these 22 words.

Let’s roll this back a bit, Joel. You said there are five steps and that’s part of what you share. Can you tell us what those steps are?

I’d be thrilled to tell you. Let me give this to you since you’re the only live person on this. Let’s say, you were invited to speak virtually to 50 people about being safe drivers because you’ve been driving for a long time. Quickly tell me some of the things you might tell at this presentation, you’ve got an hour to talk about. Give me a couple of dos. What should we do to be a safe driver?

You are an expert at what you do. Speak to grow your business. Click To Tweet

You should be well-rested, and you should have gone to the bathroom before you get into the car and you should be paying attention.

What are some things we shouldn’t do? Do not do this when you’re driving.

Let’s not drink alcohol while we’re driving. Let’s not engage in emotional conversations on the phone.

No phone, no texting, no alcohol. One more no. How about driving technique?

Let’s not speed a lot.

No speed. If you gave this talk, it would not be effective because you didn’t know the first step of the Ultimate Speaking System on how to create a powerful message. Ask me what’s the first step.

Joel, what is the first step?

When I told you that I wanted you to speak about safe driving. You should have said, “Joel, I’d be happy to.” Who is the audience? Ask me who is the audience?

Who’s the audience?

These are NASCAR drivers. They have been having many accidents at NASCAR races. They want you to come in and talk about some do’s and don’ts. Let’s review what we talked about. Make sure you’re rested. Make sure you don’t speed. You told me that. Don’t drink when you’re drive. Do you think these are the problems that NASCAR drivers are having?

FTC Joel | Speaking Success
Speaking Success: The Ultimate Speaking System helps speakers organize their ideas and connect to the specific audience they are talking to.



The mistake that everybody makes is they are not focused on the most important person, your audience. Always begin with who is your audience? The second step is what are their NFVs? This is part of my system I’ve created decades ago. NFV is an acronym for Needs, Fears, Victories. What do these NASCAR drivers need to be doing in the area of safety they’re not doing now? You’d make a list of that. What are their fears? If you’re not a NASCAR driver, which you are not, you would need to ask, “Are there a couple of drivers that I could call and ask a couple of questions to help me prepare my message for them?”

There’s always a way to find this out. What are fears? A fear of a NASCAR driver is, “If I’m not at the top of the game taking high risks, I’m not going to win, or if I take high risk, put the pedal to the metal, I could die.” What are their fears, worries or concern? What keeps your audience up at night? The third thing is a victory. What are their successes? They’ve made it to the highest level in this sport. They’re NASCAR drivers. They’re not in the crew changing tires, they’re driving the cars. They’re successful. It’s the same thing about your business audiences. If they’re entrepreneurs, then they’ve already been successful at something. If you start with who’s your audience, what are their needs, fears, and victories, then you go to the third step, Mitch, which is in one sentence, “What is your golden thread?”

A golden thread is what is represented by this entire message? As an example, a metaphor for speaking is, Mitch, when you speak, you’re the bus driver. The bus is the message you’re bringing, the passengers on the bus are your audience, and the sign on the bus that lets the audience know they’re on the right bus is your golden thread. On your show, your golden thread, which you talk about is what you can learn from people who have already been successful to have at least 1,000 customers using their product or service. That would be the golden thread. Who’s your audience? What are their NFVs? What’s my golden thread that summarizes my message? Fourth is what is the call to action?

Since you are a great salesperson, a call to action can be three things. Many times, salespeople think your call to action has to be something they do but when you’re presenting ideas, a call to action could be, do, think or feel. What do you want your audience to do? My call to action, and Mitch’s for you is to go to that link and get this video on how to open any message by using three words. You’ll love that video. That’s the call to action. That’s a do. It could be something to think. Here’s what I’d like you to think about as a result of what you’ve read. You tell him what you want to think or feel. Hopefully, you feel more inspired and uplifted based on what you’ve read, and you can’t wait for the next one to be a regular reader. That’s a feel but that’s not the closing.

Let’s say, in your case, the call to action is to keep reading this, go to the member site, read it again and read the next show when we put it out and you can go back over those. That’s the call to action. Let me tell you about somebody who’s 26 years old. They stumbled across this. They were making $20,000 a year in a job they hated. The first message they heard was, “What am I doing for my closing?” I’m telling a true story about one of your readers that was inspired to quit their job, start something they loved, and now they’re making over $1 million a year in something that they love because of three shows they’ve read in our series. That could be you. See you during the next episode and close. That’s part of a system and that applies to anything you’re doing. That’s why I created this Quick Start, to have a step-by-step quick process that in less than three hours, somebody could take any kind of message they want to create and create. The Ultimate Speaking System is an encyclopedia coming from that beginning in my twenties selling World Book. It’s a collection of everything I’ve learned in speaking and every system that I’ve developed put on a video, an audio or in a printed material. It’s a lifetime membership and it’s a one-time investment. Once they’re in, they never pay another penny.

Joel, you mentioned before that there were five steps. I think you only gave us four.

I was hoping you would come back to that. This is where everybody starts. They started step five. Step five is the content. My experience tells me you cannot create the content of your message until you know who your audience is, until you know what they need or worried about or successful at. Until you know the golden thread, the narrow message that you’re going to hone in on, and the call to action. Let’s go back to your situation when I said, “How long can you talk?” You could talk for weeks about what you know, from your experience with Tony Robbins, from your experience in the software, from your experience in the podcast. You could talk for so long. Nobody can listen to that. How do you know what to pick? Here’s the key? Does it meet a need of that audience at that time? Does it help them overcome a fear? Does it reinforce a victory or success? If it does any of those three, it can go in. If it doesn’t, you don’t talk about it, not in this presentation. Those are the five steps. Who’s your audience? What are their NFVs? What is your golden thread? What is the call to action? You organize your ideas.

Joel, that is awesome. That is such great content. I want you to know that I enjoyed knowing you describe that in the way that you did. That’s why I love podcasts and I get to learn from geniuses like you, experts who have perfected their world and you are generous to share it with me. If anybody else is reading, that’s great too.

It’s only you. It’s one person.

You may not be able to change the world, but you can help improve the lives of the people you can get close to. Click To Tweet

That’s me. I know that. Joel, we’re at the point in the show where I get to ask you some questions about you and part of these questions are designed to uncover a bit about your preferences, your life, maybe even the way you think. Are you ready for the first question?

Yes, but I know it’s not about me so I’m not going to give you everything you want.

Here’s the question. Who, in all of space and time would you to have one hour to walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

First, it would be Jesus, but I know a lot of people have said that. I’ll give you a second, John Wooden. He’s the former coach of the UCLA basketball team. Considered the greatest coach that had ever lived in any sport in the 20th century. Out of 100 years of coaches, high school, college, basketball, any kind of sport at any level, he was named by sportswriters the greatest coach that had ever lived. I’ve read every one of his books. I would love to meet John and have a talk with him for an hour.

If I can arrange that, would you mind if I tag along with you? Would that be okay?

Yes, you can come.

You’re the second person in 250 episodes to mention John Wooden. I want you to know that. Jesus, as you know, comes up quite a bit.

That’s why I said that that would be my first choice, but I knew that that’s not what you were looking for.

Every person who said Jesus has had a different reason to want to have that one hour. I love the fact that the reasons are different even though the person is the same.

Won’t you ask me my reason?

FTC Joel | Speaking Success
Speaking Success: Always begin with determining who your audience is. The next step is to know their needs, fears and victories.


What is your reason? Why would you like to meet with him?

I only drink water. I want to know how to turn it into wine.

I have a feeling he’d be able to help you. We’re getting to a point where we get to the grand finale. This is the change the world question. What is it that you’re doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to change the world?

Nothing. I have no interest in changing the world. I don’t think I’m going to change the world. What I want to do is make a positive impact on the people that I can connect with on a one-on-one basis. I told you a little bit, having no father, I wanted to be a great father. I had two daughters. If I had ten kids, I wouldn’t have the two daughters I have. I think small, not big. I like to focus on a narrow group of people. I have a small group of friends that are close with, that I spend a lot of time with. We have ten family members that are immediate, my daughters, their husbands, and the kids. That’s it. The same thing in our business is the people that I coach have become my friends and clients.

I want to have time for them. I have a limited amount of time. We all do. I have no delusions that I can change the world, but I can help improve the lives of people that I can get close to. That’s why I’m careful about how many people I take to work with one-on-one. I don’t want to overdo it so that I’m available. As a matter of fact, when we hang up, I had an emergency call from Linda McKissack, who’s a real estate baron in Texas. She said, “Is there any chance that I have time with you?” I said, “Yes.” Right away, if it’s that important. Those are the kinds of things that make the difference in connecting with people. That’s how you get to 1,000 clients. You take care of them one at a time and bring others to you.

The secret that you shared is also how you change the world. You do it one person at a time.

If that’s the case, then I’m working on a few of them and then maybe they can go out and do the same.

Your efforts are multiplied with every person that you share your wisdom with. That’s what our job here is. Our job is to enrich the lives of as many people as we can one person at a time. You’re incredible at doing that. This has been a wonderful experience spending time with you. I want to thank you for being on the show and I can’t wait until we get a chance to talk again.

Don’t forget. We got 22 words. The call the action is never the closing.

Hit me with those 22 words.

Joel, is there anything else that you’d to say to me before we wrap up?

Tell me what you have to say.

Think about this. As you’ve been reading, you realize that I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve had lots of experience, created lots of tools for you and other people, but if you were to boil it all down into one sentence, it comes to 22 words. Here’s the thought for you to think about as you spend the rest of your day doing whatever you’re doing. Whenever you have a presentation, that could be one-on-one, it could be people on your team at a team meeting, it could be with a client, it could be in front of a Zoom group of 100 people or 10 people. It could be at a live meeting when they come back again. Here are the 22 words, speak to your audience about what they need in an organized way they can follow and get yourself out of the way. It’s not about you, it’s all about them, and now make it a great day.

That’s a great way to close. A great message and words to live by if in fact you are speaking to anyone. I love that. Thank you, Joel.

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