Is your voice not loud enough, metaphorically or figuratively? Are you unable to get through to your audience?
Discover how to break "the wall" that blocks your success...
Today's guest, Mikki Williams is an award winning speaker and in demand executive speech coach, CSP - Certified Speaking Professional, member of the prestigious speaker Hall of Fame, a TEDx speaker, a global celebrity speaker and transformational storyteller.
Mikki helps her clients become leaders who can "inspire and challenge those who follow them" by developing their presence, persuasion and storytelling skills.
In today's episode, Mikki unpacks the topic "Cracking the Code of Executive Presence: Speaking, Storytelling and Persuasion"
Check out these episode highlights:
02:08 – Mikki’s ideal client: “My ideal client is the executive. And that's an executive at any level, it doesn't have to be C suite.…”
03:21 – Her client's biggest challenge: “The fact that they can talk, most people think they can speak. But because people can talk, they naturally assume they can speak...”
04:37 – Mikki’s #1 insight to help you: "Storytelling and the neuroscience, is what becomes the vehicle to get people to act. It's a matter of sharing these skills, teaching how to use them, to become an effective storyteller and speaker....."
06:03 – What concept, book, program, or talk impacted you the most: "One of the most simplistic books I've ever read was called Defining Moments. Defining moments are those moments where I have had some form of transformation because of something that happened, or an insight that I gained...."
07:20 – Mikki’s valuable free resource: "I have a monthly newsletter called Hair She Is, and we don't sell you anything. It's very colorful. It's a magazine format. You can also see my TED Talk, there's a direct link from my website..."
08:48 – Mikki’s last thoughts: "I just set up a foundation called the Goddess Foundation, through my college, Ithaca College. And its purpose it to help a young woman in entrepreneurial studies who wants to launch a business..."
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Narrator 0:00 Welcome to the Destiny Awakening Interviews, a podcast with Andrew wayfinder and his guests, bringing you powerful insights, inspiration and ways to break free, live life your way and make a difference in our changing and challenging world.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:17 So hello, everyone and a very warm welcome to another edition of the Destiny Awakening Interview.
I'm Andrew Wayfinder, Hryniewicz. And I'm joined today by Mikki Williams, award winning speaker and in demand executive speech coach. And a very warm welcome to you Mikki. Where are you hanging out today?
Mikki Williams 0:35 Thanks, Andrew. Speaking of warm, I'm in beautiful sunny Florida, Naples to be exact, where it's 84 degrees and sunny.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:43 Lucky you.
Mikki Williams 0:44 Yes, indeed.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:47 So, Nikki Williams is the founder of mikkiwilliams.com. She's a CSP - Certified Speaking Professional, member of the prestigious speaker Hall of Fame, a TEDx speaker, and is a global celebrity speaker and transformational storyteller.
Mickey has been chosen by the meetings and convention magazine, as one of the best speakers in the US, along with Tony Robbins, Bill Gates and Jay Leno.
Mikki's an award winning Vistage Speaker, the world's leading executive organization, and a master Chair of two of their peer advisory boards.
In her spare time, Mikki runs Speaker School, Mikki Mouse Club, Keynote Camp, Outrageous Operators, Mikki and Friends seminar series and divides her time between Naples, Florida and Chicago, Illinois.
Mikki has spoken in every US state, every Canadian province and every continent except Antarctica, where she can't wear her stilettos.
So thank you, Mikki, for your time today. And, our title today is "Cracking the Code of Executive Presence: Speaking, Storytelling and Persuasion".
And Mikki's gonna unpack that topic, in six questions. So the first question. So who is your ideal client? And what's the transformation your work helps them achieve?
Mikki Williams 2:09 Yeah, my ideal client is the executive. And that's an executive at any level, it doesn't have to be C suite. It's just anybody who's in a position of authority and management. Or actually could be anybody who looks to grow as a leader.
So it's an umbrella, more of a leader than it is even the executive. And the transformation is really the fact that the number one leadership skills today are indeed speaking, storytelling and persuasion.
I say, all fall under the umbrella of leadership skills. And to become a better leader, you absolutely have to transform into a better speaker, there's no question about it.
Because leaders have to have followers, and followers naturally gravitate those who inspire them, or who challenge them. That's a big part of it.
Andrew Hryniewicz 2:57 So, when these leaders and executives come to you, what's the biggest challenge they're facing typically?
Mikki Williams 3:03 That is such an easy answer, I'm happy to tell you. The fact that they can talk, most people think they can speak. And that's the big challenge.
Talking is a God given human resource. Speaking is a skill and a craft that I've worked at for over three decades.
I can play tennis doesn't mean I'm good at it. I don't know the skills of tennis. But because people can talk, they naturally assume they can speak, big fallacy.
Andrew Hryniewicz 3:31 Okay, So question number three then, what's the number one insight you would share with someone right now, in that arena?
Mikki Williams 3:38 Yeah, that's the first insight, we build from there. And then, it's a matter of what are the skills?
What are the skills in storytelling? What are the skills in speaking? What are the skills in persuasion? How do you use them? How do you maximize them to the benefit of whatever you're trying to do?
You're trying to sell a product or a service. You're trying to sell an idea or an initiative. You're trying to engage people with facts, when you really need to engage them emotionally.
And because facts tell, stories sell.
And, part of this is teaching people, they're all in the "Emotional Transportation Business". Whatever business they think they're in, I have to challenge their mind to think "No, you're not in that business".
Whenever you're facing an audience of one or a thousand. You're in the Emotional Transportation Business. How do you separate your facts from your thing?
I'm an engineer. I use facts. I use data. I'm an accountant. And that's their "head trash", as I call it. My challenge as a coach is to get them to understand it doesn't matter.
Whether you're left brain, right brain, we now know... storytelling and the neuroscience, is what becomes the vehicle to get people to act. It's a matter of sharing these skills, teaching how to use them, to become an effective storyteller and speaker.
Andrew Hryniewicz 4:53 That reminds me, actually, of a story about Gregory Bateson, the cyberneticist, who was asked many many years ago "How will we know when a computer has learned to think like a human?"
When you ask it a question, and it says, "That reminds me of a story?"
Mikki Williams 5:09 I love that. You need to send that to me, Andrew, I want to use that. And, I'll quote you, quoting him.
Andrew Hryniewicz 5:15 Okay, great.
So, question number four, what is there a concept, a book, a program, talk or experience that has had, the greatest impact on your development?
Mikki Williams 5:29 Yeah,they're all of the above.
I could probably break it down by each one of those in that great category. It always reminds me of the... one of the most simplistic thing or books I've ever read. And I don't know how long ago, it was called "Defining Moments".
And I remember the impression that had on me, because it simply asked questions like, "Is it a defining moment, when you're getting a standing ovation from thousands of people? Or the defining moment when you're hugging your child or petting your pet?"
And for me, defining moments have not only been the recognition of that, and honoring that. But, for me to reflect back on my life, defining moments are those moments where I have had some form of transformation because of something that happened, or because of an insight that I gained.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:22 Okay, great.
Yeah, and we were talking about that earlier about, realizing those moments that show up with, "This is what's important". And then other stuff just doesn't, you know, it's not where it's at.
Okay, So question number five, what free resource would you like to share with the audience, that could help them?
Mikki Williams 6:45 Well, the free resource is what I'm sharing right now.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:48 Okay.
Mikki Williams 6:49 My expertise in this venue of your podcast. And hopefully, some of these things I'm saying will ignite a spark, or inspire something within someone.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:59 Okay. And to learn more to go to mikkiwilliams.com for newsletters or anything like that.
Mikki Williams 7:07 I have a monthly newsletter called "Hair She Is", and we don't sell you anything. It's very colorful. It's a magazine format. So you can skip from something fun, like the shoes, to an article on storytelling.
I also have besides the magazine, there are other things that I either write on or anything... You can see my TED Talk, there's a direct link from my website to my TED Talk.
Hopefully, that's another free resource with great integration to people. So yeah, just play around on the website. I like to think it's a very fun, colorful website, or I've been told.
Andrew Hryniewicz 7:40 Okay, great. Yeah. So there's a lot of resources there.
And then the last question, number six. Mikki, what should I have asked you, that I didn't ask you?
Mikki Williams 7:52 Probably one of the questions I often get asked is: Have you ever been nervous for a presentation?
I don't know if I've been nervous for a presentation. But I had a goal and that was to do a one woman show. And that was nerve racking. And I accomplished it three years ago.
I performed it at Second City in Chicago. It was called "She Came, She Wore, She Conquered: Shoes, Sex and Other Stories". And it was the story of my life, as told through the shoes of my decades.
And I never put it out on YouTube, because... it's not x rated, but it is R rated. It was show business. So I wasn't a professional speaker, I was able to use terminology that I can't use in speaking.
And, I always had a desire to set up a foundation and they finally have come together, I just set up a foundation called the "Goddess Foundation", through my college, which was Ithaca College.
And all proceeds will go to helping a young woman in entrepreneurial studies who wants to launch a business, which is really what I've done in my life.
And, we're going to raise money by launching the show on my website. And because it's about the shoes of my decade, we're going to call it a "pay per shoe".
So as you want to view it, you'll get to pay per shoe. And, that's coming up soon. I'm very excited about that.
Andrew Hryniewicz 9:16 That sounds great. Yeah, we'll definitely put a link in there in the show notes, for that as well.
Mikki Williams 9:22 Thank you. The landing page is there. It's not active yet.
Andrew Hryniewicz 9:26 Yeah, well, yeah.
Mikki Williams 9:28 And if anybody goes to my website and signs up for my eZine, they'll automatically be on my mailing list. So they'll get announcements about all these things we're talking about today.
Andrew Hryniewicz 9:36 Okay, that's perfect Mikki. Thank you so much for your time today.
Mikki Williams 9:40 Oh, You're quite welcome, Andrew, thank you for the enjoyment of spending some time with you. I appreciate it.
Narrator 9:46 Thanks for listening to the destiny awakening interviews. If you have a friend who would benefit please share, and subscribe to the show on iTunes and leave a review. We really appreciate it. And remember Always use your power for good
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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WHAT WE'RE ABOUT
For executives, professionals, leaders seeking careers and lives of fulfilment, purpose and impact.
Each week you get a short (7-9 min) chat with an expert in peak performance, optimal health, inner growth and real purpose.
The interviews are designed to help you do meaningful work, feel vital and alive again, and be respected and rewarded for your vision and values.
‘Diversity Equity & inclusion’ J. Israel Green, June 2
‘Lead With Confidence’ Cristina Holloway, June 9
‘Executive Presence’ Nikki Williams, June 16
‘The Superstar Paradox’ Karen Eldad, June 23
‘Individuation’ Anthony Metten, June 30
Andrew Wayfinder is on a mission to make everyone's career and life more fulfilling, rewarding and meaningful in our changing, and challenging world.
Since 2011, he has used his unique background (architect, psycho-therapist, shamanic healer) to help 175+ executives and leaders (in corporate, creative, academic and scientific settings) create lives and careers they love.
Author of Free your Soul, founder of Destiny Awakening and the Wayfinder Path, Andrew has spoken at MindValley U, been on BBC Radio and interviewed in OmYoga Magazine.
Andrew lives in London, UK (where he enjoys cooking, cycling, art museums and galleries) and he works with clients in the US, Europe, UK and Asia.