AskPat 443 Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 443 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week. We have a great question today from Ian, but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is Lynda.com.
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Alright, here's today's question from Ian.
Ian: Hi Pat. My name's Ian, I'm a graphic designer. For the past couple of years I've been creating my own personal brand called Logo Geek, focusing on blogging and social media. It's been going really well for me, and I've got to the point where I'm being invited for podcast interviews. One of my problems is that I'm not a confident speaker, so this is something I find uncomfortable doing and the nerves generally start to kick in. I understand you started podcasting to help improve your speaking confidence, and I'm considering doing the same for myself. I wanted to ask you how you feel this has worked for you, and if there are any tips you would give to someone like myself. Thanks for answering my question. As always, keep up the great work.
Pat Flynn: Hey Ian, thank you so much for the question today. This one I'm very, very happy to hear because I remember what it was like when I first started doing a lot of speaking. I was terrified to death, both speaking on other podcasts and also speaking on stage. I still get a little bit nervous when I do each. I'm not going to lie, that nervousness will not go away. You sort of just learn how to control it and understand that that's actually a sign that whatever it is that you're doing that's leading to these feelings, it's actually something that's worth it for you, that there's something amazing on the other side. Typically, that's always the case. It's sort of the universe's way, I feel, of just testing you to see if this is something that you really want.
It is obvious that this is a direction that you want to go into because A, you asked this question and you're looking and seeking for help. B, you're also thinking about starting a podcast already, which I think is a fantastic idea. To go back to when I first started podcasting, here's the quick story. I had announced on my blog in December of 2008, December of 2008, that I was going to start a podcast. I had purchased a microphone, I had learned how to use all the software that I was going to use to be able to publish my podcast. I had even published a test episode, a test audio file that essentially said, “Hey guys, Pat here. I don't know what I'm going to do in terms of what this podcast is going to be about, but I'm going to start it. Get ready, it's coming out soon.” I still have that in the bank somewhere. I've actually played that on stage in front of a few thousand people to show them what it was like when I was first starting out, and how miserable I was on the microphone.
You know what? I had said I was going to do it, and my first episode came out in July of 2010. A whole year and a half later. Now why was that the case? It wasn't because the technical aspect of starting a podcast was getting in the way. That was my excuse. Really what it came down to was just I was not confident in my own skills. I didn't like how my voice sounded, and I didn't think anybody would listen. These are all things that were just conjured up in my head to stop myself from going forward. It wasn't until I connected with a few other people, which I hopefully would recommend that you do too Ian, to just help build your confidence, to practice in front of others who understand why you're doing what you're doing, to be able to listen to you and give positive, constructive feedback so that you can continue to gain and build your skills moving forward. That was the best thing that ever happened, was connecting with other people in order for me to finally hit that record button.
Even when I first started my podcast . . . You can even go back to some of my first episodes of the Smart Passive Income podcast back on iTunes, and episode one is just terrible. It's slow. I say “um” all the time. It's just terrible audio quality compared to what I have now. You know what? I did it. I kept moving forward. You will see that every time you start to record something new, you're going to get better and better. It's a slow process, but if you're consistent with it, like with anything else, the more you do it, the better you will become. That's exactly what happened. It was also through these interviews that I did with other people, that when I started to think of them as just conversations and that everybody listening on the other end was essentially just a fly on the wall, it didn't bother me as much. That was a great trick for me in my mind to help me understand that I'm just having conversation with somebody.
If I am conducting a podcast, it's my job to just ask the right questions and have a conversation in that way, to try and get the person who's on the other end to share some interesting information that can help my audience. As a guest, I found out that over time, I became better and better at speaking, and thinking off the cuff and just improv over time. Again, that thinking about these one on one conversations that people are listening to, that really helped guide me moving forward. That's how I would recommend you do it too. You'll see that, again, just by doing these over, and over, and over again. Even though you're not going to be perfect at first, even though you're going to make mistakes, even though you're not going to like the way you sound, as long as the information is there, you'll be great.
If you stumble upon your words, that's fine. Nobody's going to knock you over the head for it. You just keep going. That's the most important thing. The worst thing is when you stumble, you admit that you stumbled, you keep apologizing for it, and you eventually stop. That's when you actually feel. You're not going to do that, you're going to stumble, but you're going to keep going. You're going to make mistakes, but you're going to correct yourself. You're going to say “um”, and then over time you're going to decrease the amount of times you say “um”. I still say “um” every once in a while too. Again, you don't have to worry about being perfect, but just keep doing this and you will build your confidence over time.
Another thing that has helped is hearing the feedback from these interviews as well. Where I've been on other shows or shows that I've conducted myself, they've helped me believe that I'm actually improving and doing better. The people on the other end, they never comment on my voice, they never commented on the number of ums, they never do anything like that, even though I occasionally get into a habit of doing that more often than I want. It's always because the content is great, and that I'm connecting with people on a personal level. And the fact that I'm vulnerable, the fact that I'm just being a human being, that's what people remember, and that's what people can connect with. If you can do that, you don't have to be perfect, and you'll be fine.
Ian, I wish you best of luck moving forward. I can't wait to hear how you've improved over time. I hope you email me back in the future to keep me posted on how you've been and how you've been progressing. Ian, thank you so much, we're going to send an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For anybody else out there, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page. I also want to thank everybody who is just a visitor of Smart Passive Income and AskPat.com. Thank you so much for your support. If you have a moment to head on over to iTunes, whether you listen to one or both of those particular shows, please leave a review, an honest review and rating on iTunes. That helps out a lot as well.
To finish off as I always do, I love to end with a quote. Today's quote is from Winston S. Churchill. He said, “If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back to it and hit it again. Then hit it a third time, a tremendous whack.”
These are some public speaking tips from Winston S. Churchill, which of course cross over into podcasting and all those sorts of things. Just be confident in the content that you have to share, keep getting yourself up after you stumble, and you'll make great progress. Cheers, take care. I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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