Guest Speaker: Paul Geiger
Paul Geiger is currently a Senior Associate Instructor at New York Speech Coaching in New York City. He specializes in effective business communications. Paul uses his training, his experience and, more importantly, his intuition to figure out the key action steps that work for each individual client. He has spent most of his life developing consistent approaches that work for so many difficult business communications scenarios.
Maria: Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, tuning in on Facebook Live, my name is Maria Dismondy, I am the founder of Cardinal Rule Press. We are a publishing company out of the Detroit area in Michigan and I am very passionate about educating people within the book industry and actually, just talking about marketing because what we have found in our company is that without marketing, we would be nowhere. If people can’t hear your message, if people don’t know what your message is, they’re not going to purchase your book, they’re not going to be inspired to buy your product. So, what I have done is I put together this summer series and I’m thrilled to have all of these wonderful guests and today we have Paul. Paul, will you introduce yourself to us a little bit about what you do. I’ve got to hear the extensive background.
Paul: First of all, thank you Maria for having me here on the program. It’s really quite an opportunity to reach out to as many individuals as possible. My career is all about speech coaching. So what I do is I work with business people, I work with authors, I work with individuals who just want to be clearer about delivering their message. And as you were saying in your introduction, we write books, I’m an author myself, we write books but often, we are selling ourselves along with the book. So, the best way to do that of course is to have a clear message, a clear understanding of that public persona that links to the book that we want to present to the people who are considering stepping into the world, we have the written world that we have created.
I work in a studio in Manhattan, New York, speech coaching. We’re on west 38 street and I do help individuals all the time and hopefully in the chat that we have here today, I can give as many authors as possible, a little glimpse into, what’s some of the action steps are to hopefully achieve those promotion and marketing goals.
Maria: Yes and I think you can speak not only from your coaching and your teaching but since you study, you’re an author yourself, we’ll talk about your book later on, but I think it’s really cool because you’ve had the experience as well. You can speak from personal experience so you have actually been the author or the person being interviewed and not just coaching that person.
Paul: Well, with what to do, you take it from what you want the results to be. You want people to be engaged. You want them to be paying attention to your product or paying attention to your book. So really what you want to do is come across with a very high level of authenticity. So I find that one of the best things to do is to be able to characterize what your book is about. It’s very similar to putting together a good speech or a good presentation. You’ve got to create sort of a strong framework, a pyramid that starts with and overarching theme at the top, gives 3 reasons that obviously explain that overarching theme. I use the word a bumper sticker to keep people very short. It’s got to be a very good characterization, a really visual visceral understanding of what your book is about, filtered through your perspective. So, talking about those things and having that strong structure is something that I think allows people again to step into your world, step into your perspective, the motivation for writing your book, the need it serves and hopefully that will resonate with them.
Maria: And can you give us an example? So, tell us about your book, what is the title of your book and what would be some example of using your book. Can we get a little bit deeper?
Paul: Sure. My book is Better Business Speech. The subtitle is techniques, tricks and shortcuts for public speaking at work. Now, that sounds like a lot to unpack and it is. It is a hundred and fifty-six pages of just about everything that I teach my clients on a daily basis. But if I were to describe the book as I often do in interviews, I would say the book Better Business Speech. It’s all about improving your speech technique. So, to pickup better business speech, really it’s about two things.
In other words, how do you talk about your book, I think is an important thing. And a lot of people, first of all, many individuals are not that comfortable, number 1, talking about their book or talking about themselves. I tell everybody, what you need to do is engage your audience with thoughts that will resonate with them. In other words, what’s the motivation for you writing the book? What need, what problem perhaps that does the book solve? And then also describe the type of person or the type of reader who would really love your book. It gives more of a broader understanding and really that you caught a lot of thought into it and again you’re guiding your listeners, your viewers into that world that you’ve created.
Maria: Fantastic. Last week we heard from Miri Rodriguez and she is a storyteller for Microsoft and she actually work with them in a digital platform and she talked about the importance of storytelling. So basically, you’re saying, have that prepared when going into an interview. Have that specific story so that you can connect with your reader and, I think it’s also important you brought the point of knowing who your target audience is and choosing interviews that are going to connect you to that audience.
Paul: Without a doubt. It really is all about storytelling. You know Maria, I’ve worked with a lot of individuals who are at a crossroads in their careers in New York City and also around the country. I do work online quite a bit as well and what they’re looking to do is to nail the job interview. So it’s really the same sort of thing. Any type of interview requires that you know the stories that define You. And there are certain types of stories that we look for or that interviewers look for when you’re going on a job interview and these stories are slightly different when you’re talking about your book because you do get to draw from the experience. You know, what I tell everyone in a simple analogy is if you’re feeling uncomfortable talking about yourself, don’t think that you need to talk about the awards that you’ve won, simply talk about the experience of receiving that award because I think people that will resonate with the people who are listening.
Maria: The experience, I think that’s fantastic. And now just like I asked with the first one, if you could connect it to your own book, just so we have an example. How can we talk about ourselves when we’re actually talking about our book and in interviews, you said bringing up an experience.With your book, what type of experience make you share in an interview?
Paul: Well, with my book, because it is a practical self-help book, it’s very easy to bring examples of individuals, people who come in for general speech priorities, things like mitigating the fear of public speaking, that’s probably number one. Number two is not losing your way or losing your train of thought when you’re giving a presentation, and then also knowing what it is that you’re trying to talk about. Understanding how to project that you are the person who’s driving the bus, and I get that lot and really having action steps, again is all a part of why I wrote a book, it’s to show that methodology.
So many people recognize when… and I empathize when somebody is nervous. You know, when we watch somebody who’s just not able to put their ideas together, we’re able to pick it out but we don’t always know what to do if that person happens to be us and you’re sort of floundering, and we’re not sticking the landing. We’re not nailing what it is that we want to say, part of it is mental, the part of it is physical. That is why I brought up earlier the idea of breathing and bumper stickers. Bumper stickers being those visceral phrases and breathing being you connecting to your body and really being in charge of the rhythm and the melody of your voice and indicating you are in fact authentically sharing your perspective.
Maria: Awesome! I love the authentic part of that. In just showing your whole self, who you are, and I will connect just for our audience listening, because you have a book that is more self-help, action related, and then I write children’s books. Well, I did write children’s books before starting the publishing company so obviously my books are realistic fiction but they are definitely fiction. So, in an interview, what I try to do to prepare my talking points, because I’ve done radio, I’ve done news interviews, I try to tell the story but then give real life examples. So, for example, with my newest book that was released, a little girl… she struggles being bullied, being teased by her friends and she has this physical reactions, she starts to feel her eyes water and she starts to tremble and shake and I connect it to, you know, this can happen to us in real life like everyday, children have an experience that their body gives them cues, bodily cues you know.
Your lip trembles, you start to shake, your cheeks get red and that your body is telling you something. So, I try to take what the character is doing it in the story but then bring it to a real life situation so that the audience can connect and see that many different children reading the book could connect to the experiences that the character is having.
Paul: Right. I took that same approach when I put the book together. I’d like to think of it as there are several points of entry for people to get into the book. So it could be that you will have a specific speech priority, you speak too quickly, you speak too softly, your public speaking you’re intimidated by good speakers, you don’t know what to do with your hands, any of those things. But then again, your priority might be a no good at meetings, I really stumble at presentations, and I don’t know what to say when I’m in a networking situation. A lot of different points of entry, same of thing. When you’re getting interviewed, you’re really giving your listeners many ways to find their way into that strong framework that you’re presenting.
Maria: When you’re interviewing, what would motivate your listeners to take the next step?
Paul: Well, everything that I’ve talked about Maria, and I’d use this disclaimer when I work with my clients, everything that I talk about is extremely simple. It’s very simple conceptually but the difficulty is in the execution. So, I think the thing that resonates the most with people is that you really are very authentic, that you really are giving them a strong framework, so that they can consider. I always tell everyone, you don’t want to make it seem like you’re pushing too hard. You don’t want to make it seem like you’re selling too hard. You don’t want to make it seem like you’re emoting too much or you’re gushing too much. Have a really strong framework. Think of it as a doorway that you’ve constructed with your words, with your concepts, with connecting everything together and then actually have the confidence to step back and let them walk through that door. It’s a very esoteric concept, I understand, but it is a huge part of being persuasive and that’s probably the end-result that most people are looking for. You really want to be, no matter what the business communication scenario is, and if you’re promoting your book, you’re selling. That’s what you’re doing.
Maria: Yeah. What if to invite them through… in order for them to walk through the doorway, am I inviting them? Am I giving them a call to action or am I just being so authentic that I hope they’d step through that doorway?
Paul: Well, you do, obviously what has brought them to that interaction with you gives you the opportunity to give them options of stepping into your world, whether it’s through social media, going to your website, buying the book online, any number of ways that they can connect with you. But you’ve got to make that, you have to connect, you have to have an idea, a concept that resonates with them. That gives them a sense of… that’s something that I could use, that’s something that I would love to pursue a little bit further.
Maria: We’re talking right now about interviewing and talking about ourselves, talking about our book or our products in a way that is very authentic to audiences, knowing who our audience is and something that you have just said about authenticity, framework, bringing people, and made me think of a question… you hear a lot in sales, you hear about the whole nurture cycle, where you have someone who is a stranger and I have to use my hands for this… so you have someone who is stranger who may be comes across your website, and maybe they sign up for your newsletter and at this point they know nothing about you and what you’re going to do is you’re just going to give them little tidbits about who you are, what you do, maybe refer them to a blog post that you have written or article that was published online and you’re giving them content and you’re allowing them to get to know you, to trust you, to like you so that they move from here, being a stranger to this nurture cycle of giving them free content, letting them get to see who you really are and then moving into a customer. Because a customer… you typically aren’t going to get a cold client who comes in and says I know nothing about this person, I’m just going to purchase. It happens, it absolutely does but it doesn’t happen all the time. You’re reminding me of this whole cycle and the importance of that.
Paul: Without a doubt and it really ties in with utilization of social media, because I believe that there are certain content that exists where it is more powerful and more impactful on certain social media platforms. So, offering to your listeners, your potential buyers video as well as audio, as well as written word and utilizing all of that social media, but then having that all exist in one place which will be on your website but giving them little bits here and there without overwhelming. But if they’d really want to step into your world, then they can go to your website. They can connect through something that may have gotten their attention. Some people love video, some people connect with video, other people written word, other people audio.
Maria: What is the biggest hang-up, the biggest mistake, the biggest struggle that people have in public speaking? Is it the hands, is it the Uhm, Uhm, Uhm? Like, what is the biggest difficulty or challenge that you see working with clients who are public speaking and trying to make a living with their speaking engagements?
Paul: Okay. The hardest thing about public speaking is getting through the vacuum that you feel in the first 30 seconds. That’s the hardest thing… because you’ve got… you’re dealing with the forces of the energy of attention, a sense of judgment, a fear of consequences plus when all eyes are on you, suddenly you have to convince your viewing audience that you’re the one driving the bus. And most people are not aware of how important it is to stay connected to your body. With all those thoughts going through your head, it becomes a mind game. So you have to do is turn around and make it more of a physical approach. That’s why breathing and bumper stickers, because if you’re breathing deliberately, which most people don’t do but it is basically how you develop your own sense of forward momentum, and you have your bumper stickers then you know what you’re going to say right in the beginning, you work that out, you take a deep breath and you deliver what you came there to say and you get through the first 30 seconds. Most people are good after they get through that time span.
Maria: Fantastic. Paul, tell us a little bit more. Can you show us your book on the visual learner? I know it’s available everywhere, it is available online at Walmart and Barnes & Noble’s, Amazon, Target which is awesome, Google Books… Better Business Speech, it’s a beautiful cover and it’s very vivid and happy. So tell us a little bit more about what the book can teach us. I mean, everything you’ve been taking about here today, getting through that vacuum…
Paul: Sure. Well, it’s broken down into different business communication scenarios that people may find are difficult. Whether it’s meetings, presentations, network, job interviews, sales calls and then it goes into personal complaints. Whether you speak too quickly, speak too softly, don’t know what to do with your hands, any of those things, fear of public speaking… and then we talk about some of the concepts in… we do a deep dive on things like bumper stickers and developing executive presence. So really, it is for business people but it’s for anybody who wants to do public speaking and it’s my contention that all speaking for business is a form of public speaking. So if you’re not able to do it or if you have a fear of doing it, you run away from it, you’re putting in an unnecessary ceiling on your career.
Maria: And for those of you tuning in who are authors and you don’t believe that you are a business owner, I beg to correct that because you truly are a small business owner. When you are an author, you are building a platform and whether you are speaking or not, I think that this would be really appropriate because you are a small business owner. And I think with the mindset of an author, knowing that they are a business owner, and knowing that they have this important message they have to get out into the world in an authentic way, I think that this information can only be helpful and do wonders for you.
Paul: Thank you.
Maria: So Paul, I had a fear of judgment every time. You’d brought up the hands because I am a visual hand speaker. I’ve been holding my hand so tight in my lap this whole interview.
Paul: Oh. And yet you have been so wonderful as an interviewer. I say free up the hands. What I want to mention is, let me add a little bit of an adjustment, if you’re having trouble gesturing too often, try to experiment with gesturing fully but holding a gesture until the impulse for the next gesture comes along.
Maria: Oh, I like that.
Paul: What you do is, it becomes your unspoken continuity between the words that you’re speaking. So just be careful. A lot people bounce their gestures and you don’t want to do that. What you would want to do is just gesture fully, and you can just hold court, and like I said, then the next gesture comes along.
Maria: I love that tip! I’m glad that I was very honest with you because I just learned something really good to help me now, too.
Paul: Right, but I love gestures. Don’t hold yourself back, don’t hold back those impulses because truly that is connecting you to your body and you really need that connection, it’s all important.
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My name is Maria Dismondy. I am a children’s book author who also founded the publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press.
Finding ways to market my messages is a passion of mine. I want to help you gain greater recognition of your brand, to generate new readers and improve your sales. Why? Because I love to GIVE and CONNECT and I truly believe we are all in this together!