Anyone can become a better speaker — and everyone should! Public speaking is one of the most important skills you can have, especially as a business owner. To help you go from an average to fantastic speaker, Kirk Behrendt brings in Katherine Eitel Belt, founder of LionSpeak, with tips to speak better, present better, and improve how you communicate with your audience. To learn how to present messages that move people, listen to Episode 583 of The Best Practices Show!
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It matters that your message is clear.
Clarify your message in an inspirational way.
Learn the difference between a framework and a script.
Understand why public speaking is an important business skill.
Master the four-step “bookshelf framework” for clarity and memorability.
“Here’s the reality. Scripts work when people follow them. But they tend to be complicated. They tend to be, ‘Here is the step by step by step,’ and nobody can remember a hundred steps when the phones are ringing, and people are coming in and out. And it doesn’t feel authentic because they didn’t craft it. But one thing scripts did, whether it’s speaking from the platform or whether it’s on the phone, one thing scripts gave us was consistency of message if people followed it. And so, I like that. As a business owner, I don’t want you to call my office and talk to Kelly and get one experience or one set of information, and then call and talk to Stacey and get something completely different. As a businesswoman, I want consistency of brand, of message, of information. But if we only look at scripting to give us consistency, we lose authenticity, that feeling that I’m actually talking to a human being who’s present in this moment, who is really getting me. But if we only follow on authenticity, then the conversations go wacky and wonky.” (5:43—7:00)
“I’m the kind of girl that says, ‘Why do I have to choose? Why can’t I have something where I can have consistency of brand and message and information, I can get consistent results, and I can do it through this lens of authenticity and connectivity? And so, we look at every place where we need a particular outcome, and we ask ourselves, ‘What are the common threads in any good conversation for a new patient for answering this particular kind of question, for speaking from the stage? How can we make it super simple so that people can remember it in a moment, so it can’t be a hundred steps? It’s got to be, usually, somewhere between three and five steps. And we have found that people will more likely commit to that, and they tend to do it when no one is looking. If they really believe in the framework, they’ll follow it when no one is looking, whereas with a script, they follow it when they think they’re going to get a mystery shopper call. But otherwise, when no one is looking or listening, they tend to go back to what feels comfortable. I’m after sustainable, long-term results, and the frameworks have done that so much better.” (7:01—8:08)
“I think a lot of people would never aspire to be a public speaker. And maybe they never will. But Warren Buffett said, someone asked him, ‘If you had to narrow it down to one professional skill that you think is essential to people being successful in business, what is it?’ And he said public speaking. Think about an owner of a practice. Whether it’s a solo practice or a large group or a DSO company, as an owner, our main job, in my opinion, is to make sure there’s never a day that the people who work for me aren’t clear on what we’re creating. And because of that, there’s never a day where they’re not clear what they should be focusing on to help us achieve that future vision. And so, the ability of an owner to stand up before a team and clarify where we’re going, why we’re going there, and what it’s going to take, and simultaneously to do it in a way that inspires their team to want to get on board, is a very, very important business skills, and I would say lucrative skill, for the owners that know how to do that.” (8:29—9:45)
“All communicators, we have two things we’re trying to create with patients, with team, with the public, with our families. That is clarity. Every time we speak, we’re hoping we’re creating clarity versus confusion. And we’re also hoping that we can create that clarity in an inspirational way. In other words, people leave a conversation from me and they’re not confused about what I’m asking for. They’re super clear, but they’re also inspired to take a step toward what I’m requesting. And if we can do both of those, we are an excellent communicator. So, if you think about it from an owner’s standpoint, if you’re hoping to scale your business, you may be talking to and making a presentation to investors. If you’re a solo practitioner, you’ve got a lot of really big issues in our industry today, keeping your team on board, putting together a new team, realigning your team with new technologies and new things that you see for your future. A lot of people are bringing in sleep dentistry or they’re bringing implants internally into the practice or whatever they’re doing, and they’ve got to get people on board with that. So, that is standing up at a team meeting and essentially delivering the presentation. So, that’s one way.” (9:45—11:03)
“The second way is, if you’re a hygienist, if you’re a dental assistant or an administrator, and if you have any desire to advance your career in terms of your salary or in terms of your position, then the ability for you to, again, clarify your message and inspire a team is an essential skill to be at the front of the line for that promotion and at the front of the line for salary increases. It’s a skill that owners and managers long for, and they’re willing to pay for. And they notice the people at a team meeting that are able to stand up, make their case for what they’re wanting to say, and do it in a way that brings people together and doesn’t drive them apart. That skill is something we all want and we notice it in our employees. So, I think there’s that. There’s deciding that you’re going to use these skills to forge your career.” (11:04—12:04)
“Lastly, the third reason I think that dental professionals would be interested in this is sometimes we are very passionate about a perhaps part of our work. And we wonder, what would it be like to help others understand it as deeply as we do, or be able to have the proficiency and mastery that we have. So, let’s say a hygienist is particularly passionate and really highly skilled with lasers, or a clinician is really passionate about implant placement, or an administrator is really passionate about a particular way of enrolling patients into treatment. There is an entire industry of people who have not mastered those skills. And a lot of dental professionals will take on a side gig, if you will, of speaking about the thing they’re very good at and very passionate about, and they have this very fun, lucrative side gig of sharing their passion with the industry. So, I want to encourage people that it’s easier then they think, if that’s a goal, to do it, and that our industry really needs them.” (12:05—13:17)
“It matters that [your message] is clear. It matters that it’s inspirational. They don’t have to be Tony Robbins, but they do have to talk about why we’re going here and why the team would want to accept the invitation to get on board.” (16:19—16:34)
“We’re cursed with something that I call the curse of knowledge. So, if we’re going to take the front of the room, let’s say, that might be a stage, but it might just be the front of your team meeting. Wherever that is, you’re going to take the front of the room. It’s a leadership position. And we could all talk for days on the things we’re passionate about and that we know a lot about. But our audience can’t listen for days, and they can’t absorb it. And so, our goal is not to share with them everything we know about the subject. Our goal is to organize our content in a very tight and easy-to-understand way. I always say our job is to make the complex seem simple. It’s complex. Right? What you teach, what I teach, what these technical things, they’re complicated. But our job is not to show how much we know.” (17:30—18:26)
“We use something we call the bookshelf framework. It’s essentially a four-step — the quickest way to describe it is, I’ll say to the people we’re coaching, ‘Imagine you have a shelf and some brackets, a pile of books, and two bookends, and your goal is to make a beautiful bookshelf on the wall. Out of that pile of supplies, what would you need to put on the wall first?’ Of course, it’s the shelf and the brackets. So, that’s how we build the content structure of the speech. We organize our content using this. The shelf represents, in one sentence, what is this speech about? What is the thing I want my people to understand and take away in one sentence? If we can’t get clear about that, we can’t get our audience clear about that. So, that’s actually the hardest thing of the whole bookshelf, is getting that clarity. Once we’ve got that, then we put the books on. So, the books are the containers. We say up to five — less is more. The books are the containers for the supporting concepts of our bookshelf one-line, bottom-line. So, they hold the pieces, the examples the data, the support, all of that. Now, all the books aren’t the same size. They might have chapters and subchapters depending on how much time you have. But once you get beyond five, people can’t remember it and they tune out. So, we try to put everything we want to say inside these five books and how deep we go in them depends on time.” (18:52—20:32)
“The best speech I ever heard, I still remember it. It was almost 20 years ago. I heard this speech at the National Speakers Association, and to this day, I can tell you what that speech was about, what I did with the information, why I thought it was important then, and still now in my career. I remember he made us laugh, he made us cry, he made me think, he made me act . . . Joe Calloway. He had a 45-minute keynote to 2,500 professional speakers. That’s a pretty big deal. He nailed it. And 20 years later, I can remember what he said. How many people listened to us and 20 years later can say, ‘I remember what Katherine spoke about 20 years ago’?” (20:34—21:19)
“If you want your message to be memorable with your team, with an audience, with anyone, less is more. Clarity is everything.” (22:01—22:09)
“The two bookends [of the bookshelf] are the opening and the closing. How do we make those really, really stick, and really memorable? So, organizing your content would be number-one on my list.” (22:11—22:22)
“Number two on my list [of the bookshelf framework] would be story. So, if you think about the content as being the black and white information, then story, metaphors, examples, video clips, humor, all of that adds color to the black and white. It adds the color. And those are the pieces that make the content interesting and also memorable. And so, I would suggest people work on little things that happen in life that you say, ‘You know, when I went and picked up my dog from the groomer and the exchange I had with the clerk,’ that is essentially the same thing that happens over here. And start to think about, where can I find simple stories that are analogous to what I’m trying — what you’re trying to say is, here’s the point I’m making in my presentation, and it’s just like this thing that happens in every day life. It’s just like that. And the stories make it more understandable and more relatable. So, stories would be something, learn to find them, learn where to put them, and learn how to tell them in an interesting way.” (22:22—23:37)
1:38 Katherine’s background.
5:08 Frameworks versus scripts, explained.
8:09 Why you need public speaking skills.
13:18 It matters that your message is clear.
17:02 Top things that separates a poor, average, or fantastic speaker.
18:26 The bookshelf framework.
Katherine Eitel Belt Bio:
Katherine Eitel Belt is considered The Unscripted Communication Expert in the US, Canada, and the UK. An international keynote speaker, author, and coach, Katherine is the creator of The Lioness Principle™, a unique leadership communication tool. This guiding principle along with several other easily replicable tools are what LionSpeak uses to help professionals communicate with more authenticity and effectiveness. The company specializes in a broad range of communication forums including frontline telephone skills (including mystery shopper services), public speaking skills for executives and sales teams, media readiness, inter-team communications, adult learning techniques for trainers and educators, and personal leadership skills.
Using creative, non-traditional methods to help professionals break through barriers and achieve phenomenal results is something Katherine and the team at LionSpeak love to do! Though this transformative work, Katherine has become a mentor to other consultants, trainers, speakers, corporate executives, and managers. In response to that demand, Katherine created her Transformational Training and Inspirational Speaker’s Workshops as well as her Lion Camp Leadership Experiences which are annual sell-outs in San Diego, California and are considered the premier team retreat for progressive corporate and healthcare teams.
Katherine is a SCN Spotlight-On-Speaking champion, National Speaker’s Association member, Speaking/Consulting Network board member, and past-president of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants. She was recently honored as the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Linda Miles Spirit Award for her contributions to the dental industry.