Tom Bailey 0:07
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 Geoff Ramm, who's the creator and author of celebrity service and celebrity service superstars, and has recently been called a game changer by Forbes, which is quite the compliment to Geoff Hello and a very warm welcome to today's episode.
Geoff Ramm 0:45
Hi, Tom. And hi everybody for listening. Hope you're well you're very Christmassy back there. See
Tom Bailey 0:50
ya. For those people that can watch the video. I've got a little Christmas tree behind me which is very seasonal, at the moment. And but thanks for that and just out of interest we're about to you based in the world.
Geoff Ramm 1:00
It is north of Sunderland and a place called Seaburns to right on the northeast coast. There is a beach for those of you what there's a big long beach it's a lovely beach people. People freak out when they come to the lifeguard. There's a beach, there's a visual.
Tom Bailey 1:16
Good thing I did not know there's a beach in Sunderland now I know. Absolutely. Well, thanks for sharing that. And I know that some of your clients have included the likes of Emirates, Warner Brothers and McDonald's. And you've also challenged and inspired audiences in over 45 countries, creating award winning ideas to outperform the competition. So I guess my first question as an international speaker very clearly passionate about speaking, what is it about being stood on stage or a virtual stage that keeps you wanting
Geoff Ramm 1:47
more? Keeps me on Oh my word? Well, look, you get that obvious pit, that obvious bottles of you know that that adrenaline rush before you go on stage that sort of get the first line out to get the first laugh coming in, which is always wonderful. And, you know, to deliver stories and and see the little light bulbs in the room. Or you can see people smiling, connected and then engaging, I suppose. Because a lot of my stuff isn't reactive and very much engaging from a keynote sense. And so that's that's the obvious hit that yeah, that I get personally. To answer your question, the greatest thing that happens with with myself is the day after the week, after the month, the year, decades, down the line, I might just receive a text, or an email, or an Instagram met, and we got we have all these messages from all over now we think oh my god, where was that LinkedIn was it was Twitter. And it's that Oh, Hi, Geoff. I saw you I just wanted to let you know we did this, which has led to that, yeah, gone on. We've won an award, we've got it, our net promoter score has increased. We've we've we've increased our profits from doing x y Zed, based on your talk, and I'm thinking, Oh, my word. So for me, it's the results. Yeah, okay, this is a results business, you get that instant hit, which is wonderful on a stage from the audience, you get that feedback that, that wonderful thing. But for me, it's weeks, months, years later, somebody says, because of that talk because of that idea that you give us. We've built that into the business we've taken on board our with our team, and we've gone on to achieve x and that X. I often say that the fee keeps you going for days, weeks, months, that that ex keeps you going for years, and it's a wonderful thing to receive. Me. Here's my short, long answer.
Tom Bailey 3:50
Perfect. Now, I love that. And I guess it's not just the value correct in the room in that moment. But you've talked about the ripple effect afterwards. And you probably don't even know how far that stretched over the years. Because not everybody will reach back out. I
Geoff Ramm 4:01
guess. Nobody, I wouldn't know half of this stuff. Yeah. So but when people do connect with it, in the back of both of my books, I've got about a dozen pages. Each of this is what people have done. This is what companies have achieved from embracing celebrity services and I'm just so yeah, I love that part of the business. Business.
Tom Bailey 4:25
And I guess I'll come back to speak in a minute but you just mentioned celebrity service. What is that?
Geoff Ramm 4:31
So look, I my topic and he says oh what's your topic and somebody says leadership sales, inspiration, whatever it may be. My topic is customer service. A brand is celebrity service. So once people speak on customer service, you know how did you rate customer service and go from good to great and wow service and all this type of stuff. I've got a very A very different take on the world of service. And it's. And I asked this to an audience, you know, I always ask them is this 99% of the time at the beginning of every keynote? On a scale of one to 10? Where one is abysmal, but 10 is incredible. How would you rate your levels of service? Everybody in the room to vote? Yes. Now we can be on slide or just with our little digits, as your vote now, and I've already done it, and I go through all the numbers, the global average, in what 46 countries in all the clients I've worked with, no matter how big or small business or sector, the global average, Tom is, seven to eight. Yeah, of course, yeah. We're pretty good. Yeah, you know, an eight is quite a high number. And I'll see what is it gonna take you to get from an eight to a nine from nine to 10. And what's what's it going to take in this next 46 minutes that we've got? Yeah. And, honestly, it's look, it's, you're not going to move, you're not going to do too much. If you listen and read the things that we've heard and read for the last four decades. And I have a bit of fun with this. As you look, I don't know how many speakers you've ever seen it on how many trainers you've ever had to watch it, or how many books or manuals you've had to flick through. But I can guarantee you two things, they will all tell you the same two things for you to stand out in 2023. And beyond. The first is this, you must always go the extra mile. To what I mean, it's the
Tom Bailey 6:28
same or whatever that means.
Geoff Ramm 6:30
Oh, God is like, Oh, I see all your competitors to talk about good new tricks remote, really inspirational. And the second thing is you must always exceed expectations. And it's the same old, same old time. So that's where I come from, at the beginning of the talk, I find out where everybody's numbers are. But then I'll see there. What happens if a celebrity would have become your next customer? Now, not just any old celebrity? I'm talking a list celebrity Hollywood god or goddess we're talking Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, George Brad, Angelina, these are the types of no real sort of Oh, and if they were the tweet, email, phone, walk into your business? What would you say? What would you do? How would you react? What would be the difference? Yeah, dial it up? Well, if you knew, if you knew a celebrity, your favorite celebrity, whatever form of this audience, you know, the Tom Hardy's of this world. And that's enough if if Tom Hardy was coming in today, at four o'clock you're gonna go home and get changed. The coffee that Tom has been serving everybody in his office is all of a sudden he's I get rid of that get the proper coffee, your evidence, the tiny little details? When that person phones you What will you say? What do you have a wider smile? Would you polish your shoes? What I'm saying is every little touch point would improve. And you go from there that eight out of 10. To there. Yeah. And that is. And I show everybody in the audience, this tiny little gap. And I see if you would fill this gap. With all the stories, ideas I'm going to share with you today, you will create an experience and a service, your competition could only dream off limits. And then I go into my stories. And it's called celebrity service. So it's almost become that sort of phrase now with businesses over delivering celebrity service or no, this is becomes part of their language, which is lovely. So that's it celebrity service. It's the gap in your service you never realized existed.
Tom Bailey 8:39
Perfect. I love that. And you've got to mention the few times their storytelling, interaction, engagement questions, mentee. What is it about your presentations that you think makes an audience want to keep coming back for more as well? And in fact, to refer you as a speaker?
Geoff Ramm 9:00
You know, what it's, look, I can only second guess this question, because it is an audience would actually tell you that the real answer is I would hazard a guess. Look, I have over 500 stories, 500 techniques, stories, videos, photographs, 500 things, okay. On my Mac that I'm speaking to you on now. And it builds I've just got another three in the last week, another three stories over 500 They're all real life examples, stories that only I have. Yeah, got it. So this this isn't. So I don't share graphs, charts, stats from the national statistics or whatever. And I don't talk about brands. You see I'm I'm a I'm a storyteller, rather than a newsreader. That's an important contrast yet. I think I follow a lot of speakers and speakers for me where they are almost reading out the news that we've already read. We've already know come up with the same lines or the same information. Whereas my stuff, there's not one member of the audience. They haven't got a clue what I'm going to say next. Yeah, I got to see what my next photographs gonna be because guess what? It was me on holiday last week. Yeah, it was. It was me in a restaurant yesterday. It was picking up my kids from school and this happened at the school gets this is what the head teacher did that ended up now I capture. I don't capture everything. Yeah, it's what I wouldn't say it's fun sort of these 500 stories. It's not just case of which Geoff's diaries. Whenever I come across an amazing piece of service or experience that makes me laugh. makes me cry makes me angry makes me sad. Makes me just, you know, just go all my apps incredible. I will look to capture it. Capture is video capture it is a photograph. I will take it landscape. Because I know straightaway. My brain is fixed into that a slight that's a potential future slide.
Tom Bailey 11:10
Got that? Yeah, yeah,
Geoff Ramm 11:11
don't record this. I will write up the story. And it goes into, you know, it goes. So give you an example. So last week, I was in America I just had this incredible to I'm a big American football fan. I'm a Raiders fan for my sins, but like Sunderland, massive, massive club massive team, but not very successful. So I went to see them live. I've seen them at Wembley a couple of times to see them live at the at the round Stadium, which is my second team because of the name. So I will see them at the SoFi stadium live. And then me my best friend, we went to Vegas. Now when we're at Vegas, we went to the Raiders stadium tour. Now I've just put something on LinkedIn about that. Okay, so stadium tour, I've got two or three stories just from that tour. Yeah, of course. Yeah. No photographs, I know that that could potentially go into a future book, it could go into a future talk. But it's not for everybody. Those stories aren't for everybody. But all of a sudden, if I'm going to work for an entertainment company, or you know, somebody that does to us, for example, I'm like, bang, I will use that story and bring it into the keynote because one thing about my keynotes in my content, is it's not off the shelf. Yeah. So I have a client in the retail sector, online sector, manufacturing, professional services, depending on the time that they have the theme of their conference and what they want to achieve. I always start with a blank canvas, and I build in the stories. It's a bit like Minority Report. And I try and solve that puzzle of that's what I'll do for 90 minutes. That's what I'll do for 45. I love that. Yeah, yes. Real life.
Tom Bailey 13:05
Absolutely lots of big key takeaways for me, then, I guess, one thing to this foreign speaker that doesn't really know how to engage the audience and takes that next level, I think we really intentionally looking out for stories that relate to your topic. And I think that's one of the big takeaways for me there.
Geoff Ramm 13:20
When the time when the your stories, though, you don't have to. I mean, I'm very passionate, I'm very passionate and very enthusiastic, I will go really quiet, you know, I'll do all these things to grab people's attention or to you know, what I tell the story, but I can tell the story. Cuz I was there. And now, you know, this. You've had so many guests, and the world of speakers in this. Seriously, throw a stone out the window even had three speaker coaches at the moment. Yeah, right. So everybody's a coach. All of the coaches, everybody will say, You must tell stories. In order to engage with the audience. You've got to tell stories. Yes, but if you want to get booked, you need to be the story. You need to in that story. And there's a massive difference there is yet yeah, because I can say to you all last week, I was at such and such, and this is what happened. And this is the things that I learned. You need to be able to smell live, breathe, look, see every touch it because of how I'm describing it. And the only way I can describe it is because I was there. I always say to speak as open coming in. They asked if they ask for my advice. I'd say Look, don't just tell a story, be the story, play the part. Play the part of the tour guide, play the part of the lady selling you a ticket the train offers Yeah. You know, and have different voices have them just and you create that 510 minute story. And you'll craft it, you'll howling you'll tweak it. And all of a sudden, it's like fun. Yeah, and that's great. That's what I call these sort of air games. Stories. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I love that. And that story can go to any sector, any country, potentially, you could use that. And I've often said, you know, Geoff, this is the data, this is your final ever talk. You'll never speak again. This is your final one, you've got 60 minutes. And it's to this audience, what would you deliver, and I'll bring it all in a game stories, I'll bring it all the stuff that I just know will resonate with the audience. And then I love to tell
Tom Bailey 15:31
ya, and it's creating a celebrity service for your audience as well as a speaker. So sounds like you know what you're doing, which is fair to say, let's go back to the very beginning, then I want to go back to young Geoff, possibly at university or, or early career. And if someone asked you to stand on stage and deliver a presentation, like what would be going through your head at that time, do you think?
Geoff Ramm 15:52
Not a chance? Yeah. Not at all. You got to be kidding. Well, it was just not natural. It's just not right. It's not fun. It's, you know, can you remember the things that did he go to university? Yeah. So so we went, actually, with my best mates who have just a bit of America. Last week, we were both in a lot of the business studies, classes together. Same. And I remember once having this presentation, you get the presentation, right? So you've got to do this, you got to do this. And you've got to present in the main lecture theatre. Yeah. And we would say at the bottom, you've got three minutes each. Yeah. Yeah. Like, oh, my god, three minutes. How am I going to fill three minutes? What am I going to say? Well, I'm going to do because it's so unnatural. We've never been what I'm 47. Now, when I was at university when I was 21, was a 2021. Early 20s. Yeah, something like that. There's no YouTube, there's not you're flipping dead. There's no, there's no, there's no flipping red dots. There's no, there's nobody learn off. There's nothing. So you're just, you've just got to just do what you do. Well, bullet points, no doubt. Yeah. Now, of course, you can see everything on, you know, movies and online in this talk. So you go wow. And you can be inspired as brilliant. Back then there's nothing so you just have to do what you do. And not never liked it. i My first job after university was I was a marketing and also customer service, sort of consultant and advisor for startup businesses, and micro business in County Durham. And I was there for about a year and then they asked me would I would I deliver a training day on service, but also marketing for startup businesses? And I'm like, What do you mean a training day? startup businesses come in? Think of all the things you've learned from university, all the things that you've learned so far? I mean, I'm right behind the ears. And I said yes. And I've never been, I'll tell you how all this is. And this, this will freak you out. Yeah. I printed off acetates. Yeah, right. Everybody knows, like, sort of under certain ages now having a Google acetates. So I had acetates. And I printed them all myself and I created my own slide deck, nice things to help small businesses and I was printing them and then started to deliver it. Which was very nerve wracking time at that same job. I got a phone call from my previous business enterprise Lectro, a guy called William and Gower. He contacted me said, Geoff, he said, on invite you to an event at the business school in Sunderland, I went went out of left. No, no, no, no alumni alumni, come back, come back. I said, What do you mean event? He says we've got this motivational business guru coming into the university. And as it what he said, he's going to be in double Oh, seven, double oh seven was the number of the lecture theatre over Yeah. Yeah. And I said, I said, What do you mean motivational and this is before flipping Google. This is before we're talking Netscape. Again, this will fix some your listeners out. And as you know, I don't know, William, I don't know what motivational, are you? I think you'll enjoy it. He asked everybody, I think I believe he asked everybody in my year that was that had already graduated. And I was the only one that went. Wow. Yeah, I was the only one that went away. And I had this sort of suit on. I was sat at the back of double oh seven. All of the current students were there. And a guy, this motivational business guru who I thought was like 10 foot tall and 10 foot wide. He was a guy called Tom edge. Okay. It was, I'm guessing at the time, a late 50s. Five foot 10 Brahmi. Is guy came on stage and it was sponsored by Barclays Barclays with event sponsors. Then he came on stage he was writing to flip charts. some pens. And here's here's a tip. Here's an idea. Here's a tip of business. His is this for your sales this for your marketing day. And I was honestly I was engrossed I was like, and I was writing all these notes down and I got in the car got back home and I said to my wife, Haley, I said I would love to do this. What I said, Speak is just what he says when you're doing these trainings at the middle. So yeah, but this is another level is another thing here. Yeah. But he was the first person that inspired me to thank cool in the little cogs just read Barclays have paid him. Yeah, Wolverhampton, Yes, son. Yeah. And there's little cogs and I started developing my own material started developing my own stories. In 2002, I started up my own business. So it's now 20 years old. March the first 2002 called Mercury marketing. I was 95%. Consultant. Yeah. So I went back to doing all of the startup businesses and One to One consultancy in the Northeast of England. And I was 5%. Speaker got it. Yeah. And the 5% speaking was little things I was doing for the chamber. Business links back in the day, and Barclays the dead little business events. And after about six years about being in business, I sat down with my wife. And we sat down just before Christmas actually bought this time. 14 years ago, and I was exhausted, I was shattered. Because when you run your own business, you say not important, nothing, you say yes to everything. And Haley said, What do you want to do for the rest of your career? What do you what do you want to do? Because you love this, but it's the one who wants stuff is crazy. And I said, I would love to do more of this speaking. And I wonder if I do something there. So that week, I set up my own speaking website this week, Geoff, Rob calm, got the emails got the domain names. And I never wanted to do that, Tom, because I always thought it was a bit. It was a Yeah. With these, the name, domain. And so that was it. And I started to write more material. And I just put all time, money, energy effort into promoting the speaker inside developing me as a speaker, the marketing of the speaker getting out there. And of course, I'm nobody to anybody. I'm not famous person I haven't. I'm not the Customer Service Director of Coca Cola, you know, so it's not a name behind me. So yeah, I suppose when you don't have a name, you've got to work. So much harder to get your content out there to create a bit of a name for yourself, that will hopefully attract future business. Yeah, that's a real potted history. Now
Tom Bailey 22:56
that's that's that's been really useful to hear that because I think a lot of people listening to this podcast, just wonder how to get from where they are aspiring speaker to where they want to be, which is international keynote speaker. And so let's go to that 5%, just for a second. So you made a decision to go and spend 5% of your time doing bits of speaking here and there. That's a really good point, because I think a lot of people have this vision of they want to be on stage in front of 10,000 people, but they forget about the steps you need to take leading up to that. So where should people go to find opportunities to speak for free to practice their trade? And before they make a guess, to become a paid speaker?
Geoff Ramm 23:34
Oh, God, good question. Good question. I mean, I joined when I made the decision to this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to surround myself with like minded crazy people who wanted to do similar. So I found troublesome based up in the Northeast near Sunderland on the course and South Shields on the coast here. So I found something called the professional speaking Association. Yeah. And I looked at I found a website and I thought, right, what's this? And it was to help you speak better speak more. And I thought, right, I'll have a look at this. And where's the nearest meeting? And it was in Weatherby. For those of you that have geography challenged, it's about two hours south of here and I'm like, well, that's not local. But I remember on a Saturday morning, sort of Mr. Corbett five, got on the road about five got cut down there for about soft seven, eight o'clock in the morning. And after 10 minutes of the meeting started I was just hooked. Yeah, it was just a room of like minded people trying on various degrees of speaking. And I connected with the late great Clive got a wonderful guy and if anybody wants to have a look at his stuff, it'll still be on YouTube. wonderful speaker real sort of says it how it is and we just gelled and I just fell in love with fit. And I knew I was in the right place. And I joined. Just, you learn from so many people, and you take snippets needed to go, I could do this. But you're watching other people's craft and you your question of where do you speak for free? Well, you can start there. Yeah, speaking groups, get in amongst them sit, you know, do a showcase talk. And the reason I'm saying that is because you're in a room full of critical people, but also loving people who will support you and help you in life space. Yep. Yeah. And but you've got to take that feedback. The way you want to take it in or not, because you could take everybody's feedback in the room and then come away being the most confused person on earth. Yeah. So in terms of getting getting started, one, build yourself up with something like the PSA, for sure, definitely. But also get to speak on those stages. Now AI is a quick crazy one for you, because it's lots of people in all this who normally try joined, loved it, loved it, loved it. And and after about three or four months, I sort of because there's one in Manchester, Birmingham, London, Scotland, I think there's over 14 now. And I offered us it would you like me to come across and speak about marketing Christmas service. So I would go there as delivering a talk, not just for the feedback, but try and help other speakers with the knowledge that I've got, but I did this did this this. So I did this for good six months. It was a Friday afternoon. So Friday afternoon, back in 2009 is from June. And I got a phone call at 10 past three international out of area. I thought of call center. I picked up the phone and it was unflattering. So it wasn't gonna pick it up. It was a it was a gentleman called separ tavai. And he said, Decker, I speak to Geoff Frommers speaking. That's Geoff ROM. I said, Yeah, he said my name is Deborah Tavares. And I've got a company called humming ash Farzan. He said, we've got a conference coming up two conferences coming up in Iran on the 17th 18th 19th 20th of November. Yeah, I'm available. And I thought it was a joke I thought wasn't lined up. There's a longer story today. So I'm going to cut through that. I thought it was a joke. It wasn't cool. Wasn't. So in November of that year, I flew to Tehran to speak in front of 1000 people. I've never been so nervous in my life. I'm just telling you the stage and anybody listening. I'd never been outside of Carlisle to speak. Yeah, I went. I went international before went national. It took years to get to flip in London. But what I did is I had spoken professionally in the northeast and Carlisle at kala racecourse Chamber of Commerce. And, and I asked SEPA when I got there, and it's a long story. Maybe we'll do another podcast one day. Yeah. How did you come across me? How do you come across me? And he said, a guy called Mike Ogilvy has heard a lot about you. And he's heard a lot of good things about you. I contacted him to speak and he couldn't make the deal. And he said, Mike, who else could you recommend? He said, Look, I've never met him. I've heard only good things. He's been doing the region's Why don't you contact Geoff Brown? Perfect. Yeah, that was the week that changed my speaking business forever. I saw speakers on that stage where I was blown away with I saw their slides. I thought I saw how they were connecting to an international audience. And I had confidence I think we've all got a certain amount of confidence. But after the very first talk I did I came off that stage with belief. I'm thinking oh my god, my stuff. If it can go down here in front of 1000 people all on simultaneous translators. Yeah, we're three seconds behind me. If my stuff can go down here, it could go anyway. I just came back a completely different person. I connected with your newfound blood friends, I went to South Africa, sort of 1415 times. Just the people sent me well, how did you get that? How did you get that? And as it was literally from the PSA, it was literally from doing freebies. Nobody, nobody listening to hear you're doing that thing? Should I do it? Should I not? Just make that decision? It's to showcase your Showcase talents. You have no idea who's in that room. Yeah, I was married to somebody who was looking for and you know, it's the more stage time you can get to hone your craft to, you know, tweak without finished expression. Leave that longer pause. Whatever that may look like. It will only only serve you better in the long run.
Tom Bailey 29:57
Yeah, that's really powerful. I think one of the big things taken away from that is say yes to the opportunity then figure the rest out later because you could have easily said no to that, you know, Iran.
Geoff Ramm 30:07
I yeah, I've done. I've done a lot of talks over the years for universities and colleges, certainly in the Northeast. And I will tell the full story of that yet. Because what they see is 46 countries speak. McDonald's Warner Brothers, is written books, so that people see the people see that today. The glitz and the glam. Take it right back to that. And I see if I hadn't picked up that phone. I wouldn't be here today. Yeah, it's picking up the phone saying yes. And you know, not every opportunity is going to know going to get a pan out like that. But when you get that opportunity when you get the chance to run on the pitch that For God's sake, have a shot
Tom Bailey 30:48
have a shot. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I think that's actually a great note to end on. So do have one final question before we close and and that is, if anybody wants to find out more about you book you as a speaker or find out more about your services. Where should they go?
Geoff Ramm 31:03
Well, Geoff Ramsey or G or double f, not the American je FF once was G or double f ra double M. M on the usual places. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, you know, Instagram. But if you want to go to the mothership, which is Geoff rammed.com. Yet my guest, when does this podcast go out on though within the next couple of weeks? Oh, great. It should. It should have had a brand new MC or their store brand new website is going live, I believe at the beginning of January. Amazing. So I'm almost there with it. So go to Geoff brown.com You'll see some of my videos on there. Some of the things that I do and yeah, there we go.
Tom Bailey 31:45
Fantastic. And Will is I'll put a link to the website but also some of the socials as well. So people click on that in the show notes. So Geoff, thank you again for your time really appreciate come along, sharing your story and lots of stories with us today and it's been lots of fun and I've got a lot of value out of it myself.
Geoff Ramm 32:01
I appreciate the time and wishing everybody a great Christmas and well when they read this. Listen to this. A wonderful 2012 d3.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai