ET-071: A conversation with Mr. David Doerrier
ET-071: A conversation with Mr. David Doerrier
and your host Wayne Brown on October 31, 2023
and your host Wayne Brown on October 31, 2023
Episode notes: A conversation with Mr. David Doerrier
Hello and welcome to the ET Project. I’m your host, Wayne Brown, and as usual, we’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET.
Today we’re heading to Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, and catching up with David Doerrier, aka Santa Claus.
You’ll hear more on that story as we get into this conversation, but first, allow me to introduce David, whom is warmly referred to by his friends as David D, David is a dynamic professional speaker, trainer and coach, with over 25 years of experience in training and development, leadership and communication, with a passion for helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential, David brings knowledge and expertise to his presentations.
And as David so rightly says – Talking and Telling ain’t Training or Selling™
Here is an extract from our conversation as we start to get into it…
A lot of people spend their time scrolling on Netflix and chill, and it’s not in my DNA, it’s, for me, I put my, I’ll give your viewers a tip. I actually put my phone on the other side of my bed, so I actually physically have to get out of bed to turn my alarm clock off in the morning and therefore I’m already outta bed and therefore I’m not spending time scrolling because the phone is next to me. That’s something I’ve put in place because most people are losing like maybe an hour, 45 minutes, half an hour in the morning, just endlessly scrolling around what’s going on in the world. For me, that’s not important for me. It’s important around what’s my goals, what am I trying to achieve, what’s my mission?
Today’s Guest: MR. DAVID DOERRIER
David’s engaging style and unique ability to connect with his audience have made him a sought after speaker in industry conferences, corporate events, and educational institutions nationwide, he is known for simplifying complex concepts and delivering actionable insights that empower individuals to take their communication skills to the next level.
David has a hugely diverse background from radio broadcasting, corporate training, stage acting military service, voice over work, and as I mentioned at the very beginning, he even plays the role of Santa Claus each year.
Through David’s book, how adults learn principles of engagement, he provides practical techniques to increase audience engagement, and no doubt a lot of this knowledge that David shares comes from being a highly accomplished Toastmaster, having competed in various impromptu and evaluation contests, earning recognition for his exceptional skills.
Final words from David:
verybody else in that room wants you to be successful. We do a really good job of tearing ourselves apart. Now, I have to say that I was not born with the gift of Gab. I was a very shy, pimply little kid growing up on Long Island. I ended up in this career field. Higher powers had some plan for me. I ended up in radio. It was a fluke that I ended up in radio. I ended up in theater. That was a fluke. I ended up as being a Santa Claus. That was a fluke. I just ended up in that. It, so it all just happened. But in each case, I found that I loved working in radio. I was good in radio. I was good in theater. I was comfortable on the stage.
I had to work through a lot of anxieties. I had to work through a lot of voices in my head that were telling me I’m no good. But I kept pushing forward. There was a lot that I had to learn about training. There was a lot of times that I failed. But all of those things have contributed to, because I experienced them. So I know what my client is going through.
So, number one, your audience wants you to be successful. Number two, taking instructional design techniques, using those same techniques and applying them to speech writing or training. And you always start with the conclusion is, where are we going? Many people are even in training, they’re starting from the beginning. I gotta write training. So they start from the very beginning. Well, what’s the objective? Where are you headed?
What should people understand? What should they walk away with? And that’s the part that I love the most, is the needs analysis piece to dig and dig and dig to, for the true objective, not only of the training, but of the presentation…
0:00:04.7 WB: Hello. I’m your host, Wayne Brown, and welcome to the ET project. We’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world, whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET. Today we’re heading to Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, and catching up with David Doerrier, aka Santa Claus. You’ll hear more on that story as we get into this conversation, but first, allow me to introduce David, whom is warmly referred to by his friends as David D, David is a dynamic professional speaker, trainer and coach, with over 25 years of experience in training and development, leadership and communication, with a passion for helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential, David brings knowledge and expertise to his presentations. David’s engaging style and unique ability to connect with his audience have made him a sought after speaker in industry conferences, corporate events, and educational institutions nationwide, he is known for simplifying complex concepts and delivering actionable insights that empower individuals to take their communication skills to the next level, David has a hugely diverse background from radio broadcasting, corporate training, stage acting military service, voice over work, and as I mentioned at the very beginning, he even plays the role of Santa Claus each year.
0:01:28.9 WB: Through David’s book, how adults learn principles of engagement, he provides practical techniques to increase audience engagement, and no doubt a lot of this knowledge that David shares comes from being a highly accomplished Toastmaster, having competed in various impromptu and evaluation contests, earning recognition for his exceptional skills. Team ET it’s a great conversation ahead as this is a vital topic for all leaders, today, we welcome you to join our session as we’re going to be discussing the art and science around presenting and training and leveraging a set of eight adult learning principles that our guest David Doerrier has developed.
0:02:13.8 Speaker 2: Welcome to the ET Project, a podcast for those executive talents determined to release their true potential and create an impact, join our veteran coach and mentor, Wayne Brown as we unpack an exciting future together.
0:02:31.7 WB: Welcome back, Team ET for another fantastic week, and I’m going to introduce our guest, David Doerrier, welcome to the ET Project. Great to have you on the show and looking forward to our conversation.
0:02:39.8 DD: Well, thank you so much, Wayne, for inviting me to be a part of your show. I’ve been following you for quite some time, and now to be a part of it, I’m so excited, thank you.
0:02:48.1 WB: You’re too kind, you and I come from similar career backgrounds to some extent, and when we first caught up, we were talking about some of those similarities, so I’m sure we’ll touch on that. Is there anything in the world at the moment that’s got you excited.
0:03:03.8 DD: I’m excited about the clients that I have been working with for quite some time, and to see them grow in their speaking skills, I’ve had a number of folks come to me with very high anxiety when it comes to public speaking, they all had a speaking engagement that was coming up, we were able to craft an engaging presentation, they’ve all been able to get up in front of an audience and present that presentation, and then come back to me and say, Hey, this is working. So that’s what I’m most excited about.
0:03:39.9 WB: Fantastic, and we’re gonna jump into your business a little bit later, but for the listeners, your business is all about presentation skills and being able to speak in public, you’ve lived a very exciting life as well as career to say the least, very diverse, I’d love to unpack some of that, if I start with where you grew up, I believe it was on Long Island. Now you’re American, most of our listeners are not American. So let’s start with the question of what and where is Long Island?
0:04:14.8 DD: Great question, well Long Island is part of New York. New York is a very diverse state when I… We’ll get to the military in a little bit, but when I was traveling and I would tell people that I was from New York, people automatically would think of New York City. But New York is very diverse. New York City, certainly Long Island has its own characteristics, and then you also have upstate New York, which is like a whole new world in itself, but Long Island, New York, it’s probably 100 miles in length, and I’m not sure about the width of it, but I was Born, raised and conceived there close to the water, spent a lot of time on the Great South Bay, the Fire Island beaches, and so on. It was a great upbringing.
0:05:02.0 WB: Yeah, anything, David, that I know about Long Island is the Hamptons. And the only reason I know about the Hamptons is because of the property shows and the wealthy properties that I see on TV, is that where you grew up?
0:05:15.0 DD: No. Not in the Hamptons. Certainly the way you described it is certainly accurate, there’s a lot in… The Hamptons would be out getting close to the end of Long Island, Montauk Point is the very end of Long Island. So you’re out in that area. Riverhead is out in that area, but I was probably in about the middle part, Babylon, Long Island, New York, which is… There are two counties in Long Island, Nassau County, which is closer to the city, and then Suffolk County outside of… Further out. So yes, I would say yes. So yes, the Hamptons are further out on Long Island.
0:05:52.7 WB: Okay, so what did you do as a child, as a teenager growing up on long Island?
0:05:58.0 DD: Wow that’s a great question. Well, I’m the oldest of five kids. So we were all very close in age. Part of my growing up was just about killing each other as kids in the house, but whenever we would go as a family to other people’s homes, we would be the nicest kids and please, and thank you. And my mother would get compliments about it, boy, your kids are so well-behaved. But as soon as we got home, we were killing each other, and I would say that growing up, we were close to the Great South Bay, we always had a boat, we were out water-skiing and clamming and catching crabs and fishing, and taking the boat out and water-skiing and going to Fire Island beaches and so on, I guess… And the other big thing that I did as a kid was listening to radio, and that was my inspiration to finally later, we’ll get to that in ending up in radio broadcasting.
0:06:57.8 WB: How often would you go across to New York, mainland?
0:07:02.0 DD: It’s interesting that living so close to New York City and really not exploring it as much as I should have explored it, because it was… One of the nice things about New York that many people may know is that the transportation trains and subways and so on, is right there, a matter of fact, my high school right across the street was the train station, the Long Island Railroad, but those infrequent times that I would go to New York City, that excitement of getting on to the train, the excitement of getting into the city and seeing the tall buildings and the smells, the different restaurants and the activity… Oh, there was just nothing like it.
0:07:44.9 WB: Now, you’re not living on Long Island at the moment, so you’ve moved around throughout your career, maybe you just give us a short background on what you’ve been doing in your career, if you don’t mind…
0:07:56.9 DD: So as far as the travels… So after high school, I went into the military, I joined the Air Force, and that took me originally to San Antonio, Texas, where I did my basic training, and also my schooling was in Texas, and then my first assignment was sort of kinda in your neck of the woods getting close to you, I went to Guam and I was there for 15 months after Guam. I spent time in Korea for about a year and a half after Korea, Homestead Florida, which is down in the very south of Miami, in Florida, went back to Guam for three years. Spent some time traveling to the Philippines, to Japan, Okinawa, Hawaii, Australia. I’m just very grateful for all of the places that I’ve been able to experience. The different people that I’ve been able to meet, it’s really given me a great education, being able to meet all of these other cultures, and then eventually coming back to the States, I left active duty after 10 years, went into the reserves, and currently, I’m living here in Atlanta, Georgia. And in the reserves, I spent some time in Saudi Arabia, Germany, Turkey. I love Turkey, I learned so much about Turkey and some other states here. So hopefully I was able to do that in a short period of time.
0:09:18.4 WB: I’m curious, as you were growing up, was there anything that suggested you would end up doing what you just explained, in this case, moving into the military, having the opportunity to work in the Air Force, I believe, and travel around the world as you did. Was there any sort of indication as a child that this was the path you would take?
0:09:39.0 DD: I would say my initial response would be, No, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, I did have that fascination with radio, I would listen to radio all of the time, I’d go to sleep at night with a transistor radio underneath my pillow, I tried to get into radio when I was in my senior year in high school. My English class, we focused on media, and that was probably the best grade I ever received in any class because I was so interested in radio in television and so on, and I went down to the local radio station and tried to get into the Columbia School of Broadcasting, I had to take a test and I didn’t score high enough on the test, so I guess the only thing that I… I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew I did not wanna go to college. I just, I was not very academically inclined, I liked to work, I always worked, I worked in my father’s business, I worked for other businesses.
0:10:45.9 DD: So what I wanted to do, the military was because I ended up in the military because I got well, fired sort of from a job and then I was holding up a wall in a bar, I was spending a lot of time in a bar after I graduated from high school, and I said, I gotta do something. And I originally went down and talked to the Coast Guard and they said, Well, we got a year and a half waiting list and I didn’t wanna go in the Navy, so I said, let me try the Air Force… I do… Let me say this, I loved planes, I had a fascination with watching planes and the smell of the jet fuel was fascinating to me, so I guess… There you go, there’s the answer. I had a fascination with planes.
0:11:25.4 WB: I mentioned earlier that we have a similar background in terms of education and learning and development in particular, and instructional design, and I also had no interest in academic careers, and as you’ve just described… We sort of ended up in the same pathway of getting back into learning and development, so when you found yourself in the Air Force… What was it you were actually doing…
0:11:48.6 DD: I was a My job title was air transportation specialist, basically loading, downloading anything and everything you can think of that would fit on a military or civilian cargo or passenger aircraft, everything from every type of cargo, from small boxes to large tanks, to people, baggage, food, pillows, blankets. I loved it. It was the job that I signed up for. Many people went into the service and took pot luck, but I had went through the recruiter and said, This is the job I wanted to do, I didn’t wanna be a mechanic, but I wanted to work around aircraft, so the weight and balance of the aircraft, loading the aircraft downloading all of the cargo, I loved that job, I did it for a total of 28 years… 10 years, active duty, and then 18 years in the reserves.
0:12:41.7 WB: How long have you been in Atlanta?
0:12:44.9 DD: I’ve been here since 1995, 30 years. It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long. Yes, and it was the military it was the reserves that brought me here in 1995.
0:12:57.0 WB: The reason I asked about how long you’ve been in Atlanta was because there’s a topic that probably picked a lot of curiosity with people when I first introduced it to this episode, which was the role that you play as the Jolly Old St. Nick or Santa Claus, as most people would probably know it. And you’ve been doing that for 30 hard years. How did you get into this role? What’s the story behind the role that you play here?
0:13:25.3 DD: It really came from desperation because I needed money, I was living in California at the time, I was working full-time radio, at radio, Yes, I found some of the fame and fortune, I found some of the fame, but none of the fortune, so I needed to find a part-time job. I was doing some community theater at the time, this was back in the late ’80s when I started doing this, and I looked through the newspaper looking for a part-time job, and I found that there was an agency in Oakland, California, that was looking for Santa. Christmas had always been a very special time in my family, there’s many things about my family that created anxiety and so on. But it was always Christmas morning where we all came together.
0:14:16.0 DD: So I applied for the job within a week or so, I was in their school at this agency, their Santa school, and I left there. At that time, I did not have the beard for… Out of the 30 years that I’ve been a Santa, 27 of those years, I did not have the beard, I had the strap-on beard and the glue-on mustache, and the wig and so on and so forth. And I left that training with a box that had a Santa suit in a box, and I started doing shopping malls and I really got… The first time I put on the suit, it was amazing that I took on that character, I had acting experience, so I knew a little bit about being a character and developing a character and so on, and had the basics of that. And it was just magical. It was, I felt like the Pied Piper in that suit, wearing a Santa suit is like wearing a magnet. It’s just unbelievable.
0:15:14.4 WB: You mentioned your take on the character, this was something I was curious about, how much do you actually get into character?
0:15:22.5 DD: I would say… Certainly some basic knowledge, but I think that a lot of it comes from the heart. What I find that I do is when I’m with children, my focus is right on them, normally, I’ll be seated and the children will be standing in front of me and I’m talking directly to them, I’m looking directly at them. There are many times that I don’t understand what they say, especially when they’re sitting on my knee, and there’s a lot of activity going on around me, a lot of noise that’s going on around me. The child is mumbling. Maybe looking away from me, I’ll ask a question, especially, what do you want for Christmas? And then they’ll say something, but I never respond… What? What? Speak up, I’ll never say that. Wow, that’s exciting. Wow, that’ll be great. So always just focused on the kid, and many times the adult, the parent will come up to me, Well, what did they ask for Christmas? I don’t know, I don’t know what they said. But it’s always positive, no matter what they’re wearing, no matter how dirty their clothes are, or how fancy their clothes are, you look great? And Santa has known them ever since they were born.
0:16:37.6 WB: Absolutely.
0:16:37.9 DD: It’s great to see you again, even adults, it’s great to see you again, wow you look great, I love the outfit you’re wearing, so it’s a very positive experience. So when it comes to the questions, where is Mrs. Claus how’s Rudolph, a lot of it is impromptu of speaking skills, and my Toastmaster’s experience of being of impromptu speaking certainly comes into play.
0:17:05.3 WB: Is there any memorable moment playing this role as Santa Claus that really sticks in your mind?
0:17:11.5 DD: Well, there are so many of the special children, the special families, to see… One of the things that I observe is, and my wife and I, we don’t have children, but it’s… To observe the mother and father watching their child interacting with Santa, and I can only imagine that it’s bringing those parents back to when they were with Santa or when their parents were observing them with Santa and interacting with Santa and that child, when they truly believe, you can feel it, you can sense it, you can see it. It’s magical, that interaction between Santa and that child when they are fully engaged and Santa is fully engaged with them.
0:18:09.5 WB: What came first in your career was it the public speaking, and I know you’ve been in acting for a long time in radio etcetera, so was it public speaking or was it in the corporate world with training?
0:18:23.0 DD: Well, it was with the military, with the training. During my 10 years active duty, I may have been doing some mentoring. Nothing formal training at that time. Then I was ended up in the reserves because I had been active duty in the same career field. I started doing some mentoring and some informal training in my unit in Texas. And then my first sergeant came to me in ’95 and said, there’s an opportunity to move to Marietta, Georgia to be an instructor for reservists that were coming into this career field of air transportation. So prior to that, I had my radio broadcasting. I had done that for 12 years. And I had the stage acting in community theater, which I had done for roughly five or six years at that point.
0:19:09.8 WB: Right.
0:19:11.9 DD: And then, so this was my first exposure to learning the craft of training, of designing, training, working with a computer on a daily basis, and in the mid nineties. And training people, being up in front of people and learning the craft of training. So training came first.
0:19:30.8 WB: It evolved, I guess, into somewhat of a passion because it is sort of an offshoot of what you now do with your presentation and your facilitation, et cetera. I know you have a book or an eBook about how adults learn principles of engagement. We’re going to go into those principles a little bit as we go through and look at the presentation skills. When we first connected, we were talking about adult learning, and we spoke about Malcolm Knowles, for those in the States in particular, may have heard the name Malcolm Knowles, very tightly associated with adult learning. When I look at your principles, they’re probably a little bit different, but there’s some similarities. Was there a connection between his approach and what you ended up doing?
0:20:20.7 DD: Whether you look at Malcolm Knowles five principles of adult learning, or you look at my eight principles of engagement, they may be worded a little bit differently, but they both have the same objective. And that is to create engagement with your audience. The more engagement that you have with your audience, the more that your message is gonna resonate. It’s gonna stick, it’s gonna be relevant ’cause the more relevant it is, the more it resonates with your audience, the more it’s gonna stick with them, the more you challenge your audience. So whether you look at Malcolm Knowles and the reason that I transitioned into these eight is that Malcolm Knowles to me was good stuff, but it read very technical to me. And I had a very difficult time relating those five to my audience.
0:21:20.2 WB: Right.
0:21:23.3 DD: That’s why I adjusted to these eight.
0:21:25.4 WB: I guess when you talk about engagement, and you talk about very heavily influenced by your ability to tell story, particularly when you’re presenting or you’re facilitating, how much do you go into the storytelling element?
0:21:39.4 DD: Definitely a big part of it. That’s one of out of the top three things that I mentioned to folks that last, well, what are the top three things that you gotta remember whenever you’re presenting to an audience. One is you’ve got to under who, you gotta know who your audience is.
0:21:54.3 WB: Yeah.
0:21:55.4 DD: Number two is incorporate stories. And number three is have a compelling conclusion. So stories are extremely important, very engaging, but they have to be told in a certain way.
0:22:09.1 WB1: Yes.
0:22:09.2 DD: It’s more than saying that, well, yesterday I went to the store, okay. But you gotta give us a little bit more. You gotta put some color in there.
0:22:16.4 WB: Yeah.
0:22:17.2 DD: Of… And create. It’s also about creating that emotion, that impact with your audience. The impact comes from stories, analogies, examples, those types of things. Yes. Stories very important.
0:22:34.6 WB: As part of your business, you do e-learning voiceover, as I explained when we first connected. I’ve been working in this game for a long time, and we’ve engaged so many people, who do the voiceover that I never connected as a separate business. And here we are talking now, and I’m talking to somebody who does e-learning voiceover. How did you get into that?
0:22:56.0 DD: After leaving, I worked for the Air Force for several years, and as an instructional designer and as an instructor, and then eventually left the reserves or left the, that job with the military. And then started working for a civilian organization where we were creating, customized training for a number of corporations here in the Atlanta area. We were creating, this was in early 2000. We were creating e-learning, And they said, well, we need a voice for this e-learning that we’re creating, and we’re bringing in someone from the outside to do it.
0:23:40.3 WB: Right.
0:23:40.9 DD: And I said, well, I used to do radio. I had 12 years of radio in my hip pocket. At that point, I wasn’t working radio at this time. I said, I worked radio in the past. Give me a shot. So they, I did an audition for the company and they said, Hey, that sounds great. And so now, not only was I able to do the voiceover and learn now the craft of voicing e-learning, they were saving money because I was already on salary. So that’s how that started was internal. And then how it became an external business. I had a buddy that I knew from my military job at in Marietta, who left that job and went to work for GE in their training department and said that we’re creating training. We have a company out of India that is developing this training, but we need a voice here in the United States. Would you be willing to be the voice? And I said, sure. So I auditioned for that job. I got the job, started voicing the stuff for GEs locomotives and generators and that stuff. And this India-based company said, Hey, we’d love to use your voice for other stuff like Caterpillar, IBM, Lennox air conditioners and some other stuff. And I said, sure. And so that’s how my e-learning voiceover.com business started.
0:25:11.5 WB: It is a great story. And as I said at the very beginning, you’ve touched on so many different areas. You mentioned that you were involved or are involved in Toastmasters, and I’m just wondering how big of an influence has Toastmasters had on you with your current business, but also with the different things you’ve done in your career?
0:25:32.4 DD: Yeah. It’s Toastmasters has been an enormous benefit to me in my business. I originally was associated with Toastmasters about 30 years ago. I don’t remember exactly what happened to get me there, but I know that I started in Toastmasters around the same time I started training.
0:25:54.8 WB: Okay.
0:25:55.6 DD: With the military. And I guess I was looking for a way to improve my speaking skills. And so that’s how I found Toastmasters originally. I have stayed with them on and off, even during the time that I was with the Reserves and was in Turkey. They had a Toastmasters Club there.
0:26:14.7 WB: Yeah.
0:26:14.9 DD: And When I was in Saudi Arabia, they had a Toastmasters Club there, Germany, Toastmasters Club. So I’ve been visiting those clubs. But the biggest thing that I take away from Toastmasters, number one, the community that is there, everybody that’s involved all want the same thing. They’re all wanting to get better, not only at speaking, but Toastmasters also helps with leadership skills as well, because of all the different leadership roles that are within each club, and then also when you get into the district level and so on. But the thing is that the reason that I stay there is because it challenges me. It challenges me to try different things, experiment with different ways of presenting ’cause one of the areas that I struggle with is humor, is incorporating humor and stories. I’ve been a trainer for so long that when I get up and speak, many times I present as a trainer, but I need to learn how to present better as a presenter or storyteller or humorist. And in Toastmasters, that’s where I can experiment and do that.
0:27:26.7 WB: You mentioned impromptu speaking. Do you also do that practice that at Toastmasters?
0:27:33.2 DD: Oh, yes. They have a portion of every meeting that’s called table topics, Which is impromptu speaking or speak by the seat of your pants.
0:27:40.9 WB: Yes.
0:27:44.1 DD: Where you have a table topic master who is in charge of coming up with questions. The question could be anything. I use a lot, all of these different cards here, and I’ll just pick some of them randomly. And the question is, well, I’ll go with the one I just picked. Is justice or forgiveness more important? So the participant has no idea what the question will be. And now they have to speak for a minimum of one minute and a maximum of two minutes and 30 seconds.
0:28:17.5 DD: Toastmasters also has a lot of competitions. And one of the competitions is an impromptu competition. And I love impromptu speaking.
0:28:28.4 WB: You also mentioned evaluation contests. Now what is that within Toastmasters?
0:28:32.4 DD: So an evaluation contest would be, you would have a number of people that would be competing. So for example, I would be one of the competitors as an evaluation. There may be four or five other competitors. We all would view one speaker. The speaker would be called a target speaker. Every prepared speech in Toastmasters is evaluated a toast. Every Toastmasters meeting will have people that have signed up to give a prepared speech. You will have the impromptu speaking, and then at the end, you will have an evaluator who will evaluate that prepared speaker. But in this case, when the competition, now we have four or five evaluators that will be evaluating one speaker. So now that speaker goes up, they do their presentation for 5-7 minutes.
0:29:28.9 WB: Right.
0:29:29.0 DD: They are timed. All of those evaluators will now go to a separate room. We all will have two minutes to come up with our evaluation. We all then in a separate room outside of the stage area, we then put our pens down. Now maybe, I don’t know, 5 minutes maybe to do our evaluation, put our pens down. Someone is observing us, and then one at a time, each of us will go in and give our evaluation. And then we as evaluators are evaluated by judges.
0:30:05.1 WB: Right.
0:30:06.2 DD: And Our evaluation is also timed 2-3 minutes. Then the best evaluator will win the contest.
0:30:14.3 WB: Let move into your business. So you have a business, you do a lot of presentation skills. What’s the business itself called?
0:30:23.4 DD: The business is called PresentYourWayToSuccess.com.
0:30:28.2 WB: And that’s essentially what your business is about. It’s all about learning how to present. Right?
0:30:34.3 DD: Right.
0:30:35.3 WB: So would you like to expand on what you do there?
0:30:39.5 DD: So it’s working with subject matter experts. My business is for the most part agnostic that everybody is, no matter what the subject is, that at the core, the objective is working with the subject matter experts to help them craft a message that is going to be engaging and is going to stick with their audience. Because my tagline, talking and telling ain’t training or selling. So many people will say, ah, I don’t need a presentation skills coach, because I never get nervous when I speak in front of an audience. Well, that’s great that you never get nervous, but are you connecting with your audience? Are you just getting up there and just talking? I have evaluated a number of people outside of Toastmasters and networking groups and many of these. And many of these business owners. And I don’t wanna fault them because they just don’t know.
0:31:35.8 DD: They feel like they’ve seen everybody else do the same thing. Just get up and just start talking. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. And then they talk to us as if we are experts in that field. There needs to be an engaging opening. There needs to be transitions, there needs to be stories. There you’ve got to know your audience. And then there needs to be some sort of compelling conclusion to wrap the whole thing up. So getting up and not being nervous, great. But have you crafted a message that’s gonna stick with your audience?
0:32:10.3 WB: If you were to summarize your approach with your clients, is there some elevator pitch you have about the approach you have?
0:32:23.9 DD: That’s a great question. So, well, my approach with everybody is customized to their needs. But I think that the most important part when it comes to thinking about writing a speech, well, there’s a couple of things. First of all is understanding that, number one, your audience wants you to be successful. There’s usually only one person in that room that feels that the speech or presentation or training or whatever it happens to be, is gonna fail. Wayne, can you tell me who that one person might be?
0:32:56.5 WB: Probably me or the presenter. [laughter]
0:33:00.9 DD: Exactly. Everybody else in that room wants you to be successful. We do a really good job of tearing ourselves apart. Now, I have to say that I was not born with the gift of Gab. I was a very shy, pimply little kid growing up on Long Island. I ended up in this career field. Higher powers had some plan for me. I ended up in radio. It was a fluke that I ended up in radio. I ended up in theater. That was a fluke. I ended up as being a Santa Claus. That was a fluke. I just ended up in that. It, so it all just happened. But in each case, I found that I loved working in radio. I was good in radio. I was good in theater. I was comfortable on the stage.
0:33:53.1 DD: I had to work through a lot of anxieties. I had to work through a lot of voices in my head that were telling me I’m no good. But I kept pushing forward. There was a lot that I had to learn about training. There was a lot of times that I failed. But all of those things have contributed to, because I experienced them. So I know what my client is going through. So, number one, your audience wants you to be successful. Number two, taking instructional design techniques, using those same techniques and applying them to speech writing or training. And you always start with the conclusion is, where are we going? Many people are even in training, they’re starting from the beginning. I gotta write training. So they start from the very beginning. Well, what’s the objective? Where are you headed? What should people understand? What should they walk away with? And that’s the part that I love the most, is the needs analysis piece to dig and dig and dig to, for the true objective, not only of the training, but of the presentation.
0:35:01.1 WB: Where can people go and connect with you if they like what they’ve heard so far and they’d like to learn more?
0:35:08.6 DD: That’s a great question. So one place would be my website, presentyourwaytosuccess.com, or if you, get this proper correct spelling of my name, you will find me on LinkedIn. I post a lot there about presentation skills. Currently I’m posting about the adult learning theory. And if you get in touch with me and let me know that you heard this podcast with Wayne, I’d be happy to send you an electronic version of the principles of engagement complimentary and also a complimentary 45 minute coaching session, or just a chat. And we can talk about where you are currently at with your training, your presentations. If you got any, have any questions, I’d be more than happy to spend those 45 minutes with you. I’m not gonna sell you, but if you want to take things to the next level, I’d be more than happy to talk about that.
0:36:01.0 WB: David, thank you very much for being on the ET project. It’s been great, great conversation. And, really hope that some of our listeners connect with you.
0:36:10.6 DD: Thank you, Wayne.
0:36:13.6 Speaker 2: Thank you for joining us on the ET project, a show for executive talent development. Until next time, check out our site for free videos, eBooks, webinars and blogs @coaching4companies.com.