How To Build A Community Through Speaking - Beth InglishNov 18, 2022
Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Beth Inglish.
Our next guest is a celebrated visual artist and leader in Nashville, TN. She is a survivor of childhood trauma who learned to manage her PTSD like a boss using the power of creativity to heal. Founder of a 10,000-member artist community, she leads creatives to let go of fear and create with joy. Since moving to Nashville in 2007, her artwork has appeared on nationally syndicated television shows, public art installations, and murals, and in the homes and offices of private collectors around the world, and even on the outside of a city bus. She has spoken to global organizations, co-authored three books, and became a comedian at 37. Welcome to the stage, Beth Inglish.
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Tom Bailey 00:07
Hello and welcome to succeed through speaking the place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results Hello, I'm Tom Bailey and in today's speaker stories episode, I'll be getting to know Beth Inglish who is a celebrated visual artist and leader in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the founder of a 10,000 member artists community and leads creatives to let go of fear and create with joy. So Beth, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.
Beth Inglish 00:47
Hello, hello. Thank you for having me.
Tom Bailey 00:50
Thank you so much for being here. And I guess just out of interest, not only for me, but for everybody listening. Whereabouts are you in the world right now? I think I've already given it away as a clue I have no.
Beth Inglish 00:59
I'm in Nashville, Tennessee probably did give it away with that intro. I don't know if you can tell by the log cabin behind me. But I am in Nashville, Tennessee. Yes.
Tom Bailey 01:10
Awesome. Thanks for sharing. And I know that you've spoken to global organizations. I know you've co authored three books. And he also became a comedian at 37. So we're going to talk about all of that today. But I wanted to really start by asking how important has public speaking been for you in your career so far?
Beth Inglish 01:31
Public speaking is my entire life. So it's 100% important to what I'm doing right now. And it's something that I felt deep down that I needed to do. So I immediately started learning about the industry and how to get involved and doing everything that it took, because I knew I had a message to share. And that was the most important thing. And originally I shared that message through my paintings. But then I started talking about my art, and talking more about my art and people were interested in hearing about it and the leadership involved in building a massive artists community. And so I started speaking more and more just as my career developed in general, as an artist, I love that.
Tom Bailey 02:17
Was there a particular turning point when you thought I'm gonna become a speaker? Like, what was this? Was there a moment? Or was it said, was it a quite gradual progress? Like you just said,
Beth Inglish 02:29
There was a moment, there definitely was the I had been leading a community of artists for about 10 years is how long I've been doing that I was hosting events for them every single month, and I was speaking in front of the group. And I just realized that this felt like I was operating in my gifts. Yeah. And the most, like, hit me in the face kind of way like, this is what you need to be doing. So I think during one of those meetings, I was inspired to really take it more seriously. Because the way it felt the way it made me feel. Yeah,
Tom Bailey 03:04
I love that perfect. And we'll come back to that point in just a moment. But let's go back to the very beginning. What was your earliest memory of having to stand up and deliver a presentation? And how did it go?
Beth Inglish 03:16
Well, I have to say, I think I was born presenting because as soon as I would take a bite of food at the dinner table, I would stand up and be like, watch me and I would do a dance or sing a song or say something funny. So I was always trying to entertain people for sure. And it always went really well. I love being on stage. But I have to say, getting up and sharing vulnerable stories that are true for your self, your life. That is when I really needed more help, because that was like next level.
Tom Bailey 03:50
Yeah. So even somebody who is quite comfortable in the spotlight, I guess it's that that vulnerability, that exposure, which is where you needed to really work with somebody. Okay, so that's interesting. So, when you think of let's go back to that moment, I guess, when you're already able to speak, you know, you could only speak and stand in front of your events, but you decided to go after this and take it seriously and become a speaker. What kind of advice? What do you know now that you'd wished you'd known back then? What advice would you give to Beth in that moment?
Beth Inglish 04:26
This is a process that it takes time. And you have to be patient throughout that process that becoming a speaker is a journey. And you learn new things. Every time you get up on stage. Every time you write a speech and work with a client you're constantly learning and that only comes by doing the reps and so you have to be on stage speaking in order to be learning about what it's like to be on stage speaking. So mostly just be patient. Be diligent consists stent and keep going after what feels the most intuitive sense for you as far as a direction and speaking, and always speak with that passion, because it's a lot of work. And that's what's carried me through is by doing all that work as being extremely passionate about my topics and and the impact I want to make on the audience for sure. I love
Tom Bailey 05:25
that. And I guess there are people out there who are speaker curious thinking I could become a speaker one day, and they've got this great vision of themselves on a big stage in Dubai in front of 10,000 people, you know, and you will, you will get there, but you don't have to rush yourself to that process. And like you said, you have to do the reps, you have to go through the amateur phase, learn your trade, find your message, and just really build on that. So yeah, that's great advice. Really. Okay. And I guess along your way, clearly natural as a speaker, have there been any speaking, catastrophes, failures, or big lessons that you've learned along the way?
Beth Inglish 06:02
Well, you know, I think when you get up on stage and you feel confident, then you're not really pushing yourself, right, you have to get into those moments where you're uncomfortable. And for me, that was stand up comedy. And when I started doing stand up, that's when I really started failing and learning how to be resilient to those failures. And so that was by far some of the best work I could have done to be an even better speaker on stage. Because if I can do stand up comedy, I can be Speaker for sure.
Tom Bailey 06:32
I love that. What what advice have you got to somebody who's maybe thinking about getting into stand up comedy, or like in those early days? What advice would you give them?
Beth Inglish 06:41
I would say go to some local open mics, go to some local shows start hanging out around the scene. Yeah, some other comics, maybe take a class, just kind of start like dipping your toe in the water. And then you feel like you want to write some, you know, comedy and some jokes, do it and then get up on stage and just do it and see how it goes. Yeah, it's all an experiment, right? Yeah.
Tom Bailey 07:05
What's the worst that could happen? You might get laughed at either way, right?
Beth Inglish 07:10
Yeah, I mean, the worst that happens is that you don't get any laughs. People don't care about what you just had to say. But then you get offstage. And then someone told me that you can only be upset as long as you were on stage. And so that's really good advice. So I'm like, Okay, I have to get over this in 10 minutes, and then I'll be moving on. Yeah, I love that.
Tom Bailey 07:31
And we've talked about a lot of advices give to people in the early stages in their career as a speaker, what about somebody who's already speaking, and they're looking to really transition from, I'm a speaker to, I'm a paid speaker, or I'm a keynote speaker.
Beth Inglish 07:46
Be ready to invest in yourself? Yeah, I think that's really important. And not just, you know, $1,000, or $2,000. But like, a lot more, because if you want to be the best speaker you can be, then you're gonna have to train for it, just like an athlete trains. And so the best thing I ever did was invest in myself, go and take the classes, get the performance training, working with editors, making sure that the speech was written well, is formatted and arranged in a way that's going to be the most compelling, and do the work. And yeah, be the best that you can be create the best product you can create. And then you'll be memorable. And people will want to hear you speak more and more, but always be prepared to do your very best. Yeah,
Tom Bailey 08:37
I love that. And, and when you mentioned about getting an editor to make sure that you're you're you're talking presentation as best it can be. Is that is that kind of like a signature talk that you deliver time and time again, in front of different audiences? Is that something that you have and would recommend to somebody to create?
Beth Inglish 08:52
Definitely, yeah, because if you have a signature talk, it's going to be really dialed in, you're gonna give a really great performance. If you're creating a brand new talk every single time then it's probably not as polished as it needs to be. And so having a signature talk is definitely an important piece of the business for sure.
Tom Bailey 09:12
Okay, great, great advice. Thank you. So I want to talk about fairly recently topical event, the global pandemic that we went through that pretty much wiped out the speaking industry. How did you personally cope or transition during that that early phase of the pandemic?
Beth Inglish 09:30
Well, at first, I was in shock, and I just kind of sat with it for a minute, like, what am I going to do next? Yeah, I did do some virtual speaking. And I developed a coaching program as well. And I did some more online coaching. But then after things started opening up again, I just wanted to get back out there in person events. And so I started networking, and I felt like I had to start building everything from the beginning again And so it's, you know, you build momentum, and then the pandemic, you know, we lost a lot of momentum. And now it's starting up again. So I just made sure I was ready for when events started coming back this year. And so I've already given, you know, some live in person keynotes this year at at events that were the event planners are, yeah, this this business is crazy. You know, like we went from zero to nothing in a minute. Yeah. And so there's a lot of uncertainty on how we're going to move forward. But I believe the combination of in person and virtual speaking, I think is going to be the norm from here on out.
Tom Bailey 10:45
Yeah. And I'm really interested to watch how the space of the hybrid events keep working. Do we have half a virtual audience half in the room? Does that work? Should we just not do that? Like, he's just trying to figure out how that hybrid world works works, I think it will continue to develop over the next few years. So got going to your point on that one.
Beth Inglish 11:05
Yeah, I was gonna say, you know, because I have a great video of one of my speeches. And I think that if you can license that content out and share it, and that different format, then you're not having to go back and forth between an online audience and an in person audience. I feel like that's kind of hectic, and you split your focus as far as the audience experience, and you're not truly giving either one, like the best possible experience. And so if you create an amazing video, and then license that out, or, you know, have it available for attendees to watch, I think, because we stream everything anyway. So why wouldn't we do that with speeches?
Tom Bailey 11:45
Yeah. And unless you can interact with the speaker from home, there's almost no point being lived you know, if you're at home, anybody to watch the video, like you said, great point. And so I just want to just finally, just thank you so much for sharing all that advice. And I guess my last question for you today is, if somebody wants to book you as a speaker, or find out more about you, or during one of your online courses, where's the best place for them to do that?
Beth Inglish 12:10
Probably LinkedIn. So I'm like the most professional but if you want to check me out, having fun doing more personal life, things on Instagram and Facebook, I am at Beth English. That's B E th ing li sh all over every social platform, and very easy to find online. My Websites Beth english.com. So just give me a call send me an email. I love talking to event planners and making an experience for audiences that is truly transformational. Yeah, I
Tom Bailey 12:42
love that you mentioned your experience. That's a great point to end on. Thanks for sharing that. So thank you so much, again, for sharing all of your value and advice today, I'll put all of those show notes into the links and or even the links into the show notes. People can click on them and they can find out more about you. And again, just want to just appreciate you and thank you for being here today with us.
Beth Inglish 13:00
Thank you so much. I love the conversation that we had and I hope that for those of you watching are feeling really inspired about becoming a speaker. If you have questions, reach out I'd love to connect with you