…Mark started speaking at Toastmasters in the early 1990’s…
I would give short speeches before the group and get really good reviews. I had several people pull me aside and say I should really get serious about speaking. I asked what they meant and they said that I didn’t know how good I really was. I again asked what they meant. They said “you are a natural and very authentic and you could talk about anything and we would listen”
Well that blew me away because up until that moment I didn’t consider myself very good…I was just having fun with them and giving them the information in the best way I thought they would understand it. I had to really think about this more as I could tell they meant what they said.
Fast forward a few years to the mid 1990’s when I started to study with John Overdurf (who is known as one of the best teacher/presenters in the world to this day) I wanted to study with the best so I took his week long trainers course with John Overdurf and Julie Silverthorn. I kept hearing people say I was so easy to listen to…and then that word again…I was so authentic.
While at the training we as students would give feedback to other students. I loved giving the feedback as it help my fellow students and I felt fantastic after giving the feedback. John and Julie had a wonderful way of teaching us how best to give feedback that left us and the other students glowing. So it was a wonderful win – win relationship all around.
While there, other students would come to me privately and ask me for my feedback. So for the next class I asked John and Julie if I could assist them and they gladly accepted.
I helped with many classes over the years. Both with practical speaking coaching and more importantly with clearing up blocks that folks were having from being their best authentic speakers.
Fast forward to 2012 and now teaching with his wife Kirsten Farris (Now Overdurf). They invited me to come assist and film them in Scottsdale AZ for their 3 week trainers course…well I jumped on it and said YES!
(PS I have been doing it every year and will do it again this summer for 10 days in Madison Ga…outside of Atlanta)
So with John’s new class, we started giving feedback in real time so the audience could see the speaker shift their presentation before their eyes…and the speaker could feel it as they were speaking. It is so amazing. John also taught us how to hold a field of expectation energy for the student/speaker to grow in. People of all professions come from all over the world for this incredible class.
Last year John said to me in so many words “Mark…why don’t you do this yourself seeing that you like it so much and are so good at it” I told him I had done some speaker coaching with my clients but it had never occured to me in all these years to do something similar to what we have been doing since the mid 1990’s.
Then recently my wife had to do a speaking gig hear in Phoenix for 40 people and wanted me to listen to her for about 30 minutes. She insisted I not interrupt her ( Yeah good luck I told her 🙂 )
So wanting to respect my wife I asked if I could ask questions. She allowed this….and that is all I needed to help her “Authentic Speaker Self” come out. We actually had a lot of fun and she did fantastic that night and said to me on her return home. “Hey that stuff you did with me really worked” “I am not sure how but I felt more like myself while speaking and I got great feedback from the audience!”
I told her I was happy for her and that the best part of the coaching was yet to come!!! She was now much more open to it. So a few days later we sat down and I did a process with her that she said “Changed her Life” She also said her interaction with everyone in her life had shifted”
You see being and Authentic Speaker will change EVERY aspect of your life, not just speaking. Once you feel your authentic self in front of other people speaking…there is no need to go back to anything that is not authentic…and people notice!