How To Stand Out As A Speaker - The Andy Hanselman StoryApr 08, 2022
Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Andy Hanselman.
In this episode we hear about our guests journey with confidence, public speaking and presentation skills and how it has helped them succeed in life and in business - in other words, how to succeed through speaking.
Andy Hanselman is a recognised speaker on business competitiveness and differentiation. He helps businesses, their leaders and their people create competitive advantage by ‘Thinking in 3D’! That means being ‘Dramatically and Demonstrably Different’ from their competitors! It’s about delivering ‘outstanding’ customer experiences, it’s about creating and embedding a culture that engages, empowers and enables this and it’s about establishing leadership at every level to make that happen!
Andy has over 30 years researching, working with, and learning from these successful, disruptive and forward thinking 3D Businesses and is a recognised expert on business competitiveness. He is the author of 3 books (currently working on his 4th!) and is passionate about sharing his ideas with audiences all over the world. He continues to research and identify successful ‘3D Thinkers’ (disruptive businesses, their leaders and their people), ensuring that his material is fresh and relevant
for today’s fast-moving world.
Andy speaks at conferences and events worldwide and shares insights into these 3D Businesses and their leaders, providing insights into what they do and how they do it. He has built a strong reputation for his ‘down to earth’ approach offering no-nonsense ‘stuff’ that people can actually use back in the business immediately to improve their competitiveness in the areas that count. He shares ‘real’ examples that resonate with the audience and tells stories that they can all learn from - no academic theories or ‘magical answers’, but proven processes your people can apply to your business. He thrives on interacting with people ensuring that they are challenged, stimulated and motivated. His style is participative, fast paced, humorous and relevant. He believes people learn best by doing and having fun! As a result he works hard to offer them practical, stimulating fresh ideas, tools and techniques that provide no-nonsense ‘stuff’ they can actually use in their business immediately.
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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 Andy Hanselman, who is an internationally recognized speaker on the topics of business competitiveness and differentiation is an author of three books. And I understand it's currently writing his fourth, and which I'm sure we'll get a chance to talk about today as we dive into this conversation. So Andy, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.
Andy Hanselman 00:49
Hi, Tom, how you doing? Good to see you.
Tom Bailey 00:52
Very good. And thank you so much for being here. And just out of interest all of our listeners, and I can see it on the wall next to you, but whereabouts are you based?
Andy Hanselman 00:59
I'm in sunny Sheffield, based in our offices in Sheffield. And we work all over the place, but Sheffield is home. That's that's the hub.
Tom Bailey 01:06
Fantastic. Thank you so much. And I would like to just share a little bit more about you before we do get started with questions. So Andy helps businesses, their leaders and their people to create competitive advantage by thinking in 3d, which means being dramatically and demonstratively different from their competitors. He has over 30 years researching and leading in this space, and he speaks at conferences and events all over the world. And that brings me nicely on to my first question. So Andy had mentioned that you speak on the global circuit now. And I'd love to know where you always naturally confident public speaker or was it something you had to learn?
Andy Hanselman 01:47
It's definitely something I had to learn. I can remember tonics. I didn't even know the word public speakers many, many years ago. But I do remember, my distinct first sort of time having to do it was I was at university and I applied to be the Social Secretary of our mining society Club, which basically meant I had to organize, getting people together on a Sunday morning play football. And the way they did it, they actually encouraged you to your friend nominated you. And you had to do a little speech in front of your mates. It was a Friday lunchtime, I can remember it and sort of literally going Friday, and I was all over the place. And it was my legs were wobbling. If you want to think about it. Now. I can still remember that time. Luckily, they nominated me because there was nobody else. But I got the job. But I realized then that maybe I wasn't a natural public speaker. And did that spur you to want to get better at it? Was that I guess embarrassing yourself with your friends or feeling nervous? Did that's fair. You want a little bit? Yeah, if I was very lucky, and I look back, and then the guy who was the professor of the Department, he actually got us to do a public speaking training course it was a day. Brilliant. And they gave us a card with some key things. It was about preparation. It's about planning, it's about performing. And I used that forever, just sort of learning those things. But one of the things that they sent us off the beginning is, and I'm sure you've heard it, most people are scared of public speaking. And one of the things that they sort of said to us at the time was just imagine that most of the people who actually listen to you take them anywhere University. They're just going thank goodness, that's not me. Yeah. Watch my mates, unit man money. They won't necessarily fail. They wanted me to get on with it. But I got in my head is what's gonna happen? Yeah, it's a really, really good point. And a lot of the fear, I think, personally comes from this fear of what other people's opinions might be. And but the reality is, we don't know what their opinions might be, we build up this big picture of what, what they might be thinking, but they're probably not thinking that. Absolutely. And here's the thing, I'm and I, every now and then I'm asked to coach people in presentation skills, and I'm not an expert in that, and I'll just give them some guidance. But one of the things that I say to people is that people go, Oh, I got that wrong. And so people didn't recognize it. People didn't know it. I need to say that people didn't know what you're gonna say. They don't know you didn't say it. And again, sometimes we beat ourselves up, about maybe how we come across rather than how do people see us? Yeah, we definitely put a lot more emphasis on our own mistakes than anybody else would even realize. That's a really, really important point. And so that's talking about the kind of early stages now, I also want to talk about how important public speaking is for for leaders and for business people for entrepreneurs. So this podcast is called succeed through speaking for a reason. How important do you think public speaking is in business? I think he's very, very important. Never fails to amaze me because I because I do speak at company conferences. And sometimes you you listen to the managing director, the chief exec or the FD and they're awful. Yeah. And they are consistently awful. But even if nobody tells them, nobody sits down or they don't actually learn to develop the skills. I was one speaking at a conference many years ago and I was sad. I got there early to he was going on and on the only word units were there, and the MD was doing his annual speech, and every other nominals going. And I discovered that there was like, this is almost like bullshit bingo that they say, that was a sweet seven, how long it's gonna take. And it went really well for me after I don't see any worse because because he wasn't that good yet. But he actually asked me the next year to speak again at the conference, and I said, is the MD going to do his thing, and I've yet to have a word with him. I just sat him down and talk to him. And what actually did on that, actually, they asked me to host a conference and interviewed him, rather than do presentation. Yeah, people went, wow. And it was his fear was if he got into the sort of complete phrase and couldn't present. And he then had some proper coaching, not from me, but from a proper coach to help him do this. And I really encourage people to get to learn from the people early on, just have a go and try it and get people just give you some constructive feedback. That's one of the key things for me. I love that he made a really good point about that concept of being interviewed. Because questions generate content in our brains, you know, we don't necessarily need to write a script and learn it word for word, because as long as we know our stuff, and we're asking, we're asked the right questions. Yeah, magically, that content will will come to the front of our mind. And it's very interesting, because I often people say to me, I'm scared of speaking. And I want to have a conversation with people. What's wrong with two people? Five people, if you have a college with 10 people? Yeah, that's fine. Well, what about 2003? And something in our head this way, because if we're on the podium, it changes it. And I actually say to people, maybe this is about having conversations with people getting in your head. That's what you're gonna talk about. And you don't have to do 1000s of PowerPoint, charts and just talk, but just engage with people is a key thing for me. Exactly. And I've actually been taught before, because I had a very similar challenge previously about playing two roles on the stage, you can actually be the interviewer and the interviewee by just asking yourself questions, for example. And what do I mean by that? Well, let me tell you, there's a good opportunity as well to do that. And it really helps you do run through the presentation. Yeah, absolutely. You know what one of the key things I encourage you to think about is, which means that you say something, which means that you might be in love with your own
Tom Bailey 07:18
story, but the which means that it gives you a chance to think what other people, what does it mean for them? And how do you actually encourage them to think about that? Yeah, definitely. That little trigger will will generate that content from your brand's yeah. Great, great tip. So let's see, we talked about the beginning, I guess, that first opportunity and speak at university. What's next, you know, what was the guest the first business context presentation that you had to deliver, I ended up working for a small consulting business. And we did ongoing consultancy, but we also used to run courses for people setting up businesses. And I actually got a call from Jeff and one of the directors and, Andy, you need to go to Chesterfield and win a session this evening. He said, I'm stuck in Newcastle, I need you to do it. So what's it all about? It's about cash flow forecasting. I said nothing about cash flow forecasts. And it's all writers are teaching. Well, they gave me these notes. And to be fair, it was quite an interactive session where they had to take notes and work on something.
Andy Hanselman 08:16
But I did it. And I looked at it, and I enjoyed it. And I obviously did a bit of practicing before I didn't have to do to try and audit it. And it worked. And I thought I like this and got more and more into it then started running some of those courses for people, starting businesses and learned a lot by just having a go in front of people, it's a great way to light the fire is just do it. You know, even if it goes wrong, you make a few mistakes, you know, just do it take that first step. And yeah, as I said, you make mistakes. A lot of people don't see the mistakes. They don't know it was a mistake. And it's totally ourselves. It's and I'm not saying we shouldn't take some time out to review what went well, what didn't go so well. But I think sometimes we beat ourselves oop. But actually people can see it and have a go try it. Yep. So we've already given some great value and advice to listeners. But when you think back to that presentation about the cash flow forecasting, what was the one thing that you'd wish you'd known back then that, you know, you know, now, I think one of the things was that the people in the audience was that it wasn't emphasized that they're doing it. The they didn't know much about it. So giving them the process to help make it work. I could get it. And the other one was to be honest and say, Look, I don't know the answer to that.
Tom Bailey 09:27
I actually explained what I was doing what I was doing it. But they actually went no, it worked. Well, you got across the message. Thanks very much indeed. So again, I'd be part of it again, which is maybe having faith in my own ability to do that. But there's that fine line between
Andy Hanselman 09:44
not only arrogance about stuff to be confident. Yes, I think first keep on that, for me was that changing perspective, you know, take the spotlight off you as the speaker to the audience, what value can you add to them? And I think that second point about as long as you're one step ahead of the audience in terms of what
Tom Bailey 10:00
You know, you can add value. And that's really important. And then the third point I've forgotten, but there is definitely a third one that is the equivalent that someone once gave me a tip when somebody somebody asks you a question. And if you're in an audience ask if you're not sure, just straight away you go. That's a good question. What does anybody else think? Yeah, the other people's thoughts and views. If there is somebody in there that knows about it, you can agree with them. But it also gives you a bit of time to think. And equally sometimes, I think it's okay to say, I don't know. But I'll find out. Yeah, provided obviously you're not there. If it's a question that you should know, because you're the expert in it. That's different. But you know, don't don't be afraid just to see what the people think and engage and interact with people. Yeah, perfect. And that's I think, one of the big fears for people starting out is what happens if I don't know the answer? What happens if I forget what I'm about to say? And those kinds of things really do scare people? So next question from me, is we've talked about the beginnings, you know, people who are a little bit apprehensive, maybe just thinking about speaking. What about the other end of the scale then?
Andy Hanselman 11:05
So let's say there's somebody out there that done a couple of presentations have started to get comfortable with it. They really want to pursue a career as a paid speaker, what advice have you got for them? I think a couple of things for me, and this is probably the only business but you've got to decide, what is it? Who what who are you? What would you want to talk about? Yeah. And although I've certainly been criticized in the past, and I've been guilty of it, I'm going to be being a generalist, sometimes. So maybe I go to Fun Mom directions, which is what I'm about, right? What differentiates me? So that's one of the things I would actually sort of say, why are you? Why would somebody come to you? So what is it in terms of us speak about? And then how are you going to do it? Because this is what you're gonna speak about. You can Google it, you'll find there's lots of other people speaking about something similar. Yeah. And then it's will, why you what, what differentiates you from other people that speak about these things? And again, I'd argue sometimes that takes time to work it out. But it's actually about maybe asking people why they choose you. What did they see you knew what was important, and get feedback from people to give you a feel for what you are doing well, and what people want to hear? Yeah, absolutely. I think one one key point on that end, what differentiate you is your story. You know, what, why did you end up being so passionate about this topic? And if you can tell that story that you've been through? Nobody else gonna have that? Because that's, that's your story. Absolutely. And that is this. This is the basis we talk about being dramatically and demonstrably different. Yes. Thinking in 3d, what is your dramatic difference? And then how do you demonstrate it? Yeah. And that just could be one little thing, let's say could be your story. It could be your expertise. It could be your ultimate tickler marketplace. But it's about being very clear about what that is, and maybe what it isn't. And I certainly know in the past, I've been guilty of maybe going too far the other way and taking on things that maybe I shouldn't send to them. Yeah, I think I've been told before, if you try and be everything for everyone, you end up being nothing for no one. So yeah. Get your lane become an expert in it. And you know, yeah, find that niche. Fantastic. And we've talked about some resources that you've used along the way. So for mentors to the one day public speaking course, is there anything else that's helped you along the way any particular books, courses, resources, podcasts, anything at all? I think certainly for me, TEDx, I love TEDx videos, I'm sure some people do. And again, what I will sometimes watch that in two ways, I will watch them for the content. But there are other times when I will literally just watch the presentation style, what they do, how they do it. And and that equally, then goes to say am I got quite lucky. If I speak at conferences, events, I get to watch and see other speakers. And again, I think I would encourage people to try and watch it with a perspective of the stage, how they do it, what they do, how they pause, how they ask questions, so not necessarily about their content, but their style. And just seeing other people do it, you know, and again, I distinctly remember, many, many years ago, seeing Tom Peters speak at an event. And he just blew me away completely. When I remember I was thinking, I want to be here because of me and never will be. But we can learn from them. So one of the things I often do if I'm reading, sort of I'm watching other speakers, I have two columns in my notes, one is the thing to talking about. I also write notes about how they do it, how they react. And just take notes from that and learn because there's some great people doing some brilliant stuff. And you can take the best bits from lots of different speakers and apply your own style. And yeah, and I think that's the key bit your own style, keep it to the way you do it. So this is not about following them and copying them. But other little things that they do you know, that was good. Could I build that in? Can I use that and kind of kind of make it work for me? I think that's one of the big mistakes that I made early on is I had this weird limiting belief about having a Wolverhampton accent and, you know, I thought if I sound more like x and if I look more like him and I act more like him then I
Tom Bailey 15:00
more likely to be able to come and speak a book that took me down the completely wrong path. And it's more about authenticity and just being yourself isn't isn't it completely one of the things I know certainly, if I'm, if I'm speaking abroad, I know I have to slow down I have to really speak which slower.
Andy Hanselman 15:19
Legally, as much as I'm speaking in London, they don't always understand the northern suns, you have to slow down. And it's just that consciously but I think ultimately is, this is who you are. Don't try and fake it. Yep. Yep. Yeah. I love that. And and that's again, nobody else can be you. So just be be Yeah, the the best one you Has anyone? Yeah, exactly. And topical question. We had a pretty big global pandemic 2019 wiped out keynote speaking stage speaking. How did you personally transition during this period, it was quite insidious, literally, my diary emptied, on the 22nd of March, whatever, whatever that date was. And by the way, my job and my wife were in business together, as well as she tends to do the networking side of it. So suddenly, our diary was empty for well, for six months. We did lots of stuff online, just engaging people, but being blunt, not earning any money.
Tom Bailey 16:13
Couple of things it forced us to do, we developed some online training courses, which we've just about to launch. And we've actually got those ready to go and they're sort of getting out of bounds is quite good. And then we did find that, yes, more and more people saying, well, let's try virtual, let's have a go.
Andy Hanselman 16:29
And again, it was quite interesting. I had on the book to a number of speaker agencies. And I got one speaker agency said, and you need a 20 minute video, this particular virtual conference and doing your pre record it, could you do it for us? This is the fee.
Tom Bailey 16:44
Yeah, that's pretty good. 20 minutes worth of commerce. it, sent it off to them. And even then I kept thinking, Well, is this going to be okay? And the check came through? And I went, actually, this is quite a, I like interacting and being with Yeah, yeah. If you've got to find a way of doing it, one of the one of the downsides of doing virtual stuff is that you can tell a few jokes, you will not hear people laughing. Yeah. So you don't know what the reaction is. If it's something you have to record into a camera. Yeah. But, you know, I'm just trying to find the balance, I would much prefer to speak face to face, the recognize that more and more organizations are saying, let's do it virtually. And I've got to make sure that I'm doing that. So yeah, I am, I guess one of the benefits, you know, you don't even have to leave your house to do a big events, conference or video, you know, make money wearing your pajamas. And so the last question just on that topic is Do you think that virtual events are here to stay? Or do you think that the world's looking to really bounce back into physical in person calm? I think without doubt, they are here to stay. I was at an event last week with a group of speakers. And you know, the experts on the speaking world. And he was saying, Yep, virtual speaking is here to stay. And lots of lots of lots of companies and organizations are saying, Look, we'd love to be able to together, we can do it virtually, literally more often, anymore, short, sharp ones, rather than big company events. And it's not either or for some of the doing a mix.
Andy Hanselman 18:12
There is definitely dealing more virtual, it's not going to go away.
Tom Bailey 18:17
And therefore you've got to embrace both. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And so before I ask my last question, I want to just quickly ask about the book as well, because I know you're in the process of writing that and yeah, what's the book on and And when's it gonna be available? Well, the book is on leadership, and particularly, leadership, we talked about being dramatically different. We've identified eight characteristics, if you like, of, really leaders, and again, people's identity, it's common sense stuff. And it is, we're going to put it into a model and a template that people can use and re so I'm working on it. I set myself deadlines and then fail. So very often, the thing that got me my last one was a client actually asked me to speak at a conference. And they said, We want to look at copies of your book. Yeah, performance time. So it made me write it, get it finished and get it sorted. I'm hoping the same is going to happen here. But it's going to be this year sometime. We will have it our excellent fantastic and for those people that have really enjoyed this conversation, want to find out more or even want to book you as a speaker. Where can people connect with you online? The best place to go is the very imaginatively titled Andy hanselman.com. Right. But I'm LinkedIn. I'm Andy Houseman on Twitter and Andy Hanselman. So anything on that you'd find isn't please, please do get in contact and any questions, comments, I'll do all I can to help people out. Really appreciate that. What I'll do for you, Andy, as well as I'll put all of those links in the show notes so people can just click on them and dive right in. So thank you so much again for your time, Sarah, appreciate coming along and shown such great value with our audience. Thanks so much indeed.